MCCC TV To Air
Student Production "Women Who Dare"
N.J. - Tyann Sells, a Digital Film student at Mercer County Community
College from Cranbury, N.J., has created a documentary featuring
eight New Jersey women who have successfully made their mark in
challenging careers. "Women Who Dare" will premiere during
Women's History Month in March on MCCC's cable network (Comcast
and Cablevision Channel 26 and FiOS Channel 20).
Part one of the documentary airs Friday, Mar. 19 at 5 p.m. and is
repeated Mar. 26; part two airs Saturday, March 20 at 5 p.m. and
is repeated March 27. Each show runs 20 minutes.
to Sells, who began her studies at Mercer in fall 2008, her goal
to be a screenwriter took on a new dimension when she stood behind
the camera in her first television class and realized the value
of filming what is written. "The word on the page is transformed,"
Beginning work on the "Women Who Dare" project last August,
Sells took on the roles of writer, director, editor and videographer.
While she lost count of the number of hours she spent on the video,
she credits MCCC Teaching Assistant Valarie Daniels and Multimedia
Project Manager Jennifer Joyce with invaluable support. "They
were extremely helpful. They went with me on every shoot."
Who Dare" creator Tyann Sells, center, with MCCC staff members
Jennifer Joyce, left, and Valarie Daniels.
in the MCCC studio
eight featured "Women Who Dare" include fungal geneticist Dr.
Joan Bennett, associate vice president at Rutgers University who leads
the Office for the Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics,
and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences; Elizabeth Bondurant,
former Plainsboro police chief and current MCCC Criminal Justice faculty
member; MCCC Associate Director of Athletics Elisa Camillone, an
athletic trainer who was the first female president of the Athletic Trainers
Society of New Jersey; award-winning journalist Kathy Barrett Carter,
the first woman and first African-American to cover the New Jersey Supreme
Court for the Star Ledger; Virginia Cavella, coordinator of the
Mercer County Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy, which serves and promotes
the rights of crime victims; Terri Petry, publisher of The Mercer
County Woman newspaper, and founder of Women Interested in Networking
(W.I.N.); Rose San Pedro, an architectural designer and project
manager at LWDMR & Associates, PC; and jazz vocalist Doris Spears,
a host for WWFM's Jazz on 2 who has toured the world with some of the
most noted names in jazz and blues.
Sells explains that as she conducted her interviews, she heard similar
themes emerging that gradually became the focus of the video: the importance
of education; balancing family and career; planning and long-term goals;
time management; the value of networking, and setting boundaries. "All
of these women had unique stories and challenges, but some common themes,
especially breaking down stereotypes and balancing work and family, were
central," Sells observes.
"I saw a need for this discussion. I believe it represents something
important," she maintains. Sells said architect Rose San Pedro made
a particularly strong impression when she described how she learned to
be assertive, but not be perceived as offensive. "There are still
different standards for men and women," Sells discovered.
Sells may have also been attracted to the project because she herself
is one of only a handful of female TV majors currently studying at MCCC.
"It can be challenge to not have many female peers," she notes.
Sells has clearly taken the message of these inspirational women to heart
- especially about education and setting long-term goals. Home schooled
until 11th grade, she is a graduate of SciCore Academy and is an NJStars
student at Mercer. She plans to transfer to Montclair State University
in part because of its close proximity to New York City. "That's
where I want to be," Sells says. In addition to learning volumes
about filmmaking and enhancing her people skills through the project,
she hopes it will be a worthwhile addition to her portfolio.
She praises the faculty, curriculum and facilities at Mercer. "The
program is so hands-on. The professors take a personal interest in students'
progress. They are open to questions and they take the time to help. If
I ever teach, I will model my teaching after them," Sells says.
Even as she looks ahead, Sells knows she will not forget her roots at
Mercer. "I'm going to miss Mercer, the relationships I've formed
and the great atmosphere for learning. I am heading for a bigger pool.
MCCC laid a good foundation."
Observes instructor Valarie Daniels, "Tyann has an unusual amount
of drive and follow-through. She learned a lot about every aspect that
goes into working on a large project like this." Daniels said it
was an honor to watch Sells herself develop into a "Woman Who Dares"
during the project.
In addition to initial airings in March, "Women Who Dare" will
be rebroadcast during openings in the MCTV schedule as time allows. Student
programming runs from daily 8 p.m. to midnight.
trailer for "Women Who Dare" is available on Facebook here.
about the MCCC Television Program is available on the program website
Return to Current News