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Media Innovation Center
In January 2016, the West Virginia University Reed College of Media celebrated the grand opening of the Media Innovation Center, a space where students, faculty and members of the community could use the newest technology to express creative ideas.
The MIC was inspired by the Alexis (BSJ, 1973) and Jim
Pugh Media Innovation Lab located in Martin Hall on WVU’s downtown campus. The
success of that lab, which was funded by a gift from the Pughs in 2013, led to
plans for a scaled up version that would eventually be located on the fourth
floor of Evansdale Crossing.
Dana Coester, associate professor and creative director for the MIC, worked with Dean Maryanne Reed to coordinate a team that included representatives from Strada, a cross-disciplinary design firm, BrightTrees Studios, an audiovisual design consulting firm, and other WVU departments, as well as key faculty, alumni and donors.
In preparation, members of this team visited other innovative spaces around the country including Annenberg’s Innovation Center at USC, CUNY in New York City, Google and Facebook in Mountainview, California, Quartz in New York City, Washington Post and others.
“President Gee and Provost McConnell inspired us to dream BIG and to put our ideas on paper and into action,” said Reed. “This amazing new space is a symbol of the College of Media’s focus on the future as we prepare students to be ‘makers’ and ‘leaders’ in the incredibly dynamic world of media.”
The center’s flexible floorplan and available technology, including tools for augmented and virtual reality, encourages students to create material in a new, imaginative way.
“It is above all a creative space designed for collaboration,” said Coester, “We emphasize an open-door philosophy for transdisciplinary, inter-institutional and community/industry collaborations.”
The MIC is also home to projects like the digital publication 100 Days in Appalachia, hackathons and the Knight-Funded Innovators-in-Residence program, which brings regional and national media organizations to the classroom to teach students how to use the newest technology in the industry. The College of Media depends on private support for these projects.
“Private giving enhances opportunities,” said Reed. “It is essential to providing relevant and meaningful experiences for our students.”
The College of Media is still seeking support for programs and technology in the Media Innovation Center and several naming opportunities exist. Contact Joshua Walters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-293-6775 for more information.