A New Chapter

A New Chapter

Media production team members.

Members of the media production team cover a pre-Covid women’s lacrosse game in spring 2020. Matt Tullis, MFA, Sports Media program co-director, hopes to someday broadcast a Stags athletics studio show from the new production facility.

The former Dolan School building has undergone an 18,000-square- foot refresh to house the College of Arts and Sciences’ media studies programs and the University’s media production team.

The College as a whole has a strong reputation in these media programs, and our alumni do exceptionally well in starting salary and job opportunities.

— Richard Greenwald, PhD

This fall, the former Charles F. Dolan School of Business building will offi- cially open as a newly renovated 18,000-square-foot Media Center, to accommodate Fairfield’s expanding academic offerings in digital media and to become the new home of the Marketing and Communications Division’s media production team.

Designed by Newman Architects of New Haven, Conn. and constructed by Caldwell & Walsh, the renovation and expansion will build upon what was offered at the Media Center’s previous location in Xavier Hall of Fairfield College Preparatory School, accord- ing to Vice President for Facilities Management David Frassinelli MS’92.

“It’s substantially more space than before, which will create great opportunities not only for the media production team, but also for the growing and successful academic programs,” Frassinelli said.

The building has been outfitted with two new studio spaces: one with a brand-new LED pro- duction lighting system, lighting control booth, and production control booth; and another that will serve as a podcast and webinar room with a state-of-the-art lighting system. The Center’s west wing will house an editing room, a video produc- tion and screening room, and six faculty offices.

Notable high-tech features in the space in- clude computers and equipment specifically for animation and graphic design, as well as separate suites for film coloring and editing. There will also be an equipment storage and sign-out area for students to check out camera and audio gear, offering an array of portable and fixed-position video cameras, portable lighting, sound recorders, and microphones.

According to College of Arts and Sciences Dean Richard Greenwald, PhD, having a ded- icated Media Center for students to practice what they learn in the classroom further el- evates the prestige that the College has earned for its nationally ranked communication and media programs.

“The College as a whole has a strong reputation in these media programs, and our alumni do exceptionally well in starting salary and job opportunities,” Dean Greenwald said. “Now, by having a top-of-the-line facility and studio equipment built into our curriculum — that gives us a competitive edge.”

The new Media Center will also serve as a collaboration and connection hub for students studying communication, digital journalism, and other media. Said Matthew Tullis, MFA, director of digital journalism and assistant professor of English, “This finally gives us a chance to show- case the various forms of media that Fairfield students create — from film, to TV, to journalism (both print and web), to audio production — and it brings all the faculty who teach in those areas together under one roof. I hope that this becomes a place for students who are interested in all sorts of media production to just hang out in.”

Also the co-director of the new Sports Media program at Fairfield, Tullis is already sizing up the possibilities of the new Center for his sports media and other digital journalism courses.

“The TV studio and the webinar and pod- casting spaces are going to be fantastic,” he said. “I hope that someday in the near future, we’ll be able to develop a studio show that is focused on Fairfield athletics, using our Sports Media students.”

To help prepare students to fully immerse themselves in the new media equipment and stu- dios, Greenwald said the College has hired new broadcast faculty member Karla Barguiarena to its Communication department. An alumna of Texas A&M and Boston University, she has previously served as a freelance reporter for ABC NewsOne in New York and a number of other media outlets.

Greenwald said he envisions the University’s Career Center working with media industry alumni and students at the new Media Center, to help launch students into exciting internships.

“We have a great alumni network, great fac- ulty, and now we have very good resources,” he said. “Adding all of these things together with our ambition, I am confident that we will see great things going forward.”

Other Articles in the Fall 2020 Issue

Alumni Profile: Hugh Morgan '69

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Alumni Profile: Katie Burke '96

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Donor Profile: Bob Venero P'21, '24

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The Original lady laxers

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Guiding Eyes

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Art Inspired

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Goodbye, Mr. Fitz

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Letter from the President

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