FMU alum uses pen, camera to capture world around her



Brittany Parker, Editor-in-Chief

“When I first used my camera, I saw the world through a lens, and it was delightful because I was able to transfer the image from my mind into the camera,” recent graduate Marina D’Souza, said. “It was at that moment where I became passionate about drawing closer to this art.”

D’Souza followed her passion by securing a correspondent position at a weekly newspaper in Kingstree, S.C. – only, she landed a job that involves elements from both of her degrees.

During her time at Francis Marion University, D’Souza earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees – one in Psychology in 2007 and one in Mass Communication – Convergence Journalism in 2010. D’Souza, who plays the piano, also obtained a minor in music while pursuing her first degree.

D’Souza initially became interested in these and other creative outlets during her childhood in India.

“While growing up, I always had a flair for writing, poetry, the English language itself, music, singing, creativeness and the arts,” D’Souza said. “Perhaps it was because my grandma’s colossal appetite for everything so artistic easily passed on to me. So, it was a tremendously eclectic ambition I had in my heart.”

It wasn’t long before D’Souza branched out into experimenting with photography using a camera; she had already been using her eyes as her camera.

“For me, as a child growing up in India, I saw the world as it was,” D’Souza said. “I did not have any formal knowledge of any cameras. I was capturing life with my mind, with my heart and with my senses. I observed every emotion, every facial expression, every movement and everything around me.”

D’Souza, who moved to the United States while she was in high school, chose FMU as the institution where she would explore her various artistic interests.

“Francis Marion University seemed to have found me more than the other way around,” D’Souza said. “It was a fruitful and worthwhile experience for me to have been educated there because the professors were attentive toward my progress. They helped me develop myself in a well-rounded manner. With all of my heart, I enjoyed every single moment I spent at the university, and I will always treasure those moments.”

D’Souza named one professor in particular who had a profound impact on her, both professionally and personally – so much so that D’Souza still considers that professor a close friend.

“At Francis Marion University, I happened to have the better privilege of being Dr. Linda Jacobs’ student,” D’Souza said. “I learned from her the beauty of honest expression. To me, it was always more than writing. To this day, I have found a friend in her as we share a common ground. Faith in God and His love for us is the common ground. I learned from her the boldness to be able to stand up for what is right in God’s sight, to stand up for what is good and to fearlessly stand up for Christ – to endure the path that is set before me.”

While pursuing her mass communication degree, D’Souza developed her journalism knowledge and skills by committing to her classes and working on the student newspaper.

“I worked with The Patriot newspaper, possibly one of my fondest experiences,” D’Souza said. “It was my foreground to practice and excel in the journalistic approach to writing and, at the same time, stay true to myself. I was allowed to be flexible in my style of writing, and it was wonderful having my worked critiqued constructively.”

D’Souza’s performance both inside and outside of the classroom impressed many of her professors, including Associate Professor of Mass Communication Maria Lundberg.

“Marina was a very enthusiastic, creative student,” Lundberg said. “She always made interesting comments and observations in class discussions. I was very impressed by her talent as a photographer. She has a great visual eye and presents images in an interesting, compelling way. And I’m very excited that she has found a way to use her love of photography in her career field.”

D’Souza said that the skills she learned and the skills she honed while at FMU have been helpful in her adjustment to her current job at The News where she writes and photographs a variety of articles. D’Souza has covered cultural events, historic parades, theatrical plays and scholastic accomplishments – to name a few. She has also written human interest features and biographies for the newspaper.

D’Souza said that she appreciates having the opportunity to employ her writing and photography abilities to share people’s stories with others.

“If there is one rewarding aspect about writing and photography, it would be the fact that I am able to meet a diverse group of people and learn about their lives, their struggles, their experiences and their joys. I write their story. I photograph what I see. More than just listening to them, I am also learning from them. I am continuously learning.”

Just like during her childhood in India, D’Souza is still documenting the world around her with her camera and pen; although, she did express additional ambitions.

“My primary goal will always be to make even the slightest impact in the lives of the people I meet,” D’Souza said. “In any field I work – communications, the sciences, the arts, the library or a restaurant – I desire to share God’s unconditional love with everyone I encounter. I believe that living a selfless life for others, loving one another in humility and spreading God’s goodness will surely make life worth living.”