Students in the UT Knoxville College of -Communication and Information have a place to call their own.
The new Scripps Convergence Lab is outfitted with iMac desktop computers; a variety of state-of-the-art video and teleconferencing tools, including UT’s first 1080p high-definition video-data projector; and a portable high-definition video studio. The 4,000-square-foot lab, dedicated early this year, is located in the Communications Building.
The lab also includes studio areas, conference rooms, lounge space, and a kitchenette.
“For the first time, the students of this college have a place of their own,” said John McNair, the college’s director of technology.
Funded in part by a $500,000 grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation, the lab is “the hub of the college,” said Dean Mike Wirth. “It encourages a convergence of the disciplines, something that is increasingly important as the problems we deal with become increasingly complex.
“Our students now have access to technology and space they need to create more elaborate projects,” Wirth continued. “With our classrooms and teaching labs equipped with cameras, computers, and other technology booked solid with classes, the Scripps Lab will have a transformative impact on the educational experience of our students.”
Jamil Price, a May graduate of the College of -Communication and Information, said, “The college is better than when I started four years ago. A large part of that is due to organizations such as the Scripps -Howard Foundation. They understand the importance of -education in today’s society for young adults like me.”
Scripps officials hope the multipurpose facility inspires students to gather, collaborate, and create.
“It’s about the young people,” said Scripps Foundation president and CEO Mike Philipps. “For them, this is an extremely exciting time. They are going to reinvent our industry and reconnect our world.”
“We really view this lab as a valuable partnership with UT and a wise and necessary investment in our future,” said Ken Lowe, chair, president, and CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive and the founder of HGTV. “The students who grace this facility today will be the communicators of tomorrow.”–Chandra Harris-McCray