— by Mellany Armstrong, Associate Director of Communications

Emily Frizzelle, a Photography & Digital Arts major, has been named valedictorian for the Class of 2020.

“It feels really awesome, especially right now in these very unprecedented times,” she said. “It's definitely kind of like a little bit of a light, and a little bit of some positivity right now, which is very nice.”

Frizzelle learned she was valedictorian during Moore’s first online Honors Convocation, held April 21. Moore students have been taking classes online since March 23, after the College was forced to close because of the coronavirus.

A transfer student, Frizzelle came to Moore after earning an associate degree in multimedia from Bucks County Community College. She learned of Moore through her friend, Illustration major Kateri Mooney ’19.

“I was touring the school with her before I even knew I wanted to go,” said the Levittown, Pa., native. “And that was really the first time I was ever in Philadelphia, which was really cool. I was just blown away by it.”

Frizzelle said Moore’s location helped her to fall in love with the city.

“Over the past two years, I really started to explore and kind of get out and do a bunch of things, and that really gave me my sense of place, like, wow, I want to be here for a really long time,” she said. “And that also gave me the inspiration to go where I have been going with tourism and just wanting to be in a community to help people as much as I can, wherever I can.”


Frizzelle credits another Moore grad, Courtney Smyth ’13, with helping her to get the internship that led to her current position as photo and video coordinator for Visit Philadelphia, the city’s official tourism marketing agency. She met Smyth during a portfolio class at Bucks County Community College.

“We kept in contact after that and I met both her and my current boss, Rob Rabena (director of video and photography for Visit Philadelphia), at Moore's internship fair in 2019,” she said. “I got an interview shortly afterward, and a few weeks later I got the call that I was chosen to be their digital assets intern.”

A side gig of taking photos of newborn babies a couple of years ago also helped her land the internship.

“With baby photography, you have to be careful that you don’t mix up the kids when you go to present the photos to the parents,” she said. “That skill really gave me a one-up against other competitors trying to get the internship.” She said her studio lighting and digital photography classes at Moore were also plusses.

She advises Moore students to do artwork outside their classroom work, as she did with the newborn photography.

“Any little thing that you can put on your resume is definitely a great thing,” she said.


Frizzelle will graduate May 16 with a perfect 4.0 grade average. One of her immediate goals is to get her license to operate a drone so she can do aerial photography.

“I didn't realize that I loved tourism photography so much until I really started doing it, so I definitely still want to continue along that path,” she said. “I would like to take skyline photos of the city and kind of do a whole bunch of stuff like that, so that's a big step of what I want to do.”

For now, she looks forward to graduating with her friends and enjoying her newfound title of valedictorian, something her parents like to remind her of.

“They have not stopped talking about it since,” she laughed. “Every single time I come out into the living room, they’re like, ‘Oh my god, it’s the valedictorian!’ They’re very excited.”