UMU Department of Communication Awarded Two Grants Totaling $60,000

April 19, 2016

ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union’s Department of Communication was recently awarded two grants to help the development and creation of a new digital media major. This major is designed to better reflect the modern media landscape.

The Harley C. and Mary Hoover Price Foundation grant, worth $25,000, and the Mark Renkert Foundation grant, worth $35,000, was given to the department to fund various equipment and software purchases for media production courses. The department has been able to purchase everything from new cameras and computers to video monitors to software programs.

“The Department of Communication was honored to receive both the Hoover Price Foundation grant and the Renkert Foundation grant to purchase much needed digital media equipment,” states Dr. Jamie Capuzza, professor and chair of the Department of Communication. “This updated equipment already has benefitted students tremendously in their classroom projects. Support from these organizations shows a real commitment to the University and we're fortunate to have such generous donors helping us make a difference in the lives of our students.” 

The new major will go into effect at the start of the 2016-17 academic year. The digital media major will provide graduates with the critical thinking and technical skills necessary for researching, writing, producing, directing and marketing digital content.

Dr. Len Cooper expresses his excitement for the new major, saying, “With these grants the Department of Communication purchased the equipment needed to get our digital media major off the ground. The revised major emphasizes narrative and features storytelling across different platforms including video, audio and multimedia. With the addition of professional grade DSLRs and lenses that shoot amazing digital video combined with fast computers and Final Cut Pro, our majors will have the tools they need to create compelling stories across multiple platforms that they can share with audiences through a focus on social media.”

Thanks to the money received from the grants, students will now have the opportunity to get professional experience in variety of careers within the motion picture industry, video industries, computer software companies, government agencies, education industries, or advertising agencies. 

“We’re super excited about this equipment and all we’re planning to do in the coming semesters,” Cooper states. “We’re hoping to create a multimedia studio with green screens, lights, and Teleprompters that we’ll be able to use to produce in-house original programming for streaming online. I’m hoping there are some aspiring YouTubers out there who would like a shot at producing their own show. If so, we have the capability to do that now. Finally, we’re offering courses on documentary and creative filmmaking, and we’ve already used some of this equipment to produce our first instructor-led student short film which will be shown on campus sometime in late April.”

The Harley C. and Mary Hoover Price Foundation has also donated to Aultman Hospital and Stark County YMCAs. The Mark Renkert Foundation has also donated to ArtsinStark, an organization dedicated to spreading the arts through Stark County

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