By: Christine LaFrancesca, Staff Writer
Founded in 2008, the co-ed society Lambda Kappa Tau’s main focus is to improve the lives of students who are involved in media production.
Senior electronic media and film major and Co-President of LKT, Nathan Shinholt, joined the group when he was a freshman in 2012.
He is interested in providing the same networking opportunities and social space for everyone involved in making films that he experienced.
“It was one of the best decisions I ever made, joining LKT,” Shinholt said. “Being able to have like-minded people, people who are just as passionate about making films together has been great for networking and workshops also.”
LKT welcomes all students interested in film regardless of the amount of experience.
“I never knew how to do anything photography related until I joined LKT,” Hannah Hildebrant, a member of LKT, said. “If it wasn’t for a camera and photography workshop hosted by LKT members a few weeks ago, I still wouldn’t.”
LKT is unique to Towson, but members have been actively searching for other universities that may be interested in expanding LKT and making it a national co-ed fraternity.
“We’re working on it,” Shinholt said. “Expanding is a dream of ours, but unfortunately we haven’t found other campuses that are as involved in making this a reality. We are definitely interested in branching out though.”
Shinholt believes that LKT makes it possible for collegiate filmmakers to get their foot in the door and gain experience in their field.
“LKT was founded because students felt as if there weren’t enough opportunities provided by Towson in order to be successful,” Shinholt said. “Making a film takes a small army. You need that group of people backing you up to make sure you can get all your projects done. There are too many hats to wear when it comes to production. That’s what LKT is for.”
Members of LKT actively work to create a friendly and inclusive environment for all their members.
“LKT is also an open environment, which I really like,” member and EMF major Gosnel McDermott Jr. said. “Being able to go up to anyone and ask for help on a project whether it’s personal or for class is awesome and really helpful.”
During his experience at Towson, Shinholt has had the opportunity to work hands-on with film production, which he attributes to his participation in LKT.
“I’ve definitely had experiences that I would have never been a part of had I never joined,” Shinholt said, “I’ve been able to work on two feature films, one of which was a zombie film at Comic-Con.”
As co-president, Shinholt represents LKT and provides students with film-related opportunities and inspiration for them to create works of art.
“I try to represent our group,” Shinholt said. “I fill out room-reservation forms with our department. I run meetings. I’ll meet with our advisors, department chair and other leaders of co-faculty groups in order to get LKT students opportunities to work and gain experience. I try my hardest to make our members want to create art.”
Not only does LKT support media production, but they also try to incorporate philanthropy into their agenda.
“Extra Life is an event that Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital has and we try to be a part of that every year,” McDermott said. “It’s all about playing games and having fun with the kids. It’s our way of giving back.”
LKT also provides events that are open to everyone that showcase their projects, some of which are available for non-members to participate in.
“Once a year, LKT hosts a film festival,” Shinholt said. “It’s meant to highlight the work of all students, not just LKT members, and the pieces they have worked so hard on. Students submit their work, which is later judged by a panel of professors in the EMF department. The screening is public and it’s always awesome to see everyone’s work.”
Shinholt is excited about LKT’s recent popularity on campus along with the active participation of its current members.
“LKT is much larger than when we started seven years ago,” Shinholt said. “We have students from all majors and are constantly growing. LKT has the ability to give not only EMF majors, but all students a positive experience.”