Mic-Anthony Hay, a journalism major and creative writing minor, uses multimedia storytelling to intertwine his academic interests with his love of outdoor adventure, photography, film and writing -- earning him a brand ambassadorship with Sony and more than 85,000 Instagram followers.

Where were you born and raised? 

I was born in Queens and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. My parents are Jamaican. I moved to Brooklyn with a cousin in 2012.

You have a distinctive name.

When I was younger, I didn't really like it. But it grew on me -- I saw its uniqueness as I got older. Friends call me Mic (pronounced Mick).

When did you develop interests in photography and creative writing?

My first passion was soccer. I started documenting myself practicing with my web cam on my first computer. When soccer didn't make sense anymore and I had to put school first, I just started creating and documenting my other passions, which include the outdoors and writing about my activities.

How did you decide on SUNY Oswego for college? 

The location was really important. As a student photographer and writer, I wanted a college near a good outdoor environment, so the lake helped. SUNY Oswego is in a really central place between the Adirondacks and a lot of other natural attractions.

Did you declare a major in journalism right away? 

No, I was enrolled here as a sociology major at first. I wanted to help people with whatever I did, and I had thought there was no way to include photography and what I did on social media with academics. But after investigating the journalism program, I realized that I would be taking classes in screenwriting, broadcasting and lots of others that would really make me well-rounded by the end of the program, so I could include my passion and my hobby with my academics.

What has been your favorite class here at SUNY Oswego?

I'd say it's my creative non-fiction class with Linda Loomis. I'm able to express myself with writing about my past experiences, which is something that really attracts me to writing -- talking about things that matter to me in my past that will somehow have an effect on my future. 

What do you think in general of your professors here at Oswego?

My relationship with my professors is really sort of a mentorship. They're much more than instructors to me. A lot of them have become, I would say, friends -- people I can go to for advice. I'm sure that even after my time here -- I'm a senior -- I will remain connected with them as I pursue my career.

What do you think of your fellow students?

The students here at Oswego have been very friendly. I came from New York City to Upstate, and it was really what I was hoping for  -- a really accepting campus environment with my peers. I've been involved with intramural sports and different clubs and organizations, like the Outdoor Adventure Club, the Photography Club. I've just been amazed how helpful and how focused students are at succeeding at whatever it is.

I understand you have a job with Campus Recreation.

I'm the social media manager and I take photos and video -- shooting and editing for Campus Rec's promotional pieces.

Can you tell us how the opportunity with Sony came about?

I have a presence on Instagram with about 85,000 followers. I use Instagram as a means to tell stories about my outdoor adventures. Coming here helped me to tell more stories than I would have going to another institution. Sony (Alpha Collective) found my account and reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to represent their brand, which I was very proud of and very happy I could show the beauty of Upstate New York, particularly to showcase the beauty of this campus on Lake Ontario. The relationship has grown. I went with Sony on a trip to Alaska and have been introduced to National Geographic-level photographers experienced in the career path that I would like to follow. I'd like to tell stories for a living, whether it's in film, photography or writing. So far it's just been an amazing opportunity and a learning experience, added to my academic studies.

What have you been working on with regard to film?

I've worked with a company called FlyNYON, which is a helicopter tour company based in New Jersey. Through my influence in social media, I was able to do a flight with them over New York City. It was one of the most unreal experiences ever. You walk the streets of New York and look up at those buildings and wonder what the view is from up there. That all started from just telling my stories. I think that's super-important for anyone with goals and dreams: Start doing whatever you can right where you are.

That sounds like good advice.

My message to SUNY Oswego students is if you have a goal, you need to actively pursue it. I haven't achieved a lot yet, but what I have achieved has come about because I used the resources around me. I think it's important to not just sit on what you're learning in class. Times are changing. What you're learning is the foundation to your subject area, but you need to integrate it. It's your responsibility to see how you can integrate your passion or your career goal with the demands of today's world.

What's your approach to telling stories with words and images?

It's to personalize my work. There are a lot of good photographers out there who take brilliant images, but nowadays in the age of social media, you're able to create an audience of people that are not just addicted to your work, but to how you see the world. Whatever I capture, I try to make sure that it's relatable to my target audience of adventurers or people who seek careers in arts. I'm always looking to share my experience with the work.

How has your having grown up in Jamaica influenced your work?

While living in Jamaica, I would go on adventures with my dad and brother in rural areas. I would say my love of outdoor exploration came from these experiences. It’s a beautiful island and I have since traveled back to create images that show that it has much more than beautiful beaches! 

Can you tell us a bit more about your family?

I live in Brooklyn with my mom Lorna, sister Lydia and cousin Mildred. I have two brothers and two sisters who currently live in Jamaica.