Gets a Cutting Edge Boost at UNCP
The University of
North Carolina at Pembroke has been selected to join an elite collaboration
of leading universities and high-tech companies to explore innovative
ways to teach and learn using emerging media applications.
left to right: Dr. Roger Brown, Dr. Larry Arnold, Dr. Allen C.
Meadors, Bob Caton, George Johnson, Dr. John Labadie and Lawrence
New Media Centers
is a non-profit organization that includes founding corporate members
such as Adobe, Apple Computer, Inc. and Macromedia, Inc. Sustaining
and core members include Compaq, Avid, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, MagicBeanStalk,
Sunrise Media LLC, WebCT, Mindcrossing and Lynda.com.
UNCP joins a distinguished
list of members that includes Dartmouth College, Amherst College, Cornell
University, Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University and Yale
University. UNCP is the first and only university in North Carolina
to be admitted as a member of New Media Centers.
The project, hailed
by the university for its cutting edge educational benefits, is funded
in part through a private grant from Eagle Distributing Company in Lumberton.
Named the Media
Integration Project, it was initiated on campus through the collaboration
of three faculty members from different departments. Nearly five years
ago, Dr. John Labadie of the Art Department, Dr. Larry Arnold of the
Music Department and George Johnson of Mass Communications began discussing
the use of technology in their work.
grew into joint projects that include the production of animated instructional
programs combining their three disciplines," said UNCP Director
of Development Lynda Parlett, who raised funds for the project. "These
programs were very well received by the students and led the faculty
to explore more innovative methods of teaching through the use of digital
art, music and animation techniques."
The project puts
UNCP on the cutting edge of technological innovations in media.
digital television and broadband communications are changing the mass
media landscape," Mr. Johnson said. "Courses like Media Integration
will prepare our students to work in this new landscape."
Other UNCP faculty
and staff members from across the campus have begun to gather regularly
with the project faculty in a lunchtime discussion group called "Digital
Soup and Sandwich."
"Students and faculty will have the opportunity to exchange ideas
with other members at face-to-face events as well as through online
discussions and collaborations with other campus centers," Dr.
Labadie said. "Faculty will receive training at the annual conference
through hands-on instruction provided by leading experts in the field."
advantage will be the opportunity to test advanced technology products
before they become available to the public," he said.
The primary focus
of the project team has been the enhancement of the educational experiences
of their students. UNCP's center is unique in its student-centered work.
Students have been increasingly exposed to various forms of creative
technology and will be expected to have an understanding of its application
in the workplace.
has shown that successful implementation of New Media increases student
motivation and accomplishment," Dr. Arnold said. "Techniques
and concepts of new media will be increasingly important, if not essential,
for all students to use for communication in their careers."
The selection process
is quite competitive but the quality and potential of UNCP's media integration
efforts won over the selection committee. Nonetheless, there was another
obstacle for UNCP to face, the annual membership fee of $2,000.
A corporate sponsorship
was needed to assist the university with their quest and Eagle Distributing
Company in Lumberton stepped in to help. Bob Caton, CEO of Eagle, learned
of the project and immediately recognized the tremendous benefits to
"We are in
the century of technology,"said Mr. Caton. "Through my association
with UNCP on the Board of Trustees, I felt strongly that the New Media
Centers membership would be an opportunity for the University to stand
out from the other 15 UNC schools. This project will give UNCP an undeniable
edge in luring top students from all over the country."
Through Eagle Distributing
Company's sponsorship, the university not only has become a member of
the NMC but the three founding faculty members and university web publisher
Lawrence Locklear recently attended an international conference at California
State University, Monterey Bay.
At the conference,
the UNCP members met and exchanged ideas not only with representatives
of other institutions but also with technological groundbreakers such
as the founders of Yahoo. These affiliations may lead to tremendous
opportunities for UNCP students to include collaborative projects and
Senior UNCP administrators
praised the project.
"I am very
pleased that UNC Pembroke will join the relatively small group of colleges
and universities selected as sites for a New Media Center," said
Dr. Roger Brown, UNCP's Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
"The very essence of university education and research must include
the emerging variety of communications and artistic media that will
shape our society and global dialogue in the 21st Century."
Meadors is quite proud of the university's selection but even more proud
of the efforts of the faculty.
Dr. Arnold and Mr. Johnson provide wonderful examples of the hard work
that UNCP faculty engage in to the benefit of our students," Dr.
Meadors said. "Our membership in the New Media Centers will not
only link our students to the latest technological advances and the
companies that create them, it will put the university, our students
and the phenomenal work that goes on here in the spotlight nationally
The impact of UNCP's
membership will be significant.
Digital samples of works by UNCP's Media Integration Project may be
viewed at www.uncp.edu/media_integration.
"The UNCP Media
Integration Project has taken a leading role in building a working information
technology context that has now allowed our academic community to connect,
in an unprecedented way, with creative, highly technical, experienced
colleagues in universities worldwide," said Media Integration Project
director Dr. John Labadie. "Our productive and highly functional
relationships with well-informed members from institutions as diverse
as the University of Calgary, Stanford, MIT, California State University
- Sonoma, and Bowling Green State University have already added immensely
to our store of knowledge about the uses and implementation of new media.
to University Newswire