February 23, 2005: Headlines: COS - Morocco: Filmmaking: Documentaries: Gay Issues: Arizona Daily Wildcat: Morocco RPCV Beverly Seckinger has dedicated her career to telling stories about other people through film

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Film: January 23, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Films and Movies : February 23, 2005: Headlines: COS - Morocco: Filmmaking: Documentaries: Gay Issues: Arizona Daily Wildcat: Morocco RPCV Beverly Seckinger has dedicated her career to telling stories about other people through film

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Morocco RPCV Beverly Seckinger has dedicated her career to telling stories about other people through film

Morocco RPCV Beverly Seckinger has dedicated her career to telling stories about other people through film

Morocco RPCV Beverly Seckinger has dedicated her career to telling stories about other people through film

Professor captures Laramie 'Inside Out'

MATT ROBLES/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Associate professor Beverly Seckinger of media arts whose focus is mainly documentary film classes and has also produced her own work in her spare time.
By Andrew O'Neill
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
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Armed with her past and a video camera, she went to Laramie, Wyo., to find some answers. It was the spring of 1999.

What she found was a town struggling to move forward after the brutal 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay 21-year-old University of Wyoming student.

Beverly Seckinger has dedicated her career to telling stories about other people through film.

Seckinger, an associate professor of media arts and associate head of the department, teaches courses in documentary film production, the history of documentary film and a course in idea development.

Her latest documentary, "Laramie Inside Out," is a personal journey several years in the making.

It began with Shepard's murder.

"I was hit hard by it," Seckinger said.

Seckinger said she noticed many biographical similarities between herself and Shepard. Like Shepard, Seckinger grew up gay in Laramie and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Wyoming.

She said she wanted to experience firsthand how different people in Laramie reacted to Shepard's murder, as well as what actions they took in the following months.

Seckinger said she was able to analyze her past in the process of making the film, and she includes scenes from her own life throughout the documentary.

She said she noticed many positive changes in Laramie, and Shepard's death sparked a dialogue among its residents.

"It was a tragic opportunity for a community to grow," Seckinger said.

She said one lesson learned from her experience in making the film is how people can really come together and change the world.

Seckinger has been trying to change the world for a long time.

Born in Los Angeles, Seckinger moved with her family to Laramie when she was in fifth grade.

She majored in English and French at the University of Wyoming, joined the Peace Corps after graduation, and was sent to Morocco to teach English as a second language to high school students.

She returned to the United States to pursue a master's degree in anthropology and linguistics at the UA, and then returned to Morocco where she became involved in the production of a video about literacy studies.

Seckinger said the experience sparked an interest in making films, and she subsequently pursued a master of fine arts degree in radio-television-film at Temple University in Philadelphia.

She joined the media arts faculty at the UA in 1991, where she has shared her expertise with students for more than a decade.

"She's extremely passionate about documentary filmmaking," said Christine Madonia, a media arts senior who helped Seckinger research distribution opportunities for "Laramie Inside Out."

Madonia said documentary filmmaking is a unique way of telling a story, and Seckinger encourages her students to take risks.

"She's very open-minded," Madonia said.

Other students also appreciate Seckinger's guidance.

"She shaped a lot of my filmmaking and pushed us to do interesting things," said Stephanie Faust, a media arts BFA senior.

Faust said Seckinger is very involved with her students and encourages them to think beyond their natural world.

Ultimately, Seckinger said she hopes people will watch her documentary and realize how individuals and communities can change in a positive direction.

She said people need to create safer and more welcoming schools and communities for everyone.

"I hope people will be inspired to take some kind of action to make a difference," she said.

There will be a screening of "Laramie Inside Out" tonight at 7 in Gallagher Theater, followed by a discussion led by Seckinger. The event is free and open to the public.

When this story was posted in February 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

The Peace Corps Library Date: February 7 2005 No: 438 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in over 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related reference material in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can use the Main Index to find hundreds of stories about RPCVs who have your same interests, who served in your Country of Service, or who serve in your state.

Make a call for the Peace Corps Date: February 19 2005 No: 453 Make a call for the Peace Corps
PCOL is a strong supporter of the NPCA's National Day of Action and encourages every RPCV to spend ten minutes on Tuesday, March 1 making a call to your Representatives and ask them to support President Bush's budget proposal of $345 Million to expand the Peace Corps. Take our Poll: Click here to take our poll. We'll send out a reminder and have more details early next week.
Peace Corps Calendar:Tempest in a Teapot? Date: February 17 2005 No: 445 Peace Corps Calendar:Tempest in a Teapot?
Bulgarian writer Ognyan Georgiev has written a story which has made the front page of the newspaper "Telegraf" criticizing the photo selection for his country in the 2005 "Peace Corps Calendar" published by RPCVs of Madison, Wisconsin. RPCV Betsy Sergeant Snow, who submitted the photograph for the calendar, has published her reply. Read the stories and leave your comments.

February 19, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: February 19 2005 No: 449 February 19, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
NPCA Board positions are open for nomination 17 Feb
Mike Tidwell on trial for climate action protest 17 Feb
Katie Dyer is co-owner of Cadeaux du Monde 16 Feb
Cyclone misses Tonga and Samoa PCVs 16 Feb
Phil Hardberger in debate for Mayor of San Antonio 16 Feb
Edmund Hull is Princeton Diplomat-In-Residence 16 Feb
Bruce Greenlee is longtime friend of Latino community 15 Feb
Mike Honda new vice chairman at DNC 15 Feb
Jospeh Opala documents slave crossing from Sierra Leone 14 Feb
Dear Dr. Brothers: Aren't PCVs Hippies? 14 Feb
Joseph Lanning founded the World Education Fund 14 Feb
Stanley Levine draws Marine and Peace Corps similarities 14 Feb
Speaking Out: JFK envisioned millions of RPCVs 13 Feb
Chris Aquino visits mother's homeland of Vietnam 12 Feb
Is PCOL blocking users from posting messages? 12 Feb
JFK Library opens Sargent Shriver Collection 1 Feb
RPCV responds to Bulgaria Calendar concerns 28 Jan

WWII participants became RPCVs Date: February 13 2005 No: 442 WWII participants became RPCVs
Read about two RPCVs who participated in World War II in very different ways long before there was a Peace Corps. Retired Rear Adm. Francis J. Thomas (RPCV Fiji), a decorated hero of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, died Friday, Jan. 21, 2005 at 100. Mary Smeltzer (RPCV Botswana), 89, followed her Japanese students into WWII internment camps. We honor both RPCVs for their service.
Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps Date: February 7 2005 No: 436 Bush's FY06 Budget for the Peace Corps
The White House is proposing $345 Million for the Peace Corps for FY06 - a $27.7 Million (8.7%) increase that would allow at least two new posts and maintain the existing number of volunteers at approximately 7,700. Bush's 2002 proposal to double the Peace Corps to 14,000 volunteers appears to have been forgotten. The proposed budget still needs to be approved by Congress.
RPCVs mobilize support for Countries of Service Date: January 30 2005 No: 405 RPCVs mobilize support for Countries of Service
RPCV Groups mobilize to support their Countries of Service. Over 200 RPCVS have already applied to the Crisis Corps to provide Tsunami Recovery aid, RPCVs have written a letter urging President Bush and Congress to aid Democracy in Ukraine, and RPCVs are writing NBC about a recent episode of the "West Wing" and asking them to get their facts right about Turkey.
RPCVs contend for Academy Awards  Date: January 31 2005 No: 416 RPCVs contend for Academy Awards
Bolivia RPCV Taylor Hackford's film "Ray" is up for awards in six categories including best picture, best actor and best director. "Autism Is a World" co-produced by Sierra Leone RPCV Douglas Biklen and nominated for best Documentary Short Subject, seeks to increase awareness of developmental disabilities. Colombian film "El Rey," previously in the running for the foreign-language award, includes the urban legend that PCVs teamed up with El Rey to bring cocaine to U.S. soil.
Ask Not Date: January 18 2005 No: 388 Ask Not
As our country prepares for the inauguration of a President, we remember one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and how his words inspired us. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

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Story Source: Arizona Daily Wildcat

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Morocco; Filmmaking; Documentaries; Gay Issues



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