July 12th, 2024

New college grad calls VR program a form of art

By Lethbridge Herald on October 17, 2023.

Herald photo by Steffanie Costigan Marko Hilgersom, chief marshall and registrar, carries the ceremonial mace into convocation ceremonies Saturday. The mace symbolizes the internal authority of president and board of governors.

Steffanie Costigan

This year’s Lethbridge College fall convocation celebration had many bright and talented students completing their programs, all looking forward to a bright new start. 

Raphael Aubut was one among the graduating students who completed his certificate in Virtual and Augmented Reality. He shared his experience in the program before Saturday’s ceremony in the Val Matteotti Gymnasium at the college.

“The program was really hands-on. So it was really during the whole year, I felt like I was getting more experience already. It’s not like a classic program where you listen to the teacher explain you the theory, and then you do the practice, or you exercise your theory in real life after the program,” said Aubut.

He was among 500 students who received their degrees, diplomas, certificates and apprenticeship credentials this month from the college.

 About 150 crossed the stage on Saturday morning.

Aubut – who was the featured graduate – completed his studies with a perfect four-point GPA graduating with honours with great distinction. 

He said the program is a form of art but not for everyone.

“I will say the program is art. So that’s something we want to say. But the program is really hard. It’s not for people who just want to add the certificate. And at the end, say ‘I have this certificate, I’m gonna get a job.’ This program is also teaching you how to learn in general, teach you how to keep updated in the technology,” expressed Aubut.

Aubut said he travelled from Quebec, having already completed his degree in administration before coming to study Virtual and Augmented Reality at Lethbridge College. He said he learned English from friends and video games and had a passion for VR, feeling it could be the next form of internet. 

“I was learning English from video games, YouTube and friends. And I was always with technology. And after my degree, I decided to look for VR, and just in general, learning more about this technology to push this to the next level, because right now we see this technology as a gaming site. But I was seeing this as the next internet.”

Aubut shared his goals moving forward now that he has completed his studies and the opportunities before him.

 “My goal is to push this technology, where I think it should be, which is a lot further,” said Aubut.

His efforts have already landed him work – at the college.

“I got a job where I’m working in start a research department in Lethbridge College where we are doing research in VR, all the technology,” said Aubut.

Aubut described a virtual reality he created for individuals to be able to experience being in the coulees and hearing the sound of birds singing.

 He said even though the program was one year he feels the workload was as heavy as his previous three-year degree.

“When I came here, even though it’s only one year, I put almost the same amount of work in the three years combined with my degree. At the end, even though it was one year, it was really good. And I really felt accomplished after what I’ve done.”

Aubut voiced the enjoyment he experienced while studying and completing his program.“Just a really good way of teaching. 

“Not only the technology, but just in general, it was interesting. It was fun. It was when I was doing stuff, I felt it’s going to be useful because I was able to see the result,” said Aubut.

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