By Josiah Wilson, News Editor
There have been some significant changes to the Digital Media Arts department this semester. Personnel changes, classroom changes and directional changes are all taking place in Becker Hall. The DMA department is moving forward, and according to students and faculty, they’re moving in a good direction.
“It’s a catalyst for change,” Lance Clark, department chair of digital media arts, said. “A lot of times, you hopefully take that catalyst and you power that change in positive directions.”
Clark said the department has moved almost the entire stop-motion section into the basement of Becker Hall. Before, it was scattered across the building, but everything is being consolidated in an effort to introduce more efficiency. Now students working on stop motion can have all their work gathered in a central area.
There have also been some important personnel changes in the DMA department. One of those changes is equipment manager Stephan Hughes. In the DMAfield, Hughes is known as the cage manager. He’s taken charge of the equipment and made an effort to fully utilize every resource that the department has available to them.
“We had some stuff that was just laying around, that was sitting in storage that we just weren’t using,” Hughes said. “What I did over most of the summer was just go through stuff, asking which area of the department actually uses it.”
Hughes has not only brought more neglected resources to bear in the cage, but also introduces a relational aspect to it. Before he came to Huntington University, he worked as a youth director, and he tries to bring that experience to his work in the DMA department as well.
Another key change are the adjunct professors that have been brought on to teach this semester, such as Paul Griswold.
“[Professor Griswold] has a lot of experience working with both film and animation,” Alana Bates, junior animation and international development studies major, said, “so it would be really exciting if him coming to the department could help us [make] more film and animation projects intersecting.”
The student reaction towards Griswold seems to be positive. Despite his lack of teaching experience, his real world experience and expertise brings a great asset to the department.
“He has the business side of it down,” Frank White, senior animation major, said. “His portfolio speaks for itself. He’s very good with 2D and 3D animation.”
Griswold has run his own company for the past fifteen years and is currently teaching the technical side of DMA, which he hopes will give students an edge in the professional marketplace.
“Having both the creative and the technical [side] makes you very valuable,” he said.
Although teaching at HU is Griswold’s first foray into the academic field, he is enjoying it. He feels that the atmosphere on campus is a good fit for him. He would like to get more involved with teaching in the future, and is even considering graduate school in order to further his teaching ability.
Clark said the DMA department is looking to bring on new full-time faculty and is excited to see what potential candidates can bring to the table.
Each professor has their own area of expertise and helps expand the department as a whole.
“I think there just is honestly an overall very optimistic viewpoint of where we’re going as a department,” Clark said. “The impact with Professor Leeper moving on impacts animation, but at the same time, I think there’s great opportunity there for some pretty positive things to happen there. I think the future is very optimistic.”