New media finds new home alongside RTA

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By Nicole Schmidt

Ryerson’s new media program focuses on computer programming, electronics, networking, social media, and digital art. It gives students an opportunity to create, experiment, and become thinking artists in the world of continuously evolving media.

But since the program covers such a broad spectrum of material, some students enter the program not knowing what to expect. However, a plan to merge new media with radio and television arts aims to make it easier for these students to discover what their program has to offer.

Fourth-year new media student Amanda Wood was one of those confused first-years. She has always enjoyed working with computers, which is what made her apply. But she entered the program not knowing what she wanted to do after graduation.

“I was hoping that the program would give me an idea for a career,” said Wood.

Once she started classes, Wood said that she was unsure if the program was what she wanted. It was different than she expected it to be.

She says that she’s finally realized that new media is the place for her.

Wood says that her four years here have been filled with valuable learning experiences and opportunities. For her final thesis project, she worked on programming an audio environment to create a virtual reality experience for the participant. Her project will be displayed in the upcoming new media showcase.

With graduation just around the corner, Wood has a job lined up that begins in May. She will be working with a branding manager and a graphic designer taking care of the online components for a company that offers fine dining experiences in and around Toronto area.

“It’s something I never would have thought I’d be into in first year, but it’s definitely something I’m really excited about,” said Wood.

 Like Wood, first year new media student Joshua Samways also didn’t know what to expect from the program. He was hoping to learn about video game design, but says that there hasn’t been much focus on that component.

Instead, he’s learning a lot about computer programming and networking.

Although new media isn’t exactly what he thought it would be, Samways says that he’s still enjoying what he’s learning.

“I’m not disappointed, I’m happy,” said Samways. “There’s so much to learn and it’s all been so helpful.”

This coming year, new media will say farewell to the image arts department and find a new home in RTA for the upcoming year. The two programs will now form the RTA school of media, continuing to offer students a bachelor of fine arts in new media, or a bachelor of arts in RTA.

By joining RTA, Lila Pine, the new media RTA program director, says the new media program will gain the support that it needs to grow and flourish.

“[New media] will truly be the playground where students set their imaginations free, something the New Media faculty have envisioned for a long time,” said Pine. “Our dreams for our students are finally coming true with this move.”



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