DN Online  http://media.www.bsudailynews.com/media/storage/paper849/news/2007/11/01/News/Cmd-Raises.Bsu.National.Profile-3070550.shtml

by Keenan Wilson and Andrea Zeek

The Center for Media Design opened a new facility Tuesday in New York City, giving Ball State University a presence in the metropolis, which is largely known as the media center of the U.S.

Mike Bloxham, CMD director of insight and research, said the new Media Insight Center would concentrate on a variety of media research, including usability, design and emerging medias.

CMD Executive Director David Ferguson said the expansion into the city will serve to greatly increase Ball State’s national profile as a leader in the media research field.

“We already had a reputation, and by us solidifying it by being in [New York City], it only further solidifies Ball State as a legitimate player in the applied media research world,” Ferguson said.

Bloxham said research at the center would be centered around how people interact with different forms of media, such as computers, TV or cell phones, so that corporations would have research to develop new user-friendly products.

Ferguson said companies with whom Ball State already has previous research relationships encouraged the CMD to start a facility in New York. The site would compliment existing facilities on campus and in Indianapolis, he said.

“The major corporations that we’re working with in New York City … were saying to us that, although they like the two Midwestern sites they believe there are other opportunities open to us [in the city],” Ferguson said.

Bloxham said although Thursday was the facility’s official opening, the center had already worked with a few clients in the city including the Home Shopping Network, ABC and Vongo.

The new facility was jointly opened with Schematic, a media design company that specializes in on-screen design, Bloxham said. He said Schematic helped to cover some of the costs of the new center, and other costs were covered as part of the $20 million Digital Exchange initiative from the Lilly Endowment Inc.

The facility also will serve as a gateway for Ball State students seeking an internship in the city, or even with Schematic, Bloxham said. He said it gave students an opportunity to work in a different environment than Muncie.

“[The center] raises our profile and enhances our reputation to a national degree,” Bloxham said.