It's no surprise that Lindsay Webster, SOC/BA '03, is the recipient of this year's Alumni Association Rising Star Award. As she racks up success after success in Hollywood, AU President Neil Kerwin says she "exemplifies the type of high-achieving, self-motivated, and socially aware young alumni on which AU prides itself."
An associate producer for The L Word, a television drama known for tackling tough social issues, Webster has also produced a documentary series on homeless gay youth, as well as Girl 27, a documentary that earned a spot at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
Webster credits AU and School of Communication faculty and alumni with putting her on the road to success. "It's not an overstatement to say that AU really launched my career."
"Every semester I'd fall in love with a class and emerge convinced I had found my true calling. I know I'll fail when I try to name all of the inspiring professors behind these classes: Randall Blair, Leena Jayaswal, Rose Ann Robertson. And of course, Dean Larry Kirkman, whom I consider to be a true friend and mentor."
Dean Kirkman, who taught Webster in History of Documentary Film and supervised her Honor's Capstone project, said "Lindsay took advantage of everything the School of Communication had to offer -- courses in media production and media studies, internships in journalism and film, and our alumni-student mentoring program."
Before graduating with a double major in Film and Media Arts and Multimedia Design, Webster had internships at NBC and ABC before going out to California to work with SOC alum and Bones executive producer Barry Josephson through the Summer in LA program.
"The AU Alumni network was an incredible force behind where I am today. After a summer internship in LA with producer Barry Josephson, I returned to Washington my senior year to participate in the SOC mentorship program. I was fortunate enough to have Danielle Gelber, Senior Vice President of Original Programming at Showtime as my mentor. A month after moving to LA, Danielle helped me land my first job interview for The L Word – where I still work today."
Kirkman says that Webster left a strong impression on her mentors, "The two School of Communication Dean's Advisory Council members she worked with, (Josephson and Gelber), were impressed by her intelligence and work ethic, but also by her creative sense of what makes a great story. I saw these strengths in her essays on documentaries and in her capstone project comparing storytelling techniques across film, journalism, public communication."
What's next for Webster? She's currently co-producer on The Real L Word: Los Angeles, a new docuseries to premiere on Showtime in 2010. And she continues to work directly with Ilene Chaiken, Creator/Executive Producer of The L Word and The Real L Word: Los Angeles, in film and television development for her independent production company.