1st Year of Film MFA at Howard University Completed, Semester Reflection

What a bummer?!?!  While I am elated the academic year at Howard University has come to a close and I officially completed the first year of my graduate film school experience, something about this still feels incomplete.

When classes started in January, there was no way any of us could have predicted a pandemic would sweep through the nation and change life as we know it.  Classes were migrated to a virtual format, the status of my unfinished film remains in limbo, the film I was scheduled to DP was permanently postponed and my freelance photography / videography gigs were suspended amid curfew and social distancing requirements. Oh, and it gets better … my positions at Live Nation and Landry’s were furloughed as businesses closed. I’ve yet to see a stimulus check or unemployment check and sadly, I’m stuck in a lease in Washington, D.C., one of the most expensive places to live in America.  Putting it mildly, my life sucks right now.

Zoom classes are cute and all, but NOT when you are a film student. The program is collaborative in nature! We want access to equipment; we want to crew shoots. Working on group projects remotely with behemoth sized files and varying degrees of software access and system capability is no fun at all. I would have sat this semester out had I known it would wind up online. With talks of additional COVID phases, the likelihood of next semester being online, no program funding for the film program and graduate assistant positions reportedly slashed … an upcoming gap-year seems imminent.

Howard University Film MFA Graduate School - Spring 2020 Grades
Howard University MFA Film Student – Graduate School, Spring 2020 COVID-19 Grades

Education Update: Officially a Rowan University Graduate, #RowanPROUD – Dean’s List, Cum Laude

I am officially a graduate of Rowan University!   Earlier this month, I completed my final undergraduate semester with a 3.9 GPA and 3rd consecutive placement on the Dean’s List.  Overall, I secured a degree with cum laude Latin honors.  I also managed to complete my degree in only three years resulting in savings of approximately $30k (not TUH-DAY Sallie Mae).  I received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Radio, Television and Film with a Production concentration, New Media minor and Public Relations and the News certificate of undergraduate study. 

I selected Rowan University because I wanted a hands-on television and film production degree, complimented by a new media communication program.  Rowan’s College of Communication and Creative Arts has a revered documentary program and I wanted to take classes alongside a group of students with roots in the Garden State that I feel represent the future of the industry.  I have no buyers-remorse and I am #RowanPROUD.  I made the most of my college experience and I’m excited for this next chapter in life.  

Campus Involvement:

  • Student Representative: Photo-Voice Cultural Dialogue Series (Fall 2017)
  • Peer Referral and Orientation Staff (PROS) – Office of Student Leadership Programs (Spring 2018)
  • Transfer Mentor – University Transfer Services (Spring 2018)
  • Digital Content Contributor – Office of Student Affairs (Fall 2018)
  • Leadership Committee – Resident Hall Association (Fall 2018)
  • Media Festival Associate / Event Photographer – College of Communication & Creative Arts (Fall 2018)
  • Epistoleus (PR & Social Media Chair) Theta Mu Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. (2018-2019)
  • Historian – National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC) (2018-2019)
  • Initiated Member – Sigma Zeta Chapter, Order of Omega (Greek Honor Society) (Spring 2019)