Ryan Sarnowski & Chrystal White - "Passing the Baton"

Ryan Sarnowski & Chrystal White - "Passing the Baton"

Premiere date: Jun 22, 2012

For 30 years, the late Joe Sims worked tirelessly to give Milwaukee urban youth something positive to do in the summers and to help them find a road to college that is so difficult for many to achieve. Through his Milwaukee Striders Track Club, Sims taught hundreds of kids how running can build a path to a better life, exemplified by famous alums such as NFL star and Badger football icon Michael Bennett. Produced by doc|UWM, a documentary media center housed in UWM’s Film Department, this film follows the club’s athletes as they go from the streets of Milwaukee to the Junior National Olympics.


Ryan Sarnowski|Ryan works side-by-side with students to create professional quality videos that tell our clients’ stories while teaching UWM students the art and craft of documentary film production. During his time with doc|UWM Ryan has helped his students produce, shoot, and edit over 75 different videos for projects such as S.A.N.E. (Stop Abuse and Neglect of Elders), What’s Your Story, Fresh Water Science Documentaries, The Joe Simms’ Milwaukee Striders, Peacemaker’s Workshop and a series of Artist Documentaries.

Ryan holds both a BFA (Florida State University) and MFA (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) in Film Production and teaches classes in the Film-Video-New Genres Department, Visual Arts Department, and the Journalism and Media Communications Department.

Outside of UWM his personal work includes: documentaries, installations, video essays, fictional narratives, and photography. Themes of personal experience, social justice, the examined life, and a pursuit of the transcendental run through a majority of his personal work and Ryan sees all his work as a form of investigation or meditation.  Currently he is working on his latest feature length documentary – The Last of the Lawsonomist.

Aaron Zakowski|Aaron Zakowski graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck school of the Arts in 2010 with a degree in Film Production. As a student at doc|UWM he worked on the film Passing the Baton as a student producer, camera and sound operator and editor. After graduating he continued to work on completing post-production on the film. Aaron is currently residing in Milwaukee and working on various film projects. 

Chrystal White|Chrystal White is the Executive Director of the Joe Sims' Milwaukee Striders Track Club.  She has been married for 25 years this year in August and has four children (Samara White 20, Tyler White 18, Jacoby White 13 and Nathaniel White 6).  She has been an educator for almost 16 years. She has been coaching under Joe & Les with the Striders for approximately 14 years and  has been the Executive Director for 6 years.  When founder, Joe Sims' became too ill to run the Striders, he asked her husband, Les, to continue to run the club.  During that time, Joe and the Board elected Chrystal as the Executive Director.   
She started coaching with Joe when her daughter first started running and although she is in college, she still coaches.  She has three other children that run with the Striders.  In all her "spare" time, she coaches for Milwaukee Vincent High School and is an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay.  Being a wife, mom, teacher, coach, consultant and director keeps her very busy.  She continues doing all these activities with children because she believes in them.  She believes in helping them reach their goals and helping them become their dream.


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