COMMUNITY-BASED
RESEARCHER

FILMMAKER

+


DIGITAL
CREATOR

PERSONAL STATEMENT

I am motivated by a goal of
helping to advance social equity.


I aim to contribute by
amplifying underrepresented communities' voices.


I work toward this goal by weaving together
experimental documentary, participatory research, + web development.

I create work that
guides people through personal + community spaces in new ways.


I create work that explores new ways of
understanding others' lived experiences.


I create work that bridges
digital media + physical action.

I aim to address the inequities in today's social systems by
asking new questions to arrive at new answers about how we might redesign them.


And I learn the skills I need to accomplish this by
making the kind of work I want to see.

HIGHLIGHTED
PROJECTS

'10 Days in Saigon' icon

A 10-week web series documenting wheelchair travel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam:

  • Discusses wheelchair accessibility in playful, digestible videos for an audience that might not necessarily be looking specifically for accessibility information.
  • Aims to challenge common mass media images of disability as an object of pity or "inspiration".
'A Bodega' icon

An experimental documentary; an asset-based look at health equity, made with ingredients from a bodega in Lawrence, MA:

  • Shows the potential of animation as a documentary method to inspire empathy, convery information, and join distinct yet related topics into one playful format with fewer audienec barriers than a more traditional documentary method.
  • Highlights my desire to amplify the stories of underserved communities from an internal point of view, rather than relying on problems/solutions to be define solyle by outside "experts".

ONGOING WORK

'By Foot: Busan and the Sea' icon

Web app allowing users to document and access location-based data around wheelchair accessibility.
'No One CanHear You' icon

A mixed-media animation: the memories of Officer Hernández as she loses contact with her crewmates and drifts off into space.
'By Foot: Busan and the Sea' icon

Research partnership with NLM and Chicago Public Libraries to tailor + implement an educational tool about clinical trials.
'A Bodega' icon

A tri-instiutional U54 partnership focused on cancer health equity in Chicago. Community engagement activities + long-term partnerships to increase underserved communities' access to tri-instiutional resources.
'By Foot: Busan and the Sea' icon
Qualitative study on medical providers' perceptions of Planned Parenthood; independent analysis of US media coverage, utilizing Media Cloud platform.

ANIMATION


guiding the viewer through

spaces + personal experiences

in unexpectedly playful ways.

'How to Make Yuca Frita' icon
An instructional animation: peel, chop, remove the stringy core, boil, fry, and eat.
'A Bodega' icon
An experimental documentary: an asset-based look at health equity, made with ingredients from a bodega in Lawrence, MA.
'By Foot: Busan and the Sea' icon
An experimental documentary: a solo trip through Busan, South Korea.
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An experimental documentary: a cross between two marks.
Persefone's Breakfast icon
An experimental animation: Persephone's voice messages to Hades as she leaves the Underworld once and for all.

PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH


sheding light on complex processes that affect public health,

supporting community partners/co-investigators.

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A content analysis of community-based organizations' social media posts.

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Video explaining a community research partner's public health program.

WEB DEVELOPMENT


bridging the

digital - physical divide.

Everything But Apples icon
A multiplayer web-enabled party game; a social-digital version of Apples to Apples.

VIDEO


Making work to help

organizations + individuals

achieve their aims.

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A promotional video for the [Spanish Community Center] in Joliet, IL.
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A fundraising video for a high-altitude balloon launch by [South Side Hackerspace: Chicago] to document the 2017 solar eclipse.
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A 10-week web series documenting wheelchair travel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Produced in partnership with [Muui].
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2 sets of informational videos + worksheets on aspects of the US college application process.

PUBLIC ART


drawing attention to

overlooked parts of my environment

through phsyical interventions

+ interactivity.

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An interactive art installation taking place in a public bathroom.
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A site-specific public art installation in Harvard Yard, produced as part of Harvard ARTS FIRST 2011.

LEARNING
THROUGH
DOING


building my skillsets

in filmmaking, web development, + project management

through smaller-scale experiments in areas that interest me.

NYT React App icon
A web app made with React and Bootstrap that lets users search New York Times Articles and select ones to save to the page.
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Experiments in object animation with food to depict different facets of texture, color, and changes over time.
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A fundraising video for a Kickstarter campaign promoting a Taiwanese artisan's work.
'By Foot: Busan and the Sea' icon
A technique involving 3D modeling, video/animation, and public art installation techniques.
'Badly Drawn Battle Game' icon
An experiment in JQuery to make a short puzzle game: figure out the order to face your opponents so that you win.
GiftPitch icon
A web app that lets users take a personality quiz to help find the perfect gift for someone from Amazon, Etsy, or Ebay.
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An experimental animation: travel to the North on a map made of broken glass.
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Interview series with Chinese college students studying abroad in the US.

ABOUT ME


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SAMUEL R. MENDEZ

Filmmaker, researcher, digital creator.


EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts, Harvard University, 2014. Magna Cum Laude, High Honors in Field.

Concentration: Visual + Environmental Studies. Secondary: Global Health + Health Policy.


PUBLICATIONS

  • Ramanadhan S, Mendez SR, Rao M, Viswanath K. Social media use by community-based organizations conducting health promotion: a content analysis. BMC Public Health. 2013;13:1129. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-1129.

HONORS

  • National Academy of Medicine, Washington DC. (2017). Official Selection for Visualize Health Equity: A Community Art Show, "A Bodega".
  • Official Latino Short Film Fest, New York, NY. (2017). Exceptional Artistry award winner, "By Foot: Busan and the Sea".
  • TRAVEL FilmFest, Limassol, Cyprus. (2017). Finalist, Best Travel Web Series, "10 Days in Saigon".
  • Chicago Onscreen, Chicago, IL. (2017). Official Selection by the Chicago Park District for screening in 3 Chicago parks, "A Bodega".
  • Chicagoland Shorts Vol 3, Chicago, IL. (2017). Official Selection, "Persefone's Breakfast".
  • 14th WE CARE Film Festival, New Delhi, India (2017). Official Selection, "10 Days in Saigon".
  • Official Latino Short Film Fest, New York, NY. (2016). Exceptional Artistry nomination,"Persefone's Breakfast".
  • Chicago REEL Shorts Film Fest, Chicago, IL. (2014). Best Documentary nomination, "A Bodega".
  • Blue Plum Animation Fest, Johnson City, TN. (2014). Official Selection, "A Bodega".
  • Chicago REEL Shorts Film Fest, Chicago, IL. (2013). Official Selection, "Snow Queen Travel Company".

CAREER

  • Northwestern University, Simon Lab.
    Chicago, IL. (2016.09 - current).
    • Conducted qualitative research on generalist healthcare providers' views, knowledge + experience making family planning referrals.
    • Applied design thinking and participatory design exercises to lead the lab team in ongoing internal communications process improvement.
    • Worked on ChicagoCHEC (U54 tri-institutional grant) Community Engagement Core to build + maintain partnerships with community-based organizations, federally-qualified health centers, hospital partners, and advocacy groups.
    • Worked with ChicagoCHEC staff to create a stakeholder interview guide around their perceptions of ChicagoCHEC's success, strengths + opportunities for improvement; Conducted stakeholder interviews
    • Participated in grantwriting for grants from the NCI/NIH.
    • Led ChicagoCHEC staff in data collection for a Community Partners Resource Guide as a way to meet expressed community partner needs; designed and formatted Resource Guide for print.
  • Muui.
    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, + remote work. (2015.12 - 2016.08).
    • Directed a 10-week wheelchair travel web series; recorded footage on site in Vietnam.
    • Co-conducted interviews with local participants.
    • Peer-mentored series co-creator in video production and video project management, skills that he used later to make more Muui video projects.
    • Developed concept + format was used in later Muui projects.
    • Trained a remote team of 10 interns to subtitle series in English, Korean + Vietnamese.
  • Dipont Education Management.
    Regional video project manager.
    Hangzhou, China. (2014.08 - 2015.08).
  • Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Viswanath Lab.
    Research assistant.
    Boston, MA. (2011.06 - 2014.08).
  • Novartis.
    Internal communications intern.
    Basel, Switzerland. (2012.06 - 2012.07).
  • Rush University Medical Center.
    Summer Biochemistry Research Program.
    Summer research student. (2010.06 - 2010.08).
  • American Cancer Society, IL Division.
    Summer Research Program.
    Summer research student. (2009.06 - 2009.08).