In the Spotlight: Elaine Seward '08

As senior video producer for the American Chemical Society, Elaine Seward ’08 values her Lycoming education and the professors that made it happen.

1. What made you choose to attend Lycoming College?

When I first visited Lycoming College, I fell in love with the communications program Steve Koehn (head of communications, 2008) had created. His passion was inspiring, and I have seen his legacy continue with Leah Peterson. I had known from a young age that I wanted to have a career in creating films and after visiting, I felt that Lycoming would be a good fit for me. Visually, the campus itself looked like something out of a movie. It was also close to home, which was important to me. I was scared to go off by myself for the first time and Lycoming was friendly, inviting, and close enough to home for me to visit easily.

2. What is one of your favorite memories, classes, professors or activities while attending Lycoming College as an undergraduate student?

Professor Leah Peterson’s artistic skill and unwaveringly high expectations challenged me as an artist. Learning from her helped me to develop confidence in myself as a creator — confidence that I had previously lacked. We still stay in contact and I love hearing about how she’s consistently upgrading and expanding the film and media arts program in great ways.

Dr. Fred Wild was the most challenging professor I had during my tenure at Lycoming, by far. His courses required me to think logically, yet creatively. They weren’t about memorizing facts, or getting a technically correct answer. He promoted the understanding of a theory and being able to apply it critically to a situation. His classes were all about critical and analytical thinking. I can say without a doubt that Dr. Wild changed how I think and view things, and in doing so, changed my life.

3. How has your education at Lycoming College influenced or helped you in your life and career?

My education at Lycoming is unparalleled and has helped me massively in the success I’ve achieved. In a media platform, everything needs to be carefully thought and planned out. That means everything I design in a video needs to be intentional. At Lycoming, I learned how to effectively communicate through visual media. This taught me how to bridge the gap between a design feeling right, and a design being effective. This knowledge has helped me advance to, and thrive in, a lead creative role in my current position.

4. What is one or two of your proudest professional or personal accomplishments that occurred after graduating from Lycoming that your education really played a role in?

My ability to create with intent, and to visually express concepts, has played major roles in my receiving a handful of awards in the science-communication field, the PR field, and the video field.

5. What piece of professional advice would you give your fellow Lycoming alumni?

It’s better to regret trying something new than regret not trying it at all. I try to apply that thought not only to my professional life (like applying for a fellowship in an area I was interested in, but didn’t have a strong background) but my personal life as well. It’s worked pretty well so far, and I have had a lot of great opportunities and memories because of it.