CSU Stanislaus -- October 17, 2003
Music, Geography Laboratories Relocated To New ALS Technology Suite
In CSU Stanislaus, Vasche Building
Language students at California State University, Stanislaus have
advanced to a new era of technology as part of a laboratory relocation
project completed over the summer.
The W.M. Keck Language Laboratory opened in September in the new College
of Arts, Letters and Sciences Technology Suite in the Vasche Library
Building, providing a state-of-the-art facility that has transformed
language learning for students. A $440,000 grant from the W.M. Keck
Foundation enabled the University to upgrade its language lab in the
new location. The music technology and Geographical Information System
(GIS) laboratories have also been relocated to the ALS Technology Suite
under the direction of Cameron Pallotta, new College of Arts, Letters
and Sciences Lab Support Consultant.
Pallotta earned an engineering technology degree at Modesto Junior College
and is a certified Microsoft Systems administrator.
Dr. James Klein, Dean of the College of Arts, Letters and Sciences,
points out that more than 30 percent of the courses offered by CSU Stanislaus
have some kind of technology content. So having a technician and student
assistants with technical expertise on site at the laboratories has
been a high priority in the establishment of the technology lab suite,
“Having the technical support for faculty and students will help
them to make full use of the technology while facilitating maintenance
of the infrastructure and software, troubleshooting on problems, and
monitoring of extended lab hours in the evenings and on weekends,”
The Keck laboratory replaced the University’s old language lab
facility, built in 1983, that had tape players and no computer technology.
The Keck grant funded an interactive computer-based digital foreign
language laboratory with 24 student workstations and a teaching station,
making CSU Stanislaus one of only eight campuses in the CSU system with
a cutting-edge laboratory like this one.
Using headsets and computers with high-quality video capability, students
can view lessons, conduct discussions with others in the laboratory,
and even interact with students at other universities all over the world.
It enables students to link from either their computers at home or from
the laboratory to the California State University Virtual Language Project
that includes eight CSU campuses and provides access to foreign language
classes offered at other universities.
“This laboratory has come to us at the ideal moment,” said
Enrique Lopez-Contreras, Chair of the Modern Languages Department. “It
allows foreign language students the ability to achieve their maximum
potential in the classroom. As we become an increasingly global society,
this gives them the tools to reach out to students in other countries
and also to foster friendships using their language skills. It’s
the second best thing to going to those countries in person.”
In its third year at CSU Stanislaus, the music technology lab featuring
10 stations with piano-like keyboards as part of the computer equipment
has been relocated to the larger quarters from the Music Building. Geoffrey
Mulder, who teaches music technology at CSU Stanislaus, said the increased
lab space at the new location will enable growth of the program that
focuses on music recording technology for studios and computer-generated
music through the use of Protools, the music-recording program most
commonly used in the music industry.
CSU Stanislaus has been among the first universities in the country
to offer the music technology major that gives students hands-on experience
in taping music performances with state-of-the-art recording equipment
in the new Snider Music Recital Hall. The music lab provides software
for music composition, arranging, ear training, and orchestration.
Geography Professor Michael Schmandt has pioneered development of the
GIS laboratory that includes 15 computer work stations. It has proven
to be an invaluable tool for both student training and community planning
The GIS lab facilitates faculty and student research that has produced
a large general plan land use database for the San Joaquin Valley, a
study for NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey showing the rate of urbanization
in the Central Valley, and three studies for the University’s
Center for Public Policy Studies on welfare reform.
The ALS Technology Lab Suite also accommodates a new media emphasis
in the bachelor of fine arts in art program. It provides art students
with hands-on experience on the essential forms of digital imaging.
Electronic painting, image capture from video, animation, color, and
inkjet printing techniques are among the skills taught in the program.
For more information on CSU Stanislaus, go to www.csustan.edu.