Student Spotlight: Hannah Marchitell

By Hannah Wood

Get to know the students that are the driving force of the Emergent Media Center. Student Spotlight features one of our current students, highlights what they’re doing here, and some fun facts about them.

Meet Hannah Marchitell. Hannah is a first year MFA student and holds a bachelor’s degree in social documentation from her undergraduate studies. She is from Clyde New York, but now lives here in Burlington.

HW: What is your position at the Emergent Media Center?

HM: I am an MFA Fellow. I work as the Project Manager for BREAKAWAY.

HW: What tasks do you perform daily?

HM: As the project manager I oversee all of the tasks that need to be completed for a successful trip to El Salvador where we will be holding BREAKAWAY summer camps for youth. It is hard to say what I do every day. I am involved with setting up meetings, creating presentations to give to facilitators in El Salvador, organizing materials that need to be printed, creating schedules for our time in El Salvador, implementing research (we have a partnership with Doctor Hua (Helen) Wang at the University at Buffalo who is conducting research), and fundraising. This semester we had a fundraiser at Bluebird Barbecue, we sold Hot Chocolate at the Champlain Ski Club’s Rail Jam, there was a Halloween event, and we had an online campaign through Thunderclap to raise awareness about our project. Total we have raised $10,000. People have also donated specific non-monetary things to BREAKAWAY this semester too. Additionally, I work very closely with an amazing undergraduate student named Mariana Herrera who is from El Salvador and took the initiative to bring BREAKAWAY to El Salvador.

HW: What are your most memorable projects?

HM: I have only been at this for a semester so I am going to go out on a limb and say that the most memorable thing I will do with BREAKAWAY is going to El Salvador in one week. I will have the chance to work with an amazing group of people from Champlain College, the University of Buffalo and our partners in El Salvador to create real, positive change of a pervasive human rights abuse. On our first two days in El Salvador we will be training around 50 facilitators who are volunteering their time to become trained in BREAKAWAY’s program to prevent Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) in El Salvador, which has the highest rate of femicide worldwide and VAWG is a serious issue. For the next three days we will work all day with around 80 child participants in facilitated camps. So those facilitators are volunteering five days to trying to solve VAWG.

HW: What are your favorite things about the Emergent Media Center?

HM: My favorite part about the Emergent Media Center is being able to collaborate with so many individuals who have diverse backgrounds. This provides an excellent opportunity for me to learn from others and improve upon my strengths in a team environment.

HW: What are you excited about at the Emergent Media Center?

HM: I am excited about all the incredible projects that the EMC produces. BREAKAWAY is just one of many projects that have an impact on serious issues that are prevalent in the world today. What is really amazing is that these projects are produced by students. Who would think that BREAKAWAY would be played in over 140 countries, translated into 4 languages, and be proven by a research study to positively impact children’s perceptions of women.

HW: If you had to describe your working experience at the Emergent Media Center in one word, what would it be?

HM: One word? That is a seriously hard question and I am assuming you mean my experience working at the EMC in that environment rather than what I have personally done. I would say ardent.