Kohawk follows her heart to interdisciplinary major in media studies

2018-06-08 12:52:09 - Feature

Jaimee Rindy

Jaimee Rindy didn’t come to Coe College thinking she would create her own major, but now, three years later, that's exactly what she's done. Following her own advice to "explore what your heart wants," Rindy is Coe's first media studies major.

Each year, some of Coe's strongest students create majors to more appropriately address their academic interests and future plans. They are able to design an interdisciplinary major to pursue their goals.

"The communication major was scratching the surface, introducing me to the possibility of a further study, but I really wanted even more," Rindy said.

Working with her advisor, the Esther and Robert Armstrong Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Terri Donofrio, Rindy was able to design a major combining communication studies and film studies.

"I've always been fascinated with how and why some stories worked, why they became so popular and how massive audiences changed a culture because of a piece of media. This is what media studies aims to understand: Why do some things become socially relevant, and what do the things that are currently popular say about our society?" Rindy said.

"It's a really fascinating analytical approach to things that are often deemed unscholarly, and that's the whole point. Shouldn't we be looking closer at, and trying to understand, the things that are driving the masses of our society?"

Ultimately, Rindy wants to write and produce a television drama. "I hope to work in a lot of different production roles and work on the teams developing content for new interactive platforms that are pushing the boundaries of entertainment as we know it," she said.

"The wonderful thing about media studies is that there is no limit to what can be done so long as new things are being produced. I think there's an up-and-coming market in creating multimedia platform content, and I would love to be part of a team behind something like that."

This summer, Rindy will begin her Coe practicum: production of a locally filmed documentary following nonmillennial LGBT couples.

"The goal of the documentary is to point out our heteronormative bias," Rindy said. "If you get engaged, it's assumed that you are engaged to a man.

"When two men go out to dinner together, they are given separate checks under the assumption they're not a couple. How can we do better as a society?" Rindy said.

She anticipates spending a significant portion of her senior year editing the film.

Originally, Rindy's goal was to become a writer, perhaps a journalist, but as her interests evolved, she realized a creative writing major alone wasn't enough. She credits Associate Professor of English Melissa Sodeman with the idea of adding an interdisciplinary major.

"I chose Coe because I loved the really personal atmosphere. I felt that it was a place where the professors sought to have a relationship with their students and wanted to really know them," Rindy said. "I'm so glad I did because, in the end, it was that personal relationship that allowed me to create this major, because I had a team of excellent professors behind me who understand what I wanted and could provide me the tools to get there."

Rindy encouraged every student to find their passion and pursue it.

"It's really about finding the thing that you love the most," she said. "Coe actually does make it possible to study what you love! There are opportunities to do things that you are passionate about, so push the boundaries and think outside the box."