Author Archives: nataliekozma

A Contaminated Democracy (That’s Fracked Up!)

Typically film sequels only instigate eye-rolls from moviegoers, but I solemnly swear that “Gasland Part II” is worth viewing. The prequel “Gasland” invited viewers to join filmmaker Josh Fox as he educated himself about the natural gas industry’s hydraulic fracturing (fracking) method of gas extraction – and in the process, he exposed the environmental repercussions associated with it. In the follow-up film, Fox drills into the gas industry again by documenting how natural gas companies are taking advantage of property owners, threatening and propelling them into financial ruins. Continue reading


Stop FGM


Hi guys, Natalie here.

I’m ready to talk about an issue that people sometimes shy away from: Female genital mutilation. Commonly referred to as FGM, I first learned about this gruesome, inhuman procedure by reading “Infidel,” a memoir by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, where she vividly describes her clitoris being cut. It hurts just to type it.  I was shocked that this could exist – that this could be justified by a façade of religious beliefs. And yet, it does. It is estimated that 30 million girls are at risk of genital mutilation before their fifteenth birthday (Unicef).

Continue reading

Meaningful Play

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 1.32.58 PM

From a young age my mom instilled in me a certain obligation for protecting all things natural. Of course these “things” varied, from her urging me to boycott hair dye to preserve my natural dark locks, to the more extreme and definitely more important effort of preserving the Earth and its majestic natural spaces. Her most recent project involves protecting the clean water supply that my home state, Michigan, is known world-wide for. She is doing this by creating a petition to ban hydraulic fracking in the state of Michigan.

Slightly switching gears, my older brother Greg, a fellow Spartan in his final semester of graduate school, works for Michigan State University at the Games for Entertainment and Learning lab. The basic premise of the lab is to design meaningful games, both digital and non-digital, that educate players about a topic.

Let me connect the dots. Based on my mother’s commitment to protecting clean water, and my brother’s passion for meaningful video games, I felt eerily connected to the “Get H20 Challenge” solution. It is the perfect fusion of my family’s devotions.

Continue reading

The Girl Who Sucks at Titles


For those of you reading:

I’m Natalie, but my username might have beat me to the punch on that introduction. Usually I study advertising and public relations at Michigan State University, but this semester AUR and Rome are my classroom. Twenty five percent of my blood runs Italian, and each day I spend in Italy humbles and inspires me. Continue reading