Lauren Browdy: Public Relations / Photography

browdyLauren Browdy                                 

Public Relations / Photography

B.S. expected June 2013 Summa cum Laude

Home College: City

Mentors: Prof. Antonio Gonzalez, Art, Queens and Prof. Lynn Appelbaum, Media and Communication Arts, City

Thomas W. Smith Academic Fellowship

Dan Daley Journalism Award

Dean’s List

“At 16, on my way to a meeting for a student publication, I passed the tent for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (at the time held in Bryant Park) and felt the urge to attend the event and ‘cover’ the story.  At the meeting, I put the idea on the editor’s table. That same day, I headed over to Bryant Park, authentication letter in hand, and was (to my surprise) quickly approved for media riser press access. This meant that not only was I allowed in the (closely guarded) tent, but also I was able to photograph all shows from the designated media riser. I’ve been photographing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York every year since.

I started with that story because in many ways it helped shape most of my college career. It was at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week where I made the decision to go into public relations (PR) and it was also where I discovered my passion for photography. For most of my four years of college I was also pretty sure I wanted to pursue both PR and photography in the fashion industry. In fact, even before college, I had two internships within the fashion industry, one for a designer and one for a stylist.

It wasn’t until my internship with the Big Apple Circus that I started to think beyond the fashion niche. Observing the circus from inside, I was enamored by how well each performer fit into the overall production of the show. I was especially taken by how the comedic script was appreciated by both adults and children. I was a PR intern but they also gave me the opportunity to photograph for their Clown Care and Circus After School programs. It helped broaden my vision and my skills.

During my last year and a half of college I began making .GIF animations as part of my photography concentration. GIFs are essentially moving photographs (you can view some of my earlier work on They reminded me of silent movies – both from a production and content perspective. Silent movies often conveyed serious topics in a humorous light. The correlation between silent film and .GIFs has made me consider learning production for film and TV. I’m a huge fan of television shows like Girls that use comedy to convey heavier life issues and would love to be given the opportunity to work on that style of creative production.

Without CUNY BA, and especially without my Thomas W. Smith Fellowship, I would not have been able to explore all of my interests during college. CUNY BA gave me the freedom to take classes that mattered to me instead of classes that were simply required. For example, CCNY offers an Advertising and Public Relations major. Having no desire to go into advertising, CUNY BA allowed me to just take the PR courses at CCNY and supplement with an independent study in PR and a Branding course at SUNY/FIT. With the help of the Smith Fellowship, I was able to study abroad in London last summer. Syracuse University has a summer fashion photography program in London run through the S.I. Newhouse School. S.I. Newhouse owns Condé Nast so I really can’t think of a better program in which to learn fashion photography. Along with a Newhouse professor (Prof. Lawrence Mason) we also had a mentor who is a known fashion photographer in the industry (Jeffrey Licata). Syracuse is a private school and this five and a half week program cost about two and a half years of CUNY tuition. The Smith Fellowship from the Spring 12 semester helped pay for the trip and the Fall 12 Fellowship money allowed me to pay back the student loan I took out for the program, in full and without interest. To be graduating with no debt is rare in today’s economy and I owe much of that to the Smith Fellowship.

I am currently searching for a PR job in the entertainment industry while also looking into taking film production classes. I’d love to work for Comedy Central or HBO.”

Browdy completed a gap year in Israel between high school and college, earning credits from Yeshiva University for her studies there, then enrolled in Queens College; in CUNY BA she drew her courses from City and Queens Colleges, Syracuse University and from SUNY/FIT.