This month, we interviewed Jennifer Proulx, The LAMP’s newest board member. We asked her about why she decided to move from her career in media production to media literacy, what she’ll be doing in Chicago this summer, and about her love for the Red Sox. Sort of.
How did you get into video production? I suppose you could say I fell into it. I made a few videos in high school and was intrigued by the power of moving images and sound so pursued it formally in my undergraduate studies.
What were some of the highlights of your career? I feel a bit awkward creating a highlight reel when I feel there’s so much more to come! But here goes: Traveling around the world covering a yacht race, serving a year with Americorps in a 1st grade classroom, teaching video production to community college students, watching a pro-social program on H.I.V. that I cut at a film festival at the U.N., producing, directing, and cutting a video in support of the Reproductive Health Act for the New York Civil Liberties Union, and seeing my name on television for the first time.
What was the most surprising thing you learned about the media industry? That despite the myth, some edit rooms have windows, and even views!
Why did you decide to move on from production to pursue an M.P.A. (Master’s in Public Administration)? I had a blast making television programs and working on important projects but realized I didn’t want my boss’s job and had grown as much as I wanted in my role. I am looking for the next challenge or as Billy Bragg would say, “the great leap forward.” I’ve always been drawn towards social justice issues, specifically education, so decided to go back to school to learn the nuts and bolts of how to systematically create change.
What got you interested in media literacy? I had a professor named Michelle Wolf for an undergrad course. She has worked extensively on issues of media literacy, specifically with regard to body image issues. She instilled in me, and countless others, the importance of a responsible media and as cheesy as it sounds, when I left her class I felt I had a duty to go out into the world and practice what I learned from her course.
What are your plans for the summer? This summer I landed a fellowship to work in the Chicago Public Schools. I will be working on the 21st Century Learning Project which is an initiative to bring our classrooms into the 21st century with regard to technology. There’s a really exciting opportunity to help close achievement gap through technology. I’ll be working specifically on creating benchmarks, disseminating best practices, and updating evaluation techniques.
What makes the Yankees a superior team to the Red Sox? The Yankees have the swagger and glow of a World Series winning team, which they deserve. I predict Big Papi will continue to mash, leading us into a classic Yankees/Red Sox battle to the finish in late August and September. No matter what happens in the end, the Red Sox are always the superior team in my heart.