We wanted to recognize Communication students who work hard to go above and beyond coming to class and truly make a difference in the department, student media organization(s), and/or the community. As a parallel to our Alum Spotlight, our Student Showcase offers students an opportunity to lift up those who truly stand out, allows others an opportunity to conceptualize their academic path, and evoke inspiration through various careers that stem from a degree in Communication. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to submit a nomination for any student currently attending Valpo. Please email us with any questions or click here to nominate a student who stands out!
Q) What brought you to Valpo?
A) I applied to 20 schools because I’m paying for my own education and wanted the “best deal.” I quickly learned that Valpo was the one, not only because of their generosity, but because of the community fostered here. I feel like I’m part of a family in the COMM department and Christ College; everyone gets special attention from the professors, we all know each other by name, and we’re all here to support one another.
Q) What is your dream job?
A) My dream job is to be a documentary filmmaker. I know there’s no straight path to that, but I also know it’s my passion and my purpose to tell stories that we as a society don’t hear enough.
Q) What did you want to be when you were 10?
A) When I was 10 years old, I was dead-set on being a young adult novelist, so I guess I’ve always had a love for storytelling.
Q) What Media Organizations are you involved in?
A) I’m involved in VUTV. Before I studied abroad, I had the pleasure of serving on the Executive Board, and I hope to remain involved this semester. I also work in the equipment room! I know that’s not technically a media org., but it’s a tight-knit group who support the COMM department, and I love that.
Q) What is your favorite Comm class that you have taken so far?
A) Video Art with Prof. Liz Wuerffel! She pushed me outside my narrative-focused comfort zone and showed me that there is great power in the experimental. I absolutely loved having the freedom to go beyond narrative film and express myself in whatever way I felt like (with thoughtfulness and meaning, of course).
Q) What is the best piece of advice you have been given by a professor or student while at Valpo?
A) On my first day of FOCUS, my OA told me that we need to start feeling comfortable not knowing everything, because once we know everything, there’s no room for learning. That’s how you know you’ve stopped living. This really resonated with me because I’ve always felt a pressure to know everything. That piece of advice allowed me to step back and reflect, and to realize that we can never know everything about our passion or our topic of study, and that is exciting.
Q) What is a favorite memory you have from being in Valpo?
A) My favorite memory was the entirety of my two weeks in Bethlehem, Palestine with Liz Wuerffel, Jon Hendricks, Sawyer Patrick, and Mark Young for a video internship I was blessed enough to participate in. Being in Palestine and hearing Palestinian stories sparked my passion for documentary filmmaking. I realized there are powerful, important stories to tell that already exist- they just need to be told.
Q) Describe the feelings you had the first time you attended a media org/COMM gathering.
A) I specifically remember the COMM awards night my freshman year. There was such a sense of community and support all around. That night, I really felt part of a group of talented, passionate people who are actively making a difference in their world and the world around them. That sentiment has continued every day since.
Q) What internships have you had?
A) So far, I’ve interned for Bright Stars of Bethlehem, as mentioned before. I’ve also interned for my local television station, West Bend Community Television. This past summer, I interned for WTTW, the Chicago PBS affiliate television station. This upcoming fall, I’m so eager to intern for the Welcome Project in Valpo.
Q) So you won a $10,000 Nikon Scholarship! Can tell me a little more about how you found out about the opportunity, your inspiration, and how you felt when you found out that you were selected as a winner.
A) I’m still in shock that I was selected for this! Freshman year, my supervisor at IMC, Jon Hendricks, recommended I apply. I did, but didn’t make it past the semifinalist round. This year, for some reason, I decided to apply again. Luckily I was selected! I was at my internship at WTTW when I got the acceptance email, and I immediately took my lunch break so I could call everyone about it- I was so, so excited. (I still am!) It just goes to show that rejection isn’t a reason to stop trying. I’m proof of that, now.
Q) Is there anything else that you would like to add?
A) If you want to view the films I’ve made, they’re all posted at https://www.youtube.com/carmenvincentfilms. I’m so grateful to be part of such a supportive department here at Valpo. I really believe the COMM department is truly special (I may be a little biased, but still). I feel so supported, and I have the constant opportunity to support others here. It’s a fantastic dynamic, and it’s going to be incredibly bittersweet walking across the graduation stage in May. If anyone ever needs anything, please feel free reach out to me!