Senior Grant Brighter has taken an unconventional track in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College by integrating his cinema and photography major with his psychology major and neuroscience and chemistry double minors.
During one of his film classes, the class pondered how films were edited. In an attempt to further understand the editing process, Brighter wrote a paper analyzing neurological and psychological research to explore whether or not patterns in film editing are created because those patterns cater to society’s perceptual needs or because people are conditioned to accept these patterns. The paper ended up being published in a journal and later evolved into a TEDx talk at the college.
Brighter is also on the pre-med track. He said his past four years at the college have been strenuous; however, they were made possible through the resources and support the college gave him.
“It’s been a challenging time, but at the same time, the college environment has been very supportive of me,” Brighter said. “All the faculty members that I‘ve ever had have been super supportive of not only my own personal endeavors but also mentoring me and giving me whatever tools I needed to succeed.”
Brighter is a Park Scholar, one of the main reasons why he came to the college. Through the Park Scholar community, Brighter has led a service project called Megaphone Media Productions since his freshman year. Megaphone aims to create pro bono media content for local nonprofits and government organizations. He has additionally been a part of a service project called Media Club. Through Media Club, Brighter was involved in a project called Connecting Elders with Technology, where he went to local retirement homes to help teach elders how to use digital technology. Brighter has also been involved in the club swim team, the Pre-Health Society and the Pre-Health Shadowing Committee.
Brighter aspires to go to medical school and is considering a career as a physician. This summer, he will be preparing for the Medical College Admission Test. He is also going to Norway at the end of the summer on a Fulbright grant to do neuroscience research.
Senior Alexis Morillo walked around the student organization fair her freshman year in search of Buzzsaw Magazine. Morillo aspires to cover the entertainment industry by blending intersectional issues in her writing, a goal that drew her to Buzzsaw.
As a journalism major, Morillo became a writer for Buzzsaw in her freshman year and became an editor her sophomore year. Now, she is the editor of the Upfront section as well as the president of the magazine. She has written articles about women of color and hookup culture, sleep deprivation among Americans, consumerism and the concept of abuse in intimate relationships.
After her sophomore year, Morillo interned with Latina Magazine in New York City where she was able to explore her own identity as a Latina woman in media. After her junior year, she interned at The Spark Group, a small marketing company, where she was able to explore the social media side of journalism as well as the public relations field.
Morillo hopes to take her passions, along with what she learned at the college, to cover underrepresented communities in her professional future.
“Any way I can exist in the media world through words is what I want to do,” Morillo said. “I feel like my superpower is through my words, … so, ideally, something with long–form, kind of more feature, entertainment journalism is what I want to do.”
Senior Kylee Roberts came to Ithaca College as an aspiring journalist. Now, she is about to graduate as a communication management and design major, hoping to work in the online editorial field.
During her time at the college, Roberts said one of her biggest accomplishments was co-creating Passion Project, a multimedia online publication focused on self-expression. Roberts said her time at Passion Project helped her become a leader that her peers could confide in.
When Roberts arrived at the college as a freshman, the POC at IC movement, which criticized the previous administration’s handling of several racist incidents that occurred on campus, was in full effect. Growing up, Roberts said that she had always been a part of predominantly white communities and was never taught about her race and how she was different. However, she said this movement and its emphasis on racial issues helped her to build awareness about who she is.
“Coming to IC, I didn’t know where I was supposed to be and had a weird sense of belonging,” Roberts said. “There were a lot of events going on around people of color, around blackness, around being brown in general, and it really helped me identify myself further as being a black woman, and that was a great experience.”
On campus, Roberts was also involved in The Ithacan, Swish for Make-A-Wish, Tap Club, Futures Club and the college’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She is also the student chair for the Diversity Advocates of Park, which is an organization on campus that promotes diversity and inclusion in the Roy H. Park School of Communications.
Roberts has additionally held several internships throughout her four years at the college. She had an internship at Milk Studios as an editorial intern, the Downtown Ithaca Alliance as an events intern, the Hangar Theatre as a marketing communications intern and at REV Ithaca Startup Works as a marketing communications intern.