Academic Program Evolves to Serve—and Lead—the Graphic Communications Industry

Written by Chris Bondy
Distinguished Professor and Administrative Chair of the School of Media Science at Rochester Institute of Technology
RIT School of Media Sciences
For people like me in academia, sadness at the coming end of summer is somewhat mitigated by the anticipation of another fresh start with the new school year. At the Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) School of Media Sciences. we’re especially eager to begin our second year since changing our name—and focus—from the School of Print Media.
Much like the industry we serve, our curriculum continues to evolve to keep pace with the fast rate of change in the world today. This fall we’re introducing several new classes, welcoming new faculty members and opening two new labs to help us fulfill our media sciences mission.
As might be expected, most of our introductions are rooted in digital technologies. The new classes address areas such as applied data analytics, digital asset management and media business transformation.
Our new faculty members bring expertise in behavioral considerations for cross-media communications (promotional, transactional, and publishing), cross-media integration, and the bridge between conventional printing and functional printing.
Our infrastructure enhancements are numerous. A new cross-media lab will conduct research across the full-spectrum of pre-media, including:

  • Content, data analytics and composition
  • Enterprise resource planning
  • Web-to-Print
  • Social media
  • Web, tablet and mobile publishing

It will integrate tightly with our new Marking Technology and Material Sciences Labs. In addition, we’re installing a renovated six-color flexo press to support packaging studies, additional 3D and functional printing technology, and an advanced eye-tracking system for analyzing human factors related to eye-traffic and dwell-time on various media.
Future GC Professionals.
Why does this matter to you, the graphic communications professional? One reason is practical. When you need these skills, you know you can find them in RIT graduates.
Another reason is strategic. We’re preparing students for a graphic communications industry that will look dramatically different on their graduation day than it did when they enrolled, so we think long and hard about the future of our industry.
When we adjusted our curriculum, faculty and resources, we’re offering our view of how print and other media will work together in the future.
What’s hot today wasn’t relevant yesterday and won’t have the same temperature tomorrow. Some media, such as print, will always have a role. At RIT, we equip tomorrow’s professionals to understand what that role will be and how to successfully integrate it.
What do you think of RIT’s shift from print media to media sciences? Where do you see our industry going?
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Chris Bondy is the Gannett Distinguished Professor and Administrative Chair of the School of Media Science at Rochester Institute of Technology,
To learn more about our views of the industry, check out the RIT booth at Print13. I will also be presenting at the Executive Outlook Conference, and we will be holding an RIT Alumni reception on Monday evening 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM September 9th at McCormick Place South  – Room 103 during Print 13.
You are also invited to attend our second annual Cross-Media Innovation Center Summit in Rochester, N.Y., Oct. 9-10.

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