Posts Tagged ‘Student Life’

Audio students working in the studios.

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

As I was leaving the Cogswell campus yesterday, I heard a grandiose finish consisting of guitars, drums, and something that could have either been a harp or piano.  The sound travelled faintly through the hallways and a a bit of it made its way into the Cogwell admissions office, the Ina A. Cokeley Campus Service.  The curiosity got the best of me and two other Cogswell inhabitants and we followed the sound to the first place we all had assumed to be the source of the audio explosion.  We headed through the halls and heard the sound getting louder and clearer.  Nearing the control room, a few other curious ears were making their way in the same direction me and my band was heading.  We all converged outside of the glass, looking into the tracking room to find a Cogswell Digital Audio student, hands on the faders and knobs of the mixer.

Here’s a look at what we found:

-Rachel

Cogswell Insiders: episode 2

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

This week’s featured Cogswell Insider is Jessica Bower!

Q: What is your major/program and student status (frosh, soph, jun, sen)?

A: My major is DAA (Digital Art and Animation) and I’m specializing in 3D Modeling. I am a junior.

Q: What student activities are you involved in?

A: I am involved with Game Development Club, Women of Cogswell Club, and All-Student Board. In those clubs I am currently VP of Game Club, VP of Women’s Club, and I’m an Executive Board Member on ASB.

Q: Can you tell me a little bit more about the Women of Cogswell Club?  I’ve seen some of the Bake Sales as fundraising, those definitely hearken to the domesticity of the female stereotype, is this all in jest?  Are there any men involved in the club, by chance?

A: We are a group designed to get the women (and men) of our school together to talk about issues and host events. The posters we have up are definitely in good fun. We’re just poking fun at the typical female stereotype and it also draws attention to the club. And yes, there are quite a few men involved in the club. It’s about 50/50 when it comes to the male/female ratio.

Q: What was your impression of Cogswell (classes/student body) when you started?  Has it changed?

A: When I first started Cogswell, I was dazzled and I still am. This school has so much to offer in the field I want to pursue, which is making video games, and my old college did not have these courses. I figured the campus, class and student wise, would be similar to my old college, but now that I’ve been here for a year, that view has definitely changed. You never know what to expect here. The people here are a unique bunch of folks.

Q: As a student myself, I completely get the unique quality of the student body.  What are some of the crazy quirks you’ve seen?  Any crazy stories?

A: It’s difficult to just point out any specific crazy quirk, and there are a lot in my opinion. However, story-wise there are plenty, but one does come to mind. It was finals week and Samantha and I needed to work on finals at school. She got the idea to build a couch fort in ASB office. We brought blankets and pillows, pushed the couch and chair in ASB together, built the fort, and slept in it till the next day.

Q: What do you look forward to most in the school year? Projects? Events?

A: I look forward to learning new things and building onto my current knowledge. Going to student events is the highlight of the semester when midterm and final projects start to rear their heads and most of your time is dedicated to working on them.

Q: What have been the most memorable events for you?

A: The most rememberable events for me would be the first student housing event I ever went to when we all went to a beach in Santa Cruz and I got buried vertically and lost my glasses in the ocean (they were found). The second most memorable would be the Global Game Jam that happened at our school in Spring 2010.

Q: Have you met anyone interesting/networked with people you see yourself working with in the future?

A: I have in fact! When the Global Game Jam was here [at Cogswell] in spring of 2010, I got the pleasure of working with four people in the industry. I’m horrible with names, but one I clearly remember was Rob Jagnow, Founder of Lazy 8 Studios and the sole programmer for their indie game “Cogs”. Everyone on my team was so amazing. I knew nothing about game making, but they helped teach me and we created a fun game to play! I feel that I can definitely see myself working with them when I improve my skills and the chance arises.

Q: If so, how have your career plans changed since studying?  Are they still on track with what you wanted when you started?

A: I originally wanted to be a concept artist, but I learned that the industry has many people wanting to get into that particular profession and my drawing skills, in my opinion, are not up to par with industry standards. So, I changed to 3D modeling, because as long as I’m creating something I am happy.

Thanks to Jessica for taking part in the Cogswell student series!  Be sure to check back to read another take on Cogswell Student Life.

Back from the break, did you see any Cogswell alumni films?

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Welcome back from the short Thanksgiving break!  With a lack of warm bodies last week, the campus is a little bit chilly today, but will soon be warm and bustling as students come back for classes.  There are only three weeks left in this semester, so many students will be completely booked with final projects, exams, and making plans for the upcoming winter break from Cogswell classes.  Some will fly home, some will embark on epic road trips, and some will stay close and spend the holidays in the bay area.  Whichever happens, I know the break will be well-deserved and definitely needed!  You can tell by the picture that it’s definitely crunch time.

In the world of the alumni,  Cogswell had representation in the latest Dreamworks film, Megamind.  Alumni on board were: Carrie VanEtten (1998) Paint Fix Artist, Amy Jones (1999) Lead Lighting, Marc Miller (1999) Lead Lighter and Steven Sorensen (1998) Layout Artist.  The film debuted at the top spot, and is still enjoying a run in the top spots of weekend movie-goers and a favorite among current Cogswellians as well.  It is really motivational to see Cogswell graduates in the credits of feature films, and in places that we all wish to be.

-Rachel

First installment of Cogswell Insiders

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

The first blog of the new series of Cogswell student interviews begins, today.  The first student featured is Andrew Severns.  He’s quite the mover and shaker here on campus.  I don’t think there’s anything that he isn’t somewhat involved in, either directly or indirectly.

Q: What is your major/program and student status?

A: My name is Andrew Severns and my major is DAA/DAE in Game Design with a concentration in Level Design. My current student status is Junior.

Q: What student activities are you involved in?  To what extent?

A: The student activities that I’m involved in are Andrew FEST, where I hold office of President, ASB, where I hold the office of Vice President, and Game Development Club.

I inherited Andrew FEST from the previous president, Andrew Jennings, who himself inherited it from an Andrew (or so the story goes). The purpose of Andrew FEST is to basically put on free low key events for the students with the help of ASB like BBQs and game nights with the help of Game Club. Andrew FEST has also put on themed events like Cantina Night, Lounge Night and the very popular Slumber Fort FEST. This helps to bring the Cogswell community together, gives everyone a chance to take a break from projects and have some fun.

Q: What happens if someone isn’t named Andrew and you have to pass it down?

A: Who knows, someone might be bestowed the name of “Andrew.”  It’s really still up in the air, who knows, maybe we’ll call it “Steve FEST” or “Armando FEST,” something that sounds cool.  BUT, the group/individual will still need to hold onto the ideas of Andrew FEST which is “FUN FOR ALL.”

[continuing on]

As Associated Student Body (ASB) Vice President I work with the current President Nathan Hiller in making executive decisions, help in creating, facilitating and budgeting for student activities along with the help of the ASB Executive Board for the student body. Consistent events that ASB helps to organize and run are Casino Night, which acts as a Fall semester kick-off, movie nights, where the whole student body goes to the movies, and Fusion Awards, were students submit their work to be voted on by their peers (not to worry pieces that are to be voted on don’t have names so that way it’s not a popularity contest).

As a member of Game Club we look to take what we have learned in class and apply them in creating our own games with Game Maker and the UNREAL Development Kit. We just concluded projects in Game Maker with some of the newest members for the Fall semester were they created simple side scrolling platformers. I feel everyone learned a lot in the production and creation of a video game and with the help of our faculty advisor and head of the Game Program, Albert Chen, we will continue to learn and grow.

Q: What does the Unreal kit entail, and why that specifically used?

A: It’s a free game engine editor that is one of the main engines used in the [game] industry.  A lot of game companies, from Epic Games to Ubisoft use the engine, and to know and learn that engine will make it easier to land a job.

Q: Is it because you’re familiar with the tools?

A: To a degree there are similarities (in reference to other game engines), unlike how Maya is in relation to other animation software.

Q: What was your impression of Cogswell when you started?  Has it changed?

A: During my tour of Cogswell the impression of the community I got was a place and environment that was nice, friendly and hardworking. It didn’t feel like a bunch of closed individuals but an inviting community.  The current ASB President at the time, Andrew Jennings, was very happy that I was considering Cogswell and helped to affirm those impressions after talking with him. After starting at Cogswell I could ask anyone for help with school work or to just hang out with. Over the course of my stay here at Cogswell I feel these traits have not changed and as a student and representative of the Associated Student Body I have tried to maintain these.

Q: You’re also an RA in student housing, how has that been with the transition from?

I enjoy being an RA and enjoy helping with the transition to home life to college life.  Being involved in so many activities, I find it easier to get them involved with the college and I think helps with transition into the Cogswell Community.

Q: What do you look forward to most in the school year? Projects? Events?

What I look forward to the most in the school year is having fun with my friends, working on projects with them in Game Club and helping to create and run events for them like Andrew FEST and Casino Night. The students really make this school and without them it would not be as enjoyable.

Q: Have you met anyone interesting/networked with people you see yourself working with in the future?

I have been really fortunate to meet a lot of neat people at Cogswell and would love to work with them in the future. I honestly could see myself working with anyone of them.

Q: If so, how have your career plans changed since studying?  Are they still on track with what you wanted when you started?

When I first started Cogswell I wanted to be an overall game designer but after several semesters here I have found that I really enjoy level design, creating the space in which the players will play in while still working closely with the game designer. I started out as DAA [Digital Art and Animation] but to be an effect level designer I need to know scripting languages so now my degree is split between DAA and DAE [Digital Arts and Engineering].

Thanks to Andrew for taking part in the blog!  If you’re interested in becoming a student here at Cogswell and starting your career in Game Design, please contact the Admissions Office to find out more.

Back from successful weekend of Cogswell events!

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

This past weekend, we had tons of buzz on the Cogswell campus, and the energy has overflowed into this Monday!  First, the Entrepreneur’s Workshop was a major success!  So many excited students with their parents came out despite the heavy downpour/monsoon that raged on outside.   I had the to opportunity to speak with a few of the high school students, and they were equally inquisitive as they were willing to share their own goals.  Much to my delight, and surprise, there were quite a few prospects who were interested in the Digital Audio Technology program, in addition to the Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, and they were coming from high schools that were already laying down foundations of audio work.  Very cool to hear that other levels of academia are moving toward the goal of infusing more technological programs into their curriculum.  The panelists were really insightful, and made themselves available to everyone for talking or even as a mentor.

After the day’s event passed, the night life sprang up in the Dragon’s Den at around 8:00pm.  The lighting system pulsed, the DJ beats were thumping (and you could feel it in your stomach), patrons danced, and the energy was through the roof.  I saw some of the most dynamic dancers on Saturday night, and those images are burned into my mind, but definitely in the best way possible.  There were sodas, water, and Redbull on sale to keep the dancers hydrated and hyped. Among the lineup stars, we had Cogswell’s very own DJ Zombie, aka Josh Hodges, getting the crowd pumped for the main act Vendor & Battery.  In addition to the happening environment at Cogswell in the Dragon’s Den, the Radio Club streamed the show for those who couldn’t brave the continuing monsoon outside.

Being one of the original creators of the Radio Club and wanting to get shows off of the ground, I have to say I was in awe of the success that these guys had.  The show was definitely proof that the Radio Club has “it.”  Whatever “it” is, they have it.  They upped the ante, and the next show is going to be more awesome that this one, and this past show was unbelievably good!  Check back for more pictures soon!

Bring Your Own Bass presents: Vendor & Battery

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Tomorrow! Tomorrow! Tomorrow!  The Cogswell Radio Club is hosting a concert, the highly anticipated show:  Bring Your Own Bass presents: Vendor & Battery.  Check out the flyer for all the details!  Plus, if you are visiting Cogswell for the Entrepreneur’s Workshop, feel free to come back and enjoy some fresh music.

Guests from Massive Black and EA to speak tomorrow

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Tomorrow night, Cogswell is hosting a special event.  We are pleased to have two representatives from the companies Massive Black and Electronic Arts come out and talk about their experiences in the gaming and animation industries. This should be a very informative lecture, as most of Cogswell’s student body has the goal of getting into these industries, and there is a huge amount of interest in learning about what to expect in their future career.  Not only is it beneficial to get an intro of what to expect straight from those who are experiencing it, but it is also prime time to make connections you can utilize.  I heard there will be pizza, so no need to worry about food during the dinner hour.

In other news, the ASB (Associated Student Body) is hosting another Cogswell movie night this Friday.  This week’s offerings?  The newest Harry Potter movie!  As a fan of the series, I’m incredibly excited for this movie night!  I urge students to please sign up ASAP, because spots are limited.  ASB hosts various events throughout the semester and the movie nights are definitely one of the most popular. Depending on the movie, even faculty will get in on the action and join the massive Cogswell mob that inhabits the entrance of various movie theaters.  Unfortunately, we are not seeing the midnight showing, but maybe that’s best for the sake of any Friday morning classes.

-Rachel

Ambassador Blog by Julia Campbell, Digital Art & Animation

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

juliaHi! I’m Julia Campbell and I’m a senior in the Digital Art and Animation program, with an Entertainment Design concentration. I’m also one of the Cogswell ambassadors.

As an ambassador, I get to talk to prospective students and their families and give tours as well as help out at school events. Occasionally the ambassadors get to go along with Admissions staff to talk at schools. We also do a lot of data entry and packet making – all necessary to keep the school and interested prospies (prospectives) up to date.

I applied for the position because I love the school and feel there’s a lot of potential here. My goal is to try to help find students who will strengthen Cogswell as well as benefit from it. I enjoy meeting new people and talking about the college experience with them, and feel I have a different perspective since I already have a degree from a liberal arts college.

My favorite part is probably meeting the new prospies and getting to hear what they’re interested in – and seeing the portfolios they bring in! – then being able to tell them that their goals are viable and within reach with a college like Cogswell.

I found Cogswell when I was looking through the education section of the forums on ConceptArt.org. I’d been looking for a digital art school for a couple of months but hadn’t seen Cogswell’s name come up before. I found the school website and when I saw that it was just a 15 minute drive south of me I went down the very next day to take a look. Once I had the tour and saw some of the work on the walls I knew it was where I wanted to be.

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Ambassador Blog by Julia Campbell, Digital Art & Animation

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

julia

Hi! I’m Julia Campbell and I’m a senior in the Digital Art and Animation program, with an Entertainment Design concentration. My favorite class this semester is honestly probably Creative Writing. I haven’t taken a humanities class since my undergraduate experience at Scripps College, and I’d forgotten how much fun they can be. Richard Schimf is also an excellent teacher and keeps the class interesting. My most challenging class this semester is Acting. I’ve always been terrified of physical performance in front of people, and taking the class is really forcing me to break out of that and get over my fears. It’s also interesting to see how a script can be performed in a variety of different ways for a variety of meanings, and I can see how it must help Animators to really understand those nuances.

What event am I most looking forward to this semester? Ooooh, well for a while it was definitely the jaunt out to see Where the Wild Things Are with the Associated Student Body. Now that that’s over, I’d probably have to say the next thing I’m looking forward to is the release of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog! I guess that will come out once school is finished, but I’ll probably still see it with classmates. I’m also excited about the Halloween party Cogswell will be hosting. Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I love all of the extra events and fun that come with it!

Cogswell Students Host Casino Night

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

CasinoNight-101

The Cogswell College Associated Student Body (ASB) once again hosted a successful Casino Night! This eagerly anticipated annual event kicks off the new school year and gives students the chance to see old friends and meet the new students. The theme of this year’s event was 1920’s speakeasy.

The ASB hired a professional company to set up and operate the Craps, Roulette and Blackjack tables to refresh the memories of experience players and help novices learn to play. Other tables were set out for poker where Cogswell’s President, Chet Haskell, dealt hands for most of the night.

A bar was set up with mixed juice drinks, all with names of prominent people from the 20’s era like Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin and Houdini. Ginger Cafe provided hors d’ouvers for everyone’s munching enjoyment. The Committee spent a lot of time decorating the Dragon’s Den and making sure there were spots perfect for photo opportunities.

The night concluded with a costume contest with the winners being Christian Henderson and Jessica “Psy” DeLacy. Great job ASB on another fantastic event!!

~ Rachael Reisdorf, Design Coordinator