University Honors Student
Questions for student:
I’m from Orlando!
In a few sentences tell us about your honors thesis! How would you describe it to someone not in your academic field?
My honors thesis explored different methods of fabrication in the stop motion industry. I interviewed stop motion industry professionals to understand how major animation studios are run, as well as used a mix of traditional methods and 3D printing to build my own stop motion puppet armatures! I documented all of my experiments in the form of a blog.
How did you choose your mentor, and what do you recommend students interested in starting an honors thesis look for in a mentor?
My thesis mentor is a professor of mine from some classes I took earlier in college. I asked him to be my thesis mentor because not only is he extremely knowledgeable about stop motion, but he is also passionate about it. I recommend students choose a mentor that is interested in their project’s subject, as well as someone that they get along with!
What are your plans after you graduate from FSU?
My current goal is to hopefully get an internship or job at a stop motion studio! I also plan on keeping up with the stop motion blog I created for my honors project, as it has been a great way to connect with people in the industry.
Film maker in residence, special effects
Questions for mentor:
What motivates or inspires you to mentor undergraduate students?
The College of Motion Picture Arts is a small community, and we regard one another as very much a family of artists, so the opportunity to assist this next generation of amazing storytellers as they go out into the world is a constant inspiration for me. We put in long hours together, but it never feels like work. It is always my hope and ambition to prepare our students to be successful and happy in their careers, and I can’t imagine a better life than being of service to these wonderful people!
What do you think characterizes a good mentoring relationship between student and honors thesis mentor?
I suppose the nature of mentoring of honors thesis students may vary slightly depending on the field of study. The motion picture industry has always held professionalism, innovation, and collaborative problem-solving in high regard, so I always seek to inspire curiosity and imagination in the students that I mentor. I hope to encourage students to be fearless and willing to take risks in their explorations, and so it’s important to me to provide them with a safe place to make mistakes if need be—on the way to learning and being able to benefit others through their research. I feel like we are all teachers—and we are all students, all the time. If I can model humility and hard work, I find it always inspires those qualities in our honors students. I think this is why we hear regularly from colleagues in the film industry that FSU Film students have a stellar reputation for diligence and talent that makes them stand out among their peers.