Future Filmmaker Gets Her Start On PBS’s Roadtrip Nation

Growing up in the small city of Modesto, California, Shay always knew she wanted to study filmmaking—but had no idea how to pursue it, and very little exposure to the industry. When it was time to look for colleges, Shay visited her parents’ alma mater, Vanguard University, and was wowed by professors in the department of communication—not to mention the financial support through academic scholarships and financial aid. College decision: MADE.

Now in her final months as a student, Shay is embarking on an entirely new chapter as production coordinator for a PBS documentary series, Roadtrip Nation. She currently works on the internet streaming show full-time, coordinating logistics, preparing and supporting Roadtrip Nation applicants (aka “roadtrippers”), and researching and planning destinations. Shay also handles other production needs like editing, camera operation, audio and lighting. And of course, she has had the amazing opportunity to travel the globe!

“A lot of credit goes the film professor I have had over my four years at Vanguard,” Shay says. “At Vanguard, I was able to try out every aspect of filmmaking—from special effects to producing. It was through the communication department that I was able to find my niche, find what I’m good at, find what I enjoy—producing.”

Assistant professor of cinema arts, Naomi Kasa, and communication professor Weaver have both challenged and shaped Shay as a filmmaker, and a person, with encouragement, wisdom and advice on how to be the best producer.

This spring, Shay will graduate from Vanguard University with a bachelor of arts in communication: cinema arts – production, business: administration. But the adventure will not stop there! Her work on Roadtrip Nation will continue to hit the highway, making this Vanguard student’s dreams come true.