Art Blossoms

As this tree in front of the art department has blossomed, so has the new creative media major at Stan State. (Photo courtesy of Maribel Garcia)

After two years of preparation, the new creative media major has finally arrived at Stan State. Depending on the response that students have towards it, the coordinators in the art department will determine whether the major will continue or not.

“It’s no longer a special major. It’s now a pilot program of a new major,” Dr. Roxanne Robbin, chair director of art and director of the creative media major, explained.

A pilot program is a program that you “can try for five years, see how it works out, and then you can apply for regular program status.” In other words, the creative media major is now a “normal” major, but just not a permanent one, at the moment.

So, what exactly is the creative media program? According to Dr. Robbin, it is a major made for students to help them “explore their own interests in advocacy, design, creative writing, media and film, visual storytelling or live performance.”

“It incorporates interdisciplinary models of learning that is aligned with their interests and with creative media industry expectations,” continued Dr. Robbin.

This means that the major covers a very broad area when it comes to media such as digital art, journalism, animation, and marketing that will help student refine their skills.

Dr. Robbin mentioned how the plan to create the creative media major sprouted while having a conversation with journalism professor Dr. Shannon Stevens.  “We just started talking about how useful it would be if we could create a major in storytelling, [but] with more kinds of modern technical abilities so that people could tell their stories in the best ways possible.”

Chad Hunter, a professor within Stan State's art program spoke about the benefits that this new major will provide. “More and more jobs are requiring some cluster of skills: journalism, video editing, graphic design, marketing and social media marketing and web design. This program will help Stan State students ready themselves for such jobs.”

Professor Jessica Gomula-Kruzic helped create the major and gave an example of how someone might benefit from majoring in Creative Media. "If you want to be a digital artist, you don’t need to know just digital art, but you also need to know a little bit of about marketing and a little bit of business. You need to know a little bit about how to go out in the field and capture information, whether you are interviewing people, or you’re doing documentaries.”

The collaborative efforts between dean of the arts Dr. James Tuedio, Dr. Stevens, professor Gomula-Kruzic, and Dr. Robbin allowed them to plot out what guidelines the new major would follow.

“What it’s based on is an examination of where many schools are going in terms of trying to incorporate these technical abilities in new forms of storytelling. We looked all around the country for some of the best programs and tried to incorporate some of those ideas,” Dr. Robbin explained.

Gomula-Kruzic explain that only one new class was created in order to complete the guidelines and requirements for the major. “We’ve made one new class, but all the other classes are existing so it’s just a different kind of grouping of things that we can already offer.”

The current course requirements for the creative media program can be found here.

So far, the program has already brought in a lot of positive feedback from those involved. Samantha Tonarelli (Junior, creative media) is in the creative media program and spoke about how its ability to bring multiple departments together in creating a broader program has personally helped her.

Tonarelli explained that she switched her major to creative media from art studio last semester. She says that the creative media major is geared more towards her interests of graphic design.

"Before, I [majored in] art studio and it was a lot of physical art. It wasn’t a lot of computer design, so I felt like this [major] better fit where I wanted to go.”

Professors such as Hunter have expressed their excitement about this new program and explained that they would love to see similar programs at Stan State in the future.

For more information about the major, head to https://catalog.csustan.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=23&poid=4748&returnto=1652

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