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February 15, 2019 | Mikayla Heldt

Year: Senior

Major: Digital Media Arts (DMA)

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

Q: How did you find out about SAGU?

I had two family members who came to SAGU-my aunt Lucy Fernandez and my Uncle Michael Fernandez. I decided to come to SAGU because at that moment in my life I was trying to find something that I can spend my life doing that I would love and have a bigger purpose. Of course, the way God orchestrated everything to work out was crazy but perfect at the same time. I also wanted to do something that I loved at a school that wasn’t too far from my family, and also in an environment that was safe and biblically sound.

Q: How have you been involved on campus during your time at SAGU?

I have been a faithful Student Congress member until my last semester in which I served as the Creative Director for the Activities Board. I was also the First Assistant Director/ Director for the SAGU Cinema Docuseries called Forgiven Felons and I have worked for SAGU’s Media Services on campus where I learned about broadcasting.

Q: How has your time at SAGU impacted you and what are some of your fondest memories?

My time at SAGU has been filled with a lot of wonderful memories but also a lot of days filled with hard work. In the digital media world, there is always something to do and you are always learning. One of my fondest memories as a student at SAGU was in May of 2018 when we had the opportunity to film the dramatic reenactments for a documentary. Although it was mentally, physically and in some ways spiritually draining, it was a great opportunity to learn about the industry and how it works, I also learned a lot about myself and how I handle stress. Some of my other fond memories had to do with the construction of the Past Curfew and Frontline Faith set, which is a student-produced late night show and a faith-based news show. I spent so many hours just bugging John Cookman (Director of Media Services), James Lex (Assistant Director of Media Services) and Professor Rob Price (Director of DMA program) on teaching me how to use the Tricaster and building the set along with them. The Past Curfew set came with a lot of difficulties and obstacles that I’m glad I got to experience because there were great lessons learned that will carry to my career.

Q: Do you think your faith will play a role in your line of work?

I feel like since my field of work is notorious for being a dark place, I will try my hardest to keep my morals and beliefs with me as I go through the hard times. If I didn’t have my faith, I would probably succumb to the darkness and negativity that is in the media industry.

Q: Are there any professors or staff that have influenced you during your time here?

Professor Rob Price has taught me so much since I started my digital media arts journey. All my knowledge of the basics of cameras and Adobe programs is because of him. He does a great job of giving you the information you need to know up front, and equipping you for the moment when you have to go out on your own. I also owe my knowledge and experience in the media world to Media Services. James Lex, in particular, taught me a lot and gave me hands-on experience. James not only taught me how, but taught me why, and that was always helpful for me and valuable in the long run. I felt like the entire time I worked for Media Services was a learning experience.

Q: Advice for students in pursuit of a career in the film industry?

Develop thick skin because not all your ideas will be a hit. Along with that, know that your ideas are not you, which basically means that just because someone doesn’t like your idea, doesn’t mean that they don’t like you. One last bit of advice would be to prepare yourself to always be learning and working, even if it is not asked of you, and never think that you’re unteachable because there will ALWAYS be something else to learn.

Want to learn more about SAGU’s Digital Media Arts degree? Click here .

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on campus or online. More information is available at

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