News & Stories

Senior Viking Fusion Studio coordinator Lexikay Stokes with mentor Technology Specialist Steven Hames.
March 13, 2020

A promising career for this communication creative

When Lexikay Stokes ’20 was planning for college, she decided to attend a large state school, but the close-knit community at Berry and the connection she saw between students and faculty led to a last-minute change in plans. Now she’s about to graduate with four years of intense filmmaking and media creation experience on her resume — and the future is exciting!

Lexikay’s original focus was journalism, but when she had the opportunity to see Jimmy Fallon record his show live, the filming and production process ignited her interest. On arriving at Berry for first-year orientation, she discussed this experience with her advisor, Assistant Professor of Communication Sam Nazione. Together, they changed Lexikay’s major to communication and created a plan for success.

“Dr. Nazione has been a constant source of advice and guidance,” Lexikay says. “She is always open to sit with me and figure out schedules, offer career advice and just be an amazing source of encouragement over the last four years.”

The first step for Lexikay was getting connected with Steven Hames, the advisor for Viking Fusion, Berry’s student-run multimedia website. Working as the studio coordinator gave her the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of production. Lexikay also worked on news stories, short films and studio shoots.

One of her favorite experiences was competing several times in Viking Fusion’s 48-hour film challenge. Teams create a short film after randomly drawing one line of dialogue and one genre out of a hat. They pool their talents, finding actors and locations, operating the camera and editing.

“The excitement of that weekend and the competitiveness of it, us all using our skills in production… it’s one of my favorite weekends out of the year!” Lexikay says.

Dr. Nazione has high hopes for Lexikay’s future. “Lexikay is both humble and confident, but above all, she is hungry. She will never miss out on an opportunity for lack of trying. She backs up her big dreams with hard work,” Dr. Nazione says. “She’s a perfect example of where the newly titled filmmaking and cinematic arts concentration in the communication department is going. Younger students look up to Lexikay. She has taught them to aim higher by example.”

Lexikay’s experiences with Viking Fusion gave her the necessary skills and drive to land internships — as a location scout for the Macon Film Commission in Macon, Ga., and as a location assistant for Netflix.

Lexikay looks forward to what lies ahead. Though trained to work in a variety of areas — filmmaking, photography, graphic design and writing — she plans to find a position working as a production assistant or a video content producer. Whatever the direction, this Berry student will go far.

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