Thursday, December 8, 2016

Erin Cass (GSAS ’14) on her Work at Creative Writing Non-Profit 826NYC

Erin Cass
As Development Manager at 826NYC, part of Erin’s role is planning innovative events. With the holiday season approaching, we caught up with Erin to find out her advice for planning celebrations and her experiences in the non-profit sector.

What did you study at NYU?

I had a great experience at NYU studying Politics. Two professors that made a big impact are Arnaud Kurze in International Relations, and Professor of Sociology Jeff Goodwin. I think both of them are really inspiring. My research was focused on social movements and social change, and they both provided me with excellent advice and guidance.

What was so great about my classes was the critical eye my fellow students had, and the real conversations we were able to have that got into a deeper level. There were so many different people from all over the world in my classes who are doing amazing things now and are really inspiring.  It was an incredible atmosphere that inspired me to want to go out and do more after school.
Erin Cass: her story continues

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Maximilian Guen (GLS '14) on Becoming a Media Entrepreneur

Maximilian Guen
Co-founder of creative firm Magna Carta, Maximilian was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in Marketing & Advertising and Media along with fellow NYU alumnus Matthew Firpo (TSOA ’12). He spoke to us about his experiences at NYU, his inspirations, and working to change perceptions about the refugee crisis in Europe.

What did you study at NYU?

I studied Global Liberal Studies. Dean Fred Schwarzbach was the pioneer of GLS which married together an interesting mix of people with open minds to science, philosophy and the arts.

The fact that I have ended up in media is a prime example of its expansive focus. The subject of my thesis was “How to Manipulate the Mind using Visual Media.”

What inspired you to co-found Magna Carta, a creative firm, with fellow NYU alumnus Matthew Firpo (TSOA ’12)?

The environment of NYU and the energy of New York provided the inspiration. We realized that there was a gap in the media world and we wanted to create a company that acts as a pipeline for us and a small group of talented directors to constantly be creating and telling powerful stories across all mediums that are visual. We specialize in commercial, narrative, documentary and interactive content with the plans to develop a TV division.
Maximilian Guen: his story continues

Monday, October 3, 2016

Marnie Stern (CAS ’97), Electric Guitar Player in The 8G Band on "Late Night with Seth Meyers," on Touring and Television

Marnie Stern

The 8G Band on Late Night with Seth Meyers is, according to Brooklyn Magazine, "Late Night’s Indie Band." Marnie Stern (CAS ’97), named to Elle Magazine’s list of the “12 Greatest Female Electric Guitarists,” shared with us her experiences performing on late night TV and touring internationally as a singer-songwriter.

What was your experience at NYU?

I started in Tisch School of the Arts for Acting but, after the first semester, I switched to CAS to study Journalism for a more well-rounded education. I'm still very close with all of my NYU friends, and it's been 20 years so that's saying a lot. I have a lot of fond memories in the dining hall and in the dorms.

When did you start playing music?

I started at NYU, kicking around some open chords and working on songwriting. I played some open mics in the West Village during college.

You have four albums under the Kill Rock Stars label. When did you know that you wanted to be a singer-songwriter?

I knew definitively after graduation. I realized that I had to choose something to do that I loved. And I started playing shows in the East Village for small amounts of money.
Marnie Stern: her story continues

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Spotlight on Recent Alumni from the Class of 2016

Mansi Prakash with local Brighter Today volunteers
Mansi Prakash (CAS '16) on the left with local volunteers
We caught up with a few recent Arts and Science alumni from the class of 2016.

Mansi Prakash

What did you study at NYU?

I majored in Economics with a minor in Math and Public Policy and Management.

What is your favorite memory of your time at NYU?

There are a few! I met very driven and motivated classmates when I lived in Goddard Hall my freshman year. They were all doing their own thing, which encouraged me to pursue my own interests. That community was really important to me.

I took several great classes during my time at NYU, with professors who were very supportive and motivating, and always offered help. When I started my nonprofit organization, Brighter Today, my faculty gave me feedback and valuable guidance. In particular, Sarah Durham, Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Administration, guided me on how to set up a nonprofit and helped me prioritize.
Mansi Prakash: her story continues

Friday, August 26, 2016

Jennifer DiBrienza, Ph.D. (WSC '93, STEINHARDT '94) on STEM Programs and the Future of Education

Jennifer DiBrienza

A former classroom teacher, Jennifer DiBrienza has worked as an education consultant with school districts across the country and internationally since 2001. She shared with us her experiences as an educator and the importance of teaching students to be ready for the unknown.

What did you study at NYU?

I thought I was going to go into Social Work but I found myself interested in Psychology. When I started thinking about becoming a teacher, Psychology seemed like a really good fit.

What's your favorite memory of NYU?

Meeting Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Joe DiMaggio before commencement!

What drew you to education?

I always loved math and I was aware of the general attitude of Americans (adults and children) that you are either a "math person" or you aren't. I decided to go into education with the hope of dispelling that myth.
Jennifer DiBrienza: her story continues

Monday, July 11, 2016

Karissa Royster (CAS ’16) on her Broadway Debut with "Shuffle Along or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed"

Karissa Royster
Can you tell us about your experience as a student at NYU?

I was in the Liberal Studies program for my first two years at NYU. I wanted to focus on either international relations or politics, and I ended up majoring in history with a minor in politics. I thought the program was great, and I have been considering going to graduate school to continue studying history.

When did you start dancing?

I have been dancing since my mom enrolled me in classes when I was three. We used to live in Colorado Springs and I originally started out doing figure skating. When my dad retired from the military, we moved to Texas, and I started focusing more on dance. I found a great tap teacher when I was twelve who had a youth ensemble that I joined.

When I moved to New York to attend NYU I continued taking tap classes at local studios with teachers like Derick Grant, cast member of Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk. On Mondays, I regularly performed at Swing Dance Night at the Cotton Club in Harlem with Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, who is an award-winning choreographer and tap dancer.
Karissa Royster: her story continues

Friday, May 27, 2016

Gillian McCain (GSAS '90) reflects on NYU and her Artistic Passions

We recently chatted with Gillian McCain, author of two poetry books, Tilt and Religion, co-author (with Legs McNeil) of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, and co-editor of Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose (also with Legs McNeil). She is also a collector and exhibitor of found photography. She spoke about her time at NYU and her eclectic artistic pursuits.
Gillian McCain
Photo Credit: Annie Watts

Do you have a favorite NYU memory?

My friend Eric Swenson and I organized a reading by Gregory Corso at the Loeb Student Center—we got a thousand people there! It was crazy. It was free, but it was still crazy. We made flyers and went to the park all the time and gave them out. We were hanging out at this rare bookstore in the West Village, and that’s where we met Gregory Corso and the some of the other Beat writers; so they told some of their friends, and it was advertised well at NYU. They were paying Corso a thousand bucks, which was pretty significant at the time. It was an exciting event. And all the friends I made are still my best friends. I met my friend Chris Simunek first day of Expository Writing class—and he is still my one of my best friends. Up until recently he was the editor at High Times. I remember I’d hang out in Washington Square Park a lot and I remember there was this girl about my age, Corene LeMaitre, she just goes: “Nice boots.” And I go: “I like your boots, too.” And she is still a friend of mine. She ended up writing a novel for HarperCollins. So everyone did pretty well. A lot of people I have lost touch with, but I should look them up on Facebook.
Gillian McCain: her story continues

Friday, May 13, 2016

Helen Arteaga (CAS ’99) Alumni Mentor and Stephanie Stanley (CAS ’18) Student Mentee on the CAS Alumni Mentorship Program

“The energy they give back to you is amazing!” - Helen Arteaga (CAS ’99)
Helen Arteaga
Can you tell us about your experience acting as a mentor this semester?

I loved my mentee! Mentoring Stephanie reminded me that I can still do so much more. As we get older, and set in our careers and caught up in projects, we can forget that. Her energy reminded me that there are still more possibilities out there.

What advice did you give your student mentee?

I advised Stephanie to articulate in ten words or less what she wanted to do, and to match her research and internship project to her end goal. I also told her that there is no such thing as a straight path in your career. If you are not having U-turns, then you are not analyzing if you are on the right path professionally. I have had a lot of U-turns in my life and I used those opportunities to help me achieve what I set out to do.
Helen Arteaga: her story continues

Monday, April 25, 2016

Hewett Chiu (LS ’11, CAS ’14, Wagner ’15) on Making Healthcare More Accessible and Influencing Public Policy

Hewett Chiu
Can you tell us about your work?

I am President and CEO of the Academy of Medical & Public Health Services (AMPHS), a not-for-profit organization based in Brooklyn, New York, where I am from originally. We work to de-institutionalize and de-stigmatize the access of much-needed healthcare to vulnerable populations, particularly the immigrant population of New York City. These communities experience barriers to medical care for a variety of reasons, and AMPHS aims to create a safe haven and a comfortable environment for these individuals to access healthcare.

You are also co-founder of AMPHS. What motivated you to create the organization?

It started during my freshman year at NYU.  I was the president of a club that I also founded, the Emergency Health Education club. Our mission was to bring public health awareness to students at NYU.
Hewett Chiu: his story continues

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Iseult Conlin (CAS '09), named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, talks about Pioneering Electronic Trading Methods in a Changing Investment Landscape

Can you tell us about being a student at NYU?
Iseult Conlin

I had a wonderful experience at NYU. I enjoyed being in a larger city, having internship opportunities, and feeling like I wasn’t on a college campus every day. I studied Economics and Psychology, and I played basketball for a year. I was in the Presidential Honors Program for Economics, which was fantastic. I was also a Calculus tutor at the University Learning Center.

I had the chance to live all over the city in college dorms at Hayden, Palladium, and Cliff Street. I really liked all of the resources that NYU afforded me. Anything I wanted to do, I could explore. I also appreciated that NYU was so diverse and supportive of different perspectives. I felt like it was the first place where I could be completely myself. I valued how the students and the faculty supported and encouraged differences of opinion.
Iseult Conlin: her story continues

Friday, March 4, 2016

Spotlight on Recent Alumni

We caught up with three recent alumni who are starting careers in medicine, entrepreneurship and law.

David Osayande (CAS ’13)

What did you study at NYU?
David Osayande

I was a Chemistry major in the honors Chemistry program, and on the pre-med track. Going to medical school was something that I had always considered, but it wasn’t until sophomore year that I started to see it as a real possibility. A lot of that had to do with the HEOP program (Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program). It is a program designed to assist economically disadvantaged residents of New York State. The support system provided by the program really gave me the courage to pursue medicine.

What is your favorite memory of NYU?

I remember checking my first General Chemistry exam grade in the HEOP office during freshman year - I had failed miserably. I started sobbing, thinking, “This is it. All that my mom has worked for to give me this opportunity, I am just wasting it.” It made me reconsider any science-related field, much less medicine. One of the HEOP counselors, Anna Ortega Chavolla, (now Director of STEM for NYU’s Opportunity Programs) brought me into her office and comforted me. She gave me all kinds of advice about other students who had succeeded in the class that I could reach out to, and possible study strategies. It was a really powerful moment for me because it showed me that I had a family away from home.
David Osayande: his story continues

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Emily Abt (CAS’ 97), Director, Writer and Producer, shares her Advice for Aspiring Independent Filmmakers

Emily Abt
Selected as one of Variety magazine’s “Top 10 Directors to Watch,” Emily Abt is an award-winning filmmaker dedicated to creating fiction and documentary projects with social-issue themes. She has produced content for broadcast on PBS, MTV, Showtime and the Sundance Channel and also directs documentary-style commercial campaigns.

Can you tell us about your experience at NYU?

I loved my experience at NYU. One of the advantages of going to NYU is that you can work through your career-related interests and aspirations during your time as an undergraduate student. I always had some kind of internship in the city. While you are getting your academic education, at the same time you can have a professional education.

What did you study at NYU?

I was a Politics major with a Sociology minor. Politics’ Professor Lawrence Mead was an incredible mentor to me. I wrote my thesis on welfare-to-work programs and welfare reform. And I ended up working at America Works as a caseworker after being introduced to it by Professor Mead.
Emily Abt: her story continues

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Gianna Toboni (LS ’08, CAS ’10) on being named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Media

Gianna Toboni
Gianna Toboni (LS ’08, CAS ’10) talks about being named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in Media and her work as a Producer and Correspondent on HBO’s Emmy-winning documentary show VICE

What did you study at NYU? 

I studied Broadcast Journalism and Politics.
How did you become involved in reporting? 

The summer before my Sophomore year, I applied to work at ABC News as an intern. At that time, they didn't accept interns before Junior year, so I wasn't eligible. Despite them making that guideline very clear to me, I continued to politely bombard them with reasons why they should make an exception. After sending many unanswered emails and making phone calls, I finally received a note that I had been accepted into the program. In that moment, I understood the power of pestering. That persistence ended up going a long way once I started working for ABC News full-time.
Gianna Toboni: her story continues

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Best-Selling Author Hannah Tinti (GSAS ’97) Talks on Campus about Writing and Returning to NYU to Teach

Hannah Tinti

What did you study at NYU?

I attended the NYU Creative Writing Program in fiction. It’s a great program and I learned so much that helped me in my career as a writer and editor. When I first moved to New York, I knew that I wanted to write, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make a living. So I always had a day job in the publishing world. I worked at The Atlantic Monthly before it moved to DC, and I also worked at The Boston Review. Later, I had a job at a literary agency, polishing manuscripts for publication.

During my second semester of grad school, a group of students formed an outside workshop and asked me to join. We’ve been meeting for almost twenty years now and have all published books. Together we’ve learned how to sustain an artistic lifestyle, which can be very difficult. Your income and time and space are always an issue, particularly living in New York. Finding the balance between family, friends and work is always a challenge, and keeping in touch with other writers who are trying to reach the same goals is the only way I’ve been able to do it. You tie together ropes and help each other along the way—reading manuscripts, sharing ideas, navigating rejections and acceptances, finding the right agents and editors, and letting each other know about fellowships or residencies.
Hannah Tinti: her story continues