New home for communication studies department

By Jedidiah Blomberg

Staff Writer

Video editing labs, the student newspaper office, an auditorium for theater auditions and rehearsals and film equipment are all now housed all under one roof for the department of communication studies.

The department packed up offices in Tidwell, labs in Mackey and other learning spaces across campus to move into the Wakefield building over the summer.

For communication studies faculty, the most exciting part of the move is the ability to create more community in the department.

“We now have a space where students come and hang out before and after class and spaces for collaboration,” said Jeff Wells, chair of the department of communication studies. “There was no reason for them to come and wait for class in the hallways of Tidwell. There is a synergy that happens by us being here, as having classes in this building.”

The building, which used to house the music department, now includes editing suites for film and television, which can also be used for graphic design. Equipment checkouts are also available for film, journalism and other media students. There are multimedia journalism labs, a podcast recording suite and a multipurpose auditorium that can be used for small productions, auditions, rehearsals and film screenings.

Other faculty members are hearing positive reviews from students.

Seth Conley, associate professor of communication studies, said the space is helping him serve his students better with a larger and more secure cage for equipment and soundproof spaces for students to be creative.

“The editing suites that we have I think will be a big draw for our students. It allows them to be able to work individually in an editing suite without headphones. They are able to use speakers that really give an improved editing experience,” he said.

Conley said the move over the summer was made possible by the help of several departments on campus including ITS and plant operations.

“All of them were very helpful in the process and in the move over and just getting the building ready on time for our students to move in,” he said.

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