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Centre for Digital Media's Top News Stories from 2020

Dec 15, 2020 By Elyse Economides

2020 was a decidedly unique year at Centre for Digital Media, marked by some big changes and many firsts. 

In May, we bid farewell to MDM Program Director, Dr. Richard Smith, after nine years, and welcomed one of our full-time faculty members, Larry Bafia, to the role. 

Much of 2020 revolved around the transition from in-person, on-campus learning to online learning. We welcomed our first ever remote cohorts of Master of Digital Media and Pre-MDM students. We got really familiar with Zoom and held our first virtual end-of-term presentations in April, our first virtual convocation reception in June, our first virtual Industry Showcase in July, our first virtual conference in August, and our first virtual Halloween celebrations in October. 

It was an impressive year for our alumni, who won prestigious awards, embraced our new alumni mentoring program, and enthusiastically participated in our reimagined virtual “lunch-and-learn” series. Our students also had the chance to hear from guest speakers like Liliana Conlisk-Gallegos, a SIGGRAPH 2020 speaker and associate professor who spoke about Indigenous culture, activism, and advocacy. 

This year tested our creativity and resilience, but it taught us that the Centre for Digital Media’s staff, faculty, students, and alumni are up for the challenge! Here are some of our most popular news stories from 2020 that highlight the best of CDM:

1. Master of Digital Media Students Launch Successful Startup During Covid Era

BBBook Team

For one Master of Digital Media student, his goal of becoming an entrepreneur was finally realized this year, when he and his venture team received $100,000 in pre-seed funding from First Fund, Canada’s largest pre-seed investment fund. BBBook, a collaborative, web-based platform for university students to share notes and insights on their assigned readings, immediately appealed to Samarth Chandola, First Fund’s founder.

2. Remote Team Solutions with Real-World Impact: MDM Teams Achieve Success Delivering Digital Solutions for IRL Experiences

Our MDM students and faculty love a good challenge! During these unprecedented times, what sets our Master of Digital Media (MDM) program apart is the dynamic framework that allows our faculty and students to innovate and respond to the needs of the industry in the face of a global pandemic. Backed by a proven track record of delivering in-person solutions to research and development challenges, the program was poised to evolve.

3. MDM Students Create Solutions For the Future of Remote Training & Education

This past spring, educators around the world had to quickly move to remote and online learning, often using digital tools to help facilitate this new learning. Centre for Digital Media is proud to be involved in projects that explore how digital media can improve education. Here are 4 education-related projects that Master of Digital Media students worked on last semester.

4. Building a VR Training System For a Public Safety Educator During COVID-19

All MDM student teams are asked to document their progress on assigned blogs. One project team in particular has chronicled how they're working through this demanding time. Team LifesaVR worked with the Justice Institute of BC to design, plan and develop a VR prototype that simulates training environments in the area of public safety.

5. An MDM Project To Inspire Women To Become Funders and Founders of Tech Companies

Back in the Spring of 2018, Gerri Sinclair - the MDM program’s founding director and the Managing Director of Kensington Capital - approached the MDM with a problem: How can young women be inspired to start and lead tech companies and to start and lead investment and venture capital firms? That question was brought to a team of MDM students that summer and they determined that the best way to inspire women and get them into tech entrepreneurship and venture capital is with the stories of successful women.

Want to read more? These are our most popular blog posts, ever:

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Best wishes for a restful holiday season and Happy New Year from all of us at Centre for Digital Media. The campus will be closed December 19 - January 3, reopening January 4. See you in 2021!