Events News

FAMU STEM DAY brings attendees face to face with VR, immersive media


At Saturday’s FAMU STEM Day, attendees discovered the intersection between journalism and technology.  

After being greeted by “meta guides” (SJGC volunteers), attendees took their seats for an interactive session led by SJGC alum L. Michelle Salvant, LMichelleMedia, in the SJGC Lecture Hall. The company currently works in partnership with SJGC instructing Living-Learning Community students. Salvant presented three different types of media: virtual, augmented, and assisted reality.

L. Michelle Salvant of LMichelleMedia

“I’m always excited to introduce new ways of communicating that offer practical use cases and simplify the onboarding process for users,” Salvant said.

SJGC Dean Mira Lowe virtually welcomed attendees via augmented reality. They were able to scan a QR code with their phones and bring up a pre-recorded video of Lowe.  In the video, the dean urged attendees to use technology to “tell your story or communicate your message to the world.”

In addition, some participants had their first brush with virtual reality. Salvant gave demos on Meta’s oculus virtual reality headsets. Professors Chandra Lanier and Aleya Bradley were also in attendance and brought SJGC students with them.  

“We can’t afford to be left behind,” Lanier said.  

Near the end of the session, freshman LLC student Janelle Seads shared her experience using assisted reality with Smart Glasses.

“I was able to live more in the moment while also capturing moments I would have missed.”

One chaperone commented on having her perspective shifted about different types of reality. 

“Before coming I was against VR. Now having had the experience, I’m open to it,” said Neci Williams, science teacher From Ribault high school in Jacksonville, Fla. 

Williams using the Oculus VR headset

After the session, faculty, staff, and students from J-school headed to Al Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center. Middle and high school students swarmed SJGC’s table at the event.  Salvant gave more VR demos to students and provided information about all of SJGC’s division programs.  

“The next era of communications is not what you’ve heard but what you experience. I’m happy to be a bridge to future communicators as they explore this emerging tech.”

She added, “The response from participants really made me feel like it was a mission accomplished.”

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