Portfolio Student Profile: Alison Boland

Degree of Study: MFA in Film and Media Production from the Radio-Television-Film Department

Graduation Year: 2015

Alison Boland joined the Nonprofit Studies portfolio program in order to continue her quest to combine filmmaking and social service in the nonprofit sector. 

While attending Hampshire College from 2003-2007, Alison created a collection of experimental and narrative shorts focusing on subjects such as cultural memory, modern history, nomadic lifestyles, german architecture and the tumultuous experience of growing up.

After receiving her BA in Filmmaking/Cultural Studies, Alison continued making short films that documented her travels and cross-cultural experiences while living in Chicago, Berlin and Shanghai.

In 2008, she returned to her hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas to focus on filmmaking and improving her technical expertise. During this time, she worked closely with Brandon McClinton to produce a series of narrative shorts based on the content of real Missed Connections ads from their local Craigslist.

From 2009-2012, she took a brief hiatus from filmmaking to serve in the US Peace Corps in Mongolia. During this time, she worked as an English teacher, community-organizer, teacher-trainer and non-profit manager. Through her service as a volunteer, Alison discovered a hidden passion for public service and a deepened commitment to cross-cultural understanding. Alison worked with Mongolian social workers to help start a mentoring program for youth living in orphanages in Mongolia. It is modeled after the Big Brothers Big Sisters programs in the US and three years later the program is still successfully running. It was then that she realized how much she really enjoyed the experience of project management and coordination and since coming back to the US, Alison's been a mentor in the Big Brother Big Sister of Central Texas program.

Alison is currently working on her MFA in Film and Media Production at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work is focused on promoting social change through increased awareness of others.

She believes in the possibility of peace, the necessity of compassion and the importance of good listening. She speaks Mongolian and German fluently.