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April 14, 2013

Alum donates lighting to PSU

PLATTSBURGH — SUNY Plattsburgh’s television studios have $70,000 worth of new lighting, thanks to an alumnus and his company.

Litepanels Inc. and its vice president of global marketing, Chris Marchitelli, donated the lighting to help upgrade the Albert R. Montanaro Television Studios, home of the PSTV college TV station and a training ground for communication students.

Marchitelli, a 1994 Plattsburgh graduate who was active at PSTV during his student days, said he gave because of his affinity for his alma mater and the education received here.

“I don’t believe I would be where I am today without the experiences I had both on and off campus,” he said in a news release from the college.

“I believe that the access first-year students have to equipment for creation and broadcasting of original programming at PSTV is an anomaly in today’s educational system — one that I am only happy to help support.”

Litepanels Inc. is an Emmy Award-winning company that manufactures light-emitting diode lighting for video, still-photo and motion-picture production.

Based in Van Nuys, Calif., Litepanels was founded in 2001 by professional gaffers and engineers, who pioneered LED lighting for movies and the audio-visual industry.

Jon Chew, television studio manager at SUNY Plattsburgh, is installing the equipment and has already noted the difference between the new lights and the older quartz lighting.

“The smooth, soft LED lighting is really the future of studio television lighting, and the Litepanels lighting instruments are top of the line,” Chew said in a statement. “I’m confident that they will be of great value to students talking studio production classes and doing their shows.”

“There is no question that this gift will have an impact on the quality of our programs,” said Dr. Shakuntala Rao, chair of the Department of Communication Studies. “But that is not all. It also symbolizes the depth of the connection our alumni feel toward the department.”

Marchitelli said the gift honors PSTV’s past as it builds toward the future.

“PSTV has a great history of educating students on the latest technology and honing the skills that turn technology into great television. Tomorrow’s media industry leaders will now have a venue to experience the latest LED lighting technology first hand,” he said.

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