Alyssa McNeil’s cubicle in the depths of Media Services is scattered with action figures, movie posters, and A/V equipment. As Media Technician, McNeil is responsible for the upkeep and repair of projectors, sound equipment, and other hardware in classrooms across campus. But the contents of her cubicle reveal a lighthearted side, and a previous job to match.
Before joining Kalamazoo College’s Information Services department in September 2015, McNeil worked a variety of jobs, including an internship on Disney Cruise Lines.
“It was full of wonder, and it was my dream being there,” she says with a laugh. Wonder and Dream are the names of the two ships she worked on. “When we would go up a strait where there were icebergs there were baby seals everywhere,” she said of the cruises to Alaska. “I didn’t see any bears, though.”
Although the Disney Cruise Line took her to Nassau, Bahamas, Castaway Key, and Alaska, McNeil is no stranger to Kalamazoo. She graduated from Western Michigan University in 2012 with a degree in Film and Video Studies, then moved to California to lifeguard at Disneyland, earning herself two sets of Mickey Mouse’s iconic headgear.
“I have three sets of ears,” she says. “You don’t get the hat until you finish training. You really have to earn them.”
She then moved to Utah, where she worked at a youth shelter. McNeil and a friend hoped to start “Once Upon a Pie,” a food truck that sold pies, but then decided to seek a job in Kalamazoo.
As Media Technician, McNeil is responsible for monitoring and updating technology across campus, a process which she says is both frustrating and exciting.
“Trying to keep up with changing technology is a long process,” says McNeil. “When we upgrade we have to upgrade every room on campus.”
After work, McNeil enjoys rugby, Heroclix action figures, and film—interests which are also reflected in her office.