In addition to celebrating Pacific’s 164th birthday, this year marks the tenth anniversary of the formal opening of the Berglund Center for Internet Studies.
Although electronic learning, computer science and media arts all had a place in Pacific’s curriculum prior to the beginning of the Berglund Center, alumni, Drs. Mary and James Berglund, felt the university should have a program dedicated more specifically to the impact of the internet. The Berglunds were able to provide a very generous grant so that the department could develop its place in the university.
Alongside the celebration of the department’s establishment, the Berglund Center is also proud to look back on ten years of successfully producing their own electronic and hard copy journal, Interface.
Director of the Berglund Center, Jeffrey Barlow, said he thinks that over its ten years, Interface undoubtedly has left a “considerable footprint, electronically.”
Not only do staff members of Interface learn how to submit, edit and publish their own and others’ work for online research purposes, but they also are using the internet resources so the journal entries can be published as a hard copy as well that Interface produces annually.
Barlow said he feels that the most important success of the center is what it has done for students after graduation. The mission of the program, according to Barlow, is to “make sure our students get jobs when they graduate.” Although this task may sound a bit obvious for a university, students who have worked with the Berglund Center prove that it accomplishes its goal.
Not only does the center currently employ 18 Pacific students of all different areas of study, but alumni have gone on to pursue a variety of different careers, from working with web producers for Oregon Public Broadcasting to having their articles published and sold. According to Barlow, many students have gone on to work in the fast-developing market in China.
There have also been cases where students have interned at businesses who have had a speaker to participate in one of the six “round table discussions” that the Berglund Center hosts throughout the school year. Speakers from a variety of businesses are invited to speak to students at the round table discussions on how the internet has affected the working of their company’s business. The round table speakers ranged from people from Intel to an online book review site.
To further encourage students to pursue their interest in the impact of the internet, the Berglund Center annually awards four Pacific students a $1,250 fellowship. In order to receive one of these fellowships, the students are required to take on a research project, with a topic of their choosing, but the topic has to specifically connect how the internet has affected it and will continue to affect it. Two of these fellowships are also offered to faculty members.
Each of these research projects are published in Interface’s electronic and hard copies.
Barlow said in order to create avenues for students no matter their academic interest, the key is to “use resources we’ve developed to celebrate more.”