Thursday, February 02, 2012

[251] MTSU Alumna Gray's Documentary Focuses on Rare Birth Defect

For release: Feb. 2, 2012

News and Media Relations contact: Randy Weiler, 615-898-5616 or
Story contact: Jasmine “Jaz” Gray, 901-494-1505 or

MTSU alumna Gray’s documentary focuses on rare birth defect

MURFREESBORO — Alumna Jasmine “Jaz” Gray, who had a distinguished career as an MTSU student and who was known for the charitable effort called Jaz’s Jammies as an undergraduate, has become a filmmaker in her days since graduating with honors from the College of Mass Communication in 2010.

One of Gray’s first ventures is a film titled “More Than Skin Deep,” a documentary about herself and others who survive a rare birth defect called arteriovenous malformations. Her cinematic journey will bring her face-to-face with other survivors like her, including patients who have lost eyes and other body parts and families who have lost loved ones.

Gray, 23, who is living in Memphis after graduating with her master’s from Syracuse University, has initiated a 46-day drive to raise funds for the film. For a clip of the documentary and to donate, visit and click on “CONTRIBUTE NOW.”

In a news release, Gray said her film “will also highlight internationally renowned surgeon Dr. James Suen … in his urgent fight to find a cure for the destructive tangles of arteries and veins before he retires.”

Gray, who has had 32 surgeries for AVM, will use funds from the effort to pay for production costs, including cinematography, transportation, lodging and various editing needs, she said.

While at MTSU, Gray served two semesters as editor of the University Honors College publication “Collage,” she was both a McNair Scholars Program and Honors College graduate, she received the MTSU President’s Award and she made the USA Today All-USA College Team. She also was honored with the Harold Love Community Involvement Award for Jaz’s Jammies, a drive she led to help collect pajamas for children having overnight hospital stays.

Gray, a Memphis native, received a Turner Fellowship to attend Syracuse. She graduated summa cum laude with her master’s in 2011.



Jasmine “Jaz” Gray is show with children’s pajamas collected through her Jaz’s Jammies project. (Photo submitted)

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