“It can get pretty quiet down here,” is a common testimony when referring to the Berglund Center for Internet Studies. Most people would be surprised to know that the BCIS exists in the bottom level of Berglund Hall. Even more people would be surprised to find that the BCIS is currently celebrating its 10th year anniversary of service at Pacific University. Although the center is tucked into a remote part of campus, don’t mistake the quiet atmosphere for a lack of activity.
The BCIS is actually making much noise; more than it ever has in the past. The Berglund Center, which was originally run by two people, has expanded into a full-fledged operation with over 20 student employees. The center may remain quiet, but the staff at BCIS is making their voices heard through their wide variety of works.
The BCIS is making noise over the Internet, as it has created and maintained various internet webpages, both university and non-university related. The BCIS created an academic journal titled “Interface,” and has now published hundreds of articles, both available electronically or in print.
The BCIS has even continued to make a splash overseas, as the Berglund Center has become a large hub for academic integration between Asia and the U.S. West Coast. It remains one of the most established and trusted liaisons to the program AsPac, the Association for Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast, and has dealt largely with providing chances for students to study and teach abroad.
The BCIS has continued to provide presentations from top tier presenters to the school and community through their Berglund Center Roundtable Series. The BCIS also has a full dedicated film crew. This crew, which is the only organized video team on campus, captures and publishes the various happenings in or around the BCIS as well as completes other video projects for the university when needed.
While all of this noise is being created, one main theme remains at the core of the BCIS: The employees responsible for creating these materials are all students. The Berglund Center has remained dedicated to their student employees, citing that although the work which is being created is important, it is more important that the students use the BCIS in order to increase their knowledge, improve their skills and really prepare themselves for the future, whatever path they may take.
This mindset not only sounds great on paper, but has also been effective. Several former BCIS student employees credit the skills and experienced gained while at the BCIS as a launching point into their future careers. The Berglund Center provides student employees the chance to utilize the things they are learning through their studies, and use them in a tangible real world application.
Former BCIS employee Heather Hawkins worked as a web designer for the center and found a job post-graduation as a web designer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. Steven Wong, a former video crew member for the BCIS, is currently employed at OHSU as a multimedia specialist in education. Steven utilizes his honed video skills to film surgeries for educational purposes as well as create promotional videos for the hospital.
Chris Pruett, who worked in web design and systems management, began his career in the video game industry creating and developing games for the Playstation 2 and the Wii. Chris is now employed as a software engineer at Google.
Whether it is the skills they have developed, or simply the confidence to use them, the Berglund Center has continued to prepare students for life after college; a truly invaluable asset.
As the BCIS grows, so does the amount of work made available for the public. You may not have known where the center was, or even that it existed, but if you listen hard enough, you will begin to hear the noise.