A graduate of MCLA's broadcasting program, Zeke Meginsky '09 of Springfield, Mass., received a wide variety of hands-on experience in the College's television studio.
"We had to play every role in the studio - from talent, to director, to audio," he said.
In addition to producing television newscasts, Meginsky took a class in advanced filmmaking. For this course, he wrote and edited a short video on the Berkshire Food Project, a food pantry at the First Congregational Church in North Adams that serves a free, midday meal to those in need five days a week.
It's a piece he's proud of. The project also allowed him to get in touch with recently retired sociology professor Dr. Maynard Seider, for whom he now works.
"When I was a student at MCLA, Professor Seider had used my Berkshire Food Project short in a class of his, and I met him briefly," Meginsky explained. "Then out of the blue, after I had graduated from MCLA and was not doing what I wanted to do for work in Springfield, he got in touch with me. He was looking for an editor to help him with his own project."
Meginsky, who majored in English with a concentration in broadcast media, and Seider are busy completing "Farewell to Factory Towns?" An assistant editor on the piece, Meginsky filmed segments for the documentary.
The two are in the midst of doing final edits on the video. It chronicles North Adams' struggle to build a viable economy after its major economic base disappeared when the Sprague Electric Company - a presence in the City for more than 50 years - moved its operations, leaving thousands of workers unemployed.
"I have to say, it's really great how this all came together," Meginsky said. "It's ambitious what he's trying to do."
It's also the type of work Meginsky had in mind while an undergraduate at MCLA, because it's related to the film editing he enjoyed doing in class. The project is important to him "because it's about social and political issues, and I think it has potential to have something to say about what is wrong with our economy," he said.
"Working for Professor Seider has certainly been a learning experience, though I'm thankful for it. We've worked together for over one and a half years now, but it's coming along much faster than when we started."
While at MCLA, Meginsky also worked as an intern at WGBY in Springfield. "It consisted of setting up the TV studio and running the camera. I had to wake up at 5 in the morning and drive to the studio!"
His favorite professors at the College, "without a doubt," were English professors Roseanne Denhard and David Langston.
"I think what makes a professor great is an ability to make you think in ways you haven't before, as well as having an open mind and being receptive to students' opinions. They were definitely among the elite at MCLA!" he said.
To watch Meginsky's Berkshire Food Project video, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrG7He3IKZo . To view a trailer of "Farewell to Factory Towns?" go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brUgOwfzkeA&feature=share .