Penn State University  | College of Medicine |  Research |  George T. Harrell Library |  Medical Center |  Clinical & Translational Science Institute |  StudyFinder

↑ Return to Research Opportunities

Adolescents and Teens

Click here for a complete listing of the 2014 Films

Spring 2014
Steven Savage   (Video Essay)   Filmmakers: Clay Cooper and Henry Motilla Guedez (Length: 11:15)

Emily Shifflet   (Video Essay)   Filmmakers: Hayk Stepanyan and Ashkan Morim (Length: 10:25)


Spring 2013
Noah Riley Spencer   (Photo Essay)   Filmmakers: Linda Truong and Irene Han Li (Length: 11:09)

Kailee Baxter   (Video Essay)  Filmmakers: Mark Shehata and Paul Ghattas (Length: 10:12)


Spring 2012
Victoria Chastain   Filmmakers: Andrew Jen and Melissa Shapiro (Length: 9:55)

Michael Poliitzer   Filmmakers: Jed Ritter and Alyssa Karl (Length: 10:10)

Ian Swarr   Filmmakers: Hannah Ross Suits and Nicolai Tolstoy (Length: 10:29)


Spring, 2011 Penn State College of Medicine
Doug Fickel  Filmmakers: David Currie and Brittney Hacken Length: 10:45
In this compelling film, Doug Fickel and his parents show us the challenges of living with a rare genetic disease called ataxia telangiectasia. Over time, Doug has lost functions he held dear, and he explains some of these losses. His parents also explain parenting decisions they’ve made in the face of the challenging diagnosis. The film is particularly relevant for discussions by students about how much information we share with pediatric patients and whom should control that information flow.

Spring 2011 Penn State College of Medicine
Curtis Garvin   Filmmakers: Ali Thompson and Derek Reighard Length: 11:36
Curtis Garvin is an 8th grader who’s been wresting with the social consequences of being an eighth grader with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, an uncommon congenital heart defect typically diagnosed at birth or prenatally. His parents explain his medical course including a stroke. Curtis has many concerns of 8th graders including some bullying he’s experienced and feelings that he has not bee understood. Curtis also appears with his best friend and his best friend’s parents, who also had congenital heart disease.

Spring 2010 Penn State College of Medicine
Marly Watson Family    Filmmakers: Matt Piotrowski and Matt Pavelic, MSI   Length: 11:10
In this profoundly moving film, Marly’s parents and physician articulately discuss her course including her brain tumor and subsequent chemotherapy and radiation – and the rare side effect she suffered from radiation known as Radiation Necrosis, which severely devastated Marly’s white matter.
Marly’s father eloquently and emotionally speaks about how he’s managed to keep functioning despite his heartbreak – including working while his wife takes care of Marly. Marly is eventually revealed – including her profound neurological devastation. All the medications are shown, as are her nighttime rituals. And more important – how the parents cope – dad day to day – and mom – through her belief that her daughter knew she was ready for heaven.

Spring 2010 Penn State College of Medicine
Tim O’Donnell Family   Filmmakers: Carolyn Baloh and Katherine Krol, MSI   Length: 10:04
Tim O’Donnell is a freshman in college who was born with a significant heart defect requiring transfusions and repair, as well as HEP-C, the product of transfusions when he was an infant. In the film the impact on the family and their numerous adjustments are evident. At one point in the film, his father and Tim sit together as his father passes the torch of adherence to his son – who is filling his own pill boxes for the first time. The family’s closeness and compensations for the illness are nicely illustrated.

Spring 2010 Penn State College of Medicine
Dominic Flores Family  Filmmakers: Zainul Hasanali, Ala Masri and Tebebeyesus Garedew, MS I   Length: 10:27
Dominic Flores has had three stem cell transplants for Adrenal Leukodystrophy – an inherited genetic disorder associated with progressive neurological deterioration.

In addition to learning Dominic’s course and the impact on his family and neurological functioning, the filmmakers also captured something unique – over 1 minute of a seizure – and his mother’s tender response – gently holding her son’s face while he actively seized – his eyelids fluttering uncontrollably.

The family burden is displayed – as are the family’s outreach efforts to other family’s in which children have Adrenal Leukodystrophy.

Spring 2008 University of Arizona
Jeffrey Tardiff Family   Filmmakers: Serena Jain and Susan Kunkel MS II   Length 10:28
In this remarkable film, a young man with paranoid schizophrenia and his family explain how this illness has devastated his future. In the film the young man’s parents both explain how the illness was discovered, the impact on them, and some of the more challenging moments. Jeffrey’s psychologist is also interviewed. In addition, the filmmakers followed Jeffrey and his father to a number of activities. Adherence issues, acceptance issues, and communication with health professionals are all covered to some extent.

Permanent link to this article: