Alumni Spotlight: Margaret Cissel `08

Margaret Cissel `08

What if you could provide a voice to those who haven’t been heard? That’s what Margaret Cissel ’08 and two Elon University classmates hope to do next year with a photography-based project they call Look Out Loud.

As they explain, “Photovoice is an effort to balance conversation by valuing the stories of the previously unheard.”

Reflecting on her time at GFA, Margaret feels fortunate “to have grown up in a compassionate environment” that valued “the importance of someone’s story.” Ever since her time in Mr. Shapiro’s video production class at GFA, Margaret has pursued visual storytelling both on and off campus.

While in college, she spent two summers working for a television production company on Nantucket, and last winter traveled across India with Elon University’s president, documenting in photo and video the university’s off-campus programs and the cross-cultural interactions they fostered.

Having recently graduated from Elon, Margaret and two friends are looking to take their passion for storytelling around the world. Despite having received a job offer from the production company she had interned for, Margaret realized she needed to “take this leap” to pursue this project. “I knew that if I didn’t try this now, I would regret it,” she recalls.

Upon completion of the project, the team plans to produce photo exhibitions both in the participating communities and in the United States, along with short documentary videos and a photo book. The most important outcome, they state, would be “a global conversation that transcends borders, bridges communities and creates a platform for relational education.”

Her advice to GFA students looking to make a global impact? “Test yourself, push yourself…and be open to what life throws at you.” As one of her college professors often said, “education should be disruptive.”

Interested in learning more or supporting Look Out Loud? Visit the project’s Kickstarter page.

Alumni Spotlight: Margaret Cissel `08

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