Audio Alumus Speaks about Audio Program

Evan Peebles, Technical Support Specialist and 2007 Cogswell College graduate answered some questions regarding his experiences and reasons for entering the Audio Program at Cogswell College.  Here is what he had to say:

Why did you come to Cogswell?

As people look for colleges, there is often a list made somewhere in their mind of what they want.  When I was looking for a college to attend,  I was looking for several specific things.  First, I wanted to get a degree in audio science. While there are many schools that offer programs in this field, very few are WASC accredited bachelor degree programs.  In the audio field, few careers require bachelor’s degrees. Historically many of the careers in this field were entered through reputation, apprenticeships and connections.  But the audio field is currently in a bit of turmoil and is changing fast.  I love learning and wanted to reinforce my own experience, but it was also important to me to have a safety net.  A WASC accredited bachelor’s degree assures that I could proceed with further education such as a Masters or Ph.D., as well as opens up a wider variety of career paths in case the audio industry’s upheaval gets dramatically worse or I change my mind in the future.  In Cogswell, I found a college that offered the exact degree I was looking for.  Once I had heard of Cogswell, I only ever heard from people about how great it was!  The location was great, no need to move to LA, Florida, or New York.  The tuition was really affordable for a private college.  It has an incredible student-to-professor ratio.  As the college has great industry ties, many industry professionals working as professors, and a flexible program, I would have plenty of great opportunities for internships to further develop my skills, resume and connections.  And the people at Cogswell really cared.

What was your major and why did you choose it?

I received my Bachelors of Science degree in Digital Audio Technology from Cogswell.  Selecting a major in today’s society is a daunting task.  After years of being told what to do at every corner, students are presented with so many choices and are basically told, “Now choose the rest of your life.  Ready… Go!”

At least, that’s how it felt for me.  Having always been the ‘jack of all trades’ I spent years floating in junior college classes, studying everything from Massage Therapy to Engineering to Music, and everything in between.  My interests and skills were vast but my resolution was lacking.  After struggling with the choice for some time, I came up with a plan.  I took an 11”x17” sheet of paper and hung it on the inside of my door.  Each day after I woke up, I wrote the job title that I wanted for myself most at that time on the paper.  After about six months, looking at the paper it was clear.  I was ready to pursue a career in the audio industry.

What was your experience at Cogswell and how did it help you?

Cogswell is a very close community.  It is an environment devoid of the normal academic bureaucracy seen in colleges of its distinguished age and history.  But the most valuable difference shown at Cogswell is that you are not treated as a student; you are treated as an individual.  Most of the professors are current industry professionals and they judge and rate you as they would if you were working for them; by your work and your merit – never your position.  The learning was never limited to the syllabus but would reach as far as real world would require and as long as the students questioned.  Cogswell sees itself as a professional institution.  Not educating students in arbitrary academic concepts, but rather giving students an education and experience consistent and representative of the current state of the industries.  Professional behavior by students is responded to with respect, opportunity and responsibility.  Those who prove themselves in their work, attitude and drive are given the opportunity to make changes within the college and earn the respect and acknowledgement that it entails.  One solid fact I have learned about Cogswell is, every year the students who did the most for the College got the most from it.  What I have taken from Cogswell is so much more than the degree could ever be worth.  Thanks to Cogswell, I have the acknowledgement and respect of a great number of my peers throughout the industry and the portfolio to back it up.

What was your favorite project you worked on?

During my time at Cogswell, I worked on many projects, as they are a major part of the learning process at the College.  Picking one as my favorite is not easy.  There are those of which I’m most proud, those which I’m most venerated for, those which were hardest and those which came out best.  But for a favorite, I’d have to look at enjoyment.   I suppose the project I had the most fun with was a radio theater project for a studio recording class.  The students were given a short horror story and asked to tell the whole story through sound.  The only dialog allowed was written in the story as such.  It played upon many skills but more so, forced us to explorer new ways to use what we had.

Who was your greatest inspiration?

There is no one person that inspires me the most.  I acquire my inspiration, similarly to my interests, from everywhere.  Specifically at Cogswell, each student I met came with some truly incredible talent; every professor, an extraordinary history; even the Dean of the audio program is an exceptionally intriguing man.  I’m inspired by many, or rather all. 

- Evan Peebles, Technical Support Specialist

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