I can still remember the first time I laid my eyes on the beautiful campus of Luther College. My dad and I had just trekked 1,200 miles from Florida to the great state of Iowa to come find my new home. A handful of years later, filled with late nights in Marty’s, snowball fights on the library lawn and countless Luther athletic events showing my Norse pride, I have found that this place really is my home and I don’t want to leave anytime soon. That dream became a reality when less than six weeks after hugging President Carlson after walking across the stage at graduation, I was starting my new job as the Visual Media Fellow here at Luther.
As the Visual Media Fellow, my job is to supervise the Video Bureau, the team of student-workers that is responsible for creating marketing videos for the college's YouTube page, website and Facebook page. In this position, I have managed production schedules and trained student-workers on video planning, shooting and post-production techniques. I have also been given the opportunity to photograph a wide range of events on campus, including faculty portraits, athletic competitions, student activities and campus scenes.
As a student at Luther, I worked with the athletic department providing postgame interviews with coaches and also worked in social media, serving as an administrator for the Luther College social media accounts. In these positions, I was able to get a unique inside view of Luther that many people have not seen. This unique viewpoint that I had the opportunity to receive in my work-study positions has been greatly expanded in these two months transitioning from a student to a staff member. As a photographer and videographer, my job is to tell stories through images, so I have chosen a photo that I have taken as the Visual Media Fellow that tells the story of some of my experiences that I have had.
Most college students will never forget moving into their first-year dorms. You are so excited for the future that is ahead of you, but also nervous about leaving home, your family and your friends. This year I had the chance to relive this memorable day but from a new perspective, photographing students moving in and taking the class photo. Bright and early at 7:30 a.m., cars began to line up in front of Ylvisaker, Brandt and Olson. I could see myself in the bright eyes of these new Luther students as they met their roommates for the first time and began to explore their homes for the next four years. From watching people carry their new futons and mini-fridges into their rooms, to hearing them yell the L-U chant for the first time, it was a busy day filled with many new first-time experiences. This photo of the class of 2021, the final task that new students have before their family leaves and they are on their own, really showed me that I have finally come full-circle in my transition to a staff member at Luther College. I am no longer the baby-faced kid that was worried about leaving the sunshine state for the Midwest. This place is really my home, and it felt great welcoming these Norse to their new home.