Name: Jenn Lutz
Organisation: Royal Roads University
Role: MA Intercultural and International Communication student
The following is an "about me" from my student profile at Royal Roads University. I started out pursuing a career as a journalist, with the requisite amounts of idealism and fortitude necessary to move up the ladder just enough to stay above the poverty line and occasionally get to cover stories of my own choosing. Most days I loved it, except when I didn't, and in many ways I still miss it. Eventually, however, I did what I said in my youthful and blissful ignorance I'd never do - I became a communications specialist instead. The pay is better and it's not so bad on the other side. At the moment I am working respectably in the not-for-profit human services sector and so I sleep well at night knowing that no one can rightfully accuse me of being a spin doctor for an evil oil company (which pays even better). I majored in photojournalism in college but have had to put that creative and curious urge aside the past few years in order to focus on family and paying the bills. I'm hoping our residency in India will be that opening of the dam I've been craving lately - a chance to give myself over once again to that part of me that thinks and operates so differently when looking at the world through a camera lens. I'm hoping to incorporate a visual element to my final research project and I'm still mulling over the possibilities and hoping for some creative direction and encouragement from RRU faculty. The concept of incorporating creative visuals into academic research is new to me - I didn't realize it was possible and I'm excited by the opportunity. In addition to my background in media and communications I have extensive experience in marketing and project and event management, much of it in the sports world (cross-country skiing, mountain biking and trail running mainly, in both Canada and the U.S.) but also in the music industry (my first career job was as a marketing rep for EMI Music), tourism (I was a contract event coordinator for Banff Lake Louise tourism, which included organizing Canada Day festivities and a parade in Banff National Park) and industry (I was commissioned to produce and write a history book for Lafarge). Living and working in the Rockies I have been privileged to land contracts coordinating and managing all sorts of projects, including working on the Banff World Television Festival, which attracts many of the movers and shakers in the American film and television industry each year. My first year I met writer/producer David Shore (Law & Order, House) and director Paul Haggis (Crash), both of whom convinced me that pursuing a job as a film and television writer is a noble cause - something else on the backburner at the moment. So why the hell am I doing a masters in intercultural and international communication, you ask? Well, at the heart of everything I've ever done and everything I love is the "people" element. I am naturally curious about a lot of things, most of all other people. Long and short-term travel abroad has only deepened this curiousity. I am especially interested in the salience of sport around the globe and its inherent ability to create opportunities for inclusion, cooperation and understanding, and to bridge distances between people and cultures who otherwise would not have cause or desire to meet face to face. Besides people, the other elemental force behind most everything I've ever worked on is the act of writing. It's more natural to me than speaking and as a result I've built a career on the foundation of communication through writing. It's been interesting to discover how endless the opportunities are to apply oneself as a "writer" and it's through this masters program that I hope to open new doors. In particular I'm interested in high-level sport communication in international contexts (Olympic games, FIFA World Cup, etc) but I'm also drawn to development work, which tugs at my heart strings in the same way working as a journalist did, and so I hope to find a way to marry the two so that I may spend the rest of my life blissfully pursuing all my passions. One can dream.