Elizabeth Derstine ’16

Elizabeth Derstine '16
Elizabeth Derstine '16

Elizabeth, a 2016 communication and English writing graduate, got behind a video camera her first semester and has been hooked ever since. She hopes to someday travel the world and film the stories she sees and hears.

What do you like most about Goshen and why?

Goshen has given me the opportunity to experience other cultures and countries by traveling with a purpose. I traveled to Kenya for a May term class not as a tourist, and not as just a student, but to create a mini documentary for a non-profit organization.

I also love the small class sizes. Both of my majors demand a certain comfort level with professors and peers because so much of the creative process requires constructive feedback. For one of my film classes last year the professor had a Christmas party at his house. All ten of us went to decorate cookies and watch “Home Alone.”

Why did you choose to come to Goshen College?

Goshen offers Study-Service Term and classes that allowed me to use a video camera in my first semester. The combination of the two was very appealing. Many schools have opportunities to study abroad, but not in the immersive way that Goshen offers through the SST program. And a lot of schools have quality film programs, but not many that allow you to learn so quickly through hands-on experience.

How has Goshen College influenced your faith or worldview?

Through the Goshen College Inquiry Program I received a scholarship that gave me a stipend to work as a counselor at a church camp over the summer. I worked at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp in Colorado. Hanging our with kids in nature and having devotions with youth who were excited about the idea of turning ten years old taught me more about myself and faith than years of attending church.

What do you hope to do with your degree?

There is a lot I can do in my field, and which path I am most passionate about changes on an almost weekly basis. Currently my dream is to film for an organization such as Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) that would allow me to travel and record people’s stories.

What advice would you give a prospective student?

Some of my favorite things are stories, and they can be found everywhere. My advice would be look for them.

What has been an influential experience at GC for you?

I work for FiveCore Media, a film production company on campus. Having professional experience filming and editing projects for paying clients is invaluable. One of the added benefits is the great staff and working with people who are equally excited about film and can discuss movies for hours on end.