Imagine walking through the D.P. Culp University Center and seeing a group of bluegrass students perform a live radio show that is simultaneously produced by media students and broadcast throughout the building.
That’s the vision for the ETSU student media center.
Stephen Marshall, chair of the ETSU Mass Communication Department, is a driving force behind this newly envisioned project. He said the space is intended to further students’ education outside of the classroom.
“The purpose of the media center is to elevate students’ experience beyond just a degree,” Marshall said. “[Students] will be producing media content for the university.”
This facility will be one of the major focuses of the upcoming Culp Center renovation. It will combine all student media outlets, such as the East Tennessean, student radio and television, along with a student-run media production agency.
The steering committee for the facility is composed of administration, students, faculty and staff from the departments of mass communication, digital media and art and design.
“The idea is that the center will be for the university and for students, rather than a departmental media center,” Marshall said. “It is an active, collaborative space.”
The space will be like a fishbowl, constructed as a round glass structure that gives passersby a 360-degree view into the facility while students are working. Joe Sherlin, vice president for student affairs, said that the university is looking forward to the production of this state-of-theart, innovative facility.
“The media center will not only bring an additional presence to the Culp Center,” said Sherlin, “but it will also be one-of-a-kind.”
Sherlin said the committee is not aware of another media center that is positioned in a university like this.
He and Marshall both said that, unlike media centers constructed at other universities, this one will not be an academic facility, but focused on extracurricular student work.
Marshall said that the committee has not developed a formal, technical design for the facility, and is now focusing on its concepts and functionality.
The estimated cost of the project is $1.5 million.