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UTC Studio a Jack of All Trades

by Alaura Robinson

The UTC Studio first opened its doors in 2015, serving as a key feature of the new library’s debut.

The studio describes itself as “a work space for innovative technology and media creation. Produce a documentary, prototype your invention, digitize that old box of slides and everything in between,” it proves a vital resource for the local community.

The space originally housed a variety of technology and services and has since grown to include over an estimated $300,000 of hardware and software combined. 

“You get big monitors, big scanners, a variety of equipment…a lot of it isn’t available in regular computer labs,” said Jim Arnold, UTC alumni and local TVA retiree. 

Arnold, 55, has frequented the studio for almost nine months. He wishes he had known about the studio sooner so that he could have taken advantage of its resources.

The studio houses 24 computer workstations loaded with specialized software, an audio production, videography and photography suite. Newer additions include a 3D printing station and the Vive virtual reality room. 

According to Yuri Cantrell, studio specialist and technology trainer, students can make suite reservations on the studio website. Patrons may also attend studio workshops.

“Some of the newer workshops we released are digital painting with Photoshop using Cintiq touchscreen or tablet and how to use Unity, which is a game engine,” said Cantrell.

The software included at the studio workstations can help users accomplish a variety of tasks from producing a video to designing a video game. One UTC political science adjunct uses the studio to craft banners.

Although the software is impressive, the space harbors technology such as a 4K camera kit, an audio kit, a variety of camcorders, Go Pros, and more. 

Beyond offering a variety of resources to students, faculty and the local community, the studio is also a great place to work.

“There’s a lot to like about working in the studio. It’s good to learn technology, programs, and to help people,” said Lori Robbins, a senior English and Anthropology double major.

The studio currently has a director, two studio librarians, two studio specialists and a studio manager.

Wesley Smith, studio librarian, encourages students to take advantage of the studio’s wide variety of resources. 

“We’re like YouTube, live– sometimes you have to accomplish a very particular thing, and why watch a 45 minute video on YouTube when you can come in and we can show you how to do it in person?” said Smith.

Special appointments are also available for those who would like a one-on-one consultation with one of the staff. 

Online forms are available to help faculty members looking for support to develop or a classroom media project, or even students needing technical or conceptual guidance, 

The studio is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.

More information about the studio is available on UTC’s website.

About Alaura Robinson

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