From Gettysburg to D.C.: The Influence of Experiential Learning for Alexa Secrest ’20

Alexa Secrest ’20
Alexa Secrest ’20 is a producer at FedSoc Studios, the film department of The Federalist Society.

“As an institution, Gettysburg College does an excellent job informing its students that college is yet another stepping stone—it’s not your ‘end destination’ like you once thought,” Alexa Secrest ’20 explained. “I believe the promotion of this mindset encourages the early and active search for research opportunities, internships, and avenues for postgraduate study, which ultimately facilitates the transition to the professional world.”

Secrest was drawn to Gettysburg College for three principal reasons: the Bullets Marching Band, the Eisenhower Institute (EI), and political science and French departments—for which she ultimately doubled majored—that included a wide array of exceptional professors and classes.

In reflecting on her experience with the Eisenhower Institute, Secrest is grateful to have had the opportunity to explore her studies outside of the classroom. Secrest participated in EI’s Women in Leadership and Inside Politics programs as a sophomore and junior, respectively. The programs became instrumental in allowing Secrest to conceptualize what professional life could look like after graduation from Gettysburg College.

“The EI programs served as my introduction to Washington, D.C., the city I now call home. They also helped me get a taste for what kinds of jobs were actually out there. Most professionals have pretty nebulous titles and job descriptions, so it can be hard to understand what positions are available to you from just an online search,” Secrest said.

Alexa Secrest at Bullets Marching Band
At Gettysburg College, Secrest participated in activities such as the Bullets Marching Band.

Secrest is now a producer at FedSoc Studios, the film department of The Federalist Society. In this role, she helps to create educational and entertaining video content that turns legal questions into artistic stories.

“As a producer, I aid in all stages of video production, and my most core responsibilities include pitching new film topics, organizing shoots, storyboarding for animators, composing interview questions, conducting film interviews, scripting, and scouting and submitting to film festivals,” Secrest shared. “I really love my job as it is a very satisfying mélange of intellectual inquiry and creative engagement.”

For The Federalist Society’s latest short documentary “JAWBONED: Miss Information vs. Free Speech,” Secrest served as assistant director, co-producer, and lead writer. Other projects, such as “Glacier Northwest, Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters [SCOTUSbrief],” had her conducting interviews as well as scripting and storyboarding.

Secrest and The Federalist Society
Secrest and The Federalist Society celebrate the release of the short documentary “Katz on the Internet: Privacy in the Digital Age.”

Her participation in Gettysburg College’s experiential learning opportunities, such as EI, cultivated enduring skills that have served Secrest professionally in her projects. She believes that the most impactful of these skills is teamwork.

“Gettysburg taught me that it is of no use to try and do anything all on your own,” Secrest reflected. “Any project, paper, or idea I have ever had has benefited immeasurably from including others in the process. I have never regretted asking for help or feedback.”

Learn more about the high-impact learning opportunities that prepare Gettysburg College students for life after graduation.

By Laken Franchetti ’24
Posted: 04/19/24

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