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The Nine 2022: Joshua Foster

Joshua Foster
(Image credit: Future)

Title: Manager, Learning Space Design

Company: Indiana University

Location: Bloomington, IN

Overtime: When not at work, Joshua Foster spends time with his wife and two kids, getting outside to enjoy all that nature has to offer.

Why You Need to Know Him: In an industry where technology advances rapidly, Joshua Foster makes it a priority to seek out the latest technology for Indiana University’s students, teachers, and staff.

“I am the type of person who reads every forum, spec sheet, and manual to find that one certain product or feature to make the system better for the end user and support team,” he said. “I strive to make every design and program better than the last, and my top priority is focusing on the end user experience and the system as a whole.”

After graduating from Florida’s Full Sail University in 2007 with an associate’s degree in recording arts, Joshua Foster began his professional AV career at the nearby Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. He worked as an entertainment technician managing theatrical lighting, pyrotechnics, and show audio mixing for dinner shows, musical theater, and live events.

I love the freedom networking has brought to AV. My passion especially lies in control and audio on the network, which drives forward my designs and programming.

During that time, he ran a range of Yamaha sound boards, and set up and managed line arrays, speakers, and wireless microphone systems. He also learned how to operate scissor, vertical, fork, and high reach lifts. “I especially enjoyed learning how to do AMX programming, audio DSP configuration, and network audio setup and troubleshooting,” he added.

In 2012, Foster left Disney to spend two years as an audio systems engineer with Brigham Young University, followed by two years as an applications engineer with Crestron Electronics. He then joined Indiana University Bloomington and worked his way up the AV ladder.

In April 2020, Foster was promoted to manager of learning space design. “My top priority in my current role is to lead my team in setting the AV standards for Indiana University,” he said. “We are focusing on standardizing the AV infrastructure, design, and end user experience for all AV systems in our classrooms, conference rooms, and specialty spaces. I love looking at where technology is going in the future, and leading the charge to take our programming and design to the next level.”

He also leads in developing and building Indiana University’s formal and informal learning space designs, a process that encompasses determining which spaces to renovate or build new, as well as coordinating with key stakeholders on campuses to get their input and support. Foster acts as project manager on these projects, often many at the same time.

Somewhere in all of this work, Foster finds time to further his education and accreditations, and play a constructive role in advancing the state of the AV industry. “I hold 29 AV certifications including Crestron Certified Masters Programmer, AVIXA CTS, and Q-SYS Audio and Control certificates,” he said. “I am also a participant in the HETMA [Higher Education Technology Managers Alliance] group and AVIXA InfoComm presenters.”

Despite these responsibilities and commitments, Foster has not lost his passion for AV, and looks forward to whatever new advances may be in the pipeline. “I love the freedom networking has brought to AV,” he offered. “My passion especially lies in control and audio on the network, which drives forward my designs and programming.”

Foster is also eager to find and foster new talent in the AV world, and to help them succeed through the benefit of his knowledge and experience. “As a current manager, I'm always looking for a young professional who is willing to learn and has a strong work ethic,” he said. “When I entered the field, I focused on working hard, seeking to learn, and advocating for myself. When my interests went beyond the opportunities available in my role, I dedicated personal time to learning new skills. I would advise those that are new to the AV industry to do similarly, as it has served me well.”

Meet the rest of The Nine. (opens in new tab)

James Careless is an award-winning freelance journalist with extensive experience in audio-visual equipment, AV system design, and AV integration. His credits include numerous articles for Systems Contractor News, AV Technology, Radio World, and TV technology, among others. Careless comes from a broadcasting background, with credits at CBC Radio, NPR, and NBC News. He currently co-produces/co-hosts the CDR Radio podcast, which covers the Canadian defense industry. Careless is a two-time winner of the PBI Media Award for Excellence.