Professor, Department of Electronic Media & Film
Once there was an adjunct faculty member who used his creative talents and work ethic to become the new chair of the Department of Electronic Media & Film.
It’s not a fairy tale, but it is a good story. Film professor Michael Angelella has many stories to tell, in fact, and he has the documentaries, screenplays, production credits and awards to prove it.
But sometimes his own stories take a back page to those of his students. “I tell my students that good storytelling is essential if they want any type of media career, whether their focus is on film editing, writing, or production. For me, it all starts with a well-told story.”
The craft of storytelling is a main focus of Professor Angelella’s courses. The old adage, “write what you know” applies here, and students are encouraged to turn themselves inside out as they practice their craft. “I tell them to draw from within and write from their own experiences and emotional history rather than merely copying their favorite authors. A story from within is instantly more valid.”
Balancing his new departmental chair responsibilities with teaching, research and his own media career is a challenge. Professor Angelella sets aside time each day to write, even if it is just for an hour. “It keeps the momentum going.”
Discipline and support are keys to his success. He feels fortunate to have star quality faculty in the EMF department, and he sings their praises. The diversity of their talents and the breadth and depth of their expertise, he says, creates a distinctive academic program that attracts innovative students and encourages them to creatively tell their own stories.