Lauren Concar Sheehy is truly a force to be reckoned at Brookdale Community College – having been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award during this year’s commencement, she has been a part of the Brookdale community for decades now. She is not only a leader and a mentor to many, but someone who so perfectly defines what it means to be a modern-day Renaissance (wo)man. A dedicated filmmaker, crew-member, director, senior video production specialist and professional makeup artist are only a few of the titles she has held over the years – but to her, these titles are what make up any other ordinary day.
“I am a homegrown Brookdalian,” Concar Sheehy mentions when asked about her interests in Brookdale, “my Brookdale family is still a part of my life today.” Since day one of her college decision process, Concar Sheehy has always been dedicated to going to Brookdale. Having been interested in television, music videos, and other films since she was younger (an interest she says was inspired by “watching the “pictures” on Turner Classic with my grandmother), she first took TV classes at Old Bridge High School. For her, Brookdale’s Communication program was the next step, paying for her classes herself.
During her time at Brookdale, she discovered an incredible internship opportunity with Cablevision, learning extensively under the guidance of David Garb. “I was able to build sets on my own, be out in the field on a daily basis, learn more on how to direct live tv and work with on-air talent,” she says in discussing this time. Concar Sheehy also freelanced at production companies and was hired by Chad Anderson as the Comm Media learning assistant, and worked with Dr. Bill Burns, and Jennifer Sonatore Yannibelli. “We used reel to reel to slice audio, tape to tape for editing video, VHS then SVHS cameras. The ability to think on my feet and troubleshoot challenges with the equipment and software began here. This also put me in a different niche of the industry which led me to being hired for teaching one on one to clients and building production company video edit systems.” All of these opportunities and jobs were soon beginning to influence not only Concar Sheehy’s interests in various career paths, but also were contributing to her overall interest and morals in keeping communities close to you no matter where you go.
After obtaining her degree in Communications from Brookdale, Concar Sheehy worked at Bloomberg in NYC, editing the financial news in several languages and freelanced at other companies. In 2009 she produced a video for Lunch Break with Peter Hogan and Brian Sheehy (her future husband). In all, however, Sheehy was working to break barriers in both the film and music industry – proving what it means to be a strong and empowered inspiration to many.
“Strong females have influenced my life from the beginning,” she begins to explain, “and I am very thankful for those who inspired me and continue to inspire me today… While a student at Brookdale, I worked at an all-female production company, Lash Media and freelanced for several other media companies. These women were really helping me pave the way in not only developing my skills, but to also be able to think without thinking. I was the only chick camera operator for the Rolling Rock Concert Series because of these women – and soon enough too, I was the first female production manager leading the crew for fun gigs like Consumer Electronics week, pharmaceutical symposiums, and other productions.”
Nowadays, Lauren Concar Sheehy is the Executive Director of the Garden State Film and continues to work with Brookdale in creating many impressive opportunities for students and other communities within the College. Having learned about the Festival from Roger Conant, Concar Sheehy was a vital member of the team who brought the GSFF offices to Brookdale’s Lincroft campus. Having the connection to the campus has not only provided real world experience for the Brookdale film/tv/theater, and high school students, but allows for great networking. And for Concar Sheehy, these opportunities are what continue to drive her in what she does. “Here at Brookdale, community is our middle name. I figured everything out on my own and that is the reason I enjoy being able to provide career guidance for our students. Having a sense of community unites us. My work with the GSFF reaches a community global in scale and also touches the lives of our local community. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”