The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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Anthropology department receives $250,000 grant for media lab

The Anthropology Department at California State University, Stanislaus will soon offer a new media lab for its undergraduate students.
The W.M. Keck Foundation donated $250,000 to create the new lab.
Scheduled to open on the second floor of Demergasso-Bava Hall, the Keck Visual Anthropology Lab will promote a visual learning experience. The lab will hold special editing and video equipment for students to film and edit their cultural documentaries.
“Instead of writing papers and doing essays, students can create short documentaries about rituals and ceremonies,” said Steve Arounsack, assistant professor in the Anthropology Department.
The new lab is not completely intended to replace the “paper” format of learning. Instead, the lab will complement and work together with the students’ written research.
“I think being visually minded is important, as well as being able to read and go the more traditional route,” Arounsack said.
“If you can be versed in the digital visual realm, as well as the print realm, that can only make you a better scholar, a better student. It’s really a good hybrid to make sure we are trained in the theory, but then we are using these new and accessible tools.”
Obtaining the grant for the lab took nearly a year.
San Francisco State University and California State University, Chico offer a visual anthropology lab as well for their graduate students. The tools in the Keck Visual Anthropology Lab will be similar to the tools used in those universities. Arounsack hopes that this lab will help prepare his anthropology students for any master’s programs they will enter.
He noted they plan to begin purchasing equipment in the summer.
“It will be a fairly substantial expansion of our program, and we are excited about that,” Arounsack said.
Arounsack encourages any students, staff or faculty interested in creating cultural documentaries of the modern Central Valley to contact him.
“We have to plan for the future and dedicate our resources and say, ‘okay, we’re going to produce this film this year.’ The earlier they talk to me, we can get that planned and reserve cameras for that project.”
The current plan calls for the lab to be open 15 to 20 hours a week. After the nursing department moves into the Science I building this summer, plans for the lab will move ahead. For more information about the Keck Visual Anthropology Lab, email Dr. Arounsack at [email protected].

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Anthropology department receives $250,000 grant for media lab