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by Brittany Yap, editor

M.A. COM student Stephanie Meisl has found a technology sanctuary on campus this semester where she can hone her graphic design skills and work on homework.

Meisl, a graduate student from Austria, spends nearly five hours, three days a week, in the University’s new Mac lab on the second floor of the downtown campus computer lab.

“ I love (the new Mac lab),” said Meisl. “I like the style of the Mac, the keyboard, the flat screen. I like it all.”

After graduation Meisl hopes to work in the graphic design industry. She said she is waiting for her Asus (an international electronic company) laptop to break so that she can buy an Apple laptop.

According to Rory Thein, director of Academic Computing Services, HPU purchased 40 Apple computers over winter break and installed 14 Mac Pro computers in the Mac lab and 26 iMacs in the FS 103 classroom. The University spent more than $75,000 on the new computers, Thein said.
“ The school has recognized that convergence is real,” said Jacquelyn Langley, program chair of the multimedia degree. “I am very grateful to have the new Mac lab.”

“ (The new lab) helps with a lot of projects I have for Web design,” said Gianna Hacker, a junior majoring in visual communication. “I have a Mac laptop, so (the Mac lab) makes it easier for me to do my work.”

According to communication Instructor Lewis Trusty, the communication department had a lot of support from other HPU departments for the new lab.

“ (The Mac lab) is good for students and their future,” Trusty said. He teaches video editing and added that a lot of the industry standards require students to know Final Cut Pro, a program that was created by Apple, Inc., and is compatible only with Apple computers.

“ We want to expand our video editing classes,” said Trusty. “We are now teaching at ‘Olelo and trying to set up our campus so we can start teaching here.”

Trusty has also noticed that many students are starting to purchase Apple computers.

“ Contrary to what many believe, the Mac lab isn’t just for the communication department,” said Lowell Ing, an assistant professor of communication, who teaches digital imaging and graphic design. Ing said that the education department uses Apple computers, and here in Hawai‘i, K-12 graders use Macs in the classroom.

“ I try to encourage my students to use the Macs and tell them that it’s a better computer for what they’re trying to do,” Ing said.

Langley hopes that HPU will continue to purchase Apple computers as the students’ need for them increases.

“ When you’re educating today’s students (Apple computers) are necessary,” Langley said. “It’s like having a pencil.”

The Apple Club

Abe Gruber, the president of the Apple Club and Apple campus representative for HPU, is very excited about the new Mac lab.

“ I think it’s a good first step,” he said, “but it still has a ways to go.”

Gruber started the Apple Club in fall 2006 semester. Approximately 30 people with different majors make up the club. Gruber said that the goal of the club is to bring together Apple enthusiasts to discuss and conduct events. Gruber said because HPU doesn’t have as many social events as other universities, he likes to use the club as a way to hold social gatherings for students. Last semester, the club gave away six iPod shuffles at a TGIF event sponsored by ASHPU.

Gruber plans to hold Mac training sessions for club members to learn more about how to use different programs on a their computer.

“ (The new Mac lab) makes you aware of the possibilities,” said Gruber.
To join the Apple Club, contact Gruber at agruber1@campus.hpu.edu.
Ku‘ulei Funn contributed to this article.




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