Film Concentration


Holloway Hall

Why Study Film?

For well over a century, film has represented one of the most powerful global means of communicating the local, national, and transnational stories that matter to humankind. Understanding the power of films to reflect reality is part of being a culturally literate and engaged citizen in the fullest sense. The study of cinema is important on a microcosmic and a macrocosmic scale: it allows you to explore the interconnectedness of personal visions, artistic and technological developments, social changes, as well as processes by which cultures and nations are defined through audiovisual means.

Our Film Concentration program within the Department of English will provide you with a well-rounded understanding of films and their power in different contexts. The study of cinema is expansive and interdisciplinary: a full understanding of individual films entails understanding the specific cultures, histories, societies, and media industries that led to their being made. Thus, our program is designed to encourage students in other fields outside the major, being especially complementary to courses and minors in other arts subjects (notably theatre, literature, photography, fine art), languages, psychology, politics, history, international studies, ethnic and intercultural studies, philosophy, marketing, sociology, and computer science.

Our Film Concentration program fosters specific skills of

  • advanced research
  • writing
  • visual and verbal literacy
  • creativity
  • collaboration
  • leadership
  • problem solving
  • critical thinking

Our degree will prepare you for a wide variety of vocations in publishing, media, editing, teaching, information technology, cultural affairs, public policy, as well as business. This degree will also prepare you with vital skills for graduate study.

In summary, the power of film to shape our understanding of the stories and ideals that matter is surely reason enough to prompt serious study. By studying film at college level, you will potentially pave the way for a lifetime of understanding cinema and appreciating its meaning. You will also equip yourself with numerous transferable skills. Our graduates are employed in many different kinds of employment: they apply the skills of analysis, attention to detail, creativity and ingenuity that are fostered in our courses in their own terms. Here’s what just a few of our recent graduates are doing today:

Film Concentration graduates

Now in graduate school:
Ian Anderson (graduated spring 2009)
MFA for Creative Writing and Publishing Arts
, University of Baltimore. 

Ashlee Forehand (graduated spring 2008)
Graduate Program for Education
, Notre Dame of Maryland

Juliana Reagan, ne Hinds (graduated spring 2009)
East Carolina University, M.A. program in English with a concentration in Multicultural and Transnational Literatures

Employed alumni:
Bryan Babcock (graduated spring 2008)
During his last semester at SU, Fall 2008, Bryan was working as a Photographer/Editor at WMDT. After graduating he interned at Ocean 98.1 FM WOCM, in Ocean City. He was there for 6 months as an Assistant Producer: his work included voicing and editing some commercials. Most recently and excitingly, he was hired by WBOC as a Photographer/Editor.

Matt Cohen (graduated spring 2010)
Chronicle of Higher Education: writer, film reviewer
During his time at SU, Matt interned for the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, MD where he did programming work for the Silverdocs Documentary Festival as well as other festivals held at the theatre. He also interned for the DC Shorts film festival- an internationally renowned festival devoted to the art of the short film. Right now he is working for the newspaper The Chronicle of Higher Education. (He has also been reviewing movies for a few popular DC-based websites.) This summer Matt will be doing some more work with the DC Shorts Film Festival as a blogger. He is also planning to attend graduate school for film studies from the fall of 2012.

Matt Hays (graduated spring 2007)
Legal Assistant

Matt works at a law firm in Baltimore. His primary duties are essentially helping an attorney organize her cases by preparing all the legal documents and editing all the documents she takes to court.

Katie Jacobsen (graduated spring 2010)
Founder/Editor: The Hard Times Magazine
Her primary job duties include finding artists/ events/ musicians to cover, distributing assignments to writers, taking photos and writing articles of her own, editing the final product, and managing client accounts.

Calum McKinney (graduated spring 2009)
Staff Writer (Reporter), The Daily Times/Gannett
Calum writes one or two news stories daily (usually about local education), keeps content on the associated website up-to-date, and prepares other daily content such as briefs and "newstrackers." Sometimes he also takes photos for his stories and occasionally has them picked up by the Associated Press or USA Today.

Samantha Miskin (graduated spring 2006)
Realtor Associate, Long Beach Island, NJ.
Her primary duties include helping buyers, sellers and renters in all of their real estate needs. This includes putting together virtual tours of properties: she uses what she knows about film (especially the use of light) to help her present the properties in the best possible ways.

Anthony Peek (graduated spring 2007)
Anthony now works for a company called MedAssurant, a medical record abstraction company that conducts clinical risk adjustment and quality of care reviews based on specific dates of service of a patient or a specific clinical measure. Anthony is employed as a Lead Review Coordination (LRC). The LRC is in charge of a group of Review Coordinators who schedule field staff across the country to abstract data from selected provider offices. He is assigned 7 states and also manages 143 field staff.

Other alumni are employed in various other ways too: from information technology (Eric Disque, Shelby Hays), to banking (Kim Kellow and Shannon Tegeler), to clothing design for babies with special needs (Jordan Williams). The discipline and focus of our graduates is not limited by employment that is directly related to film.