The School of Journalism and Mass Communication opened a Media Innovation Lab (MILab) in Fall 2016 that provides Texas State University with a central point for a broad range of digital media activities - scholarship, curriculum, courses, faculty development, community networking and events. The MILab tracks industry and academic shifts and recommends and develops new programs, collaborations, initiatives and technologies. The space includes a student lab, laptop lounge, teaching lab and maker space. Users are able to experiment with 360 video, drones, sensors and other emerging technologies and receive training in a range of digital product management and social media techniques.
The MILab extends the success in digital media and innovation for which the School has long been known. Graduates from our undergraduate and graduate programs have gone on to innovative media careers at The New York Times, Austin American Statesman, Gatehouse Media, Vrbo, Khoros, Texas Tribune, Edelman Digital, Texas Restaurant Association and more. Our alumni are considered leaders and innovators in their fields. Our courses emphasize skills and strategy in understanding the digital world through the lens of product management. Students learn to effectively use social media, work with multimedia and gain valuable programming and design skills. Our faculty is committed to continuous learning and staying on the cutting edge of the intersection of technology and communication. Undergraduate students in all our sequences - Journalism, Electronic Media, Advertising and Public Relations - may take any of our digital media courses as well as gain a digital media concentration. Graduate students can select a digital media emphasis to complement their experience and prior education. The program emphasizes skills, theory and concepts that allow students to develop critical thinking, problem solving and a strong portfolio. Experiential learning in the form of special projects, like the SXTXState.com project, internships and assistantships provide real-world experience.
In 2017, the MILab received funding from the John S.. and James L. Knight Foundation to develop and host the PhDigital Bootcamp, preparing future faculty to lead innovative curriculum. The funding was extended in 2018, for a total of $225,000 for three years.
In 2019, MILab Assistant Director Jon Zmikly started an Innovation Club with funds from the Teaching and Learning Technology Innovation Grant. The grant was used to fund sensor and 3D printing equipment to further expose students to emerging technology.
Cindy Royal, Ph.D.
Professor and Founding Director Media Innovation Lab
Senior Lecturer, Assistant Director Media Innovation Lab