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"ABC Eyewitness News" featured Pace University’s documentary "Puerto Rico: Hope in the Dark"

05/09/2018

"ABC Eyewitness News" featured Pace University’s documentary "Puerto Rico: Hope in the Dark"

“The students of Pace University captured the devastation in a unique way. They premiered the documentary Puerto Rico: Hope in the Dark at the Michael Schimmel Center of the Arts. The Student film makers gathered over 50 interviews in both Puerto Rico and Miami to develop a powerful story of the resilience and strength found in the people of Puerto Rico.”

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"Fios1" featured Dyson Professor Dr. Maria Luskay and senior student Kelly Whritenour in "Pace University students find hope amid devastation in documentary on Puerto Rico"

05/03/2018

"Fios1" featured Dyson Professor Dr. Maria Luskay and senior student Kelly Whritenour in "Pace University students find hope amid devastation in documentary on Puerto Rico"

A new documentary about Hurricane Maria's impact on Puerto Rico debuts in the Hudson Valley this week and it was put together by a group of college students.

A group of Pace University students screened their documentary on Puerto Rico Tuesday at the Jacob Burns Film Center.

“Puerto Rico: Hope in the Dark” is about how the country continues to recover from a hurricane that brutally damaged the country.

"We went down six months later and there was still a lot of devastation. A lot of really tough situations that everybody was living in and people kind of forgot about it so our job was to go down there find out what's still going on and share their stories," Pace University senior Kelly Whritenour said.

"I'm hopeful for them which is the reason ‘Hope in the Dark' is the name of the documentary. We're hopeful that the people of Puerto Rico come through and pull themselves out of this devastation," Pace media professor Dr. Maria Luskay said.

The students spent a week on the island filming the documentary. Spending time at 11 different locations and interviewing more than 60 people. The students spent six weeks editing the documentary together as part of a class at Pace University.

"We were filming literally all day from 7 a.m. sometimes we got back at 10:30 p.m. and everybody had a different role whether it was filming on camera, audio, interviewing. We all did a little bit of everything," senior Kelly Whritenour said.

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"The Examiner News" featured Dyson Professor Maria Luskay in "Pace Student Documentary Highlights the Suffering in Puerto Rico"

05/03/2018

"The Examiner News" featured Dyson Professor Maria Luskay in "Pace Student Documentary Highlights the Suffering in Puerto Rico"

A group of Pace University student filmmakers will have the chance to watch their work on the silver screen next week as they premiere their documentary film project at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville.

The students’ film, “Puerto Rico: Hope in the Dark,” depicts the devastating impact Hurricane Maria left in its path six months after the storm slammed into the island. The two-hour documentary, which will be screened at the Burns on May 1, will share stories of the Puerto Rican people’s strength, hope and resilience as they continue to restore their lives and homes.

For the past 15 years, Pace Professor Maria Luskay has led students on exploratory one-week trips as part of her Producing the Documentary course at the Pleasantville campus. Students have traveled to the Florida Everglades, Cuba, Belize, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica and The Netherlands documenting important stories that need to be told, Luskay said.

While her course teaches students the conception, production and editing of a documentary, she said her experiential class allows its participants to take in other cultures and provide them unique opportunities.

“Students are learning in the field and experiencing another culture, another world, outside of their classroom,” Luskay said.  “They learn the value and importance of teamwork and organization as well as how to solve problems and adapt to changes in the story as it develops.”

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"Fios1" featured Pace University students and Professor Maria Luskay in "College seniors create Puerto Rico documentary in aftermath of Hurricane Maria"

03/26/2018

"Fios1" featured Pace University students and Professor Maria Luskay in "College seniors create Puerto Rico documentary in aftermath of Hurricane Maria"

Students at Pace University take media project beyond the classroom

Seniors at Pace University have been working on a huge project that’s due in April, where they spent a week shooting footage in Puerto Rico for a documentary about Hurricane Maria. The 18 students visited San Juan, along with other areas, and they shadowed a Con Edison crew to get a look at power outages throughout the island.

The project is for their documentary class led by Professor Maria Luskay. Each year, she says that she picks a location in advance. This year, Puerto Rico just so happened to have been the selection.

“They're putting the entire story together,” she said. “So it's not something you can learn in a textbook.”

The documentary premieres in April and gives the students a valuable media experience that has gone far beyond the classroom.

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"News12" featured Pace University in "Pace students document destruction in Puerto Rico"

03/21/2018

"News12" featured Pace University in "Pace students document destruction in Puerto Rico"

A group of Pace University students is in Puerto Rico to document the destruction after Hurricane Maria.

Six months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island, the group saw the damage firsthand as they shot a documentary during spring break.

Areas like San Juan have mostly returned to normal, but areas like Caguas, Humacao and Utuado are still powerless.

Power has slowly returned to schools and homes throughout over 90 percent of the island.

The project is scheduled to be completed May 1.

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"News12" features "Pace University journalism students to cover Puerto Rico"

03/14/2018

"News12" features "Pace University journalism students to cover Puerto Rico"

A group of Pace University journalism students plans to head to Puerto Rico in an effort to shed light on the continuing hardships residents of the island are facing following the slow recovery after Hurricane Maria.

About a dozen students are preparing to head out next Tuesday and cover what appears to be the biggest story of their fledgling careers.

But it's also going to be educational.

"Students learn how to tell a story from start to finish," says Maria Luskey, who has overseen the school's documentary program for the past 15 years.

Past trips have sent students to Costa Rica, Brazil and Cuba. The school had planned to go to Puerto Rico earlier, but the storm forced Pace to cancel those plans.

Months later, with the recovery lagging and many on the island left isolated and ignored, the school decided to try again.

"These are 3.5 million American citizens who are in a desperate and dire situation, that months after the hurricane, they still need our help," says Gabriel Rivera, a Bronx native who has relatives in Puerto Rico.

In the next two weeks, News 12's Aime Rodriguez will be following the class to Puerto Rico for updates.

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