When it comes to Northampton Community College (NCC) student Ember Suta’s media production projects, there will always be a common theme of comedy. “Whether the topic is assigned or one we’re tasked with coming up with ourselves, I really enjoy incorporating humor that can make people laugh and smile.”
As a kid, Suta found herself glued to any form of entertainment she could get her hands on, movies, television, games and more.
Suta recalls a sense of sadness growing up, and she says, “A lot of that came from being bullied and not feeling like I fit in with my peers. I would watch movies and TV and anything I could get my hands on, and it would make me feel good. I wanted to help other people find that joy.”
Suta started with NCC in spring 2019 taking general education courses, but the following semester, she found her path. “My first semester here, I didn’t have a direction, but then, I found Corridor Digital, a production company that made me interested in media production. I toured NCC’s television production studio. I fell in love.”
This high achieving student began to thrive at NCC. Suta became a resident advisor (RA) for the Residence Halls on Bethlehem Campus where she lived, and with her knowledge of the audio boards, she was offered a position as a lab assistant in the production lab for her program in her first semester. She tutored, took attendance, and assisted students in the lab.
Her first semester at the college, she also helped run a student tabletop gaming club. The club was having difficulty getting off the ground and recruiting members, and Suta helped them gain momentum. She became the president and ran the booth at the college club festivals, managing everything while working alongside club advisor, Professor Briggs, who had a considerable influence on her. “Dr. Briggs said I was a very charismatic person, and I was shocked. I had never been told that. I was never popular in high school, and that meant a lot to me. This professor gave me confidence and made me feel good about myself. I felt like in college, I was something.”
When the college went online spring 2020, it posed challenges for many students. Suta adjusted well to remote learning having had experience with it her final semester in high school for her final English class.
“The transition to remote was difficult on me mentally because I loved NCC, and it sounds odd but I’m homesick for the college,” Suta commented on the part of the transition that she found personally challenging.
At first during spring 2020, Suta used her phone camera to shoot videos. With the Cares Act, she was able to spend money for her education, and she invested in a digital camera for her projects that she could use long-term. When the fall came around and campus was re-opened to NCC students, faculty, and staff, she was able to rent a 4K high-quality camera for the fall 2020 semester projects.
“I did a lot of projects these past two semesters where I went out to shoot safely. Students had access to editing programs, like the Adobe Suite, through the college that we could use remotely to complete our projects.” Suta recently finished a two-part television mini-series with her friend, shot in the same vein as a soap opera, and it was all based on an inside joke in her friend group, playing on the comedy she so loves.
During classes online, students in her major were walked through programs or equipment, given the assignment, guidelines, and due date, which was followed by work on their own. Suta’s ability to self-manage made it easier for her to get everything researched and produced on time.
When asked what tips Suta can give fellow students for success with online learning, she simply said to keep a routine. “I woke up the same time every day. I did what I needed to do. I kept eating at the same time. I always made a schedule for my projects to be done by deadline. Follow this for success.”
With online learning, Suta was even able to be a teaching assistant (TA) for her professor, tutoring, taking attendance, and helping professors teach during the classes. She was also able to continue her activity online with her club.
This spring 2021, Suta will get the chance to be back on campus, working with the studio equipment again. “We can use the labs this spring safely because there are so few of us in the class. We can spread out very well.”
After her anticipated graduation in spring 2021, she’s staying at NCC to pursue a business degree to further help her achieve her future goals, one of which is becoming a film or TV director.
One of her favorite projects from the fall was a dramatic reading of Green Eggs and Ham, her last project for this past semester. She hopes to continue finding the humor in everything she does and adding spunk to her future projects.
“The most exciting part about this major is meeting people and networking. Making friends in the program has been fun, and it gives you bonds for life that can help you achieve your goals in the future,” said Suta.