Spaniards at Cogswell
This summer Cogswell Polytechnical College hosted five students from Spain's Universidad Francisco de Vitoria School of Cinematography and Multi Media. The quintet, four women and one man, were in residence from June 26 to August 9 and took accelerated classes in animation and game design. In addition, the group visited some of the Bay Area's world-famous animation and game studios including: Pixar, PDI, Electronic Arts, Double Fine Productions, The Multiverse Networks and Santa Cruz Games.
"This collaborative partnership with the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria is quite an honor for us," said Dr. Chester Haskell, President of Cogswell College. "This summer's program is the first concrete step under an agreement reached in 2007, to be followed by undergraduates from Spain studying in Cogswell's regular program and, eventually, Cogswell American students studying in Madrid. The goal is to provide students with an opportunity to study in each otherís facilities and experience each otherís cultures."
In 2006, representatives of the Universidad identified Cogswell as one of the leading American institutions of higher education in the digital media area and visited Sunnyvale to explore the possibility of creating a partnership. Dr. Haskell then visited their campus in Madrid to meet with their Rector and institutional leaders. One of Cogswell's faculty members, Max Sims, spent a year in Spain teaching Digital Content Creation to government, companies and academe.
"We are really looking forward to studying the 3D modeling program, since we will be studying that next year in school", said Ana. "Esther, Maria and I are studying IT and are the only women in the program, so this is a great opportunity for us."
The students' curriculum includes classes in Game Development, Pre-Visualization for Film & Game and a Production Facility Seminar. In addition, the World Building class examines the production, technologies and the business of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs). They created and presented a small virtual world to Multiverse team members to receive industry perspective on their work. Multiverse is a Mountain View-based company whose virtual world development platform enables independent development teams to create MMOGs and other virtual worlds, including those for social, educational and business applications.
The Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, a relatively new institution, is focused on preparing students for careers in professional fields such as communications, nursing, and television and radio production. One of its fastest growing programs is digital animation, due to numerous opportunities in Spain and Europe for individuals properly prepared for digital media industries.