Welcome to Issue 16 of the Triton Times! In this issue, we feature our Theatre program, highlight three amazing young alumni and profile our Young Democrats Club.
Theatre at Eckerd College
To be or not to be… a theatre major at Eckerd College… that is the question! Whether ‘tis nobler to major or minor in the program, well that is up to you. Of course, student don’t have to major in our theatre program to be involved, yet another perk of a liberal arts education! Our theatre major provides students with lifelong experiences that will help them carry communication, analytical, and artistic skills required in all elements of theatre into whatever field they find themselves in down the road. Every year Eckerd produces a Fall and Spring production open to theatre and non-theatre majors. Students are also required to complete an internship in the field with opportunity at local companies such as American Stage or the Studio@620 in downtown St. Pete, and even regional places such as the Hartford Stage, or Norwegian Cruise Lines! On top of that, we offer overseas opportunities at our London Study Centre and students have had past performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival –one of the largest Arts festivals in the world- and the Avignon Festival in France. To wrap up previous experiences, our seniors participate in a capstone project which showcases their skills as performers, directors and/or designers by taking Senior Theatre Company 1 and 2. There really is no telling how far our theatre students will go after Eckerd, so the question still remains, to be or not to be a theatre major at Eckerd.
Alumni Highlight – Alumni go Hollywood!
Paul Posillico ’12, Bay Shore, NY (Economics Major) Jimmy Rivera ’12, Skokie, IL (Environmental Studies Major) Alec Ogg ’12, Cordova, TN (Theatre Major)
Paul Posillico, Jimmy Rivera and Alec Ogg are from three distinctly different hometowns and have academic interests related in only the liberal arts sense. So of course when they arrived at Eckerd College, as roommates from New York, Chicago and Memphis, they formed a fast friendship. Their Eckerd experience is likely shared by other alumni, yet so uniquely Eckerd, it’s unlikely to happen at many other colleges or universities.
The details of their exploits and engagement while on campus are exciting on their own, but it is the impact of those endeavors on their current careers that is so compelling. After four years as roommates, Paul, Jimmy and Alec decided to move to Hollywood, California after graduation in 2012. What these young men have been up to since commencement 2012 is quite impressive.
Economics and Oscars
Originally from New York, Paul Posillico earned his economics degree in hopes that it would propel him to success in the entertainment industry. His goal is to become an Agent and he is currently working at Mattel, which was recently featured in Varietymagazine for their new ventures in Hollywood. In addition to being the world’s largest toy manufacturer, Mattel has big plans to produce original films, TV shows, Web series, live events and games.
Paul also has an internship with the production company Echo Lake. He is responsible for reading pilot scripts for television shows, novels, and film scripts, and writing coverage on them for executives. Echo Lake’s most recent production is the Oscar nominated, Nebraska, starring Best Actor nominee Bruce Dern. Finally, like most Eckerd students filling their days with just one more club or activity to an already packed schedule, Paul is taking a UCLA extension class in Film Pre-production and Post-Production.
Whales, Sharks and Dolphins! Oh, Marine Science
Jimmy Rivera is from the Windy City, Chicago, and earned his degree in environmental studies. His love of the outdoors and the opportunity to take advantage of the ecological diversity the campus and the Tampa-St. Petersburg area offer were driving factors in his decision to attend Eckerd.
Out west he has worked as a deck hand on the Catalina Express that commutes between Long Beach and Catalina Island. Blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, fin whale and shark sightings while making the trip to and from Catalina Island have replaced the Florida manatees, sea turtles and horseshoe crabs he used to see near Eckerd. In addition to interesting sea life, what really has Jimmy excited is his new position at the Catalina Island Marine Institute. He will be working full time on Catalina Island as a Marine Science instructor. He’ll have the chance to go snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking with students and teaching them everything he learned at Eckerd about marine life.
Music, Memphis and Another Man’s Trash
The final member of the trio is the southern guy, Alec Ogg from Memphis. He majored in theatre, yet his approach was truly an interdisciplinary art educational experience. As a proud alumni member of Eckerd’s improv team, Another Man’s Trash, he is continuing his improv and theatre education at The Groundlings Theatre and School. The Groundlings is an improvisation and sketch comedy theatre that boasts alumni like Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Will Ferrell, Maya Rudolph, and Will Forte. Alec has also been in student films at the Los Angeles Film School, a Norwegian barbecue commercial, and has been an extra on MTV’s show Teen Wolf. Acting and auditioning take up most of his time, yet Alec is still able to put his 4 years of Eckerd choir, 3 years of playing piano for the Wireman Chapel Sunday service and his minor in music to use by playing music around Southern California. The House of Blues on the Sunset Strip, Fiesta Hermosa in Hermosa Beach, Summerfest in Venice beach, The Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood Boulevard and Molly Malone’s in West Hollywood are some of the well known venues where he has played his singer-songwriter original songs. A recent report from ACT indicated that students with higher aspirations typically attended college farther from home. These three friends each traveled about 1,000 from home to attend Eckerd College and then traveled another 2,500 miles to get their careers started. It’s clear from their efforts so far that Paul, Jimmy and Alec have really lofty aspirations and their Eckerd educations are helping them get there.
Young Democrats Club President: Daniela Baeza ’15, Potomac, MD
How did you first get involved? The former president of the club came to me when I did work for Alex Sink’s campaign. He thought I was passionate and heard good things so he asked if I wanted to take it over, so I said sure!
What do you do in this club (describe a typical meeting/event): We meet to discuss current events and talk about political issues. Sometimes we get speakers to come to Eckerd or help out with campaigns and/or give information about how to get involved in campaigns. Eckerd College is in District 13 for Pinellas County, so we try to involve ourselves in Democratic events in our District as well.
What is your favorite thing about being a part of this club/activity? I really enjoy just getting together with other students who are passionate about politics and discussing issues with other like-minded students. I also like that we get together and do “Speed-dating” style talks with Young Republicans to help better understand each other. It isn’t an “us vs. them”, but a better way to speak openly and help understand each other to work together and collaborate our ideas.
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What’s New at Eckerd
Eckerd welcomes the Class of 2014 to the ranks of EC Alumni! Our 51st Annual Commencement Ceremony took place Sunday May 18 on South Beach Field. Our ceremony takes place right on the beautiful Boca Ciega Bay. Watch our giant tent (the largest of its kind in Florida) raised by the bay.