Kelsey Eaton '12
A Media Eclectic
“I’m really fascinated by the way that technology and media are changing the way we interact as human beings in the real world,” says Kelsey Eaton, a senior communications major who might be better described as a blogger/freelancer/dancer with a wide interest in anything that gives her a new way to flex her creative muscles.
Kelsey grew up in Santa Maria, Calif.,A before coast-hopping to New Hampshire, where she took a liking to the environment and all of the nice folks she kept meeting within itthere. Vermont wasn’t too far away—geographically or culturally—from what she was looking for in her collegiate pursuits, and so GMC, for all its lush landscape and rural atmosphere, became the place that Kelsey would use as her personal media hub.
The liberal arts approach was befitting to Kelsey’s generalist sensibility. Over her four years, she’s explored writing (creative and journalism), photography, design, as well as media advocacy and theory.
“I like being able to do a bit of everything. I think that’s what a communications student really is—not just someone who knows about communications theory but is also involved with communications practice and has a varied skill set when it comes to various media.”
Kelsey started honing her skill set by getting involved with The Mountaineer during her freshman year. She’s persistently contributed as a writer, photographer, and as the current art director where she does the layout and writes a weekly column. Kelsey also had a large hand in giving The Mountaineer its recent makeover by printing it as a magazine rather than a newspaper, giving it a cleaner, modern feel.
All the while, Kelsey used her college experiences and life lessons as fuel for her personal blog, “thelovemonster”, which deals with all things relationships-related and has no small number of followers. In addition to that, she’s put her media-savvy talents to work for the benefit of the Ccollege, doing some design work for the communications office and elsewhere, as well as supplementing her income by freelancing her design work out over the web for wedding invitations and such.
All of this has given Kelsey new perspective on the wide world of mass communication and social media. “I think it’s great that we have the opportunity to be so connected,” she says. “It’s really a whole other world that’s become increasingly important to us and I think that there needs to be people who are open to its growth and are seeking to understand it and the way it changes us.”
Aside from her open-minded exploration into our rapidly changing digital culture, Kelsey has also grown to appreciate a variety of world cultures and, in particular, their spiritual traditions.
“I took a few classes that made me realize there were a lot of students here interested in spirituality and those same people were very warming and open-minded. I just wanted to be around those people all of the time,” she says.
At the start of her Junior year, Kelsey created “The Spirituality Floor”, ,” GMC’s newest specialty floor addition. As president of the floor, Kelsey has helped organize various floor events, such as storytelling, “wildness night” parties, various religious celebrations, and weekly floor dinners. The Spirituality Floor also makes it a point to engage their community through service and by participating in outside events, such as the celebration of Holi at Hindu Temple of Albany they attended last March.
Kelsey also cites her experiences with Shakti tribal dancing as a large source of her personal growth. “Belly dancing has completely changed me as a person,” she says. “It was really interesting because it was one of the only situations I had ever been in where a group of all females were experiencing this really beautiful, positive energy. It’s kind of like a sisterhood where there’s this strong mutual respect among all the dancers.”
In the future, Kelsey has considered integrating belly dancing into a career. Citing her strong entrepreneurial instinct, Kelsey says she would like to start a business of her own that incorporates her appreciation for the female spirit, and her love of tribal dance, and a little wine for good measure. “I’d heard of these painting classes where they invite women, for the most part, to attend and have wine together as they make art. I think it would be interesting to do a similar thing with wine and belly dancing,” she says.
If not that, she’ll be equally satisfied in a career that blends together the variety of skills she’s acquired at GMC—somewhere in between creative writing, web design, and photography perhaps. And if not that, then something else—the attitude that has kept Kelsey going all along.
“I hope I’ll always get to do the things that interest me,” she says. “Rather it be through design, or photography, or whatever, I always want to be creating something.”
By Chad Skiles ‘12