Michael Mullen II
Michael Mullen II, a senior majoring in Film Studies, has found guidance and support for both life and classes at The Ohio State University from the Todd A. Bell National Recourse Center on the African American Male (BNRC). “Between Tai Cornute, Todd Suddeth, and Robert Bennett III, I have found a trio of educated mentors who have done much to help me succeed,” he stated.
Michael’s first encounter with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s BNRC was through its Early Arrival Program. Designed to give incoming African American males a head start on their experience as undergraduate students at Ohio State, Michael credited the program with easing him into his college experience: “By attending this program, I was able to form a bond with a group of people that I may not have met otherwise during my time here. I was given resources and tools that would help me succeed as a student and as a person.” Michael also participated in the Bell Resource Center's Leadership Institute, which prepares students for campus and community leadership. The Institute gave Michael the opportunity to connect with fellow students – and also exercise his love for video and learn more about his craft – when he was allowed to film several of its sessions.
The BNRC was also there when Michael was securing funding for his study abroad trip to Prague, Czech Republic: Robert Bennett helped Michael by finding him a scholarship that made the trip closer to becoming a reality. While in Prague, Michael spent seven weeks studying film production at a top school, the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (Filmová a televizní fakulta Akademie múzických umění v Praze or FAMU). His time abroad gave Michael the chance to expand his knowledge about film – and other cultures – and made him want to further explore the world. “This trip was the single greatest experience I had at Ohio State because I was able to immerse myself in film production in a way that I would not have been able to in my classes here. Without the BNRC, affording this great opportunity would have been more difficult,” he explained.
While studying at the Czech Republic, Michael attended classes at FAMU with world-renowned instructors and also the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. During his time in the Czech Republic, Michael visited some of the nearby countries, including Germany, Hungary, and Austria. In Germany, he saw a part of the Berlin Wall and some of the memorials to the events that took place there. “Overall, the entire experience was eye-opening. I had never been out of the country, so experiencing so many different cultures in a short period of time was incredible.” And another thing that left a lasting impression: the food in Prague, which Michael loved.
So far, Michaels’ work in film has mainly focused on documentary-like pieces, but he has a goal to get into narrative work that tells stories as well. After graduating at the end of the Autumn 2014 semester with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies, Michael plans to find a job in Columbus and stay for a little while. After that, he will start looking into graduate school options to continue his education. And after that? Look for his name in upcoming film credits.