Sofia Volkhonskaya, Web Content Editor and Producer: Video makes her “jump for joy”

AUBG students come and go, but there are a handful who leave a lasting mark in the community. One of those people is Sofia Volkhonskaya, who graduated in May 2014 with a degree in journalism and mass communications. Volkhonskaya is now back on campus, but this time as a part of the Office of Communications and Marketing where she will be dealing with multimedia and making movies about AUBG.

In her time as a student, Sonya, as her friends call her, was involved with the theatre department and was president of the AUBG Director’s Studio for three years. She directed, produced and acted in more than 10 theatrical projects, bringing some of the best actors together and filling up the theatre hall.

“I consider this experience priceless on so many levels – starting from it being beneficial for managing skills and responsibility to the fact that it helped incredibly with my communication and self-expression abilities,” Volkhonskaya said. “The satisfaction of a standing ovation as the curtain closes is the most elevating feeling and can only be compared to falling in love for me.”

Besides being a theater geek, Sonya devoted her time to AUBG Olympics, a club with one of the richest traditions on campus.

“That (AUBG Olympics) is where I found a family away from home,” Volkhonskaya said. –“Apart from being an incredible professional experience where I got to work on creating things with uber-talented people, this club was and still remains a source of an overwhelming amount of connections for each member, past and present.”  

Throughout her studies, filmmaking also became a big part of her life. It started in her third year when Volkhonskaya and some of her friends decided to participate in a 48-hour doc-film challenge. Their movie won three out of the four awards that were presented. “After that, it was sort of a slippery slope in a good way,” she said.

She later worked on several projects including the LipDub, which has become the most-watched AUBG-related video. Her Capstone project was a documentary that was later featured in a number of local and international film festivals.

“There is something in me that jumps for joy when I hold a camera, when I climb trees or roll on the ground with it looking for angles and perspectives to shoot from,” Volkhonskaya said. –“Hitting an ‘export’ button brings me almost the same satisfaction as the closing curtain after the performance.”

Why did she decide to come back to her alma mater? She said mainly it was due to her love of AUBG and mostly the diversity of people’s characters, interests, activities and aspirations. The university may be small, but it has lots of potential and this is where its strengths lie.

“It’s not the school that’s making the names for its students, it’s the students, professors and staff who need to push themselves and grow to make a name for the school,” she said.

Volkhonskaya will do her part in her new role by creating and sharing the university’s stories with a global audience.

Story by Tsvetiana Zaharieva

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