Dec. 16, 2016

Buena Vista University’s digital media program recently received a $1 million grant from a longtime BVU supporter to upgrade the department’s University Cable Network (UCN) Studios.

The new equipment was installed in early fall and replaced the studio’s analog television and video equipment with digital technology. Though students have always had the ability to produce multi-camera productions from six different locations across campus, the new cameras are now up to current industry standards and shoot in high definition.

“It’s nice to have the financial support of others so that our students can become proficient in all areas of digital storytelling,” said Jerry Johnson, assistant professor of digital media. “The updated technology enables students to become equipped with the tools and experience they’ll need to be successful media professionals in the 21st century.”

While a great deal of the grant went to equipment upgrades, the gift was also given to establish an endowment that will perpetually support future technology updates.

Students from different fields, including graphic design, music and theatre, are all working together to bring elements of a professional production together.

Jerry Johnson

“The industry is ever changing,” said Johnson. “It’s important that we continually adapt our program to best prepare students for the workplace or graduate school. The new studio enables students to become better producers, directors and editors using what is out in the video production and broadcasting industry.”

Chris Habermann, a senior digital media major from Sioux City, said, “It was really exciting to learn that we would be getting new equipment and to be a part of the transition process from the old studio to the new. I am now getting to work with the same technology that I could very well come in contact with in a professional environment.”

Emily Johnson, a senior digital media major from Storm Lake, added, “The upgrades are what we will see in future internships or jobs so having it helps us better prepare for when we encounter the same or similar equipment.”

Students from across disciplines have access to UCN Studios and full television productions are often collaborative. 

“It’s been exciting to watch students embrace the new equipment and run with it,” said Johnson. “Students from different fields, including graphic design, music and theatre, are all working together to bring elements of a professional production together. I like to think of the studio as the University’s ‘hub of creativity.’”