Marywood Senior’s Documentary Takes First at CMA Film Festival

Jenny Nguyen, a senior Multimedia Communication major at Marywood, was recently awarded first place for her short documentary, “Saigon’s Daughter,” at the 2020 College Media Association’s (CMA) Film Festival.

The documentary features the story of Ms. Nguyen’s mother, Thao Thi Pham, and her journey from Vietnam to America in search for a better life. Mrs. Pham was born during the start of the Vietnam War. She and her eight siblings survived by selling livestock. Jenny’s uncle came to America first and earned enough money for the rest of the family to safely get to the United States. The six-minute documentary, “Saigon’s Daughter,” follows her mother’s entire life journey. 

“I intended this film to reach out to other families, from other countries, who are faced with discrimination, and who are looking for opportunities for a better life. It must have an exhausting impact on a person—on their mental health. For instance, my grandparents have always been very logical—survival first and emotions later. This film gave my mother the opportunity to open up for the first time. I hope, as a result of the film, that people will practice patience and understanding with those who are searching for a better life,” Ms. Nguyen said. 

In addition to pursuing her education, Ms. Nguyen works as a multimedia assistant at The Wood Word, Marywood University’s student-run electronic newspaper. Further, she is a member of TV Marywood, Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), the Society of Collegiate Journalists (SCJ), and she works as a wedding videographer and editor—work that she will continue following graduation.

As an aspiring filmmaker, Ms. Nguyen said, “Marywood taught me how to use its resources and tools to draw out my potential. It’s why I chose Marywood when I was searching for colleges. I liked the versatility of production and that I could learn about journalism, public relations, advertising, and then work all of those skill sets into the focus of film.

The CMA serves student media pros, staff, and programs with education, research, and resources. CMA communicates and works with professional media organizations and education associations on the local, state, and national levels. Film and Audio Festival is designed to encourage and promote excellence in student video work by showing examples of top-notch projects in several categories. Submitted works for the CMA fall festival are completely produced by college students, and all works were completed after November 2, 2019. 

Located in the Learning Commons at Marywood University, the Multimedia Communication department provides media tools necessary to publish an online newspaper; direct, produce, shoot, or edit video and audio programming; create and publish a public relations newsletter; work as on-air television or radio talent; create virtual sets; produce short films; manage social media accounts; broadcast live sporting events; and much more. In a media-driven world, a communication degree plays a central role in careers in journalism, corporate communications, human relations, policy and advocacy, film and TV, sports media, and public relations.

For additional information about Ms. Nguyen’s short documentary, follow this link.

Emergency Repairs at the Scranton Cultural Center

The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple received an $8,000 Community Needs Grant from the Scranton Area Community Foundation to assist with repairs to the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Theatre.

The emergency repairs, which were completed in January, addressed a drainage issue within the building’s original 1930s plumbing system that caused damage to the theatre walls. 

As a result, a portion of the ornate plaster cornice began to deteriorate.  Temporary plumbing repairs were completed to divert the water appropriately, the damaged plaster cornice was removed and covered, and the wall was painted. Plans are underway for a complete restoration of the theatre within the next five to six years.

Shown from left are: Betsy McGrath Ardizoni of Dunmore, SCC Development Director, and Jason Helman, SCC Business Manager in the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Theatre.

Leadership Lackawanna Core Class 2020-2021

The Leadership Lackawanna Core program Class of 2020-2021 recently held its first session. This year’s class will participate in a mix of virtual and in-person sessions.

“Although COVID has changed the structure of our Core program, I have no doubt this year’s class will graduate feeling accomplished,” said Nicole Morristell, executive director of Leadership Lackawanna.  “This year’s participants have accomplished great things in their past, and I look forward to seeing how they will use the leadership skills they acquire over the next 10 months.”

In Leadership Lackawanna’s 10-month Core Program participants gain leadership, interpersonal and managerial skills, as well as an enhanced understanding of the issues relevant to the Greater Scranton area, through monthly sessions.  Areas of focus include community development, economic development, government, health care, law, education, quality of life, sustainability, history and media, with sessions featuring widely recognized specialists.  Members of the class also devote a large portion of their time to developing and implementing community projects, hence enhancing their leadership abilities, fostering teamwork and benefiting local nonprofit organizations.

The Leadership Lackawanna Core Program Class of 2020-2021: Stephanie Abraham, FNCB Bank; Jennifer Azarowicz, The Azek Company; Bailyn Bench, Proctor & Gamble; Joseph Bilotta, Tobyhanna Army Depot; Kenrick Brewster, Greater Scranton YMCA; Megan Coleman, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine; Michelle Cook, Community Bank, N.A.; Chris DePrimo, Penn Foster; Timothy Frank, Educational Opportunity Centers, Inc.; Alexander Gundling, Penn Foster; Vicki Hazzouri, Benco Dental; Patrick Keehan, University of Scranton SBDC; Matt Lewis, Allied Services; Kris Liebegott, Lackawanna College; Mackenzie Madigan, Gertrude Hawk Chocolates; Justin Marino, United Neighborhood Centers; Meredith Mercuri, Barry Callebaut; Jesse Novatski, Penn State Scranton; Sara Rinkunas, Penn State Scranton; Sean Ritter, Fancy Parsley Architecture+Design; Michele Santaniello, Fidelity Bank; Jennifer Shoemaker, Outreach Center for Community Resources; Erika Thomas, NBT Bank; Chrissy Thomas, Prudential Retirement; Walter Tompkins, The Azek Company; Frank Wanat, Tobyhanna Army Depot; Danielle Weinschenk, Tobyhanna Army Depot; Robert Welsch, Tobyhanna Army Depot; Vivian Williams, Scranton Area Foundation; and Thomas Zurla, FNCB Bank.