‘I shot for the stars’: Transfer student looks ahead at senior season

Junior Hope Ballard transferred to Chapman University in spring of 2018, coming from Santa Barbara City College. Ballard, a broadcast journalism and documentary major, is from Denver, Colorado. Photo by Mia Fortunato

Softball and film production are an unlikely combination, but senior Hope Ballard found a way to fuse together both of those passions at Chapman.

Ballard came from a sports-oriented family, she said.

“No one in my family has ever pursued a career in film production or anything like that … so I’m kind of really the pioneer, my family trailblazer,” Ballard said.

Ballard, a broadcast journalism and documentary major, created a six-minute documentary last semester, profiling senior Kylie Perez, a diabetic softball player from the University of California, Los Angeles. Perez is a Type 1 diabetic collegiate athlete.

Although this piece was just a project for class, Ballard said her experience working with Perez was incomparable.

“It’s something that I’ll never forget and I’m super proud of the film,” Ballard said.

Sophomore broadcast journalism and documentary major Erin Coogan said Ballard’s work ethic for film and softball is evident and will serve to her benefit down the road.

“(Her involvement) really shows in her academic endeavors,” Coogan said. “Her sheer passion is going to make her successful.”

Ballard is from Denver, Colorado, and transferred from Santa Barbara City College, where she played softball. Last spring, she graduated from the community college and officially transferred to Chapman.

“I shot for the stars and then I ended up getting accepted to Dodge (College of Film and Media Arts),” Ballard said.

This season will be Ballard’s second with the Chapman softball team. Transferring to Chapman was hard because she was taken out of her comfort zone in Santa Barbara, she said and she had to fight for a starting spot on the softball team as a new upperclassman.

“I really had to earn the respect of my teammates, because I recognize that a lot of them had been there several years before me,” Ballard said.

Though Ballard has just recently joined Chapman’s team, she has played the sport since she was 4 years old – where she played on an all-boys baseball team.

After she graduates, Ballard said she hopes to work on sports-related documentaries – whether that be an internship with ESPN or a different sports center.

For now, Ballard feels like she’s at her prime.

“I’ve never been better and I’m excited for my senior season,” Ballard said. “I’m ready to finish off with a bang and give it all I got.”