by Madalyn Johnson, Web Editor
Laura Meoli-Ferrigon is a recent graduate of Manhattan College who has accomplished a great deal in film since her departure. Receiving a bachelor of arts degree in Film and Television at Brooklyn College and then a master’s degree in Instructional Design and Delivery at Manhattan College, Ferrigon took her educational experiences and became a teacher.
Before making a reputable name for herself in media production, winning a New York Emmy award, several Telly awards and scoring multiple festival wins, Ferrigon, like many communication students, was trying to figure out what she wanted to pursue as a career.
“I went to school for journalism at Baruch College my first year of undergrad, and I didn’t like journalism because there were a lot of rules to it,” Ferrigon said. “I felt that it didn’t resonate with me as much. So I wanted to be in something a little more creative but, where I still get to meet people and tell stories, so I transferred to Brooklyn College, which was really what I wanted to do, and once I got into those programs like TV studio production, it was really inspiring to me.”
Before going to college, Ferrigon pondered on the questions and concerns communication students commonly have.
“When I was in high school, I never thought I could be a filmmaker as a career,” Ferrigon said. “It’s just something you know, you think you’re going to be an accountant or something more traditional, so definitely my college experience helped me realize that I can make a career out of it.”
Ferrigon earned an internship with the New York City Transit (MTA), which launched her professional career in production. Afterward, Ferrigon jumped back to journalism, working for news stations, then lifestyle TV and even working for Manhattan College to produce high-quality video content to market the school.
Ferrigon’s experience with media and production has built up her business. Now Ferrigon shares her expertise on her website, LauraMeoli.com, where she posts instructional videos about filming, blogs about content creating and promotes her newest book, “Clarity for your Creative Career, Tips, Advice and Inspiration from Successful Artists to Quit the Job You Hate & Create a Life You Love.”
After graduating from Manhattan in the spring with a Master’s degree in instructional design and delivery, Ferrigon started working as an adjunct professor at Manhattan College in the fall 2020 semester and taught the communication course, Digital Storytelling.
Graduating from Manhattan at the beginning of the pandemic and becoming an educator in the midst of it, Ferrigon had to adjust to teaching a group of college students, all while teaching them remotely.
Ferrigon shared the remote model helped her become comfortable with teaching at the college level, and her Master’s degree has taught her useful skills about how to teach students online.
“It’s actually been a big help for me,” said Ferrigon. “In Instructional Design, we learned a lot about e-learning, and I really connect with e-learning because I feel like everyone has a different learning style. So being able to watch a video and pause it, I feel like it’s important for a lot of people rather than me just having a class where I’m showing you and then if you don’t catch it up, too bad. It gives everyone an equal playing field.”
Although Ferrigon hasn’t viewed the remote model as a setback, she acknowledges how her first time teaching as a professor has been during a time like no other, where educators and students can be distracted by current events and forced to shift their priorities. She says her involvement in the course has helped at times steer her away from the gloom so many felt in 2020.
“During COVID, there are so many important things going on in the world and then on top of that we had the election last semester, which was so stressful and draining,” Ferrigon said. “So, just keeping up with all that’s going on externally, it can be very detrimental to motivation. But I found that the class kept me focused in terms of connecting with the students and helping them with things. It kept me distracted like in a good way from the bad stuff in the world.”
Ferrigon suggests to aspiring filmmakers and content creators that they must get used to constant changes in work, technology and other factors to be successful in the industry.
“Be open to change direction multiple times in your career because in our field, it’s all about keeping up with technology and if you don’t want to be a lifelong learner, if you don’t want to learn anything ever again, it’s not the field for you.”