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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Molly Bandelli at 10:43PM
Professor Warren Schlesinger

Blog posting written by Molly Bandelli, Television and Radio, minor in Sociology, ‘20, FLEFF Blogging Intern, Westfield, NJ.


Warren Schlesinger sits at his desk on the fourth floor of the Ithaca College School of Business. As an associate professor of accounting, his first order of business consists of organizing and coordinating the World Of Business course for first-year business students.


His second order of business: FLEFF.


Since 2006, professor Schlesinger worked as Director of the FLEFF fellowship program. As director, he is responsible for reviewing the applications of prospective FLEFF Diversity Fellows. Application come from graduate students from diverse backgrounds and fields of interests across the US.


The goal of the fellowship program is to bring together a diverse group of graduate students to “increase and enhance their understanding of sustainability and social justice issues.”  It also gives the FLEFF fellows the opportunity to explore and visit Ithaca College.


Professor Schlesinger is responsible for coordinating the FLEFF mini courses offered to Ithaca College students. The content covered in the FLEFF mini courses is closely tied to the theme of the festival Disruptions.  


But what prompted professor Schlesinger to become involved with FLEFF?


“While I have zero talent, I can’t act, I can’t sing and I can barely dance, I’ve always been interested in the arts,” joked Schlesinger.


Before joining Ithaca College as a professor, Schlesinger serves as the business manager at the The Tompkins County Center for Culture and the Performing Arts. He combined his business background and organizational management skills with his interests in the arts.


“I like to think that I bring those skills that I gained as a business manager to FLEFF and help support and promote the festival in that way. I don't choose the films,” Schlesinger said.


Schlesinger a long history with the Finger Lakes community itself, as he received his Bachelor of Science and MBA from Cornell University.


“My first job was at a very large international accounting firm in New York City and I thought my whole life was going to be a very driven big city kind of life. But after being in Ithaca for five to six years, I didn't realize it would change me. I no longer had an interest in that urban experience. So I came back to Ithaca,” explained Schlesinger.


During FLEFF week, you can count on finding professor Schlesinger at the annual multimedia concert that kicks off the festival. His favorite event during the festival is FLEFF lab Fridays, an interactive, discussion-centered lab. To Schlesinger, this is the event where the FLEFF fellows have the opportunity to shine by actively participating and contributing their insights.


“For me personally," began Schlesinger, "[FLEFF Lab Friday] is always a lot of fun because I bring these students in and the audience is like ‘whoa these people are really smart and have something to contribute’. It’s a very fun thing to watch… It is one of the many things that goes on that makes the festival a very robust event.”


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