Every semester, Park Scholars participate together in a Semester Seminar. All the Park Scholars meet as a group throughout the semester to discuss and analyze a particular area of media. The discussions are facilitated by award-winning content creators, leading researchers and scholars, and graduates of the Park Scholar Program, many of whom are also award-winning media professionals and expert researchers.
During the 2022 fall semester, the conversation centered on the use of documentary films to educate and engage audiences in the most pressing societal challenges confronting people and planet alike. Park Scholars watched two documentaries, Chasing Coral and The Social Dilemma, and they met with Jeff Orlowski-Yang, the director and writer of these two full-length, award-winning films, in a discussion that included practical advice for making and funding independent documentaries. Following this exclusive, private luncheon, Park Scholars attended a lecture at which Jeff Orlowski-Yang discussed his motivations and vision for his films.
Park Scholars also discussed The Social Dilemma with Dr. Devan Rosen, Professor of Emerging Media in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College and author of The Social Media Debate (Routledge, 2022). They learned more about the social and societal impact of filmmaking with Jeremy Levine (Park Scholar ’07), producer and director of numerous award-winning documentaries and Assistant Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Media at Suffolk University, and with Eden Strachan (Park Scholar ’21), creator of the award-winning multimedia project, Black Girls Don’t Get Love.