My work as an educator is an extension of my work as a maker. Both practices are acts of listening, of inquiry, of co-creation. Wherever possible, I center our classroom experiences in shared vision, experimental learning, and project-based learning. A few examples of projects in which we’ve modeled co-creation and inquiry in my courses include:

  • City Harvest: A Growing Community
    • Students in Digital Editing (spring 2019 and summer 2019) served as and earned credit as assistant editors for this documentary produced by Deb Rudman
  • Aesthetics Appropriate to Conditions
    • I partnered my DigCine course with Alessandra Raengo’s Theories of Black Filmmaking.
  • Gentrification in Allentown
    • Participating in Resolve Philly’s storytelling commitment to economic dignity, students in my Introduction to Documentary class (fall 2018) partnered with nonprofit Allentown Coalition for Economic Dignity to produce short documentary profiles pertaining to the city’s misguided development efforts.
  • The Tour web series
    • Students in Digital Editing (spring 2020) served as and earned credit as editors on this web series produced by Susan-Sojourna Collier and Phil Lewis

My interest in forging such connections borrows from my training in the humanities. I see filmmaking, especially documentary, not as the manufacture of a creative product (designed to optimize competitive advantage in the market), but as a way of knowing.

In the classroom, I present filmmaking as a way of nurturing intellectual curiosity, of engaging with experiences not one’s own, and of making connections across multiple disciplines and epistemologies. I encourage thoughtful and intentional practices.

I certainly create space for technical mastery, but as I remind students, gear-specific skills are attainable on Lynda or YouTube, but the creative thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills required of the best media makers are deeper-level, harder to attain, and can apply to any industry they enter.

Since 2015, I’ve taught the following courses:

  • Intro to Documentary Production
  • Video Journalism
  • Film for Social Change
  • Documentary Research Methodologies
  • Experimental Documentary
  • Documentary Capstone
  • Digital Editing
  • Digital Cinematography
  • Video Production
  • Advanced Video Production
  • Screenwriting (shorts and feature treatments)
  • Writing for Television