EMC name changing to “Media Arts”

Media Arts banner

The Department of Electronic Media Communication (EMC) is changing its name to Media Arts. The new name goes into effect in July, so we are putting the word out now.

The world has changed

The world and the department have changed a lot since Electronic Media Communication became the department’s name. Among other things, a year and a half ago the Multimedia Journalism program and its 170 students were moved from EMC to the School of Journalism, leaving the EMC and its five remaining programs with a much clearer focus on media arts.

Also a year and a half ago, the College changed its name from the College of Mass Communication to the College of Media and Entertainment. Three quarters of the students in the College are studying entertainment-oriented topics, and the whole College deals with media. Mass Communication is no longer the driving force in the industry. A name change was necessary. “College of Media and Entertainment” is more accurate and descriptive.

The electronic anachronism

During this same period, the EMC Department dropped the word “Electronic” from three of its program names to update and better reflect the nature of those programs, and to be better understood by prospective students and the industries served.

Amid all of this change, it became increasingly clear that the name Electronic Media Communication was past its prime. The word “electronic” is suggestive of a past era, and the name is not readily understood by key constituencies. The full name is so long that “EMC” has become the default name of the department. Unfortunately the name “EMC” has no meaning outside of the university community.

The search for a new name

The EMC faculty explored options for new names for two years and finally settled on “Media Arts.” A survey conducted by the department found 52 universities around the United States using “Media Arts” as the name or part of the name for programs. The survey also showed that a majority of those programs included studies that align closely with those in the EMC department.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive when we have asked current and prospective students, their parents, and people working in our industries what they thought about the name Media Arts. It has been clear that we found a better name that people understand, is succinct, and accurately reflects the department’s programs. We also believe the words “media” and “arts” will stand the test of time much better than words like “electronic” and “digital.”

The gauntlet of approvals

To make the change, “Media Arts” was approved by the department faculty, the Dean of the College, the College Curriculum Committee, the University Curriculum Committee, the Provost, the University President, the Tennessee Board of Regents, and finally the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Long live Media Arts!

A brief history of the Radio-TV/Photography, Electronic Media Communication, Media Arts Department


1962 – Photography begins being taught at MTSU by Professor Harold Baldwin.

1971 – Mass Communication classes begin at MTSU.

1988 – The Mass Communication Department becomes the School of Mass Communication.

1988 – The Department of Radio-TV/Photography (RATV) is formed from Radio, TV, and Photography programs. The new department has emphases in four areas:

  • Broadcast Journalism
  • Broadcast Production
  • Broadcast Management
  • Photography

1988 – A student cable television station was started in the Department of Radio-TV/Photography. Now known as MT10.

1989 – The Mass Communication Department becomes the College of Mass Communication.

1991 – The College of Mass Communication moves into the newly built John Bragg Mass Communication Building.

1991 – The Mobile Production Lab (MPL, also known as “the truck”) goes into service for the Department of Radio-TV/Photography for the next 20 years.

1992 – Digital Animation and Imaging sequence developed by Professor Marc Barr is added to the Department of Radio-TV/Photography. This is the first program of its type in the TBR and the region.

1993 – WNAR (We Need A Radio) student radio station started. Now known as WMTS.

1994-95 – WNAR changes call letters to WMTS.

2000 – Digital Media Communication sequence developed in the Department of Radio-TV/Photography. Later changes name to New Media Communication, and will change again in Fall 2017 to Interactive Media.

2001 – The Department of Radio-TV/Photography changes its name to Electronic Media Communication.

2011, Fall – A new HD Mobile Production Lab (MPL) goes into service in the Department of Electronic Media Communication. The new truck begins a legacy of an average of about thirty live productions manned exclusively by student crews each fall and spring semester.

2011 – EMC Productions is organized as a quasi-professional varsity team for live television production with Dr. Dennis Oneal as Executive Producer. A contract is signed with MTSU Athletics for EMC Productions to produce live broadcasts of football and basketball games. Many of the live broadcasts are aired on ESPN3.

2013 – EMC FIRST LOOK is launched as an annual showcase of the best student work from the past year at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville.

2013, Spring – The Blue Spark Awards are born as an evolution of the SMARTI Awards, a media arts competition for Tennessee high school media arts students.

2014, January – The Baldwin Photographic Gallery opens in its new location funded by a gift from former Photography professor, Harold Baldwin. The first exhibit in the new space is Jerry Uelsman and Maggie Taylor. The opening coincides with the 50th anniversary of the gallery.

2015, Spring – The Photography program moves into newly remodeled facilities in the McFarland Building. The new facilities give the program space to modernize and install significant new digital facilities and more.

2015, Fall – Multimedia Journalism is moved from the EMC Department to the School of Journalism. 170 students and three faculty move with the program.

2015, Fall – The College name is changed from The College of Mass Communication to The College of Media and Entertainment.

2015, Fall – EMC receives approval to proceed with changing the name of the department.

2015, Fall – The EMC department receives approval to terminate its accreditation by ACEJMC, a journalism-focused accreditation body and establish alternate accreditation. This enables important new possibilities for the department’s students – including minors within the College.

2016, Fall – Animation becomes a freestanding B.S. degree and establishes a formal minor in Animation.

July 2017 – Media Arts becomes the new name of the Electronic Media Communication department.

2017, Fall – Several important changes take place in the department:

  • Video and Film Production becomes a freestanding B.S. degree.
  • Interactive Media changes its name from New Media Communication and becomes a freestanding B.S. degree.
  • Media Arts is expecting to launch formal minors for four more programs (pending board approval): Video & Film Production, Interactive Media, Photography, and Media Management.

First Look Showcases Exemplary Work by EMC Students

FIRST LOOK logo on screen banner

FIRST LOOK is an annual showcase sampling of the best work of the academic year done by students in MTSU’s Department of Electronic Media Communication (EMC).

The official screening event for FIRST LOOK 2017 will take place on May 4, 2017 at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee. Media industry professionals are invited to attend as well as EMC students and their families. A catered reception will take place in the theater immediately after the screening.fl17-logo-v1

First Look is a showcase for everything we do here at the EMC department, whether it be a film, photography, animation, or interactive media. If you have a project that could be considered the best, talk to your professor about how to enter or check out the EMC First Look page and submit!

EMC Productions Gives Professional Experience to MTSU Students


EMC Productions is MTSU’s driving force in student broadcasting. Having taken the College Sports Media Award for best student-produced sports broadcast in the nation, the team has quite a distinguished reputation. For the last nine years Assistant Professor Robert Gordon has been helping MTSU students learn professional level live video broadcast experience.  With help from MTSU’s mobile production lab, Gordon and the team of students broadcast coverage from events ranging from MTSU Athletics to award shows, musical events, and local music and art festival Bonnaroo.

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-5-15-17-pmEMC Productions is essentially the varsity team for live TV production at MTSU. Production students need to be ambitious and talented make the cut. There are currently about thirty students involved in EMC Productions.  Students do not receive credit hours for their involvement, but the key positions are paid. Like other athletic teams, students must practice, stay competitive, and be continually motivated to perform in order to stay on the line-up.

Working with professionals in this environment goes a long way in filling out a resumé and a LinkedIn profile. To learn more about EMC Productions contact Assistant Professor Robert Gordon or visit EMC Productions.

Shelby Lee Adams Exhibit Now Open in The Baldwin Photographic Gallery


Shelby Lee Adams self portrait

The photography of Shelby Lee Adams will be exhibited in The Baldwin Photographic Gallery from October 24, 2016 through January 19, 2017. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Bragg Building on the MTSU campus. The exhibit titled “Relationships” is composed of portraits of residents of the Appalachian region of Eastern Kentucky.
The photographer and author will be visiting campus on November 17 for a special lecture as well as a reception of his exhibit in The Baldwin Gallery.

Born in Hazard, Kentucky, Adams gained an understanding of the plight of the Appalachian region at an early age. His photography focuses on the relationship of the people of Appalachia and their lifestyle.

The October 28th installment of EMC’s Friday Forum will feature a screening of “The True Meaning of Pictures, “a documentary film about Shelby Lee Adam’s work. The screening will take place in the Bragg Building room 104 at 1 p.m. For more information about the author and photographer visit his blog.


The Baldwin Photo Gallery features Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry1

For the last 30 years Steve McCurry has put himself in dangerous and delicate situations alike in order to tell stories that so many others can not. What distinguishes McCurry’s style is his ability to capture the human emotions that reside in these situations, and the stories that are told only through one’s portrait. Steve McCurry

The Baldwin Photography Gallery at MTSU’s Bragg Building recently featured work from the famous photographer. Although the exhibit is not currently up, to get more information on McCurry and his work, visit his website.

For more information about the Baldwin Photography Gallery and for upcoming and past exhibits visit The Baldwin Gallery’s Website.

FIRST LOOK: a screening of exemplary student work


Nothing inspires like seeing one’s peers do great work! That’s why it’s so worthwhile to attend EMC’s FIRST LOOK screening on September 21 at 3pm in the Student Union Ballroom. This one-hour event is a screening of exemplary work done by MTSU film, video, animation, and photography students.

FIRST LOOK 2016 laurelsThe FIRST LOOK 2016 selections were chosen from student work completed in the 2015-16 year. Each spring the EMC department assembles this kind of sampling to present to the professional marketplace in Nashville. Last year’s presentation was May 3, 2016 at Green Hills Cinema. The EMC department holds an on-campus screening in the fall semester. This year’s fall screening is co-sponsored by MT Engage.

Many of the selections in the screening have gone into the national film festival circuit. Come and see this excellent work on the big screen in the Student Union Ballroom.

If you are a current EMC student, come and see the work of your peers – and start thinking about what you might submit for possible selection in FIRST LOOK 2017!

3:00pm, Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Student Union Ballroom D/E


Janine Turner

Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actress Janine Turner today shared several sides of her multifaceted career with Prof. Tom Neff’s 2410 class, “Broadcast Networks: Then and Now,” connecting via Google Hangout to the entire class. It was a lively, interactive session lasting just over an hour (special thanks to Mike Forbes for tech!).

Best known for her turn as Maggie O’Connell, the feisty bush pilot from the hit TV series Northern Exposure as well as many other stellar roles, Janine is a co-founder with Cathy Gillespie of Constituting America (http://www.constitutingamerica.org/), an organization dedicated to using media to engage today’s youth on the importance of the U.S. Constitution.

Janine and her group speak to students of all ages, and they have stepped up their efforts in the past year to speak directly to college and high school students, as well as other age groups. Each student in the class was given a brochure packed with information, publications on the Constitution and government, a copy of the Constitution, even a small quiz to test one’s familiarity with these critical documents.

Constituting America each year sponsors contests, where students create media (a song, a PSA, a short film, a marketing plan, etc) to engage today’s audience with the Constitution.  Prizes are significant, with up to $2000 cash prizes.  But most important, winners are flown to New York or LA to be “mentored” by top industry talents.  Last year’s winners were mentored by famed actor Gary Senise, among others.  Prof Neff’s class will for their final media assignments submit projects, and Prof Neff encourages other students in the College of Media and Entertainment to submit (see http://www.constitutingamerica.org/downloads.php).

Janine also coached the class on what it took to “make it” in the media industry. Far from an overnight success, she regaled the class on her seven year struggle to land a single part, her refusal to give up, her willingness to take all kinds of roles and directions without knowing exactly to where they might lead, etc.

Starting as a young model, she moved with her family to New York City at age 15, was signed with Wilhelmina Models (perhaps the top modeling agency in the world at the time, and still at the pinnacle), and began her journey. Janine was told to lose weight, give up, pull her top up for a tryout, and trudged to fifty (count ‘em, 50!) auditions before landing a single job. She went through personal trials, was rejected from “As the World Turns” and another show, devastated by the rejection, but it was those rejections that gave her the opportunity to try out – and land – the role of Maggie that changed her life.

Her advice was twofold. First, “Don’t let anyone extinguish your flame.” She said “keep your passion, remember your thoughts now so that you can recall them when discouraged.” Her inspirational message of “follow your dream at any costs” hit home to many. She stressed how important it was to be flexible, to be willing to go down a path the exact purpose of which you may not now see. She talked about her directing work, and how she too has fought discrimination against being a woman in a man’s industry, but that with work and integrity one can accomplish anything.

In her directing, Janine detailed how important it was to respect each person’s work, and that media is a team sport, where everyone’s role is crucial to the team’s success, and that directing was often dealing with personalities, not “calling the shots.” Persistence was perhaps the most important virtue in this business, and she was engagingly human in relating the ups and downs of her own career and life.

Interestingly and tellingly, she said finally, “be sure and finish what you begin. I know so many who start a screenplay, a music video, a book… but don’t finish. Finish it. You don’t know how it will end up, but just completing something – seeing it all the way through – is its own accomplishment and success.”

And success isn’t necessarily measured with a dollar sign.

Video Technology Class Gets Hands on with 4K


Students from EMC4940: Video Technology got some hands on experience with the latest 4K Cameras. Thanks to Adam Mills (HighEndTV Nashville), students got to learn more about the technology of 4k, how the camera sensors capture the light, and some overall tips and tricks with shooting in 4K. Mills is a graduate of the EMC Program, and has gone on to start his own company, High End TV in Nashville. HighEndTV is one of the premiere rental houses in the Middle Tennessee Area.

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