Anthony Collamati long envisioned a job for himself that would combine his love of films with his love of teaching. Though the assistant professor of new media studies originally studied English, his life ended up following a different script.
“After I finished my master’s degree in English at Loyola University, I realized it wasn’t the right degree for me,” he says. “Instead, I had written a screenplay at a good time when people wanted to invest in small, independent movies, so I pursued that. A screenplay of mine, Apology, won the IFP/Chicago Production Fund Grant. Working in movies allowed me to collaborate with talented people much more experienced than I was. These people knew the ins and outs of the trade.”
Collamati had already gotten his feet wet in the movie industry: Years earlier, he interned at the Massachusetts Film Office and had the opportunity to work on films shooting in the state, including the Academy Award-winning Good Will Hunting, an experience that he says cemented his love for movies. For 10 years, he simultaneously worked on independent movies while teaching at Loyola and Northeastern Illinois University before deciding to pack up for Clemson University in South Carolina.
“I decided I wanted to get my doctorate, so I could put these two pieces of my life together,” he says. “I never imagined I’d live in the south, but Clemson had a program I was really interested in—like the New Media program at Alma, the rhetorics, communication and information program was very trans-disciplinary and lived outside of the boundaries of a specific discipline. It really helped guide me and encourage me to teach what I loved.”
When it came to finding a teaching job, it was clear Alma College was a good fit even before Collamati stepped foot on campus. When he found out the new media studies program was multidisciplinary, pairing both theory and practice, he couldn’t imagine not applying. He says the College has definitely lived up to his expectations.
“Alma is better than even what I was imagining, and I was imagining something good!” he says. “The community here is so helpful, it’s very unlike a large university. You can get to know everyone. I also love teaching new media. I can’t stop working when I get home at night; not because I’m a workaholic, but because I like the major so much.”