Campus Life

New media students look to space

Faculty of Fine Arts New Media majors, Jeff Heaney and Jena Murray, have accepted offers to do their internships with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in Montreal starting in January 2011.

The pair is the latest group of University of Lethbridge students to receive a prestigious internship appointment with the Canadian Space Agency. They are the fifth and sixth students from the new media program to be offered internships with the CSA since summer 2007.

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Jeff Heaney and Jena Murray have earned internships with the Canadian Space Agency.

The students were understandably thrilled with the news they would be working in such a unique and challenging setting.

"I'm so excited," says Murray, who is from Lomond, Alta. "This is a great opportunity to experience something new. I'm eager to learn as much as possible and advance my skill set as far as I can. I'm very grateful for the chance to work at the Canadian Space Agency and know it's going to be life changing."

The Canadian Space Agency internship is a program that is interested in 3D modelling and simulation for the purpose of tracking and developing things like satellite simulations and creating works in 3D to be used by the engineers and scientists working there.

"I originally heard about the program through our New Media Internship professor, Anna Pickering," says Heaney, who is from Water Valley, Alta. "Over the course of October, I worked with her on developing my portfolio and resumé to apply to the position. Apparently they found my skills and Jena's to be very complementary, so we both were accepted, me for my experience in simulation and physics, and her for her skill in modelling in a 3D environment."

Heaney says he never envisioned such an opportunity was available when he began his undergraduate studies.

"When I first came to the University to work on my new media degree, I never could have guessed that it would end with me getting a position with the Canadian Space Agency."

It is a big move from Lethbridge to Montreal, and having two students go at the same time will help them both adjust to life in the 'big' city.

"Leaving behind much of my life to move to Montreal is a bit daunting, but incredibly exciting at the same time," says Heaney.

Murray agrees, adding that it's not just a matter of being comfortable in a new city, but having a familiar face with a similar background will likely help with their studies as well.

"I'm so glad that Jeff will be experiencing this with me," she says. "It'll be nice that we'll have one another to lean on during our time in Montreal."

BFA New Media students have the option to choose an internship or participate in an Advanced Studio class in their final year of study.

"The internship enables students to make connections in the industries where they want to pursue a career," explains Anna Pickering, the internship co-ordinator. "It also provides the opportunity to experience challenging and relevant work related to their school studies, and quite often leads to future employment opportunities."

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