Alumni Spotlight: Olivia Moe

by Ashley Mott

Alumni Olivia Moe is taking the world of film by storm. She has been challenging the norms that surround the film industry constantly for the past few years. Moe graduated in the Spring of 2018 with a Bachelors in Film and Interactive Media, multiple short films under her belt, and a thirst to touch on film topics that most others have not. Growing up in the city of Oberlin lit a fire in her that became the beginning of her love for the arts.

Moe believes that she is lucky to have grown up in such an artistic neighborhood. With Oberlin College right nearby there were always concerts, plays, art museums, and musicals to go see. She was constantly surrounded by all the art mediums that she could dream of and her support system fostered her love of the arts starting as early as elementary school. Her parents have always had a deep appreciation for arts so you could say her fire for it runs through her veins.

Her family and friends have always supported her and encourage her with the mantra “make it happen,” no matter what the ‘it’ in that sentence was. Whether it was pursuing film, continuing on with school after graduation, traveling or trying new random things she has always given everything her best effort to ‘make it happen.’ She has done 48-hour films along with many other student led films in her time as a student here at Cleveland State. Pushing her to continue with her film career were professors Maria Gigante and Michael Suglio. They have encouraged Moe to enter into multiple film festivals. Moe says that they have really helped her in the journey that she is on, despite the challenges that come with finding work as a film major after college. She has been determined to complete all of her film goals.

However, she hasn’t stopped there. Just last semester she decided that she wanted to pursue a degree in American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting. She says that professors Meredith Netzel and Debra Schwartz are responsible for sparking her love for ASL and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

“Their classes and resources, support and kindness, still hold a special place in my heart!” Moe says.

Through her classes, Moe has found a love for ASL that almost rivals her love for film. In a happy marrying of the two she is looking to promote organizations like Reel Abilities Film Festival and the National Theater of the Deaf with her own short films. Currently she is working on a short film that she is collaborating with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community on. Moe acknowledges that since she is a Hearing person she cannot authentically write this film alone, so she is leaning on her friends that are apart of the community to help her highlight all the best parts about the Deaf and Hard of Hearing world.

While her plot is still in the beginning stages of development this soon to be Deaf Horror film will be one for the books. Moe has a goal to make sure her cast and crew is a combination of Hearing and Deaf people. She is striving to bring authentic artistic expression to the film by both parties.

“I also want to help bridge the gap between the misconceptions both sides have of each other,” Moe says.

Moe is certainly setting the bar high for others following after her. From wanting to interpret at events, movie screenings, and plays to working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing organizations to promote film to the community she is pursuing her goals to the fullest. Not only that but she is also pushing others in the communities to pursue their own goals as well.

“I only hope to help others make whatever their IT is happen too!” Moe says.

Her two years at Lorain County Community College completing her Associates of Arts degree only could prepare her so much for the next steps that she was about to take. Moe entered Cleveland State as a junior, unsure of where her life was going and the paths that she was going to embark on in the next two years. Now she stands taller, more confident, braver, stronger, and more sure of herself since crossing the graduation stage in May of 2018. Her experiences have changed her for the better and she knows she will continue to cherish them in her future endeavors.

“I am definitely a different Liv than when I first walked through the Music and Communications Building back in the fall of 2016,” Moe says.

Moe has grown immensely since the start of her college journey and is ready to continue pushing through whatever obstacles may come her way.  


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