Tag Archives: Zane Cochran

Ed Catmull in HackBerry Lab

Zane Cochran, clinical instructor of creative technologies, discusses a project with Ed Catmull during his visit to HackBerry Lab.

Berry’s 2019 Gloria Shatto Lecture took place just three days prior to the Academy Awards, so it was only fitting that the speaker was someone whose work is synonymous with Hollywood’s ultimate honor – Ed Catmull, Pixar co-founder and former president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Addressing a near-capacity crowd of students and other guests gathered in the Cage Center arena, Catmull stressed the importance of fostering an environment where creativity can flourish. Ideas are fragile, he noted, and need proper care to grow.

“Everyone has the potential to be creative,” he said. “It is our job to unlock that potential.”

Catmull related that ideas often begin badly – even at Pixar – citing as an example the 2009 blockbuster Up, the original storyline for which was completely different from what wound up on screen. In fact, the only thing that survived the first rewrite was the name.

“Failure is a necessary consequence to trying something new,” he said. “Our goal is not to prevent mistakes but to fix them when they occur.”

While on campus, Catmull also took time to interact with students in HackBerry Lab, home to the college’s innovative creative technologies program.

This was the 10th Shatto Lecture, the endowment for which was funded by gifts to Berry’s Century Campaign to celebrate the life of the first woman to hold the title of college or university president in Georgia. Dr. Shatto served Berry with distinction from 1980 to 1998.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

RELATED COVERAGE: Ed Catmull brings Pixar magic to Berry

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HackBerry Lab Home Page
HackBerry Lab Open HouseIngenuity was the name of the game for approximately 90 students participating in this spring’s prototyping open house hosted by HackBerry Lab. More than 300 different innovations – each taking a half-semester to create – were displayed, incorporating everything from dance to video games to 3D printing.

Among the students showcasing new inventions were sophomores Joey Pratt and Paul VanWingerden, both majors in Berry’s innovative and fast-growing creative technologies program.

Intrigued by the concept of home automation, Pratt developed a device for residence hall doors that identifies the person entering and turns on the corresponding light. Now that he has a working proof of concept, he hopes to enhance his invention so that it not only controls the lighting but also sets the temperature to each individual’s preference.

VanWingerden, meanwhile, created “DJ Roomba,” a robotic vacuum cleaner (pictured) that is connected to a speaker so that it can flash in time to music as it rolls about the house. Inspiration was drawn from the television show Parks and Rec, but realization of the idea presented its share of challenges. Even on the day of his “reveal,” VanWingerden had to scramble to get his invention in working order after inadvertently destroying his lights while connecting them to a power source.

Zane Cochran, clinical instructor of creative technologies, was inspired by the collective creativity of the students participating in this year’s exhibition.

“It was, by far, our largest open house at HackBerry Lab,” Cochran said. “It has been great to see the creative technologies program grow at a record pace.”

Established in 2014, the program now includes 68 majors, ranking it 11th among all Berry majors. In the last year alone, the program grew 42 percent, and the average growth rate is 22 percent per semester. Learn more.

“I am delighted with the growth of the creative technologies major and pleased that we can provide a program that interests so many students,” said Dr. John Grout, Garrett professor of management and creative technologies. “We appreciate the support we have received from the college administration and the Campbell School of Business. The help of all the departments that offer courses in this interdisciplinary major has also been instrumental in meeting the growing demands of the program.”

Story and “D.J. Roomba” photo by student writer Kendall Aronson

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Lunar Lemon Racing

The Lunar Lemon van competes in the “24 Hours of LeMons” race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

Students in Berry’s creative technologies program are always looking for a challenge, so when the opportunity came to test their mettle in an endurance race for cars costing $500 or less, they couldn’t resist.

The result was the “Lunar Lemon,” a vintage Chevy Astro van purchased from Berry and fitted with wings and “rocket boosters” made of recycled materials. Its first outing didn’t quite go as planned – the vehicle failed to pass inspection on race day – but the student team led by Visiting Instructor Zane Cochran (with assistance from the Hatch Athens nonprofit group) was undeterred, working for 40 hours straight to get the Lunar Lemon ready for competition. Despite the late start, the Berry entry earned the “Eternal Optimist Award” from race judges after completing 95 laps (approximately 225 miles) without any mechanical issues, beating a number of teams that started a day earlier. Emboldened by the experience, the team is already planning another outing April 30.

Students Fixing Van

Students Jacob Ramsey and Chris Whitmire work on the interior of the Lunar Lemon.

Such hard work and resourcefulness are hallmarks of Berry’s groundbreaking creative technologies (CRT) major, the first undergraduate degree program of its type. Combining business, computing, engineering, manufacturing and hands-on design, the program provides students very real opportunities to give physical form to their most imaginative thoughts. Since its 2014 launch, CRT’s mix of high-tech creative tools and do-it-yourself ingenuity has become quite the draw for students, with 29 now majoring in creative technologies and others enhancing their Berry experience through classes such as vehicle prototyping and advanced robotics – so many, in fact, that the program’s HackBerry Lab recently moved into a new space near the Emery Barns.

“The projects I’ve done in creative technologies have taught me problem-solving strategies and given me mechanical experience,” said sophomore Jacob Ramsey, a management major and creative technologies minor. “But they also let my imagination have free rein.”

Rome News-Tribune: HackBerry Lab spurs student ingenuity

By Maxine Donnelly, philanthropic communications senior student writer

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Harrison Daniels

Berry's 3-D printing lab was just one stop on Harrison Daniels' path to LifeReady. Click the image to learn more.

In the August issue of the Alumni Accent, the release of Zane Cochran’s new book, The Beauty of Berry College, inspired us to poll the popularity of various Berry “gifts.” The No. 1 response was a weekend stay in the Guest Cottages with 41% of the vote. Next with 29% was one more year as a student on the world’s largest campus (My pick for sure!). Cheese made from Berry milk was third with 11%, followed by season tickets for football (8%), DVDs of movies shot on campus (7%) and corn mill ground at the Old Mill (4%).

This month, we turn our attention to the concept of LifeReady, the result of an education of the “head, heart and hands” and the theme of Berry’s fundraising campaign. Think back on your Berry experience. What most prepared you for life beyond the Gate of Opportunity? Scroll to the blog footer to give us your answer.

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The Beauty of Berry CollegeIf you’re a reader of Berry magazine or a routine visitor to the Berry website, then you know the work of photographer Zane Cochran. His distinctive images of the Ford Buildings, Oak Hill, the Old Mill, Frost Chapel and other Berry landmarks bring the campus to life for those who’ve yet to visit and touch the hearts of alumni and friends alike. Hundreds of these iconic photos are featured in Cochran’s new book, aptly named The Beauty of Berry College. Purchase your soft-cover edition for $25 through the Oak Hill Gift Shop. Better yet, order as a gift and share Berry’s beauty with others. Shop online.

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