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New Mexico State University

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NMSU ranks in top 50 schools nationwide for animation

The Creative Media Institute at New Mexico State University is adding another honor to its trophy case. NMSU ranked as No. 49 of more than 400 schools considered for the 2013 Top 100 U.S. Schools for Animation and Game Design by Animation Career Review.

"Our reputation has improved partly as CMI alumni are now entering different areas of the work force," said Derek Fisher, assistant professor of animation and visual effects at CMI. "For example, a recent graduate just finished work on Disney's 3D animated feature, 'Wreck It Ralph.' We are also fortunate to have state-of-the-art visual effects equipment with a motion capture facility and the first motion control rig of its kind at a North American university."

Animation Career Review, an online source for aspiring animation, design and gaming professionals, was established in 2011 to provide online information about training programs, schools and colleges, software and technology, career profiles and profiles of the leading industry firms. Criteria used for the top 100 list included academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth and breadth of the program and faculty, value as it relates to tuition and geographic location.

"It's great for NMSU and our ANVE group to be validated by the ranking," said Jess Gorell, instructor of animation, voice acting, and writing at CMI. "We are proud of our day-to-day efforts, what our students can achieve through their experience here, and the results of the work we have done over the past six years to build the creative media program."

"It has been an amazing experience building CMI's animation program from scratch," said Edward Bakshi, instructor of animation and visual effects at CMI. "Professor Gorell and I were fortunate enough to be invited to oversee the classical animation segments and related curriculum for ANVE. It has been extremely rewarding to witness the artistic and technical growth of the students as they move through our program, producing many amazing short films. I continue to be very proud of our program and work that has been produced through it."

"My specific aim was to bring years of experience in major motion pictures to the classroom, as I developed the 3D, visual effects and game related segments of the program," Fisher said. "The good news is that raw talent for this field is not location specific, so it has been exciting to see students develop into young media professionals. Gorell and Bakshi also come from a professional background and have worked in the industry in various capacities."

According to ACR's website, geographic location was considered because students in major animation and gaming design hubs such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando, as well as New York City, Chicago, Austin and Seattle have an advantage over students in other parts of the country, when it comes to the networking opportunities, internships, freelance jobs and career specific part-time work.

"Our aim has been to provide students with a degree re?ecting high academic and industry standards as seen in competitive programs," Fisher said. "It is very rewarding to see our efforts recognized and well received on a national level, thus indicating we are moving in the right direction."

"I am fortunate to find myself working together with this group of talented faculty," said James Maupin, department head at NMSU's CMI. "Their commitment to the students and to their own creative projects is only possible through a collaboration in an ongoing effort to maximize the impact of the resources available to them for the benefit of others."

For more information about a bachelor's in creative media visit CMI's website at http://cmi.nmsu.edu/.