Bri Goolsby ’22 has spent the past four years exploring the pervasiveness of racism in animation. Now, she’s ready to flip the script.
“I want to uplift the voices and talents of people of color through a medium that has the tendency to be oppressive,” said Goolsby, who is building an interactive website that will empower youth of color through animation skill-building and interviews with animators of color.
A film studies major, gender, sexuality and intersectionality minor and scholar in the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, Goolsby was one of 200 seniors who presented at the Conn’s third annual All-College Symposium, which was held in-person last November.
Through talks, poster sessions and performances, student presenters showcased the connections they have made among their courses and research, their jobs and internships, and their work in local communities and around the globe—along with the questions that animated their choices along the way.
President Katherine Bergeron, who attended more than 30 of the presentations, told the seniors she was very proud of them and the brilliance they displayed.
“I was moved beyond all things by your stories of personal and professional development,” she said.
Max Toscano ’22, an environmental studies major and scholar in the Creativity Pathway, told the faculty, staff and students in attendance during his talk that he drew inspiration from the Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen” for his animating question, “How can I leave some form of mark on the world?”
“There’s a particular line [in the musical] that struck me. It’s simple: ‘No one deserves to be forgotten,’” he said.
Toscano described how his experiences in the classroom, as a vocal student, and as a musical theater performer, have helped him think more holistically about his approach to environmental science.
“The environmental arena needs difference makers, and it needs them right now,” he said. “We are flying blind without a map, and we need creatives to adapt to a changing and declining world.”
Quinn Kilmartin ’22, a biology major, human development and psychology double minor and Public Health Pathway scholar, presented her research on the importance of reproductive justice and the future of Roe v. Wade. She also spoke at a celebratory event at the end of the day.
“I am in awe of the originality, intelligence and creativity that I have seen in everyone’s Pathway and Center projects today,” Kilmartin said at the event. “I am so incredibly grateful that Connections has served as this conduit for the rest of my life, and for this amazing community that has supported me along the way.”