Cassia Sherrill is a 23-year-old North Carolinian, ready to graduate with a B.A. in Cinema-Television. After a gap year trying to figure out what she wanted to do with her life, Cassia decided on Regent University. She fell in love with the mission statement “Christian leadership to change the world,” but it was as soon as she went into the Communications Building that she thought, “This is where I want to be.” Regent was the only college she applied to.
Cassia had a desire to be a lawyer at first, wanting to follow a dream she’d had since she was 12 to ultimately become President. However, she soon realized that being president was her plan, not God’s. He led her to film-making, and she has never looked back. While she does admit that film-making is stressful, she truly fell in love with the craft. At first, she wanted to produce, but during her last semester at Regent she had the opportunity to travel to L.A. for an internship/study abroad program called Best Semester. Since then, she has realized how much she truly loves directing.
Cassia has been heavily involved in all sorts of things at Regent. She was an RA for two years, worked with the Student Activities Board, helped found the Photography Club and the clubs that have combined to become Cinema Scopes, in addition to interning at the Center for Student Happiness. Cassia also took part in Orientation leading for two years, as a captain and leader for two Soars and Welcome Weeks. Throughout all of this busyness, she was also heavily involved on film sets, getting her foot in the door of producing.
One of her favorite parts of being in various positions of leadership was the opportunities that allowed her to pour into the lives of others. “I love helping people,” she said. Being able to cultivate leaders and see those around her grow into stronger people with God’s help felt wonderful. In addition to helping others develop, she learned a lot about herself. One powerful mentor in her life was Hannah Stratton, the head of the Center for Student Happiness at Regent. Hannah really taught her about self-care, and how important it was to take care of herself as well as others. She also learned how to be vulnerable in relationships, and having a “been there, done that; I can understand you” attitude.
Cassia’s favorite professor “beyond a shadow of a doubt” is Professor Shaker Rejasekar. While she only had him for one class her junior year, it was his influence that caused her to pursue being a director instead of only a producer. When she met with him in his office one day, sharing with him all the things she had been a part of producing so far on campus, he looked at her and said, “I think you shot yourself in the foot.” Producing had Cassia pouring into the lives of others, but Professor Shaker showed her that she was stifling her own creative drive and the gift God had given her. He encouraged her not to settle for less, saying, “You have cared for everyone else’s projects and stuffed yours under the rug.” Having never thought of herself as a director, Cassia was astonished. She realized she had gotten comfortable taking care of the logistics, scheduling, budgeting, etc., and ignored her creative side. Being creative and expressing that as a director seemed vulnerable to her, but it was exactly what she needed to do.
After college Cassia’s long-term goal is obviously to be a director. She has been accepted to the Disney College Program in Disney World as a photographer and will work there after graduation. Following this, she hopes to move to L.A., which she has fallen in love with, and make connections there, pursuing her goal to bring God glory through storytelling in film.
As a piece of advice to Regent students, Cassia encourages students to take as many opportunities as they can. The reason she has done so much in only four years and made so many connections is because she took every opportunity that was presented to her, scary or not. She encourages students not to let outside fears of money or time stop them from taking opportunities: “If God wants you to do it, He’ll make it happen.” She did not think she would be able to afford the L.A. program she joined, yet there she is, going out and getting through it and thriving. “He’ll make it happen,” she says.
Cassia Sherrill is an amazing woman of God, and it is wonderful to see the powerhouse kind of people Regent University is sending off to change the world. Congratulations on graduation, Cassia!
Maggie Nelson is a staff writer for the Daily Runner.