New Powell labs provide Elon’s most advanced interactive media technologies

The new facilities that will serve as the headquarters for Elon's new interactive media master's program provide sophisticated computer technology and a comfortable environment for the 37 graduate students.

Vic Costello

Powell building’s second floor contains the most high-tech equipment for interactive media on campus, including five editing suites (large enough to accommodate groups of 5-10 students), two classrooms (one with a Mac lab), a student lounge and faculty and staff offices.

“We wanted to make sure the computer lab facilities were better than anything we currently had on campus. We also wanted the physical space to be conducive to student learning,” said communications professor and interactive media workshop faculty member, Vic Costello, who helped select the technology for the program.

The Mac lab is equipped with extra monitors on each work station, which display the screen projections so students will not need to struggle to view the instructor’s presentations.

“We have this additional student reinforcement, which we hope will allow students to follow along easier and accentuate learning of content,” Costello says.

Graduate students will primarily use the Final Cut Pro 3.0 software and the Adobe CS4 design premium suite, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, InDesign, Dreamworks and Acrobat. All software is up-to-date and conducive for student projects, which will involve the collaboration of media with video, photography and graphic art elements.

Though the graduate students have not moved into Powell yet, Costello says they have visited.

“I think they love the design and layout of the creative learning space,” says Costello who explained that the lounge and décor of the second floor are modern and colorful because “we didn’t want it to be drab and boring. The lounge is another place for students to hang out.”

The lounge has green couches and chairs, a flat-screen TV, a print station and a work table with access to outlets for students with laptops.

Students were given Adobe CS4 design premiums suites for their laptops or home computers, as well as 12-month accounts for, a Web site that provides tutorials on various software.

With five classes each semester, and a topical, international class during Winter Term, students will produce many projects, spending a great deal of time in the editing suites or the Mac labs.

“Students will have to produce lots of content,” Costello explains. “I envision a lot of time will be spent in Powell.

By Sarah Costello ’11