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New Mexico State University

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NMSU continues its high-tech journey with a kickoff ceremony to celebrate digital media

Medicine. Intelligence. Government.

Melanie Goodman from U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman's office, State Sens. Mary Jane Garcia and Cynthia Nava, NMSU Vice Provost Carmen Gonzales, NMSU President Michael V. Martin, CMI Program Manager Cissy Lujan-Pincomb, and Executive Vice President and Provost

re three industries that, along with the film industry, use digital media on a daily basis.

Students at New Mexico State University now will be able to pursue degrees that can lead to jobs in these industries through the university's new Creative Media Institute for Film and Digital Arts. To house the CMI, a new state-of-the-art digital media center will be located in Milton Hall on the NMSU campus.

At a kickoff ceremony Friday to celebrate the beginning of renovations to Milton Hall, James Hindman, CMI executive director, praised the serious financial commitment of Gov. Bill Richardson, the state Legislature and NMSU's senior management in working together to create the media center.

"The Creative Media Institute is based on certain values and we think those values are very important," Hindman said. "They include a belief in media literacy, that the ability to read and write with screens, using image, sound and text, is a requisite for an educated person in the present era. They include faith in the power of storytelling and the individual creative vision. They include the concept of creative collaboration, which is really the key to any successful work in media. They include the idea of a career that is rooted in lifelong learning."

The media center will include an animation lab, a post-production lab, two audio production suites and a state-of-the-art screening room. The state-of-the-art tools provided by the CMI are only the means to an end, the end being the stories the graduates tell and the responsibilities for moving an audience that will be the measure of CMI's success, Hindman said.

CMI is the result of an investment that began when Gov. Richardson awarded NMSU $2.5 million in the fall of 2004. This investment, combined with funds procured by area state legislators, is part of New Mexico's economic development plan, which encourages digital technology to grow.

Some of those legislators, including Sens. Mary Jane Garcia and Cynthia Nava, joined NMSU President Michael V. Martin and Executive Vice President and Provost William Flores in a mock detonation to mark the day. Also participating were Carmen Gonzales, vice provost for distance education and extended learning, and Cissy Lujan-Pincomb, CMI program manager.

Adding to the ceremonies were comments by Las Cruces Mayor William Mattiace, who said Las Cruces could be the back lot for filmmakers in the region.

Consultants for the institute include Hindman; Mark Medoff, award-winning playwright, screenwriter and director; Chris Kientz, co-writer, executive producer, director and art director at Raven Tales Productions as well as a senior consultant in the Arts Media Division at National Geographic magazine; and Doug Wellman, facilities director at the University of Southern California, School of Cinema Television.