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Rolling into the Future: Loyola School of Communication Upgrades with Sleek, Mobile Anchor Desk

Rolling into the Future: Loyola School of Communication Upgrades with Sleek, Mobile Anchor Desk

With a nod to modernization and mobility, Loyola’s School of Communication recently installed a new anchor desk in its Convergence Studio.

The new desk is smaller and sleeker than its predecessor and has state-of the art features such as lighted columns that change colors and a 50-inch LED smart TV in front that can display video and graphics.

For example, if the Newscasting and Producing class is using the desk, the built-in TV can display the newscast’s logo or show video. The student-run sports show, Rambler Sports Locker, can use it for similar functions.

The new anchor desk is smaller and on wheels, allowing it to be moved should students need more studio space for video and film productions.

The SOC’s new anchor desk has state-of the art features such as lighted columns that change colors and a 50-inch LED smart TV in front that can display video and graphics. Photo by Jamason Chen

The SOC’s new anchor desk has state-of the art features such as lighted columns that change colors and a 50-inch LED smart TV in front that can display video and graphics. Photo by Jamason Chen.

Fortunately, the old desk, which has been in place for 15 years, is being put to good use. Students at Senn High School in Chicago are using it for their broadcast reporting and newscasting classes.

The School of Communication donated the anchor desk to Senn as part of its ongoing relationship with the high school.

"The SOC has loved that broadcast news desk, but now we need one with more flexibility (and wheels). We are delighted that Senn will carry on the Rambler news tradition in style, said SOC Interim Dean Elizabeth Coffman.

But moving the anchor desk to Senn proved easier said than done. Consider that the old anchor desk is 15 feet long and cumbersome to move. That challenge was solved by locally-based Hallett Movers. Carpenters arrived early one morning to adeptly dissemble the desk, and a moving team delivered it to Senn, where it was reassembled the same morning. By noon, the Senn students, and their Bulldog mascot, were posing for pictures with the desk.

Students and the Bulldog mascot at Senn High School enjoy the anchor desk donated to the high school by the SOC. Photo by Jamason Chen.

Students and the Bulldog mascot at Senn High School enjoy the anchor desk donated to the high school by the SOC. Photo by Jamason Chen.

"I'm so grateful to Loyola for making this happen,” said Michael Cullinane, Lead Journalism Teacher at Senn. “We've gone on several field trips to Loyola and had the students sit at the desk, and I've always loved the professionalism it offered. Now, it's fitting in beautifully in our studio. The students are thrilled and are more enthusiastic than ever to be anchors."

Loyola’s School of Communication has been partnering with Senn for more than a decade. School of Communication faculty and students regularly meet with teachers and students at Senn, helping with curriculum development, classroom instruction and equipment and technological support.

Over the years, Loyola’s SOC has used grant money and its own funds to outfit Senn students technology such as video cameras, microphones and other audio equipment, a Teleprompter, and most recently, the anchor desk.

Senn students produce a weekly television news show titled, Senn TV. The donated anchor desk will be put to good use on the program, Cullinane said.

"Senn TV is presently in Season 9 and is going to be better than ever,” Cullinane said. “We're so grateful to Loyola for further bringing life to our scrappy program."