David arrived at Vanderbilt intent on pursuing a career in the sciences but soon shifted his focus to Film Studies. Small-scale video production had been a hobby in high school and David imagined a career in Hollywood. In his second semester on campus, he completed an independent study with film professor, Jonathan Rattner, analyzing the positive effects of promotional videos on the volunteer rates and recognition of non-profit organizations. That summer, with the financial support of the Ingram Scholarship Program, David took his research to Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Ecuador, home to three sites of Manna Project International. In his seven weeks abroad, David logged over fifty hours of footage, from which he produced three concise promotional videos for the organization’s website.
In his sophomore year, David returned to the Ingram Commons as a Resident Advisor in Stambaugh House. He began regularly tutoring algebra at Maplewood High School and developed a strong relationship with the staff and students. David then packed his suitcase and shipped off to Copenhagen, Denmark for the spring semester. While at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS), David served as a student videographer with the Online Marketing Team. He produced a short tutorial to aid future students in attaining their visas and created a promotional video for his core program, Justice and Human Rights. The class video has been shared across continents and enrollment in the program has steadily increased. While abroad, David also had the opportunity to visit eight new countries, though he didn’t find himself with other college students on the beach. Instead he wound up traveling to countries such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Tunisia and Turkey, a region he fell in love with and will be sure to return to one day.
David spent the following summer in Los Angeles interning at a small television and film production company called Red Varden Studios. He received a $1,000 grant from Ashoka, an organization that invests in social entrepreneurship, to further develop an after-school film program called Leap Frog Films. Together with a few film students, David created a twelve-week video-based curriculum and brought film education to Maplewood High School in the fall of 2012. His students produced five incredible short movies, which can be viewed at www.leapfrogfilms.com.
Though film remained a strong interest, David’s international law studies in Denmark along with several enlightening Political Science courses taken amidst the 2012 presidential election uncovered his interest in the study of government. In the spring of 2013 he took Political Biographies with guest professor David Maraniss, a senior associate-editor for The Washington Post, and crafted a twenty-page comparative analysis of John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.
David was recently promoted to Head Resident of Carmichael Towers overseeing almost 1,000 students. He hopes to attend law school after graduation and pursue a career in international public service. The commitment to serving others that David has cultivated through the Ingram Scholarship Program will remain part and parcel of his future studies and career.