For LSA seniors Josh Buoy and Stephanie Hamel, their film endeavors began in middle school, with a class project entitled “The Afrenchists,” which depicted French kings in the style of the television series “The Apprentice.”
This was the first of Buoy and Hamel’s many film projects.
As a freshman, Buoy developed an interest in filmmaking, his sophomore year creating Filmic — the University’s go-to source for promotional and educational videos. After Buoy asked Hamel to work as a producer, Filmic launched. When approached by the University administration to create videos for the University, the team began with four PSAs for the Division of Student Affairs.
“We just really wanted to produce high quality, student-produced stuff,” Buoy said. “We are now responsible to ensure that the student experience is maintained and preserved.”
Filmic serves as only one of their co-founded organizations. After serving on the Student Safety Commission for two years, Buoy and Hamel helped create Beyond the Diag — an organization dedicated to defining and creating a community for off-campus housing. The duo defined different neighborhoods for the program and created community ambassadors to promote safety and connection.
“The trust and opportunities we’ve been given as undergraduate students is really incredible,” Hamel said. “We’ve been doing things that graduates and professionals would be doing so we’ve really been challenged and pushed. Michigan puts a lot of faith in us to do this.”
While the longtime friends work collaboratively in almost each of their organizations, Buoy aspires to be a filmmaker and Hamel plans to continue her studies in pharmaceutical sciences.
Before attending the University, Buoy and Hamel did not expect to create — let alone get involved with — these specific organizations. As the opportunities came, the two took full advantage.
“We’re here, and we might as well become very well-versed,” Buoy said. “We constantly think how we can do this at the level that will earn respect from peers, administration and the community. We never want to half-ass anything. It’s amazing how that’s led from opportunity to opportunity.”
While Buoy and Hamel carried their friendship from middle school to high school to college, the two said they are pleased with their legacy left at the University.
“As we’re leaving this campus, leaving a legacy is very important to us,” Buoy said. “We’ve been given the opportunity to share the story of Michigan that hasn’t been shared before. This campus is so big, and everything that we’ve done makes this place smaller, connected and more safe.”
Here are the other Students of the Year.