Gloria likes to point out, for the sake of irony, that she had no exposure to modern technology growing up as a conservative Mennonite. "We had no TVs, computers or any kind of modern technology. I also didn't go to high school; I only went to the private Mennonite grade school."
When she was 20, Gloria decided to get her GED and then, after going through EMT school, she went to Missouri University of Science and Technology as an undeclared major. As she was exposed to more media, she began looking into a media-related degree. It was then that she found a program at Missouri State.
Once she was at Missouri State, she pursued her undergraduate degree in electronic arts. "It was an outstanding program! It was lots of hard work, but it was very fulfilling."
She appreciated how the program allowed students to make decisions on what their projects were going to be. "My senior project was a collaborative micro-finance documentary that was filmed in Africa, and my professors were completely okay with allowing me time out of the classroom to travel for the project." This documentary, "One + One: A Human Network," won first place at the Festival of Media Arts for the Student Documentary Competition.
After graduating with honors, Gloria was at a crossroads considering a possible future in media. As she says, "When you're at a complete loss for direction in your life, there's always at least one thing you can do. For me, my dad had a friend he suggested I contact. That friend gave me a list of names to call; I contacted each one. Their general advice was that it I was serious about working in the entertainment industry, I should spend some time in Los Angeles. So, in the space of a couple weeks, I had a new (temporary) place to stay, a new car and I was on my way to L.A."
Once there, Gloria found immediate work temping and soon was offered the remarkable opportunity to sign on as a visual effects production assistant on "Alice in Wonderland." After that, she was signed on with the studio Rhythm & Hues as a visual effects coordinator. She has since worked on "Moneyball," "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked," "Life of Pi" and several other films.