Meet Our Class of 2021

 

     

 

Jason Acosta

California State University - Long Beach   

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Development

Host Company:
World of Wonder

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
My high school teacher actually envisioned be working in the entertainment industry. After spending quite some time working in graphic design, he showed me how narrative can also be told through cinematography. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked.

Dominic Adame

New Mexico State University

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Production

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Growing up, it was watching shows that told stories like mine - like George Lopez, Punky Brewster, or The Fresh Prince of Bel Air - that taught me how impactful TV can be. They made me laugh, they made me think, they inspired me. Today, my favorite TV series are in similar veins - The Good Place and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia are created by very talented people who inspire me to create in different ways. Today, Mike Schur (The Good Place) and Rob McElhenney (Always Sunny) are definitely inspirations to me as a creator.

Selma Pena Arenzana

Rochester Institute of Technology   

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Development - Children's Programming

Host Company:
Moonbug Entertainment

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I grew up watching good cartoons. I learned a lot from their characters: important life skills. I believe that I can create content that can help kids to deal with their everyday life.

Mayron Ayenew

California State University - Sonoma   

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Development - Unscripted

Host Company:
51 Minds Entertainment

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Growing up, television was an escape from my reality, allowing me to live vicariously through the larger-than-life personas, characters, or stories on the screen. Being involved in performing arts inspired my love for storytelling. In college, I realized I wanted to create stories that represented the lived experiences of myself and other people of color. However, the support and encouragement from my family and professors are what allowed me to believe I could make a career out of my passions.

Sybil Azur

California State University - Northridge

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Writing - Comedy

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I've always been a huge lover of television. As a Black/bi-racial child of the '80s, seeing characters like Tootie on The Facts of Life, Coco on Fame, and Lisa Bonet on The Cosby Show, let me know that I mattered, even when the world outside didn't reflect it. I'd like to do the same for the next generation, expanding that mandate to all underrepresented groups. That, and I'm so in love with writing, that if you cut me, I'd probably bleed words.

Michael Bailey   

Hofstra University

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Sound

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I always watched TV when I was younger (and I still do); it was only until I got to college that I learned that not only can it be studied but pursued. I want to say thank you to my high school band teacher, Steven Henry, who supported my pursuit in music, technology and for inspiring me to be open to what the world has to offer. And to my college professor Steve Kussin, Thomas Campbell and my boss Brian Potts who have inspired me to have a career in media and fostering my passion for sound! I'm forever grateful for the people that I have worked with and I'm even more privileged enough to call some of them my friends.

Mallory Baysek

State University of New York - Stony Brook   

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Writing - Drama

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I'm a queer woman — a Texan, an Ivy League grad, a musical theatre performer, a sports fan (go Portland Thorns!) — with an undergraduate degree in reading all the dead white men. But as I came of age, I realized I'd been missing a swath of epic stories about people besides powerful white men, and television is where I started hearing those stories for the first time. Staying up late on school nights bonding with my father over Alias episodes, I was struck by this badass woman doing things I'd only seen men do before. I streamed bootlegs of The L Word on my laptop in the top bunk of my college dorm as I was coming to terms with my sexuality. I was *thisclose* to taking the LSAT after binge-watching The Good Wife, until I realized I wanted to tell those stories more than live them. I want to write intimate epics that probe the complexities of intersectional identity, in which untold permutations of characters — female, LGBTQ+, BIPOC — finally get to be their own legends.

Tanya Boucicaut

George Mason University   

Graduation Year: 2023

Category:
Development - Children's Programming

Host Company:
The Jim Henson Company

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
HBO's Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child taught me so much about storytelling. I saw myself and learned about other cultures through this series. This series showed me the power of adapting stories for your own context.
 
I am also inspired and in awe by other millennials such as Issa Rae, Donald Glover, and Justin Simien. They not only represent my generation well but their work speaks to a range of experiences that I resonate with as a Black woman. They present stories that are not caricatures or stereotypes.
 
Additionally, Spike Lee is my favorite director of all time and though his work began in the film industry, his style of storytelling captivated my attention as a child starting with the film Crooklyn. His depiction of young people felt so familiar and it was like seeing family on the screen.

Jovan Brooks

Towson State University   

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Development - Scripted Series

Host Company:
Pine Tree Entertainment

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
From an early age I would write stories about myself, my relationship with my older brother and his perseverance with Cerebral Palsy, and many different fictional characters. I also had a love for television, specifically coming-of-age series' that portrayed some of the most notable times in a young person's life. HBO's Euphoria is one example of a series that is able to capture all the emotion, experience, and bliss of youth through both a unique and cinematic lens. Such shows - along with my attachment to storytelling - continue to shape my aspiration to portray the heightened elements of life on-screen.

Claudia Brownlee   

Carnegie Mellon University

Graduation Year: 2023

Category:
Design - Costume   

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
As a young girl watching Turner Classic Movies and older shows with my grandmother sparked my interest in pursuing a career in television. I remember watching movies with her as she told me stories from her youth. She would talk about the costumes and what she would have worn or saw other people wearing. I enjoy history, and I see a career in television as a fun way to experience the past, create new stories that reflect the present, and imagine untold futures.

Paige Brunsen

Columbia College - Chicago

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Editing 

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Growing up watching television was always a family activity that brought us together week after week, inspiring me to pursue a career in editing to bring about that connection for others. My dream is to edit meaningful, inclusive stories that can create bonds not only between characters on screen and audiences but also between friends, family, and fans. I am drawn to how television has the power to inspire conversations and bring about positive societal change.

Aidan Campbell

Yale University   

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Agency

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I've always been drawn to stories and, for me, television is the culmination of that—a deep, immersive experience. I was ensnared from the start. On the weekends, after I came home from school, I'd watch National Geographic for hours. And, at night after we were put to bed, I'd sneak downstairs to peer around the couch while my parents watched The West Wing or The Sopranos.

I think that, like me, a lot of people dream of pursuing a job in television but most pivot to other careers, not because of a lack of passion, but because no one tells them it is possible. I was lucky enough to have parents who pushed me to do something different and diverge from the straight and narrow.

Marina Cepeda

Dartmouth College

Graduation Year:
2021

Category:
Development - Scripted Series

Host Company:
Prodigal Entertainment

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Mindy Kaling and Issa Rae are my role models. When I see them, I see wildly talented and funny women that are changing the face of entertainment. In their cinematic worlds, women like me are funny, flawed, and most of all empowered. Their imagination inspires me to use television as my tool for healing and social change.

Adrienne Dawes

University of Arkansas - Fayetteville

Graduation Year: 2023

Category:
Development - Scripted Series

Host Company:
FX

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
My background is in scrappy, DIY independent theatre so I've always loved the intimate relationship between audience and performing artist. With the exception of a few socially-distant hangouts and my weekly grocery store pilgrimage, I've been completely alone since March 2020. This period of extreme isolation has made me appreciate television in a completely new way. "Comfort television" has helped me connect to stories of triumph, collective healing, and joyful celebration.

Kiana Deane

Mount San Antonio College

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Foster Forward Initiative:
Corporate Social Responsibility

Host Company:
ViacomCBS

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
At age 16, I was selected as "Cool Kid of the Week" at ABC 7 Los Angeles. After touring the studio, it was then I realized I would seek a career in television. My career goal is to become a Segment Producer. I aim to tell authentic stories that will impact my generation. There is power in storytelling. I believe our stories have the power to inspire others and change lives.

Galen Foote

Stony Brook University

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Writing - Comedy

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I developed an appreciation for writing and storytelling from my parents. My mom, who wrote for National Geographic when I was growing up, spent torturous hours helping me turn simple school essays into the best, most creative versions of themselves. Meanwhile, at the dinner table, my dad would regale us with enchanting stories and ridiculous accents. Later, in college, I participated in a simulated writers' room and discovered television writing as a form of storytelling perfect for my creative, analytical, and collaborative instincts. I haven't been able to shake it since.

Hannah Froehlke

Towson State University   

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Development - Scripted Series

Host Company:
The Wolper Organization

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Overall, my love for television is what inspired me to seek a career in it. I have always loved how the stories on television had the power to take you away from your busy schedule and immerse you into a world where you didn't have to worry about anything else and you could just watch and enjoy. Watching television has always been something that took me out of my busy world where I didn't have to worry about anything else. And I hope that one day I get the chance to create stories that are able to take people out of their busy lives and be something they can just watch and enjoy.

Hector Garcia De Leon

University of Central Florida

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
News -
Entertainment News

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I was interested in television at a young age as I grew up watching the local news and was inspired by the storytelling I saw every day. When I got to college, I really didn't think I would pursue a career in television, but my peers and professors saw something special in me that led me into pursuing broadcast journalism. I'm thankful for my friends and family who continue to support, inspire and motivate me to push forward.

/td>

Mikayla Gingrey

Loyola Marymount University

Graduation Year: 2024

Category:
Star Trek Command Training Program (Fall)

Host Company:
CBS Television Studios

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I fell in love with television because it transports you to new worlds, teaches a shared humanity and introduces diverse experiences creating social change. As a Black creative, I am interested in being a storyteller in the television industry to be a catalyst of change. I use cinematic storytelling to promote social change through addressing relevant social issues and bringing those issues to the forefront. My goal is to bolster the narrative that our differences make us stronger.

Ashley (Honey) Gonzalez

Santa Monica College

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Foster Forward Initiative: Development - Children's Programming

Host Company:
Moonbug Entertainment

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I was inspired to pursue a career in entertainment because I saw the magic and creativity brought into television very young. I am working on directing my own show and utilize all elements of creating into my storytelling. I was inspired by the impact of television and hope to impact the world as well.

Zachary Gradishar

American University

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Public Relations/Publicity

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Both Tyler Perry and Shonda Rhimes are two television pioneers that have inspired me to seek a career in the entertainment industry. Being African-American representation means so much to me given I did not see a lot of people who looked like me on television growing up. Tyler Perry and Shonda Rhimes have done so much in that regard with their work and career. Seeing them being successful in the industry transcends a positive message to me that I can do the same.

Amir Hajirnia

California State University - Fullerton

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Star Trek Command Training Program (Fall)

Host Company:
CBS Television Studios

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I remember watching Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, and instantly knowing that I wanted to work in this industry in some capacity but didn't know what. It was around middle school when my twin brother, my best friend, and I started making comedy shorts did I realize I love writing and directing. A major inspiration to me is Rob McElhenney, seeing how he and his friends were able to turn a $200 pilot into a 14-season gem is incredible. He inspires me every day to work hard and one day make my own show.

Carl Haywood

Morehouse College

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Production

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I remember, when I was child, sitting in front of the of the television watching shows like Family Matters and Full House, and thinking about how happy they made me. If I could give some of that feeling to another generation it would make me so much pleasure.

Estarlyn Hiraldo   

Providence College

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Development -
Movies for Television

Host Company:
Lifetime Television

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
My experience as an immigrant artist from the Dominican Republic partially inspired my interest in seeking a career in television. I grew up heavily invested in the arts but lacked the resources & equipment necessary to produce solid work with impressive features. Coming to the U.S., I learned about underrepresented/minority writers & directors like Spike Lee, Steve McQueen, Barry Jenkins, and Greta Gerwig encouraged me further that I too can make it in the industry. Their work inspires me to prove myself and that great creative talent and important stories can come from marginalized communities!

Kelsi Howard

American Film Institute

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Design - Art Direction/
Set Decoration

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
My older sister Keeli inspired me to seek a career in Television. As kids, we spent a lot of our free time writing our own stories, acting them out and using our mom's camcorder to make original movies and TV shows. My sister has always supported and inspired my creativity.

Carly Jennion

Drexel University

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Development - Unscripted

Host Company:
44 Blue Productions, LLC

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
My mother always told me I was destined to become Liz Lemon. 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live were some of the first shows that made me imagine myself working behind the scenes in television. Making my own short films in my video production classes in high school helped me realize where my talents were and what excited me about the entertainment industry. I simply couldn't be doing anything else!

Samantha Kahn

Ithaca College

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Development - Unscripted

Host Company:
Magical Elves

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
The moment I stepped into my high school's television studio, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in television. I was captivated by the idea of producing a television show that could create a meaningful and positive impact on other people. My experience producing at the Ithaca College Television Station reinforced my passion and dedication towards achieving my career goals in television.

Jaspreet (Jazz) Kaur

Harvard University

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Development - Scripted Series

Host Company:
Prodigal Entertainment

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Being an undocumented South Asian in America right after 9/11 meant living in fear, silence, and isolation. Television allowed me to connect to the world beyond my five mile radius. By watching characters on screen I learned that sharing vulnerabilities and shame can help strengthen friendships. While I loved television, I carved to see more positive depictions of people with turbans or dupattas on screen. I’m excited to write and develop stories with nuanced characters who are undocumented, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, etc. To document and bring stories onto the screen as an DACAmented creative feels magical.

Paula Denise Kiley

California State University -
Long Beach   

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Diversity & Inclusion Unscripted Program: Development

Host Company:
High Noon Entertainment

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
My desire to seek a career in television is motivated by my love for storytelling as well as the greater need for a more diverse media industry. Television is a powerful tool in telling stories, shaping our conversations and influencing the way we see the world. And it's because of this immense power and responsibility that the industry must reflect the world at large on and off screen.

Emily Kim

University of Southern California

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Development - Scripted Series

Host Company:
Daniel L. Paulson Productions, Inc.

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
My largest role model is the ever-so-iconic Mindy Kaling who truly does it all. Similarly, I want to tell stories from multiple angles and ultimately wear several creative hats as a writer/director/producer/and even actor to champion diverse voices. All through a comedic lens of course, because I believe laughter is the best way to spread your message.

Brittany Lewis

University of Florida

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Editing 

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
As a kid, I had a borderline unhealthy obsession with shows like iCarly, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Hannah Montana. Their timeless one-liners and ability to ignite creativity and humor drove me towards a passion for television. My high school TV production teacher always believed in me and gave me the confidence to dive head first into my craft of editing. Now, groundbreaking shows like Euphoria, Schitt's Creek, and Betty have inspired me to push the boundaries of storytelling and visual art to new levels.

Aisling Lynch

Clark University

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Development -
Movies for Television

Host Company:
Almost Never Films

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
When I was eleven, I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time, and I was so moved by the show that I knew I had to pursue a career in television. I came to college wanting to be an actress, but I quickly discovered my passion for screenwriting and filmmaking, and now I'm excited to learn more about development. I'm particularly interested in television because of how collaborative of a storytelling process it is. TV shows have captivated and inspired me throughout my life, so I hope to give back some of my creativity to them.

Ruhi Mansey

University of Southern California

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Physical Production/
Business Management

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
One of the great powers of entertainment is its ability to bridge gaps between identity groups. Growing up as a first generation Indian-American in the microcosm of South Florida, I was surrounded by my culture on the weekends, and taken completely out of it on the weekdays at school. Discovering cable television in third grade became my way of relating to others through watching and discussing television episodes weekly. This sparked my fascination with visual arts and a career that started all the way back in the middle school green room studio.

Patricia Marte

Brooklyn College

Graduation Year: 2023

Category:
Star Trek Command Training Program (Spring)

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I arrived in NYC from Puerto Rico not knowing how to speak English. I would watch Television shows with my father and those shows quickly taught us how to speak English. We were a part of American culture, we belonged. I understand the power that TV has to communicate. I want to add to the fabric of TV and share my stories and culture with others around the world.

Gerald May

Prairie View
A & M University

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Development - Scripted Series

Host Company:
Entertainment One

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
The time I remember feeling a visceral need to write for television was after watching the first season of Stranger Things. I was totally engaged and felt like the story was perfect from start to finish, which I had never really experienced before (at the time). It made me interested in broadening my horizons when it came to the types of shows I watched and inspired me to want to write at a high level.

Angelica McEwan

Southern Methodist University

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Casting

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
The way TV has influenced my life inspired me to seek a career within the television industry. Characters have inspired me, encouraged me, and given me a taste of adventure. This form of media has the ability to reach such large masses in such vulnerable ways. I find that so powerful, and as our generation begins to change what it means to watch tv, I knew I wanted to be on the forefront in promoting inclusion.

Eurice McNeal

California State University - Northridge

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Diversity & Inclusion Unscripted Program: Development

Host Company:
Endemol Shine

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
What inspired me to seek a career in television would be the countless amount of stories that still need to be told. Story telling and being able to project my visions was something I always wanted to share with everyone around me. Growing up my love for the industry grew more and more as this was forever my passion. I want to make great new things and be the representation people would need in this industry.

Alize (Ally) Mejia

Manhattan College

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Public Relations/Publicity

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Growing up in L.A. County, I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in television. However, I owe it all to my father for inspiring me to follow my dreams, no matter how big or small. Working in television always seemed like a distant dream that was too far out of reach but to my father it was a goal that he wholeheartedly knew I could accomplish. While it may sound cliche, I would not be where I am today without him.

Stephanie Mejia   

California State University - Fullerton

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Diversity & Inclusion Unscripted Program: Casting

Host Company:
Bunim-Murray Productions

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I used to think that I was going to be a news or entertainment producer until I met my professor, Garry Hart, and took CTVA 341 at CSUF. Each week we would learn about the business of television and network with panelists currently working in the industry. After meeting casting and development executives, I knew that telling stories was what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. I've always loved storytelling and I'm excited to be part of the next generation that tells stories.

Rana Mitchell

University of Kentucky

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Development - Children's Programming

Host Company:
Cloudco Entertainment

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I was inspired by the television I watched growing up. Disney Channel and PBS Kids aired shows such as That's So Raven and Cyberchase that made me feel seen and represented. I want to be a part of creating those same opportunities for children in the younger generations to see themselves represented on screen.

Camila Nalvarte

University of California - Riverside

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Development - Scripted Series

Host Company:
Valhalla Entertainment

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I have always been obsessed with television and film and never truly knew what to do with my life until something clicked and I realized I should do what I enjoy doing the most, watching films. I was inspired by the amazing tv shows I saw as I kid and wanted to be part of something as amazing as that. My parents also were always super supportive of my dreams so I think they pushed me to follow them.

Lina Nguyen

University of Michigan -
Ann Arbor

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Cinematography

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
My journey to filmmaking began in my traveling videos. I started out making random vlogs of me and my friends on trips, and loved watching them back. I realized producing, making films, and working on bigger projects was my dream. Specifically, I want to make strides in Asian representation in media, as being Vietnamese is an essential part of my identity.

David Nixon

Savannah College of Art & Design - Atlanta

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Production

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I was inspired by the artistic foundation, multifaceted skillsets, and strong collaborative efforts that drive our industry to tell captivating stories that live alongside their audience. I grew up watching classic television sitcoms ranging from The Andy Griffith Show to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. As I grew into adulthood, my love for television evolved into this career I now pursue. The rise of contemporary television programming has inspired me to participate in creating the unique and edgy narratives from the refreshing perspectives and cutting-edge visuals that exist today.

Damali O'Keefe

State University of New York - Purchase College

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Development - Scripted Series

Host Company:
Valhalla Entertainment

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Not only did I grow up watching TV, I grew up with parents who encouraged me to really engage with and critique the things I saw on screen. As a result, I've always been driven by a desire to positively impact the television art form, in all aspects of storytelling and production, including matters of representation. I didn't realize it was possible for me to actually do this until I took my first video production class in high school, and I haven't looked back since.

Allison Oddman

Stanford University

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Writing - Drama

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Growing up as an only child in a single parent household, I was left to my own devices frequently. Television was truly a second parent to me — the minds of Issa Rae, Mara Brock Akil, and Ava DuVernay were so formative in shaping my craft. Television showed me from a young age that it is an effective tool for constructing world-views and generating empathy. Through my career in television, I hope to increase the amount of content centering Black gender-marginalized individuals.

Austin Ogletree

University of California -
Los Angeles

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Agency

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Even after going out-of-state for college, backpacking across SE Asia, and traveling monthly to court clients as a sales manager for a large tech company, I had yet to live in a more creative community than Los Angeles. After reconsidering my purpose in life, I could not find a good reason why I chose to study engineering instead of pursuing my passion for the arts. Being immersed in the mecca of the entertainment industry pushed me that take back my power by illustrating how possible it is to make a career that marries both my artistic and business abilities. This epiphany ultimately led me to apply to the two-year Producers Program at UCLA.

Paulina Palomo Olvera

Eastern Connecticut State University

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Development - Unscripted

Host Company:
Endemol Shine

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
When I was young, my parents loved watching soap operas and movies. My whole family loved talking about the way movies were made which sparked a curiosity in me. Film and television has always been so interesting to me which is why I decided to pursue it professionally.

Ashna Pathan

Johns Hopkins University

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Music

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Television shows have always been my favorite form of media, particularly because of how they air over the course of months, so audiences can gain more of a personal attachment to storylines and characters. Music plays a major part in this, essentially acting as a bridge between the show's world and the audience's world. There's something special about being able to help create a unique world through music and sound that an audience can be transported into, which is why I have always been drawn to music for television.

Luca Pena

California State University - Long Beach

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Diversity & Inclusion Unscripted Program: Development

Host Company:
44 Blue Productions, LLC

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
My family is my main inspiration behind seeking a career in television. As a kid, we would spend our nights watching our favorite shows together and spend our days quoting them afterwards. I would not be where I am without their continuous support and motivation.

Chloe Renee Quattro

California State University - Long Beach

Graduation Year: 2023

Category:
Development - Unscripted

Host Company:
Herizon Productions, LLC

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Janet Mock, the director of Pose, really had an impact on me as a woman inspiring to be a director as well. Her ability to create such a meaningful and socially powerful show, really inspired me to push forward and create my own works. The show Pose, made me realize that even if it’s different it still has the chance to be great.

Briona (Bri) Reed

University of Michigan -
Ann Arbor

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Development - Unscripted

Company:
Bunim-Murray Productions

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I honestly wanted to be a doctor - pediatric orthopedic surgeon to be exact - for most of my life. I believe the first pivot towards an entertainment career was the scripted series UnREAL because it was the first time I realized the type of jobs that existed on an unscripted set. As I have learned more about the industry during univerity, I have been more driven to pursue this career in order to better tell BIPOC stories in the reality genre. Representation in media matters so much, and I want to be apart of that movement towards change.

Joyce Camille Rocacorba

San Diego State University

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Production

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
The main people who've inspired me to seek a career in television are my teachers, Tom Antl and Tim Powell. Mr. Antl unlocked the doors to film and tv production, introducing the very basics to me in high school and fueling my passion for storytelling. Tim Powell, my college professor, showed me that a career in television was possible and gave me the real life skills to succeed as a professional. Both have pushed me out of my comfort zone and built my confidence in my abilities to learn and become whatever I aspire to be.

Isabel Roney

Chapman University

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Sound

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
My favorite aspect of television is the ability to build unique and three-dimensional worlds. In both television production and sound design, you can create anything imaginable– even things that don't exist in our own universe. I love the endless possibilities and creativity made possible by working in television.

Ellen Ryan-Walker

University of Florida

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Star Trek Command Training Program (Spring)

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I've always been interested in the ability of film and television to connect people. Being young and seeing the sense of community formed between people from all over the world at midnight screenings and television conventions has been one of my biggest motivators to pursue a career in media. I hope to one day create works that transcend social barriers and represent and bring people together in meaningful ways.

Josh Slusar

Rochester Institute of Technology

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Animation

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I've always found comfort in watching and falling in love with shows and movies. I thought it would be amazing to pursue a career that aligned with my passion for storytelling. Meeting and learning from others in the industry has only encouraged me to keep going.

Rohan Srinivasan

University of Southern California

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Development -
Movies for Television

Host Company:
Crown Media

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
It is very difficult to pinpoint an exact show or person that has led me on this path. Rather, it is the vast amount of series that have mesmerized me with vivid world building and radical character development (to name a few: The Office, Sex and the City, Lost, I May Destroy You). I got into film and television purely because I love telling stories, and there is no platform better than television that allows the creator to tell them the way they want to and for such long periods of time.

Nia Stanford

The New School

Graduation Year: 2023

Category:
Interactive Media
(New Media, Social)

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
The things that have always inspired and resonated with me most throughout my upbringing have always been pieces of television. As a child I'd make silly content with my toys or my friends and looking back the things I created were always episodic. I have a deep appreciation for the craft of episodic storytelling and such a respect for the stories that have come from this medium.

Travis Stewart

University of North Carolina - School of the Arts

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Directing

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I remember watching Lost when it first aired and thinking television and films have finally joined together as one. When those two worlds meet, storytelling reaches new and creative heights, and I want to be right there at the front lines telling meaningful and powerful stories.

Sarah Tadayon

California State University - Northridge   

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Star Trek Command Training Program

Host Company:
CBS Television Studios

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
It was the hope for the future of humanity that I would feel when I escaped into the world of Star Trek. And the feeling of being seen and understood when I discovered the subversive themes of feminism, queerness, and racial equality that were written into Xena: Warrior Princess.

Jaiden Thompson

New York University

Graduation Year: 2021

Category:
Directing

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Ever since I was a kid, I had a passion for storytelling and the arts due to the immense impact media has had in my life. Through shows such as Black Mirror, Dark, Breaking Bad, Warrior, Lost, and Euphoria, I yearned and appreciated the philosophical questions they'd leave lingering in my mind long after each episode ended. Television continues to serve not only as a creative window of escape from my everyday life but also a source of change and inspiration stemming from watching the realities of others. I want to be a part of that journey of crafting visual narratives that audiences can learn from, grow from, and be inspired from just like I was.

Brandon Trevizo

New Mexico State University

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Animation

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
As a child I have always been fascinated with animated programming, I believe that it truly shaped me into who I am today. Animated medium as a whole always fills me with a feeling of immense joy and wanting to be apart of it, to be a creator has always been a dream I slowly inch closer to every day. While I feel animated television is spoken much about compared to films, I feel they leave just as big of a cultural impact and I can only hope in the future I can be part of one of those impacts.

Marilyn Upchurch

Eastern New Mexico University

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
News - Broadcast

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
When I started college, I didn't know what career I wanted to pursue. After taking some communication courses, I found my calling. Every time I would walk into the communication building, I would see historic journalism photos on the wall. This is when I realized I wanted to help document history through journalism.

Jessie White

University of Florida

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Cinematography

Fellow

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I am fascinated by the immense power of television, and I believe this power can and should be wielded to make the world a better place. As a minority, I understand first-hand how important representation is, and I intend to dedicate my career to telling diverse stories. For, using television as a means of exposing people to new perspectives can create a more empathetic and understanding world.

     

Jordan Young

Elon University

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Star Trek Command Training Program

Host Company:
CBS Television Studios

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
I have always been really interested in television and the culture around it, but I felt like most of the folks around me were pursuing film in college and that's what I was supposed to do as well. I remember an alumni coming to speak to my class about being a tv writer and selling her first pilot and I thinking that that is what I wanted to do too.

Karen Zipor

University of Virginia

Graduation Year: 2022

Category:
Development - Animation

Host Company:
Lex + Otis

What inspired you to seek a career in television?
Ever since I was a child, I'd get inspired by my favorite animated shows (such as my childhood favorite, Avatar: The Last Airbender) to write new plots and sketch new characters. This led me down a rabbit hole of learning how to storyboard and animate to create my own fantastical worlds. Ever since, I became an interdisciplinary artist, double majoring in Drama and Computer Science so I can use my technological savviness to create new worlds and tell new stories.

Browser Requirements
The TelevisionAcademy.com sites look and perform best when using a modern browser.

We suggest you use the latest version of any of these browsers:

Chrome
Firefox
Safari


Visiting the site with Internet Explorer or other browsers may not provide the best viewing experience.

Close Window