Gretchen Babarovic – Project Coordinator

Gretchen Babarovic was Executive Assistant to ABC News anchor Peter Jennings from 1983 to his death in 2005. As his right hand, she was involved in every aspect of his professional life from the gathering of the nightly news to his documentary productions. She did the administration for his second book In Search of America and researched material for his speaking engagements.

Traveling the world with the broadcast allowed her to experience a front row seat to history which fueled her curiosity and allowed her to develop a unique perspective of the world and deep appreciation for the democratic process. In 2007, she was asked by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point to produce an inaugural dinner for their Center of Excellence's new Oral History Department. The following year, she became Project Director for The Connecticut Project For the Constitution - a center for education and dialogue seeking to educate Americans about the importance of the Constitution's intersection with every day lives. Ms. Babarovic is a graduate of Cornell University. Both her daughter and son in law are journalists

Ben Willis - Production Coordinator

Ben Willis serves as the Production Coordinator at the Civic Life Project, assisting students and teachers throughout the production process.  Prior to joining the Civic Life Project, Ben worked as an Associate-Producer on the award-winning documentary Best Worst Movie, and more recently for NBC on the documentary The American Scream.  Ben has also worked as an Assistant Director on various independent feature films, web series, and short films.  Ben began working on documentaries in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he worked with National Endowment of the Arts Fellow Michael Pettit on his documentary Living Traditions: Folk Art of New Mexico. Ben is a graduate of Connecticut’s Film Industry Training Program, and holds a BA in Moving Image Arts from The College of Santa Fe.

 David Bayersdorfer - Academic Consultant
David Bayersdorfer was a public school Social Studies teacher for over forty years. During his 33 years of teaching at Housatonic Valley Regional High School, he also served as Athletic Director, Assistant Principal, and Interim Principal at various times.  David received his undergraduate degree from Syracuse University and Master Degrees from Central Connecticut State University and Southern Connecticut University.  He has served on the Planning and Zoning Board in the town of Salisbury and ran the town's Summer Job program.  Currently. he serves on the Assessment Board of Appeals.  He is also a board member of the Salisbury Association, as well as the 21st Century Fund.  He teaches various courses for the Taconic Learning Center( including courses on Theodore Roosevelt, the VietNam War and Charles Lindbergh). In his spare time, he has acted in over 15 plays at the TriArts Sharon Playhouse.
 

Douglas Branson – Video Production and Technical Instructor

Douglas Branson is a graphic designer, photographer, filmmaker, editor, and performer and has worked in Philadelphia, NYC, and Connecticut producing multimedia since 1984.  A graduate of The Art Institute of Philadelphia Branson started his career in advertising and publishing.  He then worked in Audio and Video Production and built his own professional home recording studio.  Douglas has designed and built sets, operated cameras, done on location sound, produced short promotional films and commercials. His Photoshop image preparation and formatting skills are used by other production companies in Commercials, Documentaries, and Films.  He loves the process of teaching digital fluency and enhancing skill sets in both young and old, especially helping with use of social media and the Internet for promoting the arts, people, products, services, and ideas. 

 

William Littauer - Production Instructor

Bill Littauer had a 50-year career in broadcast news. He was a reporter, anchor, producer and Executive Producer of television news programs in Washington and New York.  He won the Emmy Award as Executive Producer of the Outstanding News Broadcast in New York three times.  He has produced both hour-long news specials and hundreds of daily reports on politics, civil rights, business and finance.  He was the Executive Producer of Independent Network News which ran on as many as 150 stations from 1980 to 1990.  He was the first Executive Producer of The Wall Street Journal Report when it was a joint venture of Tribune Company and The Wall Street Journal. As a reporter, he covered the civil rights movement of the 60s, the anti-war protests of the 60s and 70s and the recessions and inflation of the 80s. For 20 years, he was President of American Television News, Inc. a video production company in New York City providing video services to television networks and independent producers from around the world.