The Athletic Edge
For Kelly Whritenour ’18, a digital cinema and filmmaking major on the PLV Campus, there’s something magical about a perfectly executed play—and you can bet she brings that enthusiasm for sports to her work in media. She even interned for the MTA!
Kelly Whritenour ’18 is on the move. As a Digital Cinema and Filmmaking major on the PLV Campus, she’s hard at work as a Student Assistant for the Athletics Department as well as a member of the Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honor Society and Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority. In the past, Whritenour interned for MTA New York City Transit as a Production Assistant, was an active member of the Varsity Softball team, and a Hall Council President for the Residence Hall Association. Not only that, she spent a semester in Wales, continuing her passion for filmmaking and history while studying at Bangor University.
Most recently, Whritenour’s work on the documentary Ridge to Ranch to River to Reef: Florida’s Conservation Connections helped earn the film an Award of Merit from the Accolade Global Film Competition. Of all her accomplishments, however, coaching a team over the summer where she gets to impart her knowledge and passion onto the next generation was ranked high.
What’s Whritenour up to now? We were lucky enough to track her down for a quick interview!
Why did you end up choosing Pace? What set Pace apart from other universities?
I chose Pace for many reasons. First, because it was not too close to home and not too far. The next reason was because I felt that I would have the best chance at playing softball here. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out how I thought it would, but I wouldn’t have done all of the incredible things that I did since hanging up my cleats had I not pursued college softball.
One of the other major factors was that I loved how Pace boasted about their internship opportunities and required every student to complete at least one before graduation. I thought that was a very important factor that set Pace apart from other schools.
How did you hear about Career Services? Were you referred by a professor or a student?
I believe I heard about Career Services through UNV101, and my advisor at the time, Beth Ann Tonner.
Who worked with you?
My Career Services advisor was Nicole Catalfamo who, unfortunately for us students, is no longer working at Pace. I’ve been working with Victoria (Tori) Quaranta since.
What was the preparation process like?
The process for getting an internship can be very daunting and stressful. Talking with Nicole, Tori, and various professors and friends has been so helpful in rallying my confidence. I know that I felt far more confident after Nicole and Tori tweaked and re-formatted my resume. It made me feel a bit better to discuss interview processes with them as well as my professors. I will admit that interviews still give me butterflies, but it does get easier the more interviews you go on.
Of all your employment positions, which did you like the best? What was a defining moment for you while working there?
This is a tough question! I think that, internship-wise, the one I liked best was at the MTA in corporate communications. I think that it validated my confidence in my abilities as a filmmaker. While working there, I realized how much I had already learned, and I was able to get extra practice and fine-tune my skills in a professional setting.
What motivates you?
No, but really: I absolutely love what I do. I really enjoy telling stories and I want to make people smile. I want to create content that means something and makes people respond emotionally, and to tell a story that people care about. I want to be a crucial part of making that happen. That’s what motivates me.
That’s my goal because it’s something continuous. I love this field—I have so much fun! I’m driven by deadlines, the stress of having to get things just right as quickly as possible and to get everything through post before delivery. It fuels me. It’s a type of energy that you only get while in production, and I know that it’s something that I want to do for a very long time. In this field, I know that I will be doing something I love, and while it may come with long hours and grueling days and nights, I will be happy, and I will be making my family proud.
You’re a Student Assistant in the Athletics Department and formerly a member of the Varsity Softball team. What is it about sports that draws you? How does it enhance your professional life?
I grew up with sports through watching and playing. It runs in my family. My parents met at a New Jersey Devils game. I basically exist because of hockey! My dad, uncles, and (late) paternal-grandfather also live and breathe Yankees baseball, and it’s something that I’ve come to love, too. My mom and her (late) father are huge football fans, especially the Giants, so I was basically always around it.
From a young age, I started playing softball, and it was truly my first love. The game has taught me, broken me, and been there for me when I needed it the most. In terms of what draws me to sports, I love the energy, the competition, the atmosphere, and the thrills that come from watching a beautifully executed play. It’s like magic! I found a family in my teammates at every level and I learned how to work with others and pull my own weight in order for the team to succeed, because it’s a machine. I also played field hockey, which emphasizes teamwork and communication.
Yes, I’ve learned all the lessons. I’ve played sports my whole life, and I’ve yet to stray from it. I coach a club team in the summer now. I get to pass on the lessons and inspire the same love and passion in my players. Coming from a sports background is a great asset in the professional world; athletes, in a way, are at an advantage. You gain a certain level of discipline, patience, communication, leadership, and respect for others that is hard to learn elsewhere.
You worked on a documentary that received an Award of Merit from the Accolade Global Film Competition. Congratulations! What was it like working on that project?
This was one of the coolest things I’ve done at Pace—I loved every second of it! I am so proud of this documentary and how hard we worked in it. The doc was a course in the Media, Communications, and Visual Arts (MCVA) department. We spend the first part of the semester leading up to spring break doing research and planning. It can be a bit taxing and boring. Then we head out to a location (in this case, Florida) for the duration of spring break, and start filming.
To actually be out there filming something and trying to piece together these people you’re interviewing was so thrilling. For me, this was an even more important experience. Not to have this take a sad turn, but the day before the class met up in Ft. Myers, my grandpa somewhat unexpectedly passed away. I was lucky to have spent some time with him before that, since by some bizarre chance, we were filming in Southwest Florida, and meeting not more than 30 minutes from my grandparents. What are the odds of that? Of all the places we could’ve gone? That week of production was a great outlet for me, and I am forever grateful to Maria Luskay, EdD, and the crew for looking out for me during that time.
Then came the editing. Special shout out to Camilla Klævold and Shakira Evans, my co-editor and assistant editor, for putting up with me during all those late nights at the edit bay. We became really close and had a great time editing. We’re all so proud of what we did—I had such an incredible time working on this that I’m taking the class again. This year, we’re going to Puerto Rico to document Hurricane Maria’s impact and the recovery process, and I couldn’t be more excited! This story is going to be something else, and I know it will be an experience I will never forget.
Tell us a surprising fact about you! What’s something most people don’t know?
A lot of people know this already, but even more don’t: I wear hearing aids. I have sensorineural deafness, which basically means I don’t have nerve endings in my ears. I have to wear hearing aids in both ears, but you’d never know because I don’t have a speech impediment.
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