Forever Orange: Jenna Cammerino ’23

A master’s degree at Newhouse felt like a second chance for Jenna Cammerino to explore her interest in writing screenplays and learning the film industry. While perusing a bachelor’s degree in physics and math at Syracuse University, Cammerino received an email about the Forever Orange Scholarship, which provides half of the tuition for students who enroll full-time in a qualifying graduate degree or certificate program at Syracuse University.

The scholarship is automatically available to all Class of 2024 graduating Syracuse University seniors who are eligible for admission—no separate scholarship application is needed. Graduating seniors who have already been admitted to a qualifying graduate program are also eligible.

Now at Newhouse, Cammerino has had the opportunity gain hands-on experience with film equipment as well as collaborate and learn alongside like-minded peers in the television, radio and film program.  

Jenna Cammerino

Undergraduate Program: Physics and Math ’23
Newhouse Master’s Program: Television, Radio and Film, G’24

Jenna Cammerino headshot
Jenna Cammerino

What drew you to Syracuse University for your undergraduate studies? 

Well, I had first applied to Syracuse because I had already taken some courses in high school. Instead of AP, my school offered SUPA classes so I figured my credits would transfer. But what really sold me was seeing the campus and the school spirit. I got to be a part of something called Own the Dome which is basically a giant sleepover in the dome, and it was the first time I visited the university. The buildings were just gorgeous, and it was the biggest campus I had seen so far. I also remember rooting for Syracuse later that year in March Madness. I grew up in a small town, so it felt really nice to be a part of this big community and have something to root for. 

What made you want to pursue a master’s degree?    

After graduating, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do in my career. There were still so many goals of mine that I had left unexplored or put on the back burner throughout my undergrad. It had always been a goal of mine to put out a written piece, whether it be a novel or screenplay, but I hadn’t really focused on writing since high school and I knew absolutely nothing about the film or entertainment industry. So, for me, a master’s program kind of felt like a second chance at trying for that. I think a lot of people view a master’s as expanding upon what you’ve already been learning and while that’s certainly one reason to pursue one, it can also be an opportunity to try something new. 

How did you first hear about the Forever Orange Scholarship and how did it play a role in your decision to attend graduate school?  

I had heard about it in an email from Newhouse. I think it was a mass email, but the subject line read something like “Don’t know what you’re doing after graduation? Get a master’s degree!” I didn’t know what I wanted to do so it felt pretty fitting. But the email mentioned eligibility for the Forever Orange Scholarship, and I figured it can’t hurt to try and apply.

What unique features of your graduate program made you want to apply?  

I think what attracted me the most, aside from the courses offered in the program, was how career-oriented Newhouse felt. There’s so much guidance and resources available to help you achieve your career goals and it’s not even just advising. There’s access to all kinds of software and film equipment too. And it all feels very close-knit. Even when I was applying, I had applied sort of late and had to communicate with the master’s program office a lot. They worked with me through the whole process, and it really made me feel like they wanted me here and wanted to see me succeed. 

Jenna Cammerino smiling at the camera
Jenna Cammerino

What moments in graduate school have been the most exciting or defining thus far?  

 I think mostly meeting new people and just getting to create. You become really close with your cohort, and you’re given a lot of liberty when it comes to projects. This semester I got to write a script for a film idea that I’ve had for years now, and it was really rewarding seeing that come into fruition. And now I’ve just begun collaborating with a friend of mine on another script, which is exciting. I’m really used to things being much more procedural. In my experiences in STEM, there were all kinds of steps you have to go through before you can even get your hands on a project. So, it’s definitely refreshing being in a space where you really can just get started and create. 

What advice would you give to students that are in the initial stages of deciding to pursue graduate school? 

I’d say don’t settle. I’ve seen countless students go through existential crises because they felt like they chose their career too young and now they were just stuck along that path. But there’s no reason it has to feel that way. Graduate school is a choice and while it will always be worth it, it’s definitely not something you can and should do half-heartedly. If there’s a program you’re unsure about, it’s probably not worth applying to. And if you don’t know what you want to do, there’s no harm in taking the time to figure that out. Gap years can be your friend! I actually planned for this to be my gap year and ended up finding a new career path in it. 

For more information on Newhouse School graduate programs, please email