Whether in front of the camera or behind it, Laura Alishauskas ’22 has shown that ingenuity and creativity are key components when creating meaningful learning experiences.
The Child and Family Studies major turned two completely different topics -- a fundraiser to support individuals experiencing cancer and a cooking show -- into back-to-back examples of Field Period® success.
In fact, Laura’s creativity led to her being named one of the College’s Upperclassman Field Period® and Experiential Learners of the Year. The award is given annually to four students—one freshman and three upperclassmen—in recognition of individual achievements involving experiential learning.
Her most recent endeavor, a Field Period® internship with Hope Walk of Yates County, found the Elmira resident working to publicize the organization’s biggest annual fundraiser.
Hope Walk offers cancer patients living in Yates County grant monies to offset medical expenses, transportation costs, and other needs, and it raises much of those funds through the annual walk for which it’s named.
Laura, who’s minoring in English, was tasked with creating and expanding ways to develop social media content to engage viewers and promote its services, with the goal of encouraging people to join in the Hope Walk. That led her to interview people who have been part of the Hope Walk—either as survivors or caregivers—and record their stories on video.
“I thought it would be good to have people who have testimonials share why Hope Walk is a fantastic organization,” says Laura.
Among her interview subjects were College President Amy Storey and Vice President for Enrollment Management Mark Petrie, both cancer survivors. In all, Laura filmed the stories of 10 people and shared them on the Hope Walk webpage.
President Storey had a fantastic interview. Being able to have those videos speaks to the strength people have, whether they are a cancer survivor or a caregiver, and they really send out a message of hope.
The subject was far more serious than Laura’s previous video work. The need to complete a Field Period® at home during the pandemic-complicated fall of 2020 meshed perfectly with her idea for creating a cooking show, so she began researching and creating videos about the importance of eating together with families.
“This Field Period® experience was unique, as it gave me a chance to learn more about families, the research process, and video filming and editing, as well as opportunities to work on my weaknesses, like time management,” says Laura. “It allowed me to expand upon my own knowledge and create a cooking show that may positively impact others’ lives.”
No matter the challenge or subject, Laura has taken full advantage of the flexibility Field Periods® provide to take part in projects that engage, inform, and inspire.
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