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Andrew Issa Rosenbalm


Andrew Issa Rosenbalm
Major: Media Arts
Gradation: April 2028
Instagram: @andrewrosenbalm

I love stories. Throughout my childhood, I grew up watching Avatar The Last Airbender and I am a big fan. It was through works like this, Pixar’s Up, and Nolan’s Inception that I developed a passion for storytelling, particularly in the medium of film. My future plans are to work in the film industry and write and direct films of my own. I also am an aspiring novelist; I wrote two books during the Covid lockdown which I hope to someday publish. I am half Palestinian, half American, and have spent the last 6 years in the Middle East. While attending the American School of Kuwait, I developed a perspective of America from an outsider's eye. It was, in all honesty, frightening as I saw so much division increase and swell. One of the greatest functions of film is its ability to help people to understand one another. I hope to use film to accurately portray Arabs (particularly Palestinians) who unfortunately are not seen through a clear lens in American media. I also hope to ease tension between people with different beliefs and promote simple Christlike attributes like loving your neighbor even if they’re different from yourself.

What is your favorite quote and why?

“You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” - John Landis Mason

I’m fascinated by the concept of us being our most genuine selves when we’re young. Then, as we got older, we conform more and more to society’s norms, often to a point of losing our individuality. But those characteristics that make us different are the very things that give color to our world and our lives. I hope we all can return to the freedom we felt as a child and become our most genuine selves.

What do you do differently than most people?

I am into personal development. I read books by Brené Brown, Dale Carnegie, and others so that I can find ways to improve. The Mindset Mentor by Rob Dial is a podcast that I've been listening to for years now and is something I would definitely recommend.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, what do you do?

I like to take a nap or do something creative. I love to play piano, write, and get behind my camera. I also enjoy designing environments in Unreal Engine 5.

Why did you decide to join the Honors Program?

The Honors program felt familiar. I had already been part of a program which emphasized interdisciplinary learning in my high school, and seeing a similar opportunity arise in college seemed too good to be true. With the Honors program I can learn things for practical uses, such as researching a complex problem, rather than just for the sake of a test.

What has been your favorite Honors experience?

I was super excited when the Unexpected Connections teachers came to the Maeser building and showcased their classes. The courses they designed for us felt so original and interesting.

What is your next step in Honors?

I am taking the Social Science and Arts Honors class. In the course, we are exploring cybersecurity, conspiracy theories, and films.