Champlain College's Emergent Media Center to Celebrate Decade of ‘Fearless Learning, Creative Solutions'

Flight, one of the games designed by the EMC

The Champlain College Emergent Media Center (EMC) will celebrate its 10th Anniversary on Wednesday, April 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Champlain Room in the Center for Communication and Creative Media, 375 Maple St, Burlington. The event is free and open to the public.

The celebration marks a decade of "change-making student innovation" according to EMC Director and founder, Ann DeMarle. 

The EMC is one of Champlain College's first academic Centers of Excellence. By partnering with industry, public institutions and nonprofits, it offers a laboratory/studio environment where students collaborate with each other, faculty and clients to develop new concepts, processes, and emergent applications such as games, apps and virtual forms. 

Demonstrating these ideals, the celebration will include an Innovation Showcase and reception kicking off at 4 p.m., highlighting projects the EMC and students have worked on since 2007. The showcase will be followed by a thought-provoking panel moderated by John Abele, co-founder of Boston Scientific and FIRST Robotics. The panel will explore a key issue of our times -- "Determining Truth: Rethinking Society and Leadership under Media's Shifting Landscape." RSVPs are encouraged at

Panelists will include: 

  • Cairn Cross, Co-founder, FreshTracks Capital
  • Narine Hall, Champlain College Assistant Professor, Data Analytics & Computer Science
  • Paul Ledak, VP Innovation, Engineering & Technology at IBM, retired
  • Judy Rodgers, Founder, Images and Voices of Hope and President, Communication Architecture Group
  • Michael Skoler, President, Louisville Public Media & formerly of NPR, American Public Media, and Public Radio International
  • Miro Weinberger, Mayor, City of Burlington.

As the EMC evolved, DeMarle noted, it has gone from a studio devoted to building digital media solutions, to an umbrella organization that unites digital media to physical form through the introduction of the Center's MakerLab and integration of its experimental Sandbox team. Simultaneously, the EMC has broadened its reach from solely supporting undergraduate degrees to offering integrative residential Graduate programs (MFA and MS) where graduate candidates work alongside EMC undergraduates. Together, the Champlain EMC alumni and current students have tackled deep issues such as climate change, cystic fibrosis, environmental conservation, financial inequity, learning, PTSD, and gender-based violence. This teamwork has resulted in real changes such as the integration of the social-change game BREAKAWAY into the school systems in Sonsonate, El Salvador in 2016.

"Our successes are due to our drive to explore and innovate," DeMarle said. "We've been developing ever-changing technologies, starting with our earliest forays into serious games, gamification, social media, mobile applications, virtual world-building, and alternate controllers, to more recent leaps into 3D printing, video marketing, internet of things, robotics, large screen interactives, augmented reality, and virtual reality headsets. This has proven to be a powerful educational tool leading Champlain College students who work there to an impressive 95 percent career placement rate within six months of graduation," she said.

"Our creativity is because we employ deep reflection and iteration, deliberately refining our processes of collaboration and development. But perhaps most importantly, we dare to apply these processes and technologies to the tough, impossible, wicked questions facing society and we do it with intent, playfully and joyfully, understanding that technology is a tool that amplifies attitude and action," she said.

The EMC hopes that the event will determine future directions in collaboration and education aligning with the EMC's original mission of "transforming learning and communication through the creative production and thoughtful application of evolving media technologies."


The EMC Ten Celebration website offers dozens of testimonials from past students and partners, a look the many projects over the years, provides ways to support the work of the EMC; and additional details on the EMC Ten events.

For more information about the Emergent Media Center and other Centers of Excellence at Champlain College, visit

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and 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 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit