Category Archives: CMC & MGL Member Highlights

Convergent Media Collective & Media & Gaming Lab Member Highlights

GRAND STAFFORD THEATER TALENT SCOUT – ZAYNO RAYNE

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The Media & Gaming Lab is so proud to announce that our own Zayno Rayne is working as a Talent Scout for local Bryan/College Station venue the Grand Stafford Theater. Zayno has been a member of our lab for some time now and his goal from day one has been to make music and be part of the local scene. He has been interning with the Grand Stafford Theater for almost a year now, after soliciting them when our own Maxwell Burgess played a live show there last October and the Media & Gaming Lab provided photography and videography for the show.

Since that time Zayno has been making the connections, collaborating with and setting up the network needed for a college music night at the Grand Stafford Theater. This September 2023, Zayno, along with a network of current and former Media & Gaming Lab students along with others came together to create a team of producers, promoters, videographers, photographers, audio engineers and lighting to put on what I am calling “Grand Stafford Theater’s 2023 College night series.”

Check out this short video!

I (joey) was was able to check out one of the nights and heard two great bands, “Coaxial Wake” & “Blue House.” It was so cool to see a crowd with energy ready to engage with the bands, both of whom had some good chops and played some covers and also some originals, which I have to say I got to hear mostly Coaxial Wake’s original songs and wow were they good. They were also great at covering the Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Blue House covered some Eagles and Aerosmith and they rocked it as well. I wish I had been able to go to the Saturday 23rd and heard all those bands, like Maxwell Burgess’ “Working Hours” which he is a part of. Alas there is only so much time.

It was awesome to see 2am Productions, a video and photography production company started by former Media & Gaming Lab student’s Marco & Alazar at the event getting video coverage. They were able to make it to the first event as well and said it was great.

Behind the audio and lighting boards was Rolf, an audio engineering student who has been producing music for some time and is now getting fully immersed into live sound.

It was great seeing Zayno running the whole show, literally, going from the stage, to the back of the venue, to the front and upstairs, making sure things were good, even throwing trash away as he navigated the crowd.

The other key person in this in this collaboration has been Rob Hitchcock of the Grand Stafford, to say he has been facilitative is an understatement. He is the one who has allowed all this to happen there. THANK YOU ROB from all of us!

Overall it is amazing to see Media & Gaming Lab students running the GST College Night Series, I cannot thank all the support faculty, graduate and undergraduate students that have encouraged each other to reach for the stars and keep going. Specifically Kali Johnson, Jonathan Guajardo, William Connor Ph.D., Mathew Campbell Ph.D., Anthony Ramirez Ph.D., Rick Pulos, Sophie Villarreal, Maxwell Burgress and many others I am forgetting. Also the School of Performance, Visualization & Fine Arts faculty have been so supportive and collaborative throughout this past year, as we develop our relationship with them we will be posting more and more about their work with the lab, so stay tuned!

Anthony Ramirez & joey Present at Texas Tech

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Texas A&M Ph.D. Candidate Anthony Ramirez & Convergent Media member joey lopez recently presented “Critical Cultural Exploration of Video Game Stores Within Tejanx Communities” through Zoom at the Texas Tech Gaming Symposium – “The Hispanic and Latin American Video Gaming Experience: Imagery, Industry & Audience.”

The Symposium was awesome! While we had hoped to go in person, the hosts canceled in person when Texas weather decided to get crazy. You can check out the full article on Anthony’s blog where we published the paper, a podcast and our images from our research.

Click here for the Blog

The BMC Effect

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Back in the mid 2010’s CMC co-founder Jonathan Guajardo was attending the University of Incarnate Word. He had completed his bachelors and was accepted to their masters program. For his final project he created “The BMC Effect,” a thorough look at alternative pedagogical programs that led up to the creation of the Convergent Media program at UIW and hence The Convergent Media Collective. For whatever reason, this project was never shared here at the CMC website. So we are circling back 8 years later to celebrate, promote and encourage others to take Johnny’s work and build upon it. We are always looking for more ways of thinking about teaching and process when it comes to alternative pedagogy and project based learning.