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UNLV's EED program

Discussion in 'Education and Career Development' started by mbrown3039, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. mbrown3039

    mbrown3039 Member

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    As the recently elected Chair for the program's Advisory Board, I am burning up a few electrons to let everyone know that a 4-year degree in the technical theater arts is available from UNLV. The Entertainment Engineering and Design program is a joint venture between the Colleges of Fine Arts and Engineering and serves to prepare students for a career in designing, installing and/or operating entertainment related equipment (audio, video, lighting and automation included). Although only a few years old, we’re currently considered among the top three programs for this field in the United States, perhaps because we have the best lab in the world: the Las Vegas Strip.

    We have graduates working for American Ninja Warrior, Cirque, Disney, Flying By Foy and Tait Towers, among others. We are always looking for students who want to challenge themselves to become the future leaders of the entertainment technology field; if that's you, more information on the program can be found here, or you can PM me if you like.

    Also, if you're an industry professional who is going to be in Vegas and you think you have valuable insights and/or experiences to share with the students, we have a Friday morning lecture for just that purpose. PM me for particulars and available dates. Mike
     
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  2. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    I have thoughts............ and I'm trying to be as nice about them as possible.....

    How many schools are there that UNLV is competing with to become "among the top three programs for this field in the United States". Who created this list and are there notable institutions that UNLV is ranked similar to or above?

    I think the idea of the program is a great one, but my experience with the students that come out of it are generally not living up to the project's goals.
     
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  3. mbrown3039

    mbrown3039 Member

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    I'm not sure whom you hired or for what position/s, but the goals of the program are to graduate students who have a firm understanding of engineering principles such that they can go out and design, install and/or operate advanced entertainment systems. In addition to basic stagecraft, we would expect them to have a firm grasp on the basics of EE and ME as well physics and calculus. Some of their time in the program includes working on FA productions, so they should also be comfortable on a stage and with set construction/set strike, load in/out, stage electrical and audio, etc. Of course each student will be better at some things than other, and some of our students gravitate more towards computer/graphic entertainment fields than "traditional" career paths (more on that here ).

    To answer your initial questions: There are about a dozen schools nationwide offering some sort of degree related to being an entertainment "techie." I say "some sort" because some school's programs (Purdue, for example) are 100% geared toward theatrical productions. Others focus a bit more on touring while others are more generalists. None of them are ABET-accredited -- UNLV will be the first, within two years if all goes as planned. Earlier this year, the first-ever academic conference for administrators and faculty of this type of program was held in Chicago -- a survey was handed out to the attendees which asked which program they felt was the best -- in what was essentially a three-way tie, UNLV was ranked alongside Carnegie Mellon and UNC School of the Arts. Although we still have a lot to learn (and teach!) and a lot of growing ahead of us, I take great comfort in pride in knowing that our program is so well regarded by our peers.

    Of course, the proof is in the pudding: the more high-caliber graduates we produce who end up working in the industry on successful productions, authoring relevant and well-regarded publications and being awarded patents and Tonys and Oscars and Emmys and such while also having the respect of their peers the less I'll have to talk about the program -- it will just speak for itself. Mike
     
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  4. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    I've been on campus with your students as well as working along side them on the strip for most of the time the program has been in existence. As engineers I find your students to be on par with what the other engineering disciplines at UNLV are producing. It is the stagecraft that I have felt to be lacking.

    Every time I write this with more detail I feel like I'm being unnecessarily mean or condescending. Your program has good goals and certainly is in the right city for the target industry. A motivated student could make good use of their time there, but that is not how I would describe the average college student.
     
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  5. mbrown3039

    mbrown3039 Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. We are currently in the process of developing two separate tracks -- one for the more engineering-oriented person (the designer/specifier type of person) and another for the more hands-on person (the installer/operator) and I think, over time, that may be one of the core distinctions. But, again, not every type of entertainment involves a stage (in the literal sense), so it is entirely possible for a student of this major to not know how to tie a sheepshank (pun intended). mike
     
  6. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    O.K. @mbrown3039 but they'd better knot know how to tie a clove hitch and a bowline. Knot know or not no, some combination there of. @porkchop Thoughts?
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
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  7. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    Should this thread be in the "CB Classifieds" forum?
     
  8. mbrown3039

    mbrown3039 Member

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    How so..? This is a post about the availability of a (soon-to-be accredited) college degree in Entertainment Technology Design, not about "Posting an Item for Sale, For Trade, or Wanted..." -- seems like Education is the perfect forum for it. Am I wrong? M
     
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  9. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    It feels a little like you are selling something, and unless I misunderstand you work for the company offering this product. Your first post clearly is a sales pitch.
     
  10. mbrown3039

    mbrown3039 Member

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    Apologies for not being clear about my position: I am a volunteer (as are all members of the Advisory Board, per the bylaws) and receive no compensation of any kind. However, we do get free parking and free sandwiches at our meetings, lol. Mike

    PS: UNLV is the University of Nevada Las Vegas, a public university within the Nevada State Higher Education system. m
     
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  11. BillConnerFASTC

    BillConnerFASTC Well-Known Member

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    I'm familiar with it, have seen an event there, and IIRC some of my classmates use to work there or maybe still do. "Chair of advisory board" sounded like a university staff position. I guess you get a pass as a volunteer. Do you"represent" UNLV or are you just saying "by the way". I don't know the CB policy details. Still don't quite see how this is much different than want ads, that are to be in the classifieds.
     
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  12. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I approve of this being in the education forum, not classifieds.

    I had limited connection when the program began as I helped get some donations. This spring, I advised a class on projection design as well as doing a lecture for the class on interactive projection. Yes, there was a difference in students, some with a lot more aptitude, it that has more to do with the student than the program. Also, there is a difference between this program and the theater program.

    I have given the department my opinion on how I feel the program should run. I do have high hopes for where it will go because of who they have chosen to work with. They do seem to be looking to the community for guidance to make it what is needed to make it a successful program as opposed to believing what they feel that what is needed.

    Please keep the program growing so that we will have qualified entry level technicians.
     
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  13. mbrown3039

    mbrown3039 Member

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    Had a great time earlier today at the Friday morning lecture (this is the same "open" lecture slot that I think would be a good fit for you the next time you're in Vegas, #BillConnerFASTC ) introducing the Advisory Board and allowing the students to give me feedback (to relay to the University) about what's working/what's not working within the program. More than one person mentioned your projection lecture/class, #ruinexplorer and asked for more of the same in all the core disciplines...thanks for what you've done so far, don't be surprised when we come calling again, lol. mike
     
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  14. TuckerD

    TuckerD Active Member

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    Certainly sounds like a good program. And of course, @ruinexplorer is a great person to have on board as a guest / advisor
     
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  15. Protech

    Protech Member

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    Hi Mike,

    As a local employer with some experience with your students I would also be interested in sharing my thoughts. Sorry that I did not catch this sooner (my fault for not visiting CB often enough!)
     
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  16. mbrown3039

    mbrown3039 Member

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    Thanks. The next Advisory Board general meeting will be on October 23rd on campus. This is a good opportunity to hear what the AB is up to (which has some impact on the program itself) as well as meet the program advisors (there are two: one from the School of Fine Arts and the other from the School of Engineering) -- they maintain the Friday morning guest lecturer schedule. mike
     
  17. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Isn't that LDI weekend?
     
  18. mbrown3039

    mbrown3039 Member

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    No, it's the Tuesday after LDI. M
     
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  19. Quillons

    Quillons Active Member

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    Question on your (future) accreditation (hopefully, congrats!): why wait? UNLV was on my list of potential schools a couple of years ago, but I wanted an ABET-accredited program. UNLV at the time was eligible for accreditation (there were graduates), but it was not. Has something changed? Why wait a few more years?
    Also, any plans for a future graduate program?
     
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  20. mbrown3039

    mbrown3039 Member

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    It's not us, it's them. :) The ABET process has a certain cadence to it and we have to work on their schedule. In the natural rotation of things, two years is the soonest possible (it's a 5-year process to become accredited -- our process began three years ago).

    Currently, all of our graduate students are either FA grads or choose a traditional engineering discipllne (mechanical, electrical, etc.) for their grad work. Mike
     
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