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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI students benefit from film editing gift

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 12, 1999 -- Picture if you will, a film maker editing film. If you're visualizing someone wrapped in video and squinting while holding film up to the light, you've got an old image.

Nowadays, at least for University of Rhode Island students, film editing is being done on a high-powered desk computer, thanks to the generosity of Tektronix, Inc., a portfolio of measurement, color printing and video and networking businesses dedicated to applying technology excellence to customer challenges. The Oregon headquartered company donated a computer non-linear video/film editing system to URI's Journalism and Communication Studies Departments. The value of the gift, including on-site installation and instruction, totals nearly $145,000.

"URI is actually ahead of the curve with this equipment," says Dr. Tony Silvia, chair of URI's Journalism Department, who spent much of his earlier career as a broadcast journalist. "The end product has better clarity and far superior quality. Some local and even some national broadcasters don't have this kind of sophistication."

The equipment was installed last month in the Journalism Department's broadcast news section in the Chafee building. "We expect to phase in the equipment in daily newcasts. All of the students enrolled in Journalism 230, Introduction to Radio and Television News, will use it for their final products," says Silvia.

Dr. Stephen Wood, chair of Communication Studies comments: "The editing suite represents professional level equipment that students in Communication Studies and Journalism will be able to use for their highest quality editing projects, whether producing commercials, public service announcements, documentaries or narrative video."

Two URI students, Erica Collins and Grant Huffman, who won second place for their 30-minute documentary "Gimme Shelter" at URI's first film festival last October, have expanded the video to an hour. The pair is currently editing the documentary on the system and plan to enter the video in the Rhode Island Film Festival.

Founded in 1946, Tektronix has operations in 26 countries outside the United States and reported revenues of $2.1 billion in fiscal 1998. Tektronix worked side-by-side with UNIVAC, IBM, and Digital Equipment Company to help American's computer industry evolve. The company's equipment helped launch the U.S. space program and usher in color TV. Today, Tektronix's Digital Video File Servers are number one globally.

"We are pleased to help the first generation of fully-fledged digital broadcast professionals usher in the future of television and video," said Tim Thorsteinson, president, Video and Networking Division, Tektronix. "Today's students are the television industry of tomorrow. This gift will help to improve the scope and thoroughness of their training, by giving them an opportunity to train on a variety of interfaces."

The editing equipment came to URI with the help of Ed Wachowicz, a 1975 alumnus and member of the Dean of Arts & Sciences External Advisory Council, who is director of product development-video services for Bell Atlantic in New York City. Wachowicz suggested that Tektronix might be interested in a donation of equipment to Tom Zorabedian, assistant director of development, Division of University Advancement.

"Not only is this superb, high-end equipment, the two people Tektronix sent to URI from Oregon and New York to train us were extremely helpful and gracious," said Zorabedian, noting the donated equipment was used for producing ABC's national newsmagazine 20/20.

"This gift of state-of-the-art equipment provides our students with the opportunity to work with professional-level technology that will enhance their knowledge of visual imagery. As we discovered with our film festival, students who use film and video come from many different disciplines-journalism, the arts, communication studies, the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities," said Dr. Winifred Brownell, interim dean of URI's College of Arts and Sciences. "We are most grateful to Tektronix for allowing us to support all students who want to work with moving images."

For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 874-2116

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University of Rhode Island

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