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Megan Seibel ’17 Lights Up the Super Bowl

Design/tech student Megan Seibel had the opportunity of a lifetime thanks to her lighting professor Dave Grill ’86, a generous donor, and a whole lot of persistence.

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of asking.

Design/tech major Megan Seibel ’17 knew her lighting professor, David Grill ’86, had won multiple Emmy awards for his work on Super Bowl Halftime Shows and she wanted to be a part of one.

“Last year I asked if there would be any room or opportunity for me to be an intern for the Lighting department at the next Super Bowl. Professor Grill seemed a little surprised at first and said no one has ever asked before. However, he said it was a good idea and he would look into it.”  

When school started up, Seibel says she asked again. “Finally, after meeting with the lighting team and the producers, he said that everyone was okay with it and now we just had to figure out the logistics.”

It’s not often an intern is invited to work on the Halftime Show, and the expense of travel and lodging is not covered by the production company. Megan’s trip was made possible by the generosity of longtime donor and Purchase College Foundation Chair Lucille Werlinich. 

“Megan hit the ground running and quickly became a valued member of our Team.   Throughout her time with us she worked with all of the various folks in our department and also had time to get an amazing overview of one of the largest events in the world from members of the other teams that make the Super Bowl Halftime Show possible.”

“It was such a life changing experience,” she said. “I learned so much and worked with some of the best people in the field. Everyone was so nice and welcoming, and happy to help me learn and grow.” 

Despite working just feet away from the legendary Lady Gaga, the “gig” wasn’t all glamorous. Seibel was put to work like the rest of the crew. She helped the crew hang fixtures and run cable. She was even given her own project, to configure Lady Gaga’s piano dome so that all the lights were even and the cable was invisible to the cameras.  

It’s an experience she won’t soon forget, and she credits Purchase’s commitment to hiring working professionals at the top of their game for enabling her to have this chance. 

“Being able to learn from professionals who are still constantly learning about new problems and solutions is truly wonderful because they teach us that there is always another way to approach a problem. They are always willing to invite us in to their work and are able to help us make connections in areas that we are interested in.

The connections I’ve made here and the proximity to the city is the best opportunity for someone to learn in school and out of school. The fact that the faculty are working professionals is key part of what makes the Design/Tech Program so highly reputable. When I am working in the field and people find out that I am from SUNY Purchase, they recognize the name and know the high caliber of training that I have from the D/T program.”