The mass communications department recently renovated an audio lab located in the lower level of Dunham Hall for students in the department.

The upgraded audio lab is added to the list of resources offered to mass communications students, which includes a multimedia lab, video editing lab and a TV studio. The lab features a secured entry, sound mixers, computers, microphones and sound-proof walls to cancel noise and provide a quiet place for students to work. 

Musonda Kapatamoyo, associate professor and chair of the mass communications department, explained the department now has updated facilities for students learn from.

“At first, we didn’t have the facilities, but now we do. We have the faculty to teach stuff and we have the support from the engineering department who are willing to support the students, so now I think we have reached a point where I think we can expand our offerings in the department,”  Kapatamoyo said. 

The new lab has two small, separate classrooms to accommodate approximately 13 students. 

The lab features a large television for the professor to teach. It also has the ability for students to save their work and access it at a different lab.

Ben Moyer, broadcast engineer for the department of mass communications, elaborated on the technical capabilities of the new equipment. 

“When using the Adobe software, the instructor can have it all on the large monitor, and students will see the identical setup on their computers, so they’ll be able to follow along at their workstations,” Moyer said. 

Students taking the media production track in the mass communications program get to create digital podcasts, create sound effects and use the same material for video production in the renovated lab. Students can also use the lab to create content for SIUE’s radio station, WSIE-FM 88.7. 

Senior Ja’Quis Hardin, of O’Fallon, Illinois, explained how the new audio lab could help students get more experience outside of the classroom.

“I think the audio lab will definitely give students the opportunities they need to improve their audio skills,” Hardin said.  “It is also useful because it can be used to do audio projects, and to just use it for personal use.”

Cory Byers, an instructor in the mass communications department, said students have still been able to learn audio skills while the lab was being renovated. 

“The good thing is the same software that the lab will have, such as Adobe Creative Cloud, is available on classroom computers and in the video lab, so students are still able to work around it and use the software to do classroom assignments and create audio content,“ Byers said. 

Kapatamoyo explained how the department is looking to update other parts of Dunham Hall as well and making plans to carry out their vision.

“The things we would like to work on next is the TV studio, especially with the lighting, but that is the expensive part,” Kapatamoyo said.  “The inexpensive things would be to change the backdrop of the news set, bring in a new projector, and a nice board for teaching, so the next thing we are working on is the TV studio.”

With the lab complete and ready to use, students have been able to use the updated audio lab since Monday, which is located in the lower level of Dunham Hall, next to the radio station. Students must have their ID cards registered to access the lab. 

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