Arts & Culture

Film student Mia D’Zerrea Taylor ’21 awarded the 2020 Georgia Power Rising Star Scholarship

Oglethorpe senior Mia D’Zerrea Taylor ’21 has been awarded the 2020 Georgia Power Rising Star Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes one college junior or senior student in good standing who is pursuing a degree in film-related studies.

The $5,000 award was presented at the 2020 Business of Entertainment, a virtual event held on Dec. 3 sponsored by Georgia Power and the Atlanta Business Chronicle, which profiled Taylor in a feature article.

Mia D’Zerrea Taylor ’21

The scholarship asked educators to nominate students looking to further their education and prepare for a career in the film industry, so Erin Sherrill, Oglethorpe’s director of career development, did just that.

“Erin Sherrill is easily one of the most influential figures in my OU experience,” Taylor said about her mentor. “She was there for me when I started as a freshman looking for a part-time job, she was there for me for my study abroad and internship experiences, and she is here for me now!”

As a Theatre major and Film minor, Taylor thanks Oglethorpe Theatre for preparing her for this scholarship opportunity.

“Every semester they all teach me something new. I literally would not be the young artist that I am without the entire Theatre department, especially Matt Huff,” she said about the Associate Professor of Theatre. “I wouldn’t have found my love for storytelling without him.”

“After semesters of hard work and collaborating with an exceptionally supportive Theatre department, I found myself wanting to learn new ways of storytelling, particularly through the camera,” the senior said about why she joined the film industry.

“I love storytelling, especially stories I firmly believe that need to be told. I was initially wary because I was not comfortable with it at all, and for years I have been solely involved with Theatre. However, as time went by, I grew to appreciate film so much that I grew interested in learning how to story-tell through that medium.”

Despite COVID-19, Taylor is working with Oglethorpe actors to use innovative ways to continue making films and theatre productions, including a spring show with OU Theatre.

In addition to her work in Theatre, Taylor stays busy through her roles on campus as Senior Class Senator in the Student Government Association, Senior Class Programming Board Representative, Treasurer of Alpha Psi Omega‘s Chi Kappa Chapter, Oglethorpe Singers’ Campus Outreach Chair, Career Development student employee, and as a writing tutor and Orientation Leader.

In 2019, Taylor interned at Atlanta’s Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre. After graduating from Oglethorpe, Taylor plans to attend graduate school while continuing to support theatre and film students as an alumna.

During her internship at Atlanta’s Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre, D’Zerrea (center) was able to work alongside Oglethorpe alums Jordan Houser ’18 (left) and Caitlin Way ’91.

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