What is New Media?! Q&A’s from a fourth-year New Media student

My name is Melissa Roopnauth, and I am a fourth-year New Media student at Ryerson University.

How would you describe your program to someone who knows nothing about it?

The question, “what is New Media?” is a question myself and all the New Media community ask ourselves every now and then. Well, let me start to answer. The New Media program is part of the RTA School of Media in the Faculty of Communication and Design. From this program, I was taught how to communicate storytelling across a wide variety of mediums from radio, to video, to computer programming, game design and even robotics! The array of mediums we learn allows us to bring our imaginations to life in the most creative of ways. From this program, I will gain a Bachelors of Fine Arts, but I will be walking away with so much more. The program focuses on entrepreneurship throughout years one through four, teaching young new media artists, such as myself, to take up gallery spaces in even crowded cities like Toronto.

What is your favourite thing about your program?

My personal favourite thing about the New Media program is the community. In our school we have a Makerspace, which is an open creative space where students are free to work anytime, day or night when campus is open for students. This is a place where students really get to interact and get help with their projects from both students in upper years or their professors. The space also has snacks stocked up on a weekly basis, so that is another reason to hang out there. If you would like to see what I mean, you can check our Instagram page and see the friendly community members, I’ve mentioned, and also see the creative projects we work on.

What is your favourite thing about Ryerson?

One of my favourite things about Ryerson is the amount of support it offers its students in any regard. For me, the great help I got was from the Career Boost program. Ryerson offers diverse campus jobs for its students, with flexible hours. Students can get jobs within their program which helps them learn more about the curriculum. Many of my friends have worked as Makerspace helpers and Code Coaches, which is essentially a tutor for computer programming.

What has been your greatest accomplishment so far in your program?

New media hosts award ceremonies for its many talented students to recognize and celebrate their imaginative projects. The Tara Awards ceremony is one of these events. To win a Tara Award students must submit documentation of their work that was made for a class project for consideration. The winners are selected by alumni and professors. Students from any year are eligible to win, and there are many categories. I won a Tara award in my second year of the program for the Best Project category, and I would say it is my greatest accomplishment.

What has been your favourite class that you’ve taken?

My favourite class from the program would definitely be Tangible Media, where I was able to build robots for the first time. It was so much fun!

Has your perception of your program changed from the beginning of the first year to now?

My perception of the program has remained consistent throughout years one through four. I am always excited to go to my classes with the certainty I will be learning something new or creating something unique.

What is your advice for future students in your program?

My advice to future students is to understand that with any creative project there is no need to compromise your expectations. You can make it happen, and you have a whole community behind you to help.

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