Posted: March 31, 2010
By Magdalena Georgieva '10
When Allison Williams '10 saw the documentaries produced by the Media Education Foundation (MEF) in Northampton, she knew she wanted to get involved with the organization. In January 2010, she became a production intern at the MEF, an experience that enabled her to piece together the puzzle of academic interests and extracurricular activities.
"I am glad to know the work I am doing could influence other people the way the MEF movies have influenced me," said Williams, a gender studies major with a minor in Spanish. "It was their movies that made me want to look into the internship."
As a cochair of Every Body, a student organization that promotes positive body image, Williams viewed many MEF films discussing the implications of media representations in the public sphere. "You don't really realize how media affect you," Williams said.
Now as a production intern at the MEF, however, she examines exactly that subject. Williams is helping out in the production of Tough Guise II, a documentary about masculine identity, and doing research for another film project about food marketing. She transcribes interviews, monitors media, and sifts through archival data to find information relevant to the organization's video projects. For the second movie, for instance, Williams is browsing through food ads and picking the ones MEF's producers might use in the editing process.
Williams believes that such documentaries lead to fruitful discussions in the classroom. Unsurprisingly, the production internship became an instant sandbox for her academic interests. In her gender studies field placement course this semester, Williams and her classmates engage in weekly discourses about their internships. The students are required to apply gender theory to their work experiences.
"The point is to see gender everywhere, from all different perspectives," Williams said.