Fulbright Scholar Writes Film Narratives to Showcase Current Civic-Related Trends and Impact

Mayra Daniela Linares-Rodríguez, former Fulbright scholar from Mexico received her master’s degree in film and media arts at American University and a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey Campus Querétaro. Today, she works at the Mexico-US Commission for Educational and Cultural Exchange/ Fulbright García Robles (COMEXUS) as an Outreach Coordinator.

Linares-Rodríguez has always had a great passion for seeing the world through images, whether it was through sketching, storyboarding, or coloring: all these kinds of visual content influenced Linares-Rodríguez’s interest for photography and filmmaking. Even though her interest started in her childhood, Linares-Rodríguez devoted this passion through academia and pursued graduate studies in Film & Video at American University, and this was made possible thanks to the Fulbright Garcia-Robles scholarship program.

While pursuing her studies in the U.S. capital, Linares-Rodríguez had the opportunity to intern at the National Public Radio (NPR), a renowned American media organization where she focused on stories related to trends in education. This fusion between her academic and professional experiences gave Linares-Rodríguez a new perspective; a combination of applying theoretical and practical forms of visual communication,

Referring to her experience in the United States, she says “I grew in terms of work ethic, focus, and skills. I believe I had the time to focus on and apply the theory of narrative through a visual medium. I was also involved in a myriad of film projects that allowed me to gain the necessary skills to run a crew and bring written projects to life on screen. Lastly, I think that working and studying in D.C. allowed me to grasp a sense of efficiency. In such a high-pressure, fast-paced environment, people have a different sense of time.”

Recently returned to her native Mexico, Linares-Rodríguez is working at the Fulbright Commission, the same agency that funded her graduate studies in the United States. Her work revolves around finding ways to write successful stories of grantees and use them to promote the scholarship opportunities as well as recruit potential candidates who their dream to study abroad was once Linares-Rodríguez’s dream. “Many of these stories are expressed through images. I use photos and movies to highlight different programs, current and former scholars.”

Linares-Rodríguez explains that the opportunity to be a scholar of such an eminent binational program allowed her to give back to both funding governments through her role. “It is so delightful to see followers coming from outside of Mexico City. So my hope is that through my photos I can share the idea of ​​ more inclusive tertiary educational opportunities in remote areas.”

There is always room to dream big and for Linares-Rodríguez her dreams and plans are endless, and she is accomplishing them day-by-day. Currently, she is involved in the feminist and film community of Mexico City to advocate for women’s rights. “While in Mexico, and fortunately, with a steady job, I want to use my free time to follow this path.”

Linares-Rodríguez strongly believes in leadership as a “must-have” quality that should be applied to all sorts of scenarios: at school, at work, or in personal life. “You have to take initiative to find solutions. Few people are going to help you if you don’t have at least some things figured out first. So, with that comes asking questions and you can’t be afraid to look like a fool sometimes and ask obvious questions.” As a strong supporter for educational rights, Linares-Rodríguez’s persistence and energy will surely serve as an inspiration to future Fulbrighters and all those seeking educational opportunities.

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