Jennifer Carpenter completed the Certificate in Documentary Arts at the Center for Documentary Studies in 2009 while pursuing her B.A. in journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at UNC, she produced more than thirty documentary pieces on subjects ranging from an Appalachian clog-off to the Golden Olympics. Her final certificate project at CDS, “The American Dragon,” is a video portrait of a small-town professional wrestler and is available on ABCnews.com, where she worked as an undergraduate. Past story assignments have included the election of interim president Kgalema Motlanthe for ETV News in South Africa, as well as Vice President Joseph Biden’s Inaugural walk for the Washington Post.
While at UNC, Jennifer was recognized as one of the top 25 journalism students in the country. On a Fulbright scholarship in Tirana, Albania, she produced multimedia work on Albanian youth and politics, as well as worked on various multimedia pieces for the United Nations Children’s Fund.
About her motivation for working in documentary, Jennifer says, “I am drawn to unconventional stories of exceptional human struggle, passion, and eccentricity. Each person my camera encounters infuses new awareness into my life. I am a collection of their quotes, a reflection of their example, and an expression of their stories.”
For her fellowship, Jennifer worked with the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC). She made hundreds of images, produced three audio interviews for StoryCorps (http://bcnc.net/index.php/storycorps.html), and produced six videos for BCNC programs, some of which were shown on WGBH. At the end of her fellowship she produced two large projects: The Alphabet Project, working collaboratively with children and community, and Generation Dance, working with retired ballroom dancers. Jennifer’s Alphabet Project in on permanent display at BCNC and her Generation Dance exhibit is traveling to different locations..