Program for digital media emerges on campus

The director for the Emerging Media Digital Arts program is Robert Arellano. Photo by John Crow/The Siskiyou

The director for the Emerging Media Digital Arts program is Robert Arellano. Photo by John Crow/The Siskiyou

A new program for digital arts has been introduced to SOU, and a reception was held in honor of the program last Thursday.  The Emerging Media Digital Arts program has formed this year, and is for students interested in art, media, and digital art.

Robert Arellano was hired to bring the program together, and is the director for the newly formed Center for Emerging Media.

“EMDA is a place for the community and campus to come together and develop, produce, and evaluate digital media,” Arellano said.

Arellano said that the idea behind the program is to provide a platform for students, staff and faculty, to team with the community to create collaborative forms of media.

Arellano said that Professors Dennis Dunleavy and Miles Anada worked with Dean of Arts and Sciences Alissa Arp to bring him to campus and develop the program.

“I was inspired by student’s creativity and interest in the arts and digital media,” Arp said, “I realized that in Ashland, we basically have a hotbed of people that are thinking of innovative ideas in the digital realm. I thought it would be good idea to have students in both the typical training and also the arts, sciences, communication, and music background so that they can use this to go forward into many different kinds of jobs.”

Students are now able to get a minor in digital arts, which Arellano sees as a good compliment to a wide variety of majors.

Austin Gurwell, a student working towards a minor in digital media explained his decision to get involved in the program.

“I love graphic design and EMDA is the perfect program for anybody to get into graphic design,” Gurwell said, “EMDA is perfect for the community as well.”

Arellano said that in addition to current digital media foundations courses offered EMDA plans to partner with the Southern Oregon Arts and Research Council, and to host international conferences in the coming years.

Arellano and his family have settled into the Rogue Valley since he took his new position, and he also plans to organize a festival that brings art scholars from around the world to the area.

On Dec. 10 EMDA will host the in-house designer for Pearl Jam, Brad Kalausen, in an event titled “From a Basement in Seattle.”

More information about the EMDA program can be found at

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