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Posts tagged ‘Academic Media Center’

La Mia Strada – My Road

ImageBack in 2012, Michael A. DiLauro, director of RMU’s Academic Media Center, debuted La Mia Strada, a feature-length documentary sharing his “personal perspective on ethnicity and culture as it links ancient and contemporary Italian culture with its Italian-American counterpart.” Through years of conducting dozens of interviews, exploring historical sites, sifting through archeological artifacts, digging through family photographs, and immersing himself in the music, poetry, and oral histories of the Abruzzo, Molise, and Puglia regions, DiLauro created an amazing film and commentary on the fragile the bonds that span an ocean and connect a family from generation to generation.

DiLauro, who earned an M.F.A. in film studies at Ohio University and completed the Master Directing program at the prestigious Maine Cinema Workshops, has received five regional Emmy’s for his work, as well as a Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival, several ADDY awards, and the Gabriel award for outstanding television programming. His feature documentary film, “Prisoners Among Us: Italian American Identity and WWII“, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the New York International Independent Film Festival.

La Mia Strada has been screened at the Palestrina Film Festival in Italy, Atlantic City Film Festival and was awarded a Silver Medal from the Media Communications Association-International Film Festival along with several cultural centers and universities throughout the United States. Already this year it was screened at the University of Dayton and Miami University (Oxford, Ohio).

(Trailer for “La Mia Strada”)

RMU Helped Her “Discover” Her Career

When Cassandra Bowen ’09 was studying TV and video production at Robert Morris University, one of her favorite parts was participating in the work-study program in the Academic Media Center.

“I was able to produce, direct, and even be on camera,” says Cassandra. “It was an amazing experience to be able to have that type of hands-on learning.”

Today Cassandra works for Discovery Communications as a member of their creative marketing team. In this position, she helps create all the promos for some of the Discovery Channel’s more popular programs, such as “American Choppers”, “Mythbusters”, “Gold Rush”, “Deadliest Catch”, and “Shark Week”.

“Now I’m able to apply all that I learned at RMU in my career,” she says.

Cassandra’s typical day at Discovery involves going through all on-air graphic assignments and creating grids to send through for scheduling; approving graphic elements based on screen shots; editing a particular promo that airs that week; producing the promotion and making sure it makes it to the broadcast center after sending through to executive staff for approval.

“I honestly love all categories of the multimedia. But I am very pleased with my career path of video. I really love being able to create an entertainment piece from scratch and have people enjoy watching your work.”

Cassandra graduated Cum Laude from RMU in just 3.5 years, with a bachelor’s degree in media arts. She also minored in photography. During her senior year, she interned for the popular television program “America’s Most Wanted” in the D.C. Metro area. After she graduated, she landed a job with the show as the post-production assistant.

“Working for America’s Most Wanted was a phenomenal experience,” says Cassandra. “The show truly provides a service to the community by helping serve justice and put criminals behind bars. Every time a new criminal is captured and you know that you helped track them down, it’s rewarding beyond words.”

Cassandra’s parents, Barbara A. Kuhn ’72 and Dennis M. Weinzierl ’74, are also Robert Morris alums. “They really enjoyed their education experience,” says Cassandra, “and that was really what helped drive me to choose RMU.”

Back in high school, Cassandra was involved in her school’s color and winter guard teams. So when she chose RMU, she wanted to start a winter guard for the university too. Today the team, known as the “Moon Dance” club, is a co-ed program and member of the Three Rivers Winter Ensemble Association.

“I was so pleased that RMU allowed me to begin this program,” she says. “I felt it was great for the school, and it was a wonderful experience.”

Looking ahead in her career, Cassandra hopes to continue with Discovery Communications. “My goal is to work my way to a senior producer position and be able to work solely in edits and producing promotional top-campaign spots for the network.”

After that, she’d either like to advance further with the company as a supervisor or director, maybe even start her own company with her brother, Steven, who is also in the industry.

“I really loved my experience at Robert Morris. I know that I have been educated at a high level, which has allowed me to excel in my career.”

Written by Valentine J. Brkich