Written by Tabitha Rice. Media by Dale Shelburne.
Picture this. You find yourself in Kauffman, the campus building across from Bradford National Bank currently under construction, looking for Dr. Alexandria LaFaye. When you knock on her door, there’s a sign that reads:
“You are cordially invited to join the CVCMS.”
You tilt your head in confusion. What on earth could these initials stand for? When Dr. LaFaye answers the door, she explains CVCMS:
The Center for Visual Culture and Media Studies, CVCMS, is the manifestation of Greenville College’s belief in transformative education through cross-disciplinary experiences. Since the English, Digital Media, Art, and Communication departments overlap, they decided to work together to help students succeed. Dr. LaFaye explains further:
CVCMS, also known as The Center, is the idea that collaborative education or collaborative experiences across multiple disciplines can improve your academic understanding of how things work. It challenges you both academically and creatively. It can also give you more opportunities with what you can do creatively, as an artist or a high school English teacher, and allows you to have some exceptional professional skills for future employment.”
At The Center, students are required to take five core courses in addition to their major: Introduction to Multimedia Storytelling, Introduction to Digital Media, Introduction to Drawing or Introduction to Visual Thinking, Introduction to Business, and Introduction to Programming. These courses are designed to give those apart of CVCMS a variety of skills for a competitive and ever-changing job market. The courses will most likely change as the market changes. Jake Amundson commented on the variety of courses:
We think this variety of classes sets you up for different varieties of jobs. With jobs now, we’re really anti-specialization. People have gifts in certain areas but you’re also going to be asked to do a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. We’re trying to give people avenues to get them the best jobs so they grow with the industry and their field rather than having a series of midlife crises.”
If you’re an incoming student, don’t freak out. The English, Communication, Digital Media and Art departments are still available as separate entities. The Center is simply providing an outlet for students with many interests to stick their toes in the water in several areas. CVCMS wants to make sure students get a job they enjoy after graduation. Also, don’t sweat it if you’re already majoring in one of the areas listed above. For the next few years, participation is voluntary and the requirements for these current majors haven’t changed. It may still be worth looking into, though.
Where should you look for The Center, you ask? Well, there’s a fancy new part of campus called West Campus. It consists of three buildings: Kauffman, Maves, and the Digital Media Center. Maves is the art building, the Digital Media Center is a big room with lots of screens where showings and meetings are often held, and Kauffman is being transformed into office space for faculty of the Digital Media and English departments.
So, if you are thinking about changing your major, have multiple interests, or just want to try something different, look into CVCMS. You might discover a new passion or rediscover one you forgot about.