News: A World-Class Degree and Experience in a Thriving Media Hub? You Can Have Both at Georgia Tech

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Posted October 10, 2019

Nestled in the historic corner of campus overlooking Tech Tower, the School of Modern Languages is taking the lead in helping to transform Atlanta’s global media industry. The School is rapidly becoming a hub for cutting-edge researchers in international film, documentary, digital media, and global studies, attracting budding media professionals from across Georgia to its new Master of Science in Global Media and Cultures, the first multicultural professional graduate degree in applied languages in the United States.

Being in the heart of a thriving film hub gives Georgia Tech students an extraordinary opportunity, led by the School of Modern Languages and the School of Literature Media and Communication in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, to get an education at one of the leading technological universities in the country while studying film. Georgia Institute of Technology is taking advantage of this by making film a more central part of what we do in the classroom.

The Master of Science in Global Media and Cultures is a prime example of the kind of innovation that comes out of a unique environment like Atlanta. As the headquarters for some of the world's leading global businesses, with access to over 75 consulates and countless international organizations, Atlanta offers an unparalleled living laboratory to see firsthand how media can change the world. The new Master of Science degree offers creative spaces and labs, such as an in-house mobile film studio and lab courses that teach students key skills like interviewing, multimedia production, and communications management. Students have the opportunity to study media as a part of their major or minor, or broaden their studies with a film elective. Modern Languages’ professors are encouraging students to present their research projects in a film medium, allowing for more creativity in the classroom and including film as a part of their courses.

“I offer all students the opportunity to present their work in a film medium because it encourages artistic expression and showcases a wide variety of skills,” said Ayda Melika, a visiting assistant professor of Persian and Middle Eastern Studies at the School of Modern Languages and the School of History and Sociology at Georgia Institute of Technology. “Courses like these led me to continue with my film career and following my undergraduate degree, I began producing films on the topics of urbanism, cultural experience, and politics of space. Many of my pieces have been featured in prestigious film festivals such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York Film Festival. Those experiences pushed me to continue my education at UC Berkley where II obtained a master’s degree in Science and Architecture and a Ph.D. in Architecture: History, Theory and Society and a minor in Urban Sociology of the Middle East, all along pursuing film as a medium for my research,” said Melika.

Melika is one of many faculty within the School of Modern Languages who has film expertise. Amanda Weiss, Assistant Professor of Japanese, presents her research on combat films and portrayals of war as well as gender identity in Japanese culture following World War II. Associate Professor of Spanish, Paul Alonso, showcases his film expertise as Director and Producer of Polivision, a bilingual docu-series and multimedia outlet documenting cutting-edge artists who work between Atlanta and Latin America. Both Weiss and Alonso work with their own innovative VIP teams (for-credit lab experience with hands-on research opportunities.)

Juan Carlos Rodriguez, Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of Spanish, studies how Latin American documentaries represent contemporary urban issues such as housing problems, transportation dynamics, water resources, economic development, and social movements. Rodriguez also brings film to the main stage at Tech every spring semester, hosting the Global Media Fest. The annual event focuses on international media productions that explore issues and challenges associated to sustainability. The festival's goal is to serve as a global interdisciplinary forum that creates awareness of the cultural and linguistic challenges that emerge from the different meanings and interpretations of sustainability in diverse contexts.

Recently mentioned in The New York Times as having created “programs aimed at developing language skills that allow them to work more effectively in, and to be more attractive to, international companies and organizations,” the School of Modern Languages continues to offer students unique opportunities and innovative curricula to elevate student experiences and strengthen their competitive resumes. Our graduate program offers the resources and rigor of a top-tier research university, the personalized attention of a boutique liberal arts college, and the out-of-the-box flexibility of an up-and-coming hub for creative industries and global business.

For more information on our graduate programs, visit grad.modlangs.gatech.edu or contact Jenny Strakovsky, Assistant Director of Graduate Programs.

 

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By Emily Snelling, Marketing and Events Coordinator
esnelling3@gatech.edu