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Better Know the Alliance: Where we went to school

Here’s a new segment the Alliance is doing to help us get the word out about who we are and a little more of our background. In the first Better Know the Alliance, a group of Alliance members share where they attended college and what they studied.

Joe Botten

The University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.

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  • School colors: Purple and grey.
  • Nickname: The Tommies.

Was your major related to film, and if so what was it?

I majored in Theater and briefly considered staying on to get a Masters Degree in Business but I started working professionally in town right after graduation and always knew I could go back if I wanted. Now I work for an online university where I can pretty much attend classes for free – I just need to get my act in gear 😊

If your major wasn’t related to film, did you take film classes?

The college did offer film classes as part of the theater curriculum, taught by one of the beloved members of the department, George Poletes. More than half the fun of the class was listening to George wax on about film and though we watched a number of important films throughout the course the most best memories I have of those quarters (and that year in general) were the lively discussions/debates we’d have after/during.

George is gone now but he was a huge influence on my admiration for every genre of film and willingness to review whatever comes across my inbox.

During your time in college, did you do any work related to film, such as write reviews for a student publication or make short films?

I was in a few short films that I honestly blocked out of my memory – none were that pivotal or profound and they certainly didn’t go anywhere past the final presentation in a college classroom.

My earliest reviews, though, were for my high school student newspaper. However, it was published on a strange enough schedule that it was hard to plan what film would fit the release schedule.

Brian Eggert

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

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  • School colors: Maroon and gold.
  • Nickname: The Golden Gophers.

Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio.

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  • School colors: Green and gold.
  • Nickname: The Dragons.

Was your major related to film, and if so what was it?

I attended the University of Minnesota for my undergraduate degree, spending my time on the Minneapolis campus. I received my Master’s degree from Tiffin University. The school is located in Tiffin, Ohio.

My B.A. is in Art History, plus minors in Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature and Film & Media Studies. My primary focus was on Northern European Renaissance painting. Most of the courses for my minors were related to close analyses of literature and film.

My Master’s degree is in Film Studies, with a concentration on Classical Hollywood, postcolonialism, and film theory. My thesis explored anti-Nazi and anti-fascist classical Hollywood cinema released before the attack on Pearl Harbor, before the studios actively started making propaganda.

These films (such as “The Great Dictator” or “Black Legion”) were usually passion projects—stories that filmmakers and studio heads felt needed to be told to comment on the world.

If your major wasn’t related to film, did you take film classes?

While studying for my undergraduate degree in Art History, I took a lot of film classes. But I had been a cinephile long before college, so courses like Film History 101 were a breeze. The challenging film-related courses often concerned a very specific area of study relating to theory.

For instance, I took a course called “Monsters, Robots, and Cyborgs” that focused on literature and film of this kind, but the theories behind these concepts prove more intellectual than mere genre appreciation. The course deepened my love of certain favorites, like “Blade Runner,” RoboCop, and “The Thing.”

During your time in college, did you do any work related to film, such as write reviews for a student publication or make short films?

I made a short film or two during my undergraduate studies. They weren’t very good. I quickly decided that I enjoyed reading and writing about movies more than making them.

Kelly Florence

Lake Superior College in Duluth, Minn.

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  • School colors: Blue, white and gold.
  • Nickname: The Ice Hawks.

The University of Minnesota-Duluth.

umdlogo

  • School colors: Maroon and gold.
  • Nickname: The Bulldogs.

The University of Wisconsin-Superior.

UWSLogo

  • School colors: Black and gold.
  • Nickname: The Yellowjackets.

What did you study in college and did you take film classes?

I started my college journey as as post-secondary student during high school at Mesabi Range in Virginia, MN. Next, I got my degree in Broadcasting at Lake Superior College in Duluth, MN (where I now teach!) then got my BA in theatre at the University of MN-Duluth. Lastly, I got my MA in communicating arts at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Theatre and communicating arts degrees involved many film and television classes. This definitely shaped how I watch movies and helped inform my views.

During your time in college, did you do any work related to film, such as write reviews for a student publication or make short films?

I was involved in community theatre and dance and made short films with friends throughout my college years.

Kyle Goethe

Minnesota State University, Moorhead.

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  • School Colors: Red, black, white and grey.
  • Nickname: The Dragons.

What did you study in college and did you take film classes?

I attended MSUM for an English Major, a focus in Creative Writing and a certificate in Publishing. While I contemplated minoring in film, in the end I elected to focus on English and the writing.

I took a number of film related classes, specifically three different Scriptwriting classes, a few film criticism classes, and, strangely, a law class that looked at creative works and how accurately they realized the world of law.

During your time in college, did you do any work related to film, such as write reviews for a student publication or make short films?

I supported several film projects during my time there, ending with writing the screenplay for senior film project for a colleague, but I was regular involved in several film groups and always on hand to help.

Paul McGuire Grimes

Viterbo University, La Crosse, Wis.

VIterboU

  • School colors: Red, blue and white.
  • Nickname: The V-Hawks

Was your major related to film, and if so what was it?

No, I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Theater.

If your major wasn’t related to film, did you take film classes?

No. They didn’t offer any film classes.

During your time in college, did you do any work related to film, such as write reviews for a student publication or make short films?

No.

Meg Hafdahl

The University of Minnesota-Duluth.

UMDuluthlogo

  • School colors: Maroon and Gold.
  • Nickname: The Bulldogs.

What did you study in college and did you take film classes?

I was a Literature major, so sometimes we watched films and compared them to the text.

I took several film classes in college. It opened my eyes to films I wouldn’t have normally watched, as well as taught me how to analyze film in much the same way I was used to close-reading literature.

During your time in college, did you do any work related to film, such as write reviews for a student publication or make short films?

In high school/college I wrote film and music reviews for a publication called the Northland Reader in Duluth.

Melinda Lavine

The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

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  • School colors: Green, white and black.
  • Nickname: The Fighting Hawks.

Was your major related to film, and if so what was it?

No, I majored in English and Communication. I did have pipe dreams of going to film school in Bozeman, Montana, but I’m better suited for watching, writing and talking about movies than making them.

If your major wasn’t related to film, did you take film classes?

Oh yeah. I can never forget Michael Anderegg’s classes on film (and Shakespeare). He really opened my eyes to the craft of filmmaking and how to draw more from it than what’s on the surface. I also took a bunch of theater and acting classes, and wrote and directed a play for one of them.

During your time in college, did you do any work related to film, such as write reviews for a student publication or make short films?

Nope, but does working at a video store count? 😀

Jeremy Lebens

Capella University, Minneapolis, Minn.

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  • School colors: Red and black.

Was your major related to film, and if so what was it?

My major was not related to film, as I was pursuing a degree within IT.

If your major wasn’t related to film, did you take film classes?

Sadly I did not, as they were not offered. But I started school long after I started writing for online publications.

During your time in college, did you do any work related to film, such as write reviews for a student publication or make short films?

I actually was already writing for my own website, The Daily Rotation.

Matthew Liedke

Rainy River Community College in International Falls, Minn.

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  • School colors: Red, white and black.
  • Nickname: The Voyageurs.

Minnesota State University, Moorhead.

MNMoor

  • School colors: Red, white, black and grey.
  • Nickname: The Dragons.

Was your major related to film, and if so, what was it?

No, I majored in mass communications with a journalism emphasis.

If your major wasn’t related to film, did you take film classes?

I did! I took a class called The American Cinema at RRCC and had several more at MSUM. Learning about film history was fascinating.

During your time in college, did you do any work related to film, such as write reviews for a student publication or make short films?

Yes, I wrote reviews for the student paper The Advocate, as well as the online publication, Doing it Downtown. The latter focused on films shown at the historic Fargo Theatre in downtown Fargo.

Ruth Maramis

St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn.

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  • School Colors: Red, black and white.
  • Nickname: The Huskies.

Was your major related to film?

No, it was a mass communication (advertising) major and a graphic design minor.

If your major wasn’t related to film, did you take film classes?

No, but i wish I did. I did take a couple of broadcast journalism classes.

During your time in college, did you do any work related to film, such as write reviews for a student publication or make short films?

No, my film activities started post college

Nicholas Palodichuk

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

MNUGoldy

  • School colors: Maroon and gold.
  • Nickname: The Golden Gophers.

What did you study in college?

I majored in fine arts.

Frank Stanko

The University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio.

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  • School colors: Red and blue.
  • Nickname: The Flyers

Was your major related to film, and if so, what was it?

My major was communications, specifically journalism. I have a minor in sociology.

If your major wasn’t related to film, did you take film classes?

No, but I was active in campus theater and I took one class on the history of musicals, so there was some discussion of movies.

During your time in college, did you do any work related to film, such as write reviews for a student publication or make short films?

Yes, I wrote movie reviews for Flyer News, the school paper. My first review was of “American Gangster” and off the top of my head, others included “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and “The Social Network.”

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Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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