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Communication Studios at SUNY Plattsburgh Gets an Update

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ A timely call from Michael Cohen, a 1992 graduate of the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, has put the summer's upgrade of the communication studios into high gear. Cohen, the manager of network operations for Court-TV, thought of his alma mater when the network recently updated its own equipment.

President John Ettling surveys the new communication equipment donated by Court-TV. Thanks to this recent donation of more than $100,000 worth of equipment by Court-TV, the Communications Studies Program is getting closer to its goal of complete digitization of its television and audio studios by the start of the fall semester in August.

Lee Tenebruso, vice president of corporate affairs and education at Court-TV, said that the organization was delighted to provide the equipment to SUNY Plattsburgh.

"Supporting the educational community is very important to Court-TV," said Tenebruso. "We were happy to help SUNY Plattsburgh. It is our hope that this equipment will enrich the learning experience in the Communication Studies Program. We want to ensure that students are working with state-of-the-art tools that will give them confidence in their future careers."

According to Peter Ensel, associate professor and chair of communications studies and a 1980 graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh, Court-TV was in the process of re-doing all of its studios even though its present equipment was already up-to-date.
"This is all very usuable, modern equipment," said Ensel.

The donated equipment included color and black and white monitors, an audio mixer, cameras, lights and other pieces.

The donation came at exactly the right time. The Communications Studies Program recently purchased equipment that will completely digitize both the television and audio studios.

Ensel said, "Along with what we have already purchased, this donation will help us not only in updating our technology, but it will also help us to expand our program offerings and provide more opportunities for our students."

According to Ensel, the upgrade is vital to the continued success of the program.

"The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established a deadline whereby all television broadcast facilities should move to the digital format. We had to upgrade before the deadline," Ensel explained. "The technology in the field of broadcasting is rapidly changing, and this upgrade will do a lot for our students. They will be using the most up-to-date tools in the industry, which will enhance both their educational and practical experience at SUNY Plattsburgh. We cannot wait to have everything ready for our students to use in the fall.

The move to digitalization also sends a clear message about the quality of the communication studies program at SUNY Plattsburgh.

"We recently merged the mass communications and speech communications programs to create the communications studies program, which offers four distinct majors," he said. "Now that we are making the move to upgrading our facilities, we are continuing to prove that our program is top-notch. We are abreast with the advances taking place in the broadcasting industry, and we are able to provide students with an experience that gets them ready to work in the industry."

Current students in the communication at program are also optimistic about the new equipment upgrades.

Christine Funk, a junior mass media major from Clifton Park, N.Y., said she is excited about returning to new equipment in the fall.
"I will be doing an internship at WTAE in Pittsburgh, P.A. this summer, and I am happy to know that the upgrades in our programs will be ready for use when I get back," said Funk. "The Communications Studies Program at SUNY Plattsburgh has prepared me for this internship, and I am sure that my level of confidence will be greatly increased once I complete my final year here."

Stefanie Duquette, a sophomore mass media major from Schenectady, N.Y., is also looking forward to working with the new equipment in the fall.

"I came to SUNY Plattsburgh because of the strong reputation of this communication department," said Duquette. "I am excited about the chance to use the updated equipment. Once I graduate, these are the tools I will be using in the real world. Learning to use them now will make me more marketable in the future."

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