The communication department is the only one with classes taught in the new Center for the Arts building, and one of the first and only communication professors to teach in the building, Derley Aguilar, is excited about the state-of-the-art facility.
“I think our space improves the department because it improves the experience for the students,” Aguilar said.
The previous studio space used by communication students was in Shultz Dining Center, which was renovated and incorporated into the Center for the Arts building.
Although Shultz had a control and audio room, the space was not as integrated as the one now.
Students now also have the opportunity to use professional grade equipment, which includes cameras and an audio board.
“It’s all new equipment with (the) video, studio and control room,” said Nolan Nichols, a senior communication major. “There’s a newsroom now, and there’s a classroom with computers as well. It’s been a great opportunity to get hands-on experience with the news setting.”
Aguilar said she believes her experience in television played a major role to bridge the gap between the engineers’ proposals for the building and what the communication department needed.
This semester, Aguilar is teaching the Advanced Multimedia Reporting classes in the Center for the Arts building. As a professor, she was able to give her input during the planning process in terms of how the space would be used and future needs for both her students and herself.
“That was actually pretty tough, because we were transitioning and our curriculum was changing,” Aguilar said. “Some of the questions that were asked of me were harder to answer, because it hadn’t happened yet.”
Although Nichols didn’t have a class in the previous facility, he said the Center for the Arts building is not only spacious but was also designed really well.
“You can tell they didn’t cut corners when making the facility,” Nichols said. “I think that’s going to really pay off when we enter the workforce.”
Considering the size of the whole facility, the communication department only uses a small area of the new building. But according to Aguilar, it helps the department to now have both an official space and a home.
“I can’t wait to see a lot of students coming in and out of the space,” Aguilar said. “I can’t wait for it to just be really lively, and I know it’s sort of redundant to say this, but alive.”
While Aguilar normally opposes cell phones in class, during the first week of classes, she highly encouraged her students to take pictures and tweet as a way to share the excitement and show what is happening in the department with the new innovative studio.
“It’s really wild, because for my own personal point of view, this was a lot to undertake,” Aguilar said. “It feels really neat to see the process from the beginning to where we are today, and I like the idea that I can say I had the first class in that room.”