Communications Office: Stephen Mease
BURLINGTON, Vt. (April 2, 2014) - Champlain College welcomed Brian David Johnson, Intel Corporation's Futurist, to campus this week for a preview of the College's new MakerLab and the expansion of its home, the Emergent Media Center (EMC). The new facilities at Champlain's Miller Center at Lakeside campus represent the College's ongoing commitment to supporting community projects and academic initiatives that will bring students to Vermont to develop new companies, create jobs and deliver on a sustainable Vermont, said Champlain President David Finney. "Today we are celebrating some major steps forward in supporting the creative economy of Vermont and providing new ways for entrepreneurs to quickly design new products and start businesses," he added.
Johnson, previewed his talk entitled "A Look into the Future," about the importance of technology and education in support of the Creative Economy and local businesses. Johnson will speak in Champlain's Argosy Gym in the IDX Student Life Center at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
The talk capped off a two-day visit to the campus to learn about programs like the MFA in Emergent Media, meet Champlain students and faculty, visit classes, and with Dean of Education and Human Services Laura Bongiorno facilitate a generative thinking session with a class of Mater Christi sixth graders studying science.
Johnson, whose job is described as "futurecasting" works with data and research to determine a vision of the future that he and Intel can then work to build. A big part of his job is the "Tomorrow Project" in which he takes his "futurecasting" research out into the world and gets people talking about the future. "It is a personal passion of mine that everyone should be an active participant in the future," Johnson said in a recent interview with Forbes magazine.
The Miller Center event provided an opportunity to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Champlain Game Studio, now one of the top video game design programs in the country. Finney also talked about the expansion of the Emergent Media Center and expected late-April opening of the new MakerLab at the EMC that will be used by students and alumni, as well as the community.
The Champlain MakerLab, a rapid prototyping facility will be equipped with state of the art 3D printers, laser cutter, vinyl cutter and more traditional tools that will allow students and the Champlain extended community to explore the possibilities for invention and entrepreneurship now available thanks to the unique marriage of digital technologies and once impossible to manufacture physical components.
"This new MakerLab connects the creative economy of Burlington's South End Art scene and the Vermont business and manufacturing community," Finney said. "We plan to develop new academic offerings related to these specialized educational technologies. Using software, prototyping equipment and encouraging the long-tradition of entrepreneurial spirit at Champlain College will ensure our students have a direct hand in building the future." "This space and the students and faculty who will bring it to life, will carry forward Champlain's mission to prepare students to thrive as creators, communicators and innovators. And from day one at Champlain, to think and act as professionals in the media-engaged and interconnected world," Finney added.
He said that Champlain plans to offer a specialization in Educational Technology, giving students majoring in middle and secondary teacher education the knowledge and background to integrate emerging technology skills and concepts into fresh curricula for young learners.
"We are also celebrating our partnerships with the City of Burlington and its Generator makerspace, and employers like Logic Supply," Finney said. Logic Supply, recipient of Champlain's inaugural Corporate Partner Award last May, encourages its employees to always look for new and innovative ways to do business. "Through their commitment to innovation and fostering continued product development, Logic Supply has become a valued member of Intel's Internet of Things Solutions Group," he noted. "Many of Logic Supply's employees began their careers as amateur builders and makers in their own right, and they now put that passion into practice to react to specific customer requests for rugged, reliable, small form-factor hardware solutions."
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Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 60 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition. Champlain College is featured in the "Fiske Guide to Colleges" for 2016 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. For more information, visit www.champlain.edu.