Volume 9, Issue 1
Chief Engineer Michael Gervais earns degree
Chief engineer Michael Gervais might be considered a man for all seasons when it comes to public service — volunteer firefighter, reserve police officer, and emergency communications operator; now there is one more line to add to his résumé: UL Lafayette Communication graduate.
After nearly 15 years at KLFY TV-10, Gervais took over equipment operations for the Department in 1999. Soon after that, he decided it would be a good time to complete his degree plan. In May, Gervais joined the class of 2008, and now is looking forward to the next step in his academic career by applying to the graduate program.
“Although I don’t want to teach full time, I would like to instruct an occasional class in the future. I figured that getting a degree in the same program would be beneficial,” said Gervais.
During his time away from the university, Gervais serves as a nationally registered Emergency Medical Technician and works events at the Lafayette Cajundome and Convention Center. Each fall, he returns to his work as a television technician by assisting the UL football coaches and equipment manager in setting up and maintaining the wireless intercom system for both home and away games.
As chief engineer, Gervais is in charge of specifications, purchasing, installation, maintenance, and inventory of nearly every piece of equipment for the Department of Communication. He not only oversees the V.L. Wharton Hall facilities, but also the Audio Annex and the Conference Center Macintosh computer lab.
When Gervais is not fixing equipment or assisting instructors, he is always looking at future purchases that will help the department grow. With his depth of technical knowledge and expertise, Gervais assists the Communication faculty in writing successful grants, including the Student Technology Enhancement Program (STEP) and the Board of Regents Support Fund (BoRSF).
Through his technical specifications, Gervais has helped Dr. Bill Davie and other broadcast faculty move the Audio Annex from a rundown analog facility to the 21st century and keep pace with changing digital technologies, and have also moved classes in the broadcasting sequence from outdated analog S-VHS cameras and linear editing systems, to cameras that record both on tape and solid state chips, cameras that can record in high-definition, and the latest Avid non-linear editing systems utilizing a video server.
Even though Gervais has traveled abroad to Europe with the university over the past two summers, and before that visited countries around the world with KLFY-TV, he says there really is no place like UL Lafayette. “The same friendly attitude exists from the cleaning crews that sweep the floors all the way to the president’s office,” which is one reason why he is glad to be a graduate of the school.