Skip to content
Jon Sosidka

Jon Sosika '20 produced videos for a food bank in his hometown during the pandemic.

  • Print

Media X graduate shares pandemic impact through his lens

Jun 15, 2020

Media X alumnus Jon Sosidka ’20 discovered his passion for filmmaking at University of the Pacific while developing skills and finding his voice through on-campus organizations, personal attention and unique opportunities.

For his senior capstone project, Sosidka planned and partially filmed a fictional crime thriller set in the Central Valley called “Valley,” but the COVID-19 quarantine forced him to stop production and move back to his New Jersey home. That’s when Sosidka envisioned his project to help his hometown.

“Once I found out I couldn’t make my film, I wanted to make something that told the story of the quarantine,” he said. “When I heard about the needs of the local food bank, I knew there wasn’t a more important story to tell.”

Sosidka decided to produce a video about the Open Cupboard Food Pantry in Clinton, New Jersey, which had seen increasing demand because of pandemic-related job losses.

He spoke with the pantry’s organizers and determined they needed videos to post on social media to help them communicate their needs to the community. Rather than one long video, he created mini-clips to be posted on their Facebook page and website. The videos focused on the food pantry’s inventory and offered suggestions for community members wanting to donate or volunteer. The helping hand that Sosidka extended to his community combined his passion for the media arts and local outreach, interests he was able to foster at Pacific.

During his time at Pacific, Sosidka recalled that from the moment he stepped on campus as a freshman, Pacific made him feel special. He credited the time and attention he received from professors such as Gary Armagnac and Kevin Pontuti who helped him hone his skills and showcase all that he had to offer as a talented media artist.

Sosidka created album covers and music videos for Pacific’s student-run record label Pac Ave Records, made cooking tutorial videos for Student Health Services, and produced digital content for student organizations.

He was also a Pacific Humanities Scholar. The program is designed to foster a culturally rich community for students studying the arts, languages, philosophy and history. 

The Humanities Scholars program also takes its students on excursions, such as the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon, and trips to regionally renown museums. Sosidka was grateful for these experiences and pleased “to see the way the programming and events of the (program) have evolved to include film and Media X related material,” two of his favorite interests.   

Sosidka was also very active on the Stockton Campus as the former president and recruitment chair of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Sosidka was a videographer for Pacific’s student-run ProwlTV since his freshman year, creating digital content for student organizations and event recap videos, such as those for commencement ceremonies.  

That involvement and attention paid off. Before graduation, Sosidka was offered a job as a videographer for NetApp, a data company in Sunnyvale. 

Though he was excited about his last semester of college, Sosidka found it difficult to accept that much of what he had been looking forward to didn’t happen when the university transitioned to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many other graduating seniors, he felt there were still some “loose strings that will potentially never be tied due to the sudden closure of school.” Yet he is grateful for the opportunities he was offered and the professors who maximized his experiences and made him feel he was much more than a number in a classroom.  

“I hope my story encourages future Tigers to not only seize every opportunity that comes their way, but to also appreciate the people around them and take time to thank the people who make these experiences possible, because you never know when your time may expire,” he said.

Join University of the Pacific on: Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn Youtube