Happy Days Are Here Again: Bringing Awareness to Anxiety Through the Medium of Film
The topic of mental illness is often misinterpreted in the media, especially films. This project focuses on how digital storytelling can shift society’s understanding of mental illness, specifically anxiety. While films have the power to transform the perception of mental illness, it’s not often that we find films that execute this. It is my hope that more content can be created that will create healthy discussion and a deeper understanding of what it might feel like to struggle with anxiety. Through research and the use of a music video styled PSA, this project will present ways in which films and visual content can better depict and create empathy around the topic of mental illness.
Only Listening to What We Want to Hear
My project is centered around the topic of confirmation bias, more specifically how it relates to politics. I research not only why it’s so prevalent in our society today, but also delve into the sorts of ramifications it can generate. After consulting with peers of mine that are a part of the student government here at Gordon College, I was able to collect personal accounts about how they see and deal with confirmation bias.
Local Mission Awareness
Participation in local communities is very important. For a missional community in the church we are called to take action, either through prayer or volunteer work. This project is to examine and see the awareness that a local community has of a missional program in its community. The open door program focuses on food pantry services and more. I will be showing information about the program as well as exploring the local awareness of those in the community of said program. I hope to bring more awareness to those who might feel called to participate in any capacity they can who otherwise might not be able to due to lack of knowledge of the program.
On average, smartphone owners unlock their phones 150 times a day. When we come face to face with our favorite celebrity, when we see someone start a fight, our call to action is to press the record button. Project LOCK IT is a visual PSA campaign that advocates against our preconditioned reaction to pull out our cell phone in a momentous experience. Making this statement through a variety of mediums challenged my versatility as a creative and establishes the gravity of the issue.
A Capstone Journal of Self
Self-image is something that many of us have struggled with. The idea of comparison is
very detrimental to our minds. Throughout this semester, I wanted to have a photo journal about this issue that women tend to have. The idea of this project was to bring girls together — all different ages, backgrounds, and sizes and have them wear the same article of clothing in their own way. The graphic designs reflect my
own interpretation of what each girl said in each interview, which are positive words. My time here at Gordon College is dwindling down as I graduate in May. By taking pictures, creating images, and hearing stories of fellow Gordon girls, this project is a reflection for others and myself. It’s a capstone of a time that I had in my life, not just an assignment. Isaiah 53
How Dare You? We’ll Be Watching You: Harnessing Temporality as a Means of Power
16-year-old climate and environmental activist Greta Thunberg’s address to world leaders at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit drew international attention. This paper explores how Thunberg, in this address, utilizes temporality as a key variable in harnessing powerless power and anticipated power in persuading some of the world’s most powerful people to act. The way that Thunberg constructs herself as both a now-powerless, but to-be-powerful agent also speaks to the power of temporality in environmental activism rhetoric, constructing climate action as something to do now in fear of tomorrow. Ultimately, this case study contributes to the larger question of how the powerless harness the power to persuade the powerful.
Love and Lust: A Generation That Has Forgotten What Love Looks Like
“Love and Lust” serves as a public reflection on a
ceaseless inner conflict with a few topics most young
people don’t seem to talk about much today regarding
dating relationships. With the lack of intentionality, the
absence of respect (including self-respect), and the
rising confusion between what love looks like versus
what lust pretends to be today, relationships have
suffered tremendously. These poems/prose are the results of researching, listening, observing, and they exist as an attempt to start a conversation that spurs an intentionality to push people towards thinking about what our relationships look like and how we treat one another. Within these pieces, you’ll find mention of respect, the body, hookup culture, and relational intentionality as seen and experienced from multiple perspectives. Throughout the journey of this project, I came to realize that the environments we surround ourselves with and the circles we participate in may shape us more than we consciously recognize. Communicating is central and communal, and it remained as the steady solution needed in order to improve relationships and increase respect among young people moving forward. My hope is that these speak to you and stir something inside you to improve the relational world for the future.
Underage drinking and driving is a prevalent issue in our world, an issue many of us know all too well. The fact that young people are able to obtain substances which should be illegal to them is upsetting, especially when consumption of those substances often leads to unfortunate consequences. My film Designated Driver
tells the story of a high school senior who has suffered a loss due to underage alcohol consumption, but chooses to rise above his circumstances by working to help his peers. Targeted towards high school-aged students and their families, this film serves both to be informative and restorative. Through creating this project, I learned how to communicate loss in a way which breeds hope rather than sorrow. As a capstone, this project serves as a culmination of the film and screenwriting techniques I have learned thus far.
Uniting Communities Through Loneliness
I am addressing the problem of loneliness in Western society, broadly. More specifically, I am addressing how we can use loneliness to unify communities. To do this, I wrote a curriculum
for high school-aged students that empowers them to use loneliness in their communities as a common ground that can aid in the reconciliation of divided or segregated communities. I learned a few things: (1) It is hard to write a curriculum! But I loved doing it. (2) People like talking about loneliness, but don’t necessarily feel comfortable talking about their personal loneliness and the steps they need to take to combat that. Interpersonal and intercultural communication theories both played key roles in helping me to both understand the larger problem of societal loneliness and to communicate this to high schoolers.
Artists in communication use their work to convey a specific message. They can use their art to capture a moment or idea that fits this message. I believe that beauty is surrounding us and that it is my duty as an artist to capture this idea and share it with others.
This project seeks to challenge the everyday lives of the viewer by asking them what they find beautiful or intriguing. Portraying everyday objects with a flair of color or style can make them catch the audience’s eye.
This project helped me explore the mundane and find a way to make it catch the eye. These five pieces take something from my everyday life around Gordon. Each piece focuses in on something that would be overlooked without a second thought.
By displaying our surroundings in a new way, I hope to encourage the audience to take this message beyond viewing art and into their personal lives. I want to encourage the audience to seek the beauty in everything the see and do. It is the little things in life that can bring us the most joy.
Beauty and the Beast: You Can Be It All
There is much that needs to be said about
how athletes perceive themselves as women and measure themselves by societal beauty standards in light of athletic participation. The problem I am addressing through my project
is how the categorization of girls creates constraints. Female athletes have faced the challenge of having to choose their label, either
girly-girl or tomboy, constricting them to conform to one side. I used photojournalism to share female athlete narratives and capture their beauty as an athlete. As an athlete myself, I learned I am not alone. We can all have different ways of expressing our beauty and still be a strong, competitive athlete too. The role of communication in my project is that it gave female athletes the opportunity to share their own stories with the intention of informing others in order for changing gender roles. It opens the doors to see that as female athletes we don’t need to be boxed in to just one label — you can be it all.
Brand-Influencer Relations: Brand Personification
How do Instagram influencers convince people to purchase the products they sponsor in posts? Upon researching three brands, I have evaluated influencer aesthetics of specific campaigns as a branch of these selected brands. From my research, I pose three questions: 1) from a societal level, what do these selected influencers say about how a brand chooses to personify itself, 2) what do these influencer choices say about what type of person gets to relate to the brand being represented, and finally, 3) in a society that is ever-increasing towards progressive ideologies of who or what a model normatively looks like, brand personification has the ability to shape lifestyles and class systems. Conducted in an effort to expand available primary critical research, this project will assist communications firms and brands as they continue to utilize the quickly-growing influencer market for brand relations purposes. Ultimately, this capstone project encapsulates marketing, brand-relations, social media, B2C relations, thus creating a visual representation of my interests as they have developed over the course of my undergraduate career.
‘Heroes Emerged’, by Jessica Jarosz, is a concise documentary about the sociological issues ‘everyday’ people are facing in South Africa. From housing shortages to police brutality, it concentrates on a particular single story of a man named Napoleon who is battling to secure justice within his community. Dr. Ivy George, a sociology professor and scholar at Gordon College, and Nigel Branken, a social worker from Johannesburg, South Africa, weigh in on the issues. Communication plays an important role in this documentary, bringing a fresh perspective on specific social problems through the film medium. It addresses how individuals can be conscious of the realities of the world and can then apply the knowledge in their everyday lives.
Pen and Paper People
I asked my community to send me excerpts from their journals. They could be as short as a phrase, or as long as several pages. The entries could also be about anything — accounts of the day, To-Do lists, random thoughts, zero-dark-thirty revelations, childhood diaries, prayers, or angsty junior high song lyrics. I wrote several “scene” scripts that used these writings completely verbatim — spelling errors, awkward phrasing, and all.
When we take stories that are meant for ourselves and donate them to others, suddenly, there is comedy. There is sorrow. There is empathy. There is connection.
God did not intend for us to process alone. Though journals will forever be wonderful private tools for processing and reflecting, it’s also true that stories and meanings can change when we invite others to listen. Even if it’s just by a little thought at a time, we can connect with those who unexpectedly understand.
Before a student graduates, there comes feelings of fear, excitement, and anxiety. These feelings are not uncommon, but something we don’t often think about is what happens to our community after we leave college. As a result, there seems to be a big disconnect between rising graduates and recent alumnus. And the unfortunate reality is that many people experience depression and loneliness due to this loss of community. In order to bring light to this problem, I created a short documentary based on a recent graduate in the workforce. At first, I thought this would be straightforward: I would talk with the graduate, get his thoughts, and then package it in an easy to understand way. However, what I found was that people “in community” are complicated. As a result, I have come to understand that communication is key when trying to solidify friendships in any stage of life. It is not as simple as just “staying in touch”; rather, one must fully invest in the lives of others in order to create a lasting impact.
Clay&Co at Chester’s: Fostering Authentic Community
A project aimed towards the crisis of loneliness. While social media should be a tool used to facilitate face-to-face communication and in-person community, the pervasiveness of social media in our lives today inhibits us from lasting and genuine community. To aid in fostering authentic community, I created an event through a previously existing company. Clay&Co was launched on social media, but we did not stop with the post button. Our goal is to sell products that bring women together in real-life, genuine community. The event, Clay&Co at Chester’s, brought women from multiple generations together to build true community among the women we ‘follow’ on Instagram.
Is Online Church Even More ‘Church’ Than Your Own?: A Look into Elevation Church’s Online Campus
As our culture is increasingly digitally mediated, we find connection and community in new ways. Simultaneously, amongst the evangelical Christian circle, there has been push-back on the legitimacy of the online church as truly constituting as ‘church’. Are we doing ‘church’ less because of our digital culture?
This project researches and defines what ‘church’ means, assessing the features of Elevation Church’s Online Campus. In these findings, we see ways in which an online church community participates within the Christian definition of ‘church’, at times arguably more than the traditional meetings in brick and mortar buildings. Through writing for a popular audience that finds itself within this digital culture, this project bridges the gap between media criticism and popular culture to present academic findings in an understandable way.