A Healing Lens

Mentorship helped me resolve a conflict between a financially secure career choice and exploring my artistic practice and identity.

Major: Film Studies

Nexus: Art & Society Nexus

Internship: CityArts, on-site project internship

Employer: KidZone TV, Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital, New York.

Graduate Program: Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, City University of New York.

I transferred to Mount Holyoke from a community college in Seattle, and knew for sure I was drawn to artistic expression and human services. After taking courses in philosophy, psychology, and anthropology, I found the best fit for me in a video production class.

I remember struggling at the time with a conflict between what I thought the purpose was of obtaining a college degree (a practical stepping stone to a financially stable career) and an instinct to explore and develop my artistic practice and identity.

It was hard for me to consider that perhaps there is a way to combine “practical” with the arts and creative expression. A mentorship with my video production instructor, Bernadine Mellis, impacted me in a deeply empowering way to address this conflict with which I struggled. She encouraged me to explore the possibilities of merging the arts with service for others.

My motivation to help others express their voice as a means of healing and self-discovery, and the draw to develop my own voice, evolved throughout that mentorship. My creative pursuits were not only a means of personal exploration and discovery, and thus of healing; they also became a way to help others achieve the same result.

To apply creativity to improving the well-being of others, I chose a special minor in Arts and Society. I turned my production projects into collaborations with the people about whom I had chosen to make short character-driven documentaries for some of my course assignments. Since completing my studies, I have been fortunate to be able to channel my creative proclivities into helping others in a professional environment.

I practice video and television production within a therapeutic context through my work as a producer and media arts specialist for KidZone TV at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital in New York City. Currently, I am enrolled in a new graduate program in the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, which the New York Times covered in "What Does a Diverse Hollywood Look Like? This Brooklyn Film School" (28 Feb 2017).