“My Mom the Scientist” Producers Meet with BCC Film Students to Discuss Upcoming PBS Documentary Featuring Former BCC Professor
BCC’s Media and Digital Film Production (MEDP) program is playing an important role in an upcoming PBS documentary titled “My Mom the Scientist”, expected to be released this spring, 2024. The film examines the seldom told story of the challenges and untapped potential around African Americans’ participation in the sciences through the life of a former Bronx Community College (BCC) professor and activist Rudean Leinaeng, who taught chemistry at BCC for 30 years and whose son is the filmmaker. Producers Darah Gaines Martin and Shanti Avirgan visited with BCC students majoring in MEDP, who will be supplying archival material for the project.
“This project is inspiring MEDP students and the BCC Film Club to digitize old ¾ inch tapes/archival material of the college dating back to the sixties so that we can use it for other projects. Our students are learning the value of research and archiving in depicting any given era,” said Professor Jeffrey Wisotsky, Director of the MEDP program.
Stay tuned for more on “Mom the Scientist”, including a special BCC screening and a possible visit back to campus by Leinaeng, in the weeks/months to come. “I always felt that there should be more African Americans in the sciences,” Leinaeng said. “It’s very important in the community. It’s important that young people see their role models there. Science has a very large impact on our lives, our health and our technology. So we need to be in the game.”
The film will include footage of at least one of Leinaeng’s former African American students at BCC who went on to pursue a career in medicine.