E-media enhances major program

By: Henry Eden ~Guest Writer~

Xavier University’s electronic media major within the School of Arts and Innovation (SAI) has a new identity at the Digital Innovation Film and Television (DIFT) program.

The change occurred after the e-media program moved to the newly formed SAI last February.

“The reason we changed to DIFT was because the term ‘electronic media’ put the program in a frame that really wasn’t big enough to cover everything that the program is already doing,” Tom Merrill, Director for the School of Arts and Innovation, told the Newswire.

At the core of the program are digital film skills such as scriptwriting, post-production editing and field production. However, students will also take classes that delve into the many different aspects of the fields of media and entertainment.

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Photo courtesy of Blis DeVault | Blis DeVault (left) teaches multiple course in e-media.

“The students do everything,” Merrill said. “When you get out of that program, you can literally do everything that’s required for someone to do when working on a television program.”

He added that a number of graduates of the former electronic- media program have been able to find work on newscasts, television and film productions across the country.

Merrill cited the program’s potential and its current status as the main reasons for the shift.

“As technology improves, as the job market changes, there will be a lot more opportunities for students to do more than what would be considered traditional e-media.”

Both Merrill and the program’s director, Blis DeVault, said that the program needed to adapt to help its students thrive in the ever-changing entertainment production industry. “Virtual reality, for instance, is going to be huge in the next decade. So that’s a space we’re looking to get involved in,” DeVault said.

“One of our sayings is that we are teaching students to have jobs that don’t exist yet,” Merrill said.

DIFT is one of six programs in SAI in its first semester on campus alongside the art, theater, music and Human-Centered Making majors, as well as the Innovation Engineering minor.