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Collaborative Alumnus, Student Video Gives 360-Degree View of Bloomfield College

Ray Rivera Bloomfield College Alumnus

By Alicia Cook

This summer, Bloomfield College unveiled a new online, virtual 360 tour for visitors and prospective students. The interactive video, which offers online visitors a front row seat to the College’s beautiful campus, was created by alumnus Ray Rivera ’08 and Bloomfield College sophomore, Michael Stoess, and narrated by senior, Ke’Anu Sims.

Rivera, an Essex County native, graduated from Bloomfield College from the Division of Creative Arts & Technology (CAT) with a double specialization in Multimedia Design and Game Design. He is currently self-employed as a Multimedia Designer/Entrepreneur. Rivera works on a variety of projects from healthcare benefit apps to virtual reality tourism. Leading up to starting his own business, Rivera worked as a salaried professional for six years at IMP Digital, a digital production studio in Paramus.

“I began interning at IMP Digital the first semester of my third year at Bloomfield College and continued interning there for the next two years,” said Rivera. “By the time I was ready to graduate, there was an opening for a Multimedia Designer, which instantly was offered to me.”

The former Presidential Scholar was approached by current CAT student, Michael Stoess, about developing a 360-degree tour of the College campus when they worked together at the 2016 CAT Conference.

“At the conference we discussed the idea of Bloomfield College having a virtual tour so students who were unable to travel to campus for a tour would still be able to see the campus in a detailed setting,” explained Stoess, who studies Game Development at the College.

“After a few discussions about Michael’s concept, we prepared a presentation and pitched it to the Vice President for Enrollment Management, Adam Castro, and his team,” said Rivera. “They loved the idea and that’s when work began.”

The process began with Rivera, who has been drawing since he was a child, creating a few samples for Castro and his team. Next, Rivera and Stoess prepared a script for the tour as well as a story board. Once approved, the alumnus and current student began production, which required Rivera take 360 photography of all the campus locations then touch up and color correct the photos. While Rivera was processing the photography, the script and audio was being produced by Stoess and the Bloomfield College Marketing department. The final script was then recorded by Ke’Anu Sims, a Broadcast Journalism major at the College.

“Working on the tour was so much fun. I was extremely excited to get such a great opportunity,” expressed Sims, who will be graduating this May. “I loved working with Ray and Michael because they are a part of my Bloomfield College family.”

Once all assets where prepped and ready, Rivera brought everything together to produce what is now the final 360 Campus Tour video which appears on the College’s website and YouTube channel.

“Everything we did for the project was a learning experience and nothing ever felt unimportant or tedious,” said Stoess. “While working on the project, I was always excited to wake up and start the day, it really showed me that this is the career I truly wish to pursue.”

“This was honestly a humbling experience and just proves that if you work hard, opportunities will open up for you,” added Sims.

This hands-on collaboration between an alumnus and current students is not something you see every day, and that, according to Rivera, is what makes Bloomfield College so special.

“Bloomfield College exposed me to the many tools I needed to forge a career. The College also provided me with knowledge on how to present myself, my ideas, and carry myself professionally. I left the College confident and ready to take on the real world,” stated Rivera. “Working with both Michael and Ke’Anu was a great experience. They are both very energized and passionate individuals who have bright futures ahead of them.”