(Joplin, MO) – Remodeling of the Missouri Southern State University’s (MSSU) KGCS-TV studios is underway with construction of a room-sized-wrap-around green screen. Painting of the screen began at 10:00 am on Thursday, April 6. The green screen is located in studio B, and will be home to Newsmakers and other productions of KGCS and students. Studio A will become home to an LED production wall. The renovations are possible because of a $1.5 million MOExcels Grant.
The MoExcels Grant is something that MSSU applies for and regularly has received in the past to enhance learning spaces and experiences for students. In Fall 2021 Lorinda Hackett (Interim Provost at the time) approached Art, Business (CIS), and Communication to develop a cross collaborative proposal to create a foundation for enhanced cross collaboration experiences in upcoming technologies in various disciplines. This allows for expanded certificate opportunities and skills needed for current job market trends. The core concept is the overlap of Computer Science, Art and Communication in the use of computer-generated assets for VR, Film/Commercial/Broadcast Production, and Digital Interaction.
Equipment has been purchased in several departments and full implementation is expected in the fall of 2023. Once complete, students will have access to more structured interdisciplinary experiences across the Art, Computer Information Science, and Communication.
Virtual Reality hardware will allow for Computer Science students to develop skills in the quickly evolving space of virtual interaction and the “Metaverse”. Art students will be provided access to shared network resourced for easier collaborations between disciplines. They will also be provided a solid platform for building 3d assets and displaying large format installations. Communication students will have access to cutting edge production concepts such as virtual and augmented reality.
At the event, Brian Mehrens, Master Instructor of Communications and KXMS General Manager, discussed the impact on TV production, film production and use by the community for commercial production. Frank Pishkur, Professor of Art and Design, also gave perspective on the opportunities this creates for students in 3D design while Elmira Bagherzadeh shared insight from a graphic design and animation perspective. Marsi Archer, Dean College Arts and Sciences, and Maureen Wieland, Communications Department Chair, also discussed the importance of collaborative work at the university level.
As all these disciplines play a pivotal role in the quickly expanding need of professionals in the areas of digital and interactive media, we look forward to developing strong collaborative experiences and marketable skills in our students to set MSSU as a hub recognized for leading creative and technical educational concepts in the digital age.
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