GSU Offered Alumna Personal Attention to Meet Big Challenges
Marisa Baldwin-Woodhouse, a 2017 Governors State University alumna says GSU gave her the individual attention she needed to be a successful filmmaker. With a Master of Arts in Media Studies/Communications, Baldwin-Woodhouse’s career in film began in 1997 with a small part in the movie “Love Jones.” Since then, she has had roles in several films, as well as network television commercials. In addition to her on-camera work, Baldwin-Woodhouse has been behind the scenes as a co-creator and executive producer of “In the Paint” web series. Episode 2 of the series will be screened in the 2019 Black Harvest Film Festival this week, and Badwin-Woodhouse's “Lost Gurl” will be featured Aug. 16 and 20.
“GSU is a good place to go if you’re looking to have a more individualized program because there you can get it,” says Baldwin-Woodhouse.
Why did you choose GSU?
I chose Governors State because they had the program that I wanted and it was a little more affordable for me. I attended Columbia College in Chicago years ago, and I wanted a change of scenery. I didn’t want to go downtown anymore. GSU offered the location and the price I needed.
What did you get from GSU that you couldn’t have gotten anywhere else?
Smaller class sizes. In a lot of the inner-city college programs, the classes are so big. I like smaller class sizes so you can get individualized attention from the professors, and if you need help, it’s not so hard to get access to them.
What’s next for you professionally?
I am in post-production for a film I wrote called “Business Hair,” which directly addresses (African American) natural hair discrimination in the workplace. We are trying to do a screening, possibly, in October. In January, I’m planning to have a screening in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’m getting ready to shoot another short I wrote called “Kidney Stone.” About two years ago, I did “Chicago Fire” and now I’m auditioning to get back on that show or another one of the "Chicago" series TV shows.
How did your GSU degree help you advance your career?
While at GSU, I was able to work closely with professor Sang Hoon Lee who was also a filmmaker and my academic advisor. Because he was a filmmaker and worked in the business, he was able to make me see I am also capable of making films. It’s a better experience when you have a professor who has experience working in your field. For me, that was one of the best things I got out of GSU.
What are you most proud of when you look back at your GSU experience?
I’m most proud of finishing a very challenging program. Media Studies was challenging enough to push me forward to make me understand that once I finished, I would be a working professional.
What advice would you share with current GSU students?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and talk to people in other programs. Partner with one and other. It’s a small enough student body where you can cross different programs to make a project. I’m a big advocate of students utilizing one another.