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Founded in 2018 by Co-Directors Dr. Alisa Perren and Dr. Wenhong Chen, the Center for Entertainment & Media Industries (CEMI) was created to serve as the nexus point between industry and academy in the Moody College of Communication. CEMI actively fosters strong and symbiotic connections between the University, the Austin community, the UT student body, and industry leaders in media and technology. Through CEMI, students meet with and learn from industry leaders via speaker series; expand their on-the-job training via internships with distinguished corporate partners; liaise with innovative entertainment and media companies; and hear from top researchers on the latest developments in the global media industries. CEMI bridges college-to-career by placing students at the forefront of ever-evolving industries and offering the connections, experiences, and literacies that will further elevate their job preparedness and diversify their skill sets. CEMI is also focused on developing partnerships, initiatives, and research projects devoted to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in the media industries. 

Speakers

In conjunction with the Department of Radio-Television-Film, our Global Media Industries Speaker Series (GMISS) and Media Industry Conversations (MIC) speaker series welcome both researchers and professionals from the media, entertainment, and technology industries. Visiting speakers are invited to participate in our initiatives, give talks, answer attendees’ questions, and meet with students. Organized by Dr. Wenhong Chen, GMISS attracts top media and technology researchers from around the world to discuss the latest developments in the global media industries. Since fall 2017, GMISS has celebrated the work of 20+ world-class researchers. We are looking toward expanding our reach through developing a researcher-in-residence program. 

Dr. Alisa Perren and Associate Professor Cynthia McCreery also provide students the chance to engage with a wide range of industry professionals and to learn about the rapidly changing media landscape through their MIC speaker series. Since its inception in fall 2015, MIC has hosted 75+ speaker sessions with over 90 professionals from Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and everywhere in between. These speakers have shared their knowledge, insights, and experiences with countless students, enhancing their understanding of and interest in a broader range of career paths and companies. Through these two speaker series, students have also made pivotal industry connections that have led to mentorship, internship, and job opportunities. 

The work of CEMI will allow us to further build on the success of these existing programs and create new opportunities for our students. Through these initiatives, we are able to introduce UT students to new researchers, professionals, and industries each year, and vice versa. Given the importance of these connections, we are also broadening our reach beyond UT, making these invaluable resources available through our podcast and an upcoming textbook.

Students

In addition to MIC and GMISS, we expand students’ understanding of how the media and technology industries operate through our popular Media and Entertainment Industries minor. The fastest growing minor in the Moody College of Communication—serving 150+ students and counting—we offer deep-dive courses on specific industries and technologies as well as survey courses that showcase the breadth and diversity of work and workers in the media industries. 

After developing a comprehensive and current foundation through these courses, students can put their industrial knowledge into practice through our internship program. The first of its kind in the Austin area, CEMI’s Texas-focused internship program serves 50+ students each year and strengthens the Austin media and technology scene. In addition to advising students throughout their internship and instructing them on portfolios and professionalism, the CEMI internship program builds relationships with and introduces students to Austin-based media companies. 

Between our speaker series, minor courses, and internship opportunities, CEMI provides UT students with all of the tools they need to enter the industry when they graduate—a truth evidenced by our graduates now returning to give their own GMISS and MIC presentations!

Affiliates & Fellows

As a research center, we are focused on exploring the topics of convergence, location, and access in the media, entertainment, and technology industries. We are engaging in partnerships with faculty members and graduate students across the university to develop and promote a research agenda consistent with our mission. We also regularly appoint CEMI research fellows and affiliates to assist with the development and expansion of CEMI’s initiatives. If you are interested in becoming involved  as a fellow or affiliate, locating a subject matter expert, and/or engaging our affiliates and fellows on a research project, please contact our Program Director at cemi@austin.utexas.edu.

Partners

To advance our education, service, and research aims, we are partnering with media companies and professionals in the Austin area and beyond. These partners help us:

  • to fund and facilitate initiatives to diversify student internship experiences;
  • to develop and sponsor strategic engagements with Austin-based media industries; and
  • to support industry-focused graduate research and professionalization opportunities.

If you are interested in learning more about the internship program and/or partnering with us to place interns, please contact our Internship Director at RTFinternships@austin.utexas.edu. Also, if you are interested in partnering with and/or donating to CEMI, please contact our Program Director at cemi@austin.utexas.edu.

convergence

Convergence

exploring past, present, & future connections between the technology & media industries

location

Location

contributing to growing Austin—and Texas —as a vital hub for media & technology companies

education

Access

diversifying the media industries through experiences with & access to professionals

cemi

Education

training the next generation of media creators, executives, & industry researchers

Fall 2022 CEMI Events

Aug. 29 - Launching Your Career, Corporate Side (Panel)

Guests include Ben Harizman (Assistant, William Morris Endeavor), Daniel Tuggle (Chief of Staff, Moment), Hemrani Vyas (Assistant Manager of Programming, TCM), and Rachel Wang (Project Artemis, Office Production Assistant, Apple Studios).
5:00–6:15 pm CT

Sept. 9 - Robert Iger

Retired Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company

Sept. 12 - Launching Your Career, Screenwriter & Agent (panel)

Jim Ehrich (literary agent, Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston) & Cindy McCreery (RTF faculty member, Honey Girls)
5:00–6:15 pm CT

Sept. 19 - Dr. Thomas Schatz

Professor Emeritus, University of Texas at Austin
5:00–6:15 pm CT

Sept. 26 - Akilah Green

Writer-Producer, A Black Lady Sketch Show
5:00–6:15 pm CT

Oct. 3 - Andrew Wang

Head of Development and Production, Juvee Productions
5:00–6:15 pm CT

Oct. 4 - Elizabeth Avellán

"Producing Power and Change in the Texas and Hollywood Film Industries"
3:30–4:45 pm CT
Co-Sponsored with L-MAS, RTF, & Mexican American and Latina/o Studies

Oct. 10 - Jordan Levin

General Manager, Rooster Teeth
5:00–6:15 pm CT

Oct. 17 - Johannes Larcher

Head of HBO Max Global
5:00–6:15 pm CT

Oct. 24 - Barry Dale Johnson

Senior Vice President, National Publicity, Fox Searchlight
5:00–6:15 pm CT

Oct. 31 - Lucy Huang

Senior Production Executive, Amazon Studios
5:00–6:15 pm CT

Nov. 7 - Elaine Frontain Bryant

Executive Vice President & Head of Programming, A&E
5:00–6:15 pm CT

Nov. 14 - Entertainment Law (panel)

PJ Shapiro & Greg Slewett (lawyers and partners, Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole)
5:00–6:15 pm CT

Nov. 28 - Michelle Trujillo McKibben

Manager, Original Series Post Production at Netflix
5:00–6:15 pm CT