HAMMOND � The New Media and Animation program at Southeastern Louisiana University has been recognized by Animation Career Review as one of the top programs in the South.
Initiated only a few years ago in the university's Department of Fine and Performing Arts, the program was ranked 20th by the web site.
According to ACR's post, the program "encourages students to leverage media and materials outside of their comfort zone, while still taking coursework in 2D and 3D animation, digital video and computer art technologies. Recent graduates exhibit a balanced approach indicative of the program's objectives."
ACR formulates its rankings by considering academic reputation, feedback from industry firms on which programs they value, the depth and breadth of the program, and geographic proximity to the industry's leading firms. The full review of the top programs in the South can be found at animationcareerreview.com.
"This extraordinary recognition of Southeastern's New Media and Animation concentration is most deserved," said Ken Boulton, interim head of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. "The faculty and students associated with this program represent some of the most inventive and imaginative individuals in our department."
Nearly 75 students are majoring in the program.
Associate Professor John Valentino said the computer studios and other equipment available for student use are among the best, providing students with valuable experience that easily translates into workforce skills. The program, he said, combines artistic talent with technical proficiency.
"With Louisiana's tax incentives attracting movie production and digital media companies to the state, there are increasing employment opportunities for our students and graduates," said Valentino, who with Assistant Professor Cristina Molina teaches most of the courses in the concentration. "As the film industry grows in this region, they need talented and technically trained artists to meet production needs."
He said the university is working to enhance its relationship with area digital media and film post-production companies to provide students with internships and other practical experiences that open the doors to career opportunities.