Communications Building improvements better prepare students

Brooke J. Freundschuh

The University of North Alabama always strives to give their students the best education possible, but when it comes to fields that require the newest technology, it can often be difficult to fund every new development as it is made. However, the communications department is making major steps to give its students all of the training they will need to work in broadcast television.

Over the summer and during the fall semester, Professor Travis Cronan has been working to update the building and the equipment it has to offer students. The communications building has recently been painted and received new furniture. There is currently a project in the works to decorate the walls with student photography. The biggest changes, however, are in the updated technology.

“Before I arrived at the university, everything was kind of obsolete equipment,” Cronan stated, but in a few weeks after the final installment of studio lighting is made, UNA will have a fully functioning television studio on campus. Recent additions include a sixteen channel sound board, green screens, a news desk, televisions, monitors, and a tricaster system. The tricaster allows multiple camera angles to be viewed at once to make for more efficient recording.

“I think they’re definitely going in the right direction as far as improvements,” commented Senior Mass Communications and Digital Media Production major, Hannah Campbell. “I think it’s very helpful because we have plenty of stuff for print journalism, but if you’re wanting to go down the television route or the radio route all the technology is very helpful. It gives you real world experience,” Campbell also stated.

Real world experience is the goal that Professor Cronan is striving for. He aims to start a student run news program that will equip graduates to get jobs in the broadcast industry.

“It’s not going to be students just doing work in the classroom. They’re just kind of putting together a professional portfolio so when they leave here they can just show their employer they already directed a show, they already did sound for a show, they already did talent for a show,” Cronan said. The new technology is already being put to good use and will continue to in the next few weeks as the final changes are made.