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Putting the Lovell in Leadership

News Story

Communication Studies and Film and Screen Studies double major Joshua Lovell ’18 has taken love of leadership to new heights through the Hesselbein Global Leadership Summit and a foray into documentary filmmaking.

For Communication Studies and Film and Screen Studies double major Joshua Lovell ’18, summer isn’t a time for vacation.

In the summer of 2016, Lovell was selected to participate in the highly prestigious Hesselbein Global Leadership Summit. Held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the summit aims to develop experienced, ethical, and innovative global leaders. Lovell was just one of 50 students chosen from around the world, and the only student selected from New York State.

Lovell notes that the summit was highly informative, and he was introduced to a number of mentors and motivated students from around the world.

“When we got there we had a series of workshops, and met with mentors from our specific fields,” says Lovell. “We dealt with social cohesiveness and learning steps toward being a successful leader—they taught us strategic techniques to best go about our leadership.”

Lovell also had the opportunity to interact with a number of established leaders while at the summit—including Frances Hesselbein, former CEO of the Girl Scouts and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as members of the Obama administration.

In the summer of 2017, Lovell embarked on an ambitious independent film project, that brought him to cities and campuses all across the country. 

"I embarked on a research project into the study of microaggressions experienced by students of color in the United States. I traveled to Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Princeton, Columbia, Harvard, University of Chicago, USC, and a few other schools."

Lovell self-funded and produced the project, drawing on influences from both personal experience as an NBA photographer and existing media, but remained focused on establishing and executing his unique vision. The result is a 30 minute documentary-style film, which features interviews from students all across the country about their personal experiences, and dissects the concept of microaggressions.  

"Documentaries have been made before on microagressions, but this is a national project. It's not just a study in one particular classroom. It's from everywhere--the west coast, east coast, midwest, we went to South Carolina..." 

Lovell's motivation, in addition to honing his skills in the filmmaking realm, was to bring awareness to an issue important to him. 

"I didn't do this project to make anyone uncomfortable, it's to bring awareness. A lot of perpetrators are just unaware of what they're doing. Students were very interested in being a part of it, everyone was very supportive, especially in having an idea and actually acting upon it."

Lovell notes that he’s excited to have brought what he learned through his experiences all over the country back to campus, where he is involved in a number of leadership initiatives. Lovell is currently a member of the Urban Male Initiative, Black Student Union, Caribbean Student Association, and P.A.C.E. Board. He’s also the executive director of Come Alive Network NYC, a community service organization that was founded in Guyana and now has a subsidiary in New York.

“Come Alive is a demographic-based initiative, we go into communities in New York City and help with college essays, schoolwork, really anything in regard to empowerment.” As the executive director, Lovell has applied some of the tactics gleaned from the leadership summit, and stressed the importance of collaboration between all of the executive board.

In the classroom, Lovell has taken advantage of everything Pace has to offer. In addition to his communication studies and film and screen studies double major, he’s also pursuing a triple minor in political science, arts and entertainment management, and African and African-American studies. As for his classroom influences, Lovell listed several professors, all of whom have made his Pace experience worthwhile.

In addition to his academic and community service initiatives, Lovell also finds time to give back to Pace. He currently works at the calling center at the University, where he speaks with prospective students, gives his assessment of academic and extracurricular programs at Pace, and helps ease the transition from high school to college.

Lovell says he’s unsure of where his Pace Path will lead him after graduation, but is currently setting his sights on a possible career in television production; specifically, he’d like to work with BET, and help produce the network’s awards show programming.

As for the immediate future? While Lovell is unsure of his plans this upcoming summer, you could be sure that he won’t be hanging out at the beach—rather, he’ll be continuing to make a difference each and every day.