Photography, Video storytelling and Video Editing
SPECIAL OLYMPICS INTERNATIONAL
For the past five years I have served as a volunteer photojournalist and cinematographer and video editor for Special Olympics International at three World Games competitions – Los Angeles in 2015, Graz, Austria in 2017 and in Abu Dhabi, UAE in 2019. At each, I worked closely with a partner visual storyteller to produce work that is used and published by Special Olympics International. Some of the work was used on an ABC-Television story as part of the ESPY Awards of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of Special Olympics, who was honored posthumously by the ESPY Awards with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
The experience working at the World Games has been a direct inspiration to my collaboration with my RIT students and Special Olympics New York. For the past three years, I have brought more than 70 RIT students to cover the New York State Winter Games. Since 2018, students photographed, produced video and donated prints to the athletes and the state organization, just as I have done at the international level. In 2020, my colleague Jenn Poggi and I created a 1-credit course for the Winter Games coverage, which we led. More information about the 1-credit Special Olympics Winter Games course is here in the Teaching section.
For my volunteer work with the Special Olympics International, I received the College of Art and Design Gitner Family Prize for pro bono work in 2018.
2019 World Summer Games
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
I co-Shot and co-edited a short documentary about the changing role of women athletes in Special Olympics. The story features Loretta Claiborne, a life-long and world-class athlete and global speaker, who has competed in Special Olympics since the late 1960s.
2017 World Winter Games
I co-shot and co-edited a short documentary about the two Syrian Special Olympic speed skaters competing at the World Winter Games. Competing amidst a violent war in their home country, neither athlete had ever stepped on an ice rink before coming to Austria to compete, instead training indoors in mall hallways on rollerblades.
2015 World Summer Games
I filmed and edited two video pieces at the World Summer Games about the new efforts by Special Olympics to be more inclusive for non-intellectually disabled people, called Unified Sports. Some of my footage was included in an ABC television feature on the ESPY awards in July 2017 for the Courage Award received posthumously by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the founder of Special Olympics. The original stories were published in 2016.