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Featured Student Sees Future in Film
Attending a community college allows students to assume leadership roles earlier in their higher education careers and to explore a variety of interests and courses at a low cost. These opportunities are something Waubonsee Community College sophomore Ryan Trojanowski, of Geneva, has taken full advantage of, starting a new movie makers club on campus and deciding to declare film as his major. For all of his accomplishments, Waubonsee is proud to recognize Trojanowski as its featured student for September.
A graduate of Aurora Central Catholic High School, Trojanowski knew that if he stayed in Illinois for college, Waubonsee would be his choice. This choice was reinforced when he was named one of the college’s 2010 Lucile Gustafson Scholars, a scholarship program for high-achieving students that covers two years of tuition and fees.
“When I found out about being a Gustafson, my jaw dropped; I was in disbelief and had to read the letter twice,” Trojanowski said. “It was an opportunity I could not pass up.”
Gustafson scholars are required to perform both college and community service hours, and Trojanowski decided that joining a campus club would be a fun way to fulfill part of that requirement.
But while the college had a film society dedicated to watching movies, there was not a club dedicated to making them. Trojanowski got to work, with the Movie Makers Inc. organization really gaining momentum this summer.
Trojanowski has enjoyed making videos ever since sophomore year of high school when he and a few classmates decided to create a video on “Julius Caesar” for a class assignment. But it wasn’t until he got to Waubonsee that he really got to explore his passion.
“Everything that the club does is all our own — writing, acting, directing,” Trojanowski said. “That’s what makes me so happy about it. There are really no limitations on what we can do. We have access to everything we need.”
This access to industry equipment is essential, and it’s a bit easier at Waubonsee, thanks to the college’s mass communication program, Sugar Grove Campus television studio and Educational Television department.
“The college is committed to helping students explore their interests in video by providing the equipment and guidance they need, whether that be in a communications class, with an internship opportunity or through a student club,” said Chris Klavinski, Educational Television and Video Production manager at Waubonsee. “It is beneficial to students but also to our program as a whole.”
And in fact, Trojanowski had not been enrolled in a video or television production course until this semester, but his projects with the club so fueled his interest that film is now his intended major. Once he graduates from Waubonsee this May, he hopes to attend film school at Florida State University or Southern Illinois University.
Trojanowski has also been able to use his video-making skills for the good of the community, producing a short video for the Fox Valley United Way, which centered around the community service work his fellow Gustafson Scholars did during that organization’s annual Day of Caring event.
“It was an awesome project,” Trojanowski said. “Not only did I get to work with a great organization, but I also get to add it to my portfolio.”
And Waubonsee will always be a place he’s glad to add to his transcript.
“Thanks to Waubonsee, I know where I’m going in life,” he said.