Thursday, December 19, 2013

Center for Arts and Media Dazzles During Grand Opening

It took two days in November to roll out the red carpet for something as special as Salt Lake Community College’s new Center for Arts and Media.

“I believe it can change the landscape of how we in higher education nurture our students toward either transferrable degrees with our sister USHE institutions or the vibrant industry within the digital disciplines,” said SLCC School of Arts, Communication and Media Interim Dean Richard Scott. “A facility like this will enable us to provide world class, industry standard experiences for the state’s digital student.”

MacArthur genius award recipient Bill Strickland helped kick off events November 7 with a keynote address at South City Campus’ Grand Theatre.

Former SLCC President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau hosted about 200 people at a colorful and diverse art show the first day, handing out two $1,000 awards and two more for $500 each. Artist Benjamin Higbee won the $1,000 President’s Award with his entry “Particle Swarm.”

SLCC opened the 130,000 square-­foot center’s doors the next day to the public for five hours for an open house. Visitors received their first glimpse of the stunning new 2,000 square-­foot television studio and control room, located next door to a 3,000 square-­foot film stage.

Over 300 high school students from around the valley also participated in workshops inside a few of the 22 editing bays and in the animation lab. They also toured one of three MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) classrooms and the state-­of-­the-­industry digital audio recording studio, which has a 64-­channel Solid State Logic mixing board.

Friday’s open house ended with two screenings of the documentary “Out of
Nowhere.” The film shows a SLCC alumnus going back to his homeland Kenya to meet his brother for the first time and to be reunited with his mother after 20 years. Panel discussions with refugees from Africa and Iraq and then with the documentary filmmakers bookended the first of two screenings.

Prior to and during the grand opening the new facility received extensive TV and print media coverage, including several spots as part of Fox 13’s “Good Day Utah” broadcast featuring  Big Budah. SLCC Public Relations Director Joy Tlou gave several media tours in the days leading up to the opening and afterward.

The media attention has been phenomenal,” Tlou said. “One thing we didn’t anticipate is finding out that this facility is the envy of people in the professional media industry.”

The opening was the culmination of a long project that began with breaking ground in 2010, then demolishing an old pool, diving pool and gymnasium.

The new center is physically connected to Salt Lake City School District’s Innovations High School and will serve an estimated 9,000 students while bringing together 17 programs under one roof for SLCC’s School of Arts, Communication and New Media. The high school, new center and the rest of South City Campus, which was built in 1931, now flow seamlessly into one another.

SLCC Administrative Change

Salt Lake Community College bid a fond farewell in November to its leader since 2005 as Dr. Cynthia Bioteau moved on to become president of Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Dr. Bioteau took the helm as president of the College in 2005, bringing more than 35 years of experience in education, mental health and business. Under her guidance the College became a core of economic and workforce development and a consistent Top 10 finisher as one of the leading producers of associate degrees in the country.

Before leaving Dr. Bioteau wrote in an email to employees, “I believe SLCC is more solid and important to this state and country as never before, and know the greatness is from the collective wisdom and efforts.”

While at the College Bioteau supported the creation of its Women’s Business Institute and the Women’s India Trust, which works with female entrepreneurs in India. During her time as president, Dr. Bioteau collected honors that included Utah Business magazine’s 30 Women to Watch, the 2010 Athena Award, the YWCA’s Exemplary Leader in Education award and the Sandy Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Titan Award.

“She is passionate about higher education and the mission of the institution and its place in the community,” the College’s Public Relations Director Joy Tlou told the Salt Lake Tribune, “and she is compassionate for all of the people she works for and with.”

The State Board of Regents chose Dr. Deneece Huftalin as the College’s interim president, effective January 1, 2014. Dr. Huftalin has served at the College for over 20 years as director of academic and career advising in 1992, dean of students in 1994 and in 2004 the vice president of student services. Dr. Huftalin earned bachelor and doctorate degrees from the University of Utah. Her career credits include Harper Community College and Northwestern University in Illinois.

“The Board and the SLCC community are fortunate that Dr. Huftalin is willing to step into the role of interim president,” said Board of Regents Chair Bonnie Jean Beesley. “Dr. Huftalin’s years of service to Salt Lake Community College, along with her administrative capabilities and commitment to students will provide a steady hand during the transition on campus that inevitably occurs during a college presidential search.”

The Board of Regents will conduct a national search to replace President Bioteau.

Jimmie Breedlove -­‐ Total One-­‐Eighty

Jimmie Breedlove -­ Total One-­Eighty

(See 3 photos at bottom)

Jimmie Breedlove can still see the scene from when he was only five and his late alcoholic father drove down a dirt and gravel road in a blue and white pickup away from the farmhouse and his family in Wisconsin.

It was the beginning of a long slide that included a brief stay at an orphanage, doing drugs as a teen and a nearly two-­year prison term in his early 20s.

A self-­described scrawny kid, Breedlove can’t remember exactly how many times he was beaten up as a child, only that he used to hide in the bathroom during recesses at school until a playground monitor showed up.

And now?

“Total 1-­80,” Breedlove, 38, said about the degrees of change in his life. “I’ve got a wife, kids and a passport. Life is good. I don’t have the man pressuring me.”

For a while he was working for a company that applies signs and graphics to automobiles. Then he decided he wanted to be the one who came up with content for the designs. These days the only pressure he feels is what he puts on himself while attending Salt Lake Community College’s new Center for Arts and Media, at first studying graphic design and then moving into photography.

Now he works for the SLCC campus newspaper The Globe as a photographer in the new center while working toward his Associate’s of Applied Science with an emphasis on photography.

Although he’d trade some of the wrong turns he took in life, he doesn’t shy away from talking about his past with just a hint of pride for having survived. Breedlove concluded, “If it helps the next person out.”