This year, because of the pandemic, the LaGuardia Mellon Humanities Scholars didn’t have the opportunity to take visitors through a curated exhibition of their student-designed projects around this year’s theme of “Value.” Instead, some of the students who had projects conducive to online display, have submitted their projects for an online showcase.
“Flashback” by Somi Ahmed
“Flashback” is a creative writing piece published in the second issue of Asian American Voices, a student magazine.
Somi Ahmed is currently in LaGuardia Community College. She is from Bangladesh. From her childhood, she wanted to be a good human being and always wanted to help people by giving money or by giving advice. Therefore, she wanted to be lawyer, and was very passionate about that. However, as time passed she realize that to become a lawyer she need emotional strength. She started her college career from a traditional CUNY four-year college, Queens College. After one year she transferred to a two-year school, LaGuardia Community College. Her major is liberal arts: Social Science and Humanities. Even though she has been chosen STEM major, she also love to design, and create something new. In conclusion, no matter what she will do in her life she do have plans to open a business and she want to help people become entrepreneurs.
“Fitness” by Khalif Davis
My project will be a visual documentation of my fitness and dieting principles from January 1, 2020- April 18 2020. The goal is to maintain consistency and simply live an overall healthier lifestyle. I will participate in weightlifting, jogging, fasting and a vegetarian diet at times. Tracking myself in this manner will give me accurate results and also provide me with small goals to complete and unique physical and spiritual challenges along the way.
As the date gets closer I’ve decided to wrap up my fitness project into a 40 day challenge. During the challenge I will document and closely monitor my diet, exercise, coffee intake, alcohol intake, daily salad or smoothie consumption as well as reading, fasting and meditating. Each day will have some sort of photographic documentation and will be presented Day 1 -Day 40.
This is a fun and personal goal of mine as fitness and sports has always been important to me. My goal is to connect to the audience in a fun and creative way and also maybe inspire people to make subtle positive adjustments to make their daily routines more fulfilling. I also have a creative challenge as well, editing and structuring the final presentation as something the audience can digest easily.
“Identity” by Kristina Graham
Kristina Graham is a student at LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC). She is majoring in Liberal Arts: Film and Television. Kristina served as Film Club President at LAGCC, which further inspired her to serve the College as a Student Success Mentor. Kristina was also accepted as a Mellon Humanities Alliance Scholar.One of Kristina’s passions is storytelling; especially storytelling through the visual arts of photography and videography. She applies storytelling to share her interpretations of the world in general and the complexities of human emotions in particular. Kristina’s aspirations range across several disciplines, such as media, counseling, and teaching.
Kristina’s project is a film showcase on the subject of Identity. The premise of the film is based on the notion of how internalizing voices of other people and misconceiving them as our own affects our lives. Kristina’s intent is to communicate through voiceless images that people in our lives have a significant impact on us by leaving a “mark” and shaping our emotions, our perceptions, and even our lives. Kristina hopes that her film evokes thinking about how each of us has been and is being influenced by other people’s words and our own words touch and leave a mark on other people’s lives.
Julian Mejía is a current 3rd year year student attending Brooklyn College as a Video Production Major/ Marketing Minor. He has attended LaGuardia Community College as a TV & Film major and has worked as a Videographer and Photographer on the Street Team as a part of the Marketing and Communication at the college. He currently works a brand ambassador for Fresh&Co, the salad company taking NYC by storm with 19 locations. He strives to be a successful videographer whether it be for a production company or a marketing firm.
“The Loop: Shortcut” by Aldo Ortiz
Aldo Ortiz is a Bronx native and digital storyteller. His focus is on telling stories about the Latinx community and exploring social justice issues through the mediums of theatre and video. He was inspired to pursue film after joining the campus film club.
“The City That Never Sleeps on PAUSE” by Elysia Padilla
For my project, I was originally going to stage a voter registration drive and create a documentary about the process, but unfortunately, due to COVID-19, this is no longer possible. I have thus decided to draw inspiration from global events and use my love of photography to document the historical events we’re living through.
I want to use a photo series to document the city in hibernation, with a focus on the messages we are sending to one another and the economic impact. I plan on going around the city (alone and with protective equipment on for my safety) and photographing shuttered businesses, pandemic related signs and information, and the ghost town that is currently New York City
Elysia Padilla is 23 years old and was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently a student at Brooklyn College, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Film. She previously attended the University of Maine for one year, before taking some time off and later returning to her education at LaGuardia Community College, earning an Associate’s Degree in Film and Television. She has been making films since she was 14 years old, having attended The Cinema School in the Bronx for high school, where she got a top tier film education and where her love for filmmaking was ignited.
However, her lifelong passion for legal scholarship, civic engagement, policy making, and American politics led her to shift her focus to Political Science after LaGuardia, though her devotion to Film and the visual arts remains a major part of who she is. She hopes to complete her Bachelor’s and continue on in her education, ultimately hoping to earn a PhD. Her career goal, while slightly fuzzy at the moment, is to find a way to marry her passions for politics and the visual arts in interesting and creative ways.
In her personal time, her hobbies are photography, watching cheesy teen romance films, listening to legal podcasts, taking road trips with friends, and spending too much money on makeup.
“Food Pantry Recipes” by Katherine Pinzon
The world has had a series of unfortunate events entering 2020; including a pandemic that has caused hardships across the world. Katherine aims to provide relief to one of the many hardships. Her project this year is dedicated to combating food insecurity in New York City. Working with LaGuardia Cares, Katherine will create a booklet and an accessible PDF that will include simple-but delicious recipes that only require ingredients available at food pantries. The recipe book will be available on the LaGuardia Community College website for students to access. To combat food insecurity on a broader spectrum, Katherine has partnered with New York City’s Manhattan Borough President, who helped her reach out to families and individuals who are in need of food and groceries so that she can provide them with $25 Trader Joe’s gift-cards along with a shopping list and recipes.
As a first-generation college student, Katherine is passionate about leadership and her academics, where she is pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Management at LaGuardia Community College. Katherine is the President of LaGuadia’s Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society (PTK) where she led a project on joy supported by the Dalai Lama. She is a LaGuardia Student Affairs Ambassador, a purchasing intern at Boyce Technologies, a communications intern for NBC News, and a LaGuardia Mellon Humanities Alliance Scholar. As a Mellon Scholar, Katherine was given the tools to create her very own nonprofit fishing program, Pesca NYC, focused on serving children in underserved communities. Because of her passion for public affairs and higher education, Katherine will be transferring to Baruch College where she will major in Public Affairs.