There’s something new happening at University of Hawaii Maui College. The Creative Media department is making the public announcement of the newly appointed Academy of Creative Media Maui (ACM Maui), which offers a diverse selection of classes and routes to degrees and certificates of achievement. The areas of study include screenwriting, film editing, media and cinema analysis, marketing, publicity, journalism, photography and web development (to name a few). For Maui students looking to become a commercial artist, this extensive and dynamic list of classes presents a new variety of opportunities.
Maui Time spoke with ACM Maui Program Coordinator Brian Kohne about his vision for ACM Maui and why it’s a real game changer.
Maui Time: With the world being so unpredictable, why pursue an education right now?
Brian Kohne: From someone on an island, a creative media education unlocks career possibilities within the community
MT: Is the Academy of Creative Media Maui offering an education that is akin to your own education in film school?
BK: Yes, in the sense that I was studying graphic design and radio, TV and film all at the same time. But the digital tools today all overlap one another, as media has converged. So, the education one requires now is vastly different than even twenty years ago.
At the state level, ACM Systems oversees seventeen programs on ten UH campuses
–. And, for the first time, a person on Maui can achieve a legitimate, two-year media education. A graduate of ACM Maui can also continue for two more years in person, or online at UH West Oahu, and earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, without ever leaving Maui county. So, it really is a game changer for island creatives.
MT: Tell me about your journey-
BK: The team and I have been working towards this moment for the past two years. But others at UHMC have been striving for far longer to establish a quality program, so this milestone reflects the passion of many.
MT: What has the response been like so far?
BK: Our current students are excited about all the new courses we’ll introduce in the coming years. And I know high school media students and educators are also growing aware of the opportunities we are working to create for them. Maui High School, for example, has a top-notch digital media program, so we hope many of their students chose to continue on with us at UHMC.
MT: What are your goals for the coming year and beyond?
BK: In the coming academic year, we seek to establish a foundation and boost enrollment, while the program expands organically. Right now, we offer degrees in creative media, filmmaking, graphic design and web development and we’d love to add a few more in animation and photography as demand increases.
MT: How has your department adjusted to the necessity for online classes?
BK: When we’re able to return to face to face classes, ACM Maui will have brand new computers to look forward to
–along with our excellent TV studio and recording facilities. We will also look to create an annual graduate showcase. So much wonderment lies ahead for the students in ACM Maui.
MT: Brian, you’re known primarily as a filmmaker and you recently produced Eric Gilliom’s one man show- why are you pursuing this?
BK: I’ve always held a passion for education and taught for three years out of college in my twenties. This is more a return to something meaningful to me. And I’ll continue a creative career outside of academia. Frankly, program building has not been that different from producing an independent feature film. There’s challenge, a lot of ups and downs but at the end of the day, it all feels worthwhile creating something for others to experience, to enjoy.
MT: Tell me about working with UHMC.
BK: Leadership at UHMC has been incredibly supportive as we’ve built ACM Maui. Even in these challenging times, I’ve been so impressed by the hard work and dedication of our faculty, the deans and our chancellor.
MT: Can you give examples of students who have gone through the program so far?
BK: Dexter Corpuz, Issac Lazo, and Mako Shimada are recent graduates. The faculty and I have had the pleasure of working with so many talented, enthusiastic students and those are well on their way to the next exciting chapter of their lives.
MT: Where can those interested look for further information?
The link to the newly announced Academy of Creative Media Maui is here : http://maui.hawaii.edu/creative-media/
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