Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fairmont State University will host a special event premiering a new promotional video for the University’s Open Source Intelligence Exchange (OSIX).

The premiere party for “The OSIX Experience” will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13. The event is open to the public and will begin with a reception in the main entrance of the Engineering Technology Building, located on the shared main campus of Fairmont State and Pierpont Community & Technical College. Signs will direct guests to the reserved event parking.

Following the premiere party, the film will be accessible on the Fairmont State web site at www.fairmontstate.edu.

OSIX is the laboratory and applied research component of Fairmont State’s National Security and Intelligence Program. “The OSIX Experience” shows the type of intelligence gathering and analysis in which the OSIX student-analysts are involved by chronicling the OSIX team’s efforts as they provided real-time intelligence support to the West Virginia Fusion Center during President Barack Obama’s 2010 visit to Beckley.

“The OSIX Experience” was produced by Allegheny Image Factory, with Robert Tinnell serving as the film’s writer, director and producer, and Jeffrey Tinnell serving as the producer. The film runs approximately 10 minutes.

“We could not have told the OSIX story in such a meaningful way without Bob and Jeff’s expertise, and we greatly appreciate the fact that they went above and beyond our expectations to make this film truly special,” said Dr. Fred Fidura, Interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement for Fairmont State. “Quite frankly, we are blessed to have this level of support from our talented alumni.”

The Office of Institutional Advancement, in collaboration with the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc., and the FSU College of Liberal Arts, commissioned the creation of the film to showcase the OSIX program.

“We were excited as a company for the opportunity to show folks in the region just what we are capable of as narrative storytellers,” Robert Tinnell said. “ ’The OSIX Experience’ was the perfect vehicle for us to showcase our Hollywood-style abilities because it was such a compelling story to begin with. We shot it and cut it like an action movie because the story deserved that treatment.”

“As a cutting-edge production company, we have to be looking at new ways to get a client’s message out,” Jeffrey Tinnell said. “In addition to promoting an interesting aspect of Fairmont State University, this production for us was a great way to establish a proof of concept for this manner of storytelling.”

The National Security and Intelligence program, the only one of its kind in West Virginia, provides the necessary background for students to pursue careers as research or intelligence analysts in government agencies and private enterprise. NSI students are handpicked and rigorously screened to participate in OSIX.

The West Virginia Research Trust Fund selected OSIX to participate in a matching grant challenge for up to $100,000. Also known as "Bucks for Brains," the Research Trust Fund was established in 2008 to fund STEM-related (science, technology, engineering and math) research.

The grant supports the development of the New Media Assessment Project. The project is designed to accomplish the following: capture large amounts of national security-related content from new media applications such as Twitter, social networking sites and discussion boards; parse and database that content into a networked storage system; and apply a variety of search, visualization and automated warning tools to the content in order to generate new knowledge about national security and law enforcement threats.

“The New Media Assessment Project will benefit the university and its students, the state of West Virginia and the nation,” said OSIX Director David Abruzzino. “Police and intelligence agencies across the country are just beginning to recognize the importance of monitoring new media, but most lack the skills and resources to do so effectively. This project will allow our students to become leaders and experts in a lucrative and rapidly growing field.” 

For more information about OSIX or the NSI program, visit www.fairmontstate.edu or contact Director OSIX David Abruzzino at david.abruzzino@osixonline.org. For more information on how to support the matching grant, contact Dr. Fred Fidura, Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement, at ffidura@fairmontstate.edu.