Campus Rec Senior Spotlight: Emma Josephson
Author: Alyssa Hamilton and Brittany Goltry
Posted: June 11, 2020

Emma Josephson

Growing up in Vancouver, Washington, ambitious young filmmaker, Emma Josephson, didn’t have to travel far to major in Film with a minor in Spanish at Portland State. She chose to attend Portland State because of her love of the Pacific Northwest, the growing film industry in Portland, and the access she had to opportunities within the community. Now that she’s about to graduate, it is clear that Josephson maximized her time at Portland State in an impressive way. 

In 2016 during her freshman year, Josephson got involved in the Freshman Learners Acquiring Skills in Higher Education (FLASH) program, which led to opportunities at Campus Rec and other departments across campus. She started working at Campus Rec’s fitness desk, and by 2017 she was offered a position on Campus Rec’s marketing team as a Photo & Video Production Specialist. 

“I felt so welcome at Campus Rec and met some of my closest friends in the FLASH program during my freshman year,” Josephson explains. “The energetic and supportive community at Campus Rec is why I stayed for so long.” 

As a member of the marketing team, Josephson took on countless event-based photo and video assignments. She collected and edited original footage, and produced promotional videos highlighting various events and programs. During the temporary Rec Center closure in the spring of 2020, she seamlessly transitioned into editing Zoom and cell phone footage, and created on-demand fitness videos to help the Portland State community stay active remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. Josephson’s creative ideas and expertise will leave a lasting impact on Campus Rec’s marketing team. 

“The marketing team is incredible! I’ve enjoyed working with such talented and kind and creative people for so long,” Josephson says. 

In addition to her work at Campus Rec, Josephson gained additional experience, knowledge, and achievements throughout her four years at Portland State. Her accomplishments include writing, directing, and editing her own short films, and directing feature-length films for PSU-TV, the campus’s student filmmaking group. Josephson directed the trailer for feature film Fencesitters, and has participated in internships and freelance work for Uncage the Soul Productions, NW Documentary Arts and Media, and Koerner Camera.

Josephson’s hard work, dependability, and creativity are starting to pay off. She was awarded a Koerner Camera Systems Scholarship in 2017, and in 2019 she won the PSU School of Film’s Best Student Film award, and the award for Best Narrative Film at Pacific University’s Gateway Film Festival for her short film 63 Miles Away. Most recently, she was awarded the Kamelia Massih Endowment for the Arts prize for bringing innovation to her discipline, demonstrating excellence in performing or fine arts, and exemplifying PSU’s commitment to community engagement.

“Emma Josephson has a great vision and a commitment to her career that supports her ambitions,” says the faculty member who nominated Josephson for the prize.

As for her future, Josephson explains that she did have a lot of plans for this summer, but the film industry is at a standstill right now during the pandemic. She is seeking out video editing job opportunities, and hopes to get on another film set as soon as it is safe to do so. Her advice for PSU students is to take advantage of the amazing opportunities and resources available on campus. 

“You can learn a lot from extracurricular activities and open doors for your career/personal development that you may not have expected,” says Josephson. 

Without a doubt, Josephson has been a stand-out student who is appreciated by many faculty, staff, and students who have had the opportunity to work with her. After four years of incredible work at the Rec Center, Josephson will continue to be a part of the Campus Rec and Portland State communities long after she graduates.