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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Get To Know LATIS’s Laura Cervin

Name: Laura Cervin

What is your educational background? Bachelor of Arts in Theater, University of Minnesota

When did you start working at UMN?  As a student in 1999, then on and off as a freelancer, and full-time starting in 2007.

What is your current job title and describe what you do ? Coordinator of Media Services. I oversee LATIS Video Services which is comprised of the TV studios and video equipment checkout center in Rarig Center, and also video production services for CLA. I also coordinate the Digital Content Library team, who maintain the DCL.elevator online library. The DCL is also growing as part of the LATIS Labs initiative and we are delving into the makerspace/Internet of Things realm - virtual reality, drones, programmable devices, 3D imaging and scanning, etc.

What is your favorite accomplishment with LATIS, so far?
The new checkout center and computer lab in 640 Rarig Center we launched in 2015. It has really grown from being housed in the corner of an office, to crammed into a small room, and is now a large, cozy yet bustling space.

What advice do you have for LATIS constituents who are intimidated by technology?
We are all learning!  With the rate of change in technology these days, it’s pretty rare that anyone’s an expert anymore. One of my favorite descriptions of our Labs employees is “co-explorers.” Everyone has unique perspectives that contribute to solving a problem, and yours is just as valuable in applying to technology. Don’t be afraid to try something out, ask those who may have had some experience in a similar area, and be prepared to try things more than once. You might just discover something you weren’t even looking for along the way.

What do you consider to be a best kept secret about the U?
I don’t know about best kept secret, but there are some random nuggets I like to share with new undergrads. Like, did you know the circular plaza right outside Wilson Library is a sundial? You stand in the center and your shadow tells the time. I also make everyone stand in the very center of the amphitheater between Ferguson and Anderson halls and shout. Try it - you’ll see why.

What do you do for fun?

I love yard work! I’m creating an “edible urban forest” in my backyard. It is a huge work in progress. I gave up on raising chickens (never started, actually,) but maybe bees are in my future.     

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