Three gifts in kind to the University of Wisconsin-Stout graphic communications department mean students will learn on the latest equipment and software.
Shaun Dudek, who will be UW-Stout’s graphic communications program director effective Monday, May 20, said the new equipment and software will be available for students starting in the fall semester.
“We want to make sure students find success in industry,” Dudek said, noting that by having the latest equipment graduates have seen an increase of $5,000 the past six years in average salaries. “Industry is recognizing we’re the premier graphic media and print production — which is graphic communications — leader in the Midwest.”
One gift in kind is from Konica Minolta Business Solutions, U.S.A. Inc. (Konica Minolta) of Ramsey, N.J., for the use of a digital press that will allow students to print items up to 13 inches by 19 inches with four-color process. The gift is valued at $70,000 and includes installation, training and service.
“This is higher quality and faster than what we have,” Dudek noted. As part of the gift, when Konica Minolta sells the digital press, it will replace it with a new one. “It is an ongoing partnership with Konica Minolta. That is key for sustaining our program.”
Dawn Nye, manager of solutions and services marketing for Konica Minolta, runs the company’s Production Print Future Industry Employee Program. “The graphic arts industry is going through a shortage of a skilled workforce, and this program is designed to help graphic communication educational programs teach with the latest digital presses to produce future employees,” Nye said.
The AccurioPress C2070 is 70-page per minute dry toner press. The unit includes a dual-scan document feeder, which allows documents to be scanned and printed or saved to PDF format. Its Fiery Image Controller has a video interface to adjust color, registration and workflow. The banner tray unit included in this configuration allows for banner printing as well as the ability to produce book jackets and tri-fold collateral. For finishing, a punch kit and saddle stitcher allow for making booklets and binder documents.
“Konica Minolta is proud to support the University of Wisconsin-Stout by providing their academic department with the latest digital printing technology,” said Dino Pagliarello, vice president of product management and planning. "The AccurioPress C2070 will allow graphic communication students to gain real-world experience by learning the tools of the trade. Combined with traditional academic theory, we hope the press will expand students’ experience and have a significant impact on their learning outcomes.”
Techkon of Danvers, Mass., has donated two licenses for Techkon’s ChromaQA cloud-based quality control software for students. ChromaQA provides a very cost effective and easy-to-use set of tools designed to monitor the color quality of jobs on press, reduce the number of remakes and deliver significant savings in ink and paper by detecting color problems early in the print production process.
The donation is $9,000 in software and a $1,000 a year maintenance fee gift.
“Techkon is driven by a strong commitment to education in print and related industries and continually supports initiatives to foster a valuable learning experience,” said Allison Lakacha, marketing manager for Techkon. “We feel that the GCOM program at UW-Stout aligns perfectly with our company and corporate values and wish to support them in educating the next generation of industry specialists. It will be invaluable for students in this field to understand and have worked with color quality software. The real world application of the concepts they are learning in the program will allow students a much broader view into many different aspects of color, print and the entire production process.”
X-Rite Inc. of Green Bay has donated an eXact Advance Spectrophotometer valued at $7,720. The portable device allows for color to be measured by the numbers, ensuring it’s consistent across printed media regardless of angle or texture. Consistency of color is sought in brand development, Dudek noted.
“All of the new donations will allow us to collaborate with different complementary majors,” Dudek said, noting for example packaging or business administration majors could consider the university’s new minor in graphic media and print production starting in the fall to give them an industry niche.
Graphic communications is used to communicate ideas, concepts, messages and instruction. The program, with a 99 percent employment rate for recent graduates, is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communications, an independent body of industry and education professionals devoted to promoting excellence in graphic communications. UW-Stout is the only such accredited program in Wisconsin, and there are only 12 in the U.S.
UW-Stout graphic communications student work on a paper cutter. The university has received three gifts in kind to ensure students learn on the latest equipment and software.
Shaun Dudek, who has been named the new program director of UW-Stout’s graphic communications department, talks with boy scouts in 2017 about the graphic communications program.
A graphic communications student inspects a press sheet. Students in the fall will be able to use a new digital press, quality control software and a spectrophotometer.