Program changes

COMS becomes DMCA, creates opportunities

The department of Digital Media & Communication Arts (DMCA), formerly the Department of Communication Studies, is inviting students to hone and develop their skills by taking part in the department’s new endeavors.

“We have the Liberty Flames Sports Network, LFSN, where our students can now interface with the work that’s going to happen for that new sports network,” Bruce Kirk, assistant professor and chairman of DMCA, said.

Jordan Bolt, unit production manager for LFSN, said students can participate by helping in the production of “The Daily Show,” a sports program, and various events for club sports and NCAA athletics.

“LFSN is the new spearheaded effort for the school to provide sports entertainment for viewers across America,” Bolt said. “We reach roughly 85 million homes as of right now.”
According to Bolt, the station will be similar to ESPN3.

Kirk, who has won five Television Emmy’s, said Liberty recently purchased a commercial television station that will go on air in the beginning of 2014.

“We are going to actually have a full-power commercial TV station doing news, sports, weather 24/7…that gives (students) hands-on experience that they’ll never get virtually any place else in the country,” Kirk said.

Kirk reiterated the need for hands-on experience within the department to ensure that students graduate with not only theory, but also real-world training before heading out in search of a job.

“If we’re going to take your money, I think we have a responsibility to make you employable, graduate you with a degree where you have a skill set and then make you productive,” Kirk said, quoting Provost Dr. Ron Godwin’s recent comments to the faculty.

“Digital Media & Communication Arts now is starting to encompass a much more, what we call, experiential opportunity to learn,” Kirk said.

Established experiential opportunities within the department include 90.9 The Light, Option LU, Around Liberty in 90 Seconds and Liberty Champion, to name a few.

As for the name change, it came as a result of the current landscape of media, according to Kirk.

“We just think it reflects who we are, where the program is headed and aligns with how students are searching (online),” Kirk said.

One current student expressed her opinion on the name change.

“I think that Liberty is wise to make the change and to be more specific so that each degree can be more up to date with where the media is going today,” Paige Whitaker, a junior DMCA major, said.

For the future, Kirk said the department is looking at creating an ad agency where advertising and public relations students can gain experience. He also hopes to provide students with opportunities to create videos for the Liberty student body as well as outside organizations.

According to Kirk, new curricula for the department is currently being discussed by professors.

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