Linnea M. Palmer Paton, '11

Major: Environmental Policy and Development and Civil Engineering

Project: Just Like Us: An Experiment in Listening.
I produced a documentary film about Moroccan students’ attitudes towards religion, culture, terrorism, and peace in order to foster dialogue between peoples of different backgrounds.

Why I chose this project:
I created this project because I wanted to leave something behind that was more meaningful and more useful than a paper.

What I learned from this project:
I learned that people around the world as not as different from us as we may think they are. While I have studied several religious practices and recognize the culture created around them that makes them strong, I had not had a chance to experience praying in a Mosque until I went to Morocco. I really enjoyed learning about their culture and discovering the great humanity and sense of civic responsibility of many students.

What I accomplished:
While the project took me a year and a half to finish, I am proud that my work has created a legacy beyond my time at WPI. The film continues to be shown at Al Akhawayn University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute and has already helped students change their perceptions of Americans and Moroccans alike. For instance, one student thought that all Americans hated Muslims, and an American student thought that women who covered their hair were shy. This film opened the dialogue to change these misconceptions.

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