The Center for Virtual Learning, the newest addition to Ferris’ campus, is set to be completed by the spring of 2023.
Programs such as television and digital media, information security and intelligence, digital animation and game design, media supply and esports will be moving into this building, which will offer new learning spaces and opportunities for students.
Andrew Tingley, assistant professor of television and digital media production and Ferris alumnus, is excited to be moving into this new building.
“We’re really excited about the CVL because it’s going to give us [a] purpose-built space for all the programs going into it,” Tingley said. “Esports is going to be on the bottom level. They’re going to have this huge arena, and it’s very much related to TDMP because they are producing the production around the video games they will be playing.”
When esports hosts competitions, students in the TDMP program will have the opportunity to use their broadcasting skills in a new way by recording these matches. Tingley also mentioned that a media supply center will be located on the bottom floor of the CVL for students to rent out equipment.
Bill Jung, a television engineer, is in charge of bringing the media supply equipment over to the CVL. He says that having a space with a fresh new look and function will help the business overall.
While the new building will house classrooms, production spaces and offices for staff, the TDMP recording studio will remain in the Interdisciplinary Resource Center.
“Though the studio still remains behind [in the IRC]… the nexus of all of the staff and faculty will be in the same building,” Jung said. “We’re really looking forward to… being all together on the same team.”
The CVL will allow for an easier split of university resources between the recording studio and the classroom.
“On the third floor, we’re going to have all the teaching spaces for the school of digital media,” Tingley said. “There’ll be two classrooms dedicated to TDMP, and there will be two dedicated to DAGD, as [well] as a really cool green screen room for audio recording studios. There will be a virtual reality or augmented reality room and then five avid editing suites that are dedicated to the senior classes…”.
While the first and third floors will be utilized by TDMP, DAGD and media supply, the second floor will be for the information security and intelligence program.
Jason Hawkins is a professor in the information security and intelligence program, whose courses are focused on digital forensics, legal and ethical courses and fraud courses. Hawkins says the ISI program has been around for a long time, as Ferris was one of the first universities to have such a program.
He says having this new building will help bring more attention to the program.
“We will have probably one of the only—if not the only—two-room Faraday room in the Midwest. I know it’ll probably be the only one in Michigan,” Hawkins said. “A Faraday room is where you go into this room and it shuts all signal down to any electronic device you have. So if you think you’re going in there, you won’t be able to get out of that room with your cellular signal, your Wi-Fi signal [or] your Bluetooth signal. Nothing gets out of that room… So that room is going to become very important as we move forward with the new lockdowns and new security that Apple and Google like to implement on their devices.”
Hawkins says it will be a room for students to do their own forensic extractions and lab work, which will help them to understand the importance of testing and validation. Students will be getting a feel for what real work experience will be like from the activities they do in this room.
For more information on the CVL’s new features, students can head to ferris.edu/cvl.