Facilities & Technology | College of Communication & Information | Kent State University

Facilities & Technology

Students studying communication & information at Kent State get access to the latest and greatest technology, facilities and resources.  From our newly renovated classroom and gallery space located in the iconic Taylor Hall, to technology labs and digital studios, there's no better place to be a CCI student.

Here's just a few of the facilities and resources that will help you stay on the forefront of innovative technology both in and out of the classroom.

Class & Study Spaces

Carl E. Hirsch and Plain Dealer Classrooms
 (Franklin Hall)
Overlooking the Franklin Hall lobby, the Carl E. Hirsch lab is the result of a gift from alumnus Dr. Hirsch, a successful owner and operator of radio and telecommunications firms. The Plain Dealer room is named after a gift from our region’s major newspaper. Both of these classrooms and others in Franklin Hall provide an environment for small, intimate class sizes and support one-on-one interaction with faculty.


FirstEnergy Interactive Auditorium
 (Franklin Hall)
Located on the third-floor, the FirstEnergy Interactive Auditorium is home to many of the school’s introductory classes. The 150-seat auditorium enhances student learning and interaction through technology, with features like multiple projection screens. The auditorium also serves as a resource for professional development workshops, guest speakers and conferences for area communications pros. The auditorium was made possible through a generous gift from the FirstEnergy Foundation.


Gannett Collaborative Classroom
 (Franklin Hall)
Named for a gift from the Gannett Foundation, the Gannett Collaborative Classroom is specially designed for collaboration. The 3,400-square-foot classroom contains moveable furniture for flexibility and enables students to work in teams.


Updated Classroom Spaces (Taylor Hall)
Opened in September 2017, these newly updated classroom spaces house core classes in many of the dynamic programs offered to CCI students.

VCD Graduate Studio (Taylor Hall)
The nature of design has changed considerably in the last decade. Design thinking, design research and human-centered design all require work environments as collaborative and adaptable as the teams within them. Our graduate studio provides each of the graduate students in the School of Visual Communication Design with an individual workspace. The 2,644 square foot studio also includes ideation and planning areas, a pin up studio, white boards, new iMacs and Dell Optiplex 7050 digital displays

Technology Labs

Computer Lab (Communication Instructional Resource Lab) (Taylor Hall)
The Computer Instructional Resource Lab provides students with dedicated space to work on course projects, meet in small groups, study, and relax between classes. The CIRL is located in Rm. 168 Taylor Hall.

Dr. Fred Endres Collaborative Lab – Virtual Reality (Franklin Hall)
New in 2018, the Dr. Fred Endres Collaborative Classroom in Franklin Hall is home to a virtual reality lab. The lab features equipment for 360, 3-D and motion capture video filming and editing. The lab space and equipment are currently used for post-production work on Kent State University Independent Films’ feature “Fly By Night,” by students in several digital sciences and digital media production classes and the Advanced Video Producing class. While open to students, work will continue on the lab throughout the Spring 2018 semester. It is expected to be completed by the end of term.  

VCD Computer Lab (Taylor Hall)
The School of Visual Communication Design understands the needs of our students. We offer a computer lab equipped with the latest 27-inch iMac Retina 5Ks. Our iMacs feature Intel Core i7, 16GB of 2400 MHz DDR4 RAM, and Radeon Pro 580 graphics card to handle the full extent of the Adobe Site.

Living, Learning & Advising

CCI Commons
 (Olson Hall)
CCI Commons is the central hub for activities and information related to the College of Communication and Information at Kent State University. Students in our community live with others who are studying the same major or similar fields of interest, allowing an open exchange of ideas and experiences that go beyond the classroom. 


Centralized Student Advising (Taylor Hall)
CCI students from COMM, VCD and Digital Sciences can meet with advisors to plan out their academic and career goals in our new central advising offices located in Taylor Hall.

Digital Media & Photography Facilities

VCD Photography Studios (Taylor Hall)
The School of Visual Communication Design offers four photography studios, containing top of the line camera equipment, including brand new state-of-the-art continuous LED lights and Dynalite’s new studio strobe kits. Our studios are designed to accommodate diverse content and working styles, from event photography and magazine or fashion shoots to art images, studio portraits and candid storytelling.

Student Resource Lab (Franklin Hall)

The Student Resource Lab (SRL) facility consists of two resource and equipment training suites where students can checkout one of the 1,500 pieces of equipment and receive extensive hands-on training. The SRL is impacting the learning experience of nearly every JMC student in every major across the School by providing them with training and equipping them with invaluable technical skills.


VCD Resource Center (Taylor Hall)
VCD students have access to the Visual Communication Design Resource Center, which includes a 44" color photo printer, two high-quality flatbed scanners, six large format ink jet printers, two brand new laser jet printers, a UV light unit, and a 3D printer. Students may also utilize our new online reservation system for free rentals of camera bodies, lenses, tripods, GoPros, Wacom tablets, iPads, various strobe lighting kits and more.

Digital Television Studio and Control Room
 (Franklin Hall)
Students learn and practice their craft in a $2.5-million television studio and control room. This state-of-the-art digital facility fully replicates what our students will find in professional TV studios and provides them with real-world opportunities to grow and develop in this multimedia age.

Student Media Newsroom
 (Franklin Hall)
The converged student media newsroom is more than 2,400 square feet, has about 50 workstations, a multimedia center and a wing for vodcasts. Working under one roof, the Kent Stater, TV2, and Black Squirrel Radio collaborate to produce KentWired.com.


Black Squirrel Radio Studio
 (Franklin Hall)
Black Squirrel Radio is Kent State’s student-run Internet radio station, with nearly 150 students on staff. It provides students with an opportunity to hone their on-air and management skills. The station usually offers more than 60 different specialty music programs, with student DJs in the booth until 2 a.m. every day. Our programming includes newscasts and live broadcasts of Kent State football and basketball games.
  Located in Franklin Hall.

    TeleProductions
 (Music & Speech Building)
    TeleProductions is Kent State University's full-service video production center. For 50 years, TeleProductions' professionals have provided the university and the surrounding community with a wide range of media services, technical and instructional support and award-winning video and audio productions. 


    Design & Gallery Spaces

    IdeaBase
/Glyphix (Downtown Kent)
    IdeaBase is a Kent State student-powered design agency located in downtown Kent, Ohio whose team represents a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, united in passion for creating meaningful solutions for clients. IdeaBase has an in-house eye-tracking lab that is primarily used for usability testing and research. 
Glyphix Studio is an award-winning, creative and collaborative classroom program that allows students within the School of Visual Communication Design the opportunity to engage in thoughtful client-based and self-guided investigation into design problems. With over 80 awards and more than 400 program alumni, Glyphix Studio has made its mark as a holistically unique space to create, inspire and excel.


    May 4 Visitor’s Center (Taylor Hall)
    Located in the former offices of the Daily Kent Stater in Room 141 of Taylor Hall, the center opened in 2013 to tell the May 4 story set against the political and cultural changes of the 1960s. Renovations to Taylor Hall in 2017 expanded the Center’s space to include more offices and the Reflections Gallery, a classroom and exhibit space that can accommodate tour groups.

    Taylor Hall Gallery (Taylor Hall)
    The School of Visual Communication Design is excited about our beautiful new gallery space in Taylor Hall. The 1,110 square foot event space features high ceilings, a customizable floor plan and professional-quality lighting, making it the perfect setting for a variety of artwork. Taylor Hall Gallery exhibitions showcase works from local, regional, national and international artists and designers, ranging across a variety of mediums, styles and subjects. Students also can show their own work in the gallery and see the work of our faculty in the stunning new space.

    Type High Press (Taylor Hall)
    The School of Visual Communication Design houses a 1,070 square foot letterpress lab with a sizable collection of metal and wood type, four flat-bed presses, two platen presses and a polymer plate maker. This unique lab is one of only a few in the country available for student experimentation with this traditional form of hands-on printing. It offers an opportunity for creative integration of various media in the printing process. Students in upper-level classes are able to explore materials and production processes that cannot be achieved through digital printing alone.

    Wallace J. Hagedorn Gallery (Franklin Hall)
    Just outside of FirstEnergy Auditorium in Franklin Hall, the Wallace J. Hagedorn Gallery features student work in photojournalism. It is named for Wallace J. Hagedorn, who established Kent State’s largest scholarship fund in 2014. The $4.2 million legacy gift supports photojournalism students’ tuition and portfolio-building experiences. 

    Research Facilities & Centers

    Center for the Study of Librarianship
 (Library)
    This unit of the School of Information was constituted in 1966 to provide consulting support for projects and products in libraries and information centers. Services include consultation with experts, project management, project design, data analysis and software evaluation. Through basic research in librarianship, the Center seeks to define and resolve problems facing Ohio libraries.


    iSchool Digital Laboratory
 (Library)
    Opened in 2010, the state-of-the-art Digital Laboratory was created to give students hands-on experience with digital library and digital preservation technologies. Read more about the research potential of this facility or contact iSchool Associate Professor Karen F. Gracy, Ph.D., at kgracy@kent.edu or 330-672-0049 for more information.


    Marcus Thomas Focus Group Room (Franklin Hall)

    Students in the advertising, public relations and electronic media classes are fortunate to have access to the focus group room to gain insights on audience attitudes and perceptions. The room’s observation area sports a one-way window and theater-style seating and is equipped with built-in cameras and microphones, flat-screen LCD TVs, projectors, wireless touch panels for controlling cameras, a DVD burner and a digital mixer. Professionals also use the space to conduct research. The room is named after Marcus Thomas, Cleveland’s renowned integrated marketing communications agency.


    MuseLab
 (Kent Library)
    Made possible by a generous grant from the Reinberger Foundation, the MuseLab is a creative and collaborative space for thinking, doing and learning about museal things. It exists to generate and inspire research on museality; to provide an atmosphere of innovation, creation and collaboration among faculty, students and community; and to have a place for museum studies students to put into practice skills and concepts they have learned in courses (on their own, in workshops or for research projects). The MuseLab consists of two exhibit spaces (a 20' x 20' Gallery space, and a 30' x 8' wall gallery display case), a well-equipped work area, and two storage facilities.

    Reinberger Children’s Library Center & Marantz Picturebook Collection
 (Kent Library)
    The Reinberger Children’s Library Center, a state-of-the-art research and teaching resource that opened in 2003, holds more than 7,000 books, including many picture books, teen books, award winners, popups and movables, board books and multimedia. It also houses the renowned Marantz Picturebook Collection for the Study of Picturebook Art, featuring more than more than 25,000 picture books from the past 40 years, as well as posters, original artwork, and character toys. 

    iSchool Usability Lab
 (Kent Library)
    The Usability Lab in the School of Information uses state-of-the-art technologies — including eye tracking, multiple camera views and detailed analysis software — to assess user behavior and interaction with a website or search engine, for example, to guide or improve its structure and architecture. The lab is used mainly by faculty and students in the Master of Science user experience design (UXD) concentration. It also is used by other faculty whose research can be assisted by this technology.

      User Experience (UX) Lab (IdeaBase, Downtown Kent)
      Located in Downtown Kent, the UX Lab at IdeaBase is used to conduct eye tracking and usability research for paid clients both in and outside of the university.  The lab also includes virtual reality (VR) headsets for checkout.