Foss technology studio holds unacknowledged resources

Winston Heckt, Staff Writer

While the opening of the Hagfors Center, our name-change to “Augsburg University” and the updated general education curriculum have been the most widely talked about changes on campus, another update took place under the noses of pretty much everyone. The Foss Lobeck Miles Center unveiled the newly renovated Emerging Technology Studio and New Media Lab with little fanfare to the average Auggie. However, these updates to the old Foss studio were a long time coming for those in the communication, film and new media department.

  After equipment in Foss’s first studio literally caught fire, Augsburg switched to a mobile studio setup which was serviceable but lacked a space to accommodate professional media production. This is no longer the case as the Emerging Technology Studio and New Media Lab bring Augsburg’s media production capabilities into the 21st century. The Emerging Technology Studio or, as the cool kids refer to it, simply ET, is a traditional broadcast studio space with a teleprompter, light switcher, green screen and a desk worthy of the finest news anchor. On the other side of the media production spectrum is the cutting-edge New Media Lab which is focused on audio and mixed media production including podcasts, voiceover work, portrait and headshot photography, lecture captures and video presentations.

“We needed the new studio renovation because equipment has changed drastically since the mobile lab was configured,” says Jenny Hanson, assistant professor in the communications, film and new media department. “But more importantly, we need a space that allows Augsburg students to compete with professional media producers and other universities. Now students interested in broadcast journalism or podcasting can get hands on experience with industry-standard equipment.”

These studios are for more than just students in the department. While access to ET requires taking Studio Production as a prerequisite, and access to the New Media Lab is granted only after taking a training session to learn the basic workflow, these spaces are designed with the entire campus in mind.

“I want people to use this space,” says Hanson. “It is a community resource and there are people here to help you figure out how to get in there and use it whether you’re a film or new media student or not.” New scheduling software is in the works to reserve time and equipment, but in the meantime, anyone interested in using the space should contact the film equipment room in the basement of Foss next to the computer lab. The Emerging Technology Studio is located in Foss 175, and the New Media Lab is in the Communication Office.

“If a professor wants their students to make a show or if they want to film a lecture capture, we can work it out,” says Hanson. “Or if a student is interested, mention it to your professor and get in touch. Let’s get interdisciplinary!”

The Communications department updated the Foss Studio providing a studio space for students. Photo by Winston Heckt.

This article was originally published in the March 1, 2019 issue.