Monday, November 30, 2020

Filmmaker Katie Schiller (LS ’14, TSOA ’17)

Katie SchillerKatie Schiller (LS '14, TSOA '17) is a filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. She most recently produced SHIVA BABY directed by Emma Seligman that was bound for South by Southwest 2020 in competition. She also served as a co-producer on Jonah Feingold’s narrative feature debut, DATING IN NEW YORK. Katie has produced, directed, and assistant directed commercials, branded content, and several short films that have premiered at film festivals across the globe. 

What did you study at NYU?

At NYU, I was in the Liberal Studies program for two semesters. I studied Film and Television Production at the Tisch School of the Art’s Kanbar Institute of Film & Television. I concentrated my studies primarily in producing and directing.

What is your favorite memory of your time at NYU?

My favorite memory of my time at NYU was the second semester of senior year when my classmates and I were spending just about every other week traveling to work on our peers’ thesis films. It was so fun and exciting to be on set in so many different places collaborating and working to bring each other's visions to life. Looking back now I realize the experience was so unique in that it’s not often in your life that you will be creating work so consistently and with such intensity and passion among a group of people that love and support you. Students dream about the making of their thesis films from the moment they receive their acceptance letter to NYU and it feels surreal when it’s happening. In my senior year I wrote and directed a short film of my own and produced four films that were all very different in terms of tone, genre, country of origin, language, etc., but the commonality was that they were all made with life-long friends and creative partners I met throughout my time at NYU.

Katie Schiller: her story continues

Monday, November 9, 2020

Roger Ross Williams (WSUC ’87), 2020 CAS Alumni Achievement Award Honoree

Roger Ross Williams

On October 24, 2020, Dean Gene Jarrett presented the CAS Alumni Achievement Award to Roger Ross Williams (WSUC ’87). Williams is an award-winning director, producer, writer and the first African-American director to win an Academy Award ® with his short film "Music By Prudence."

Williams’ award winning work pushes the boundaries of culture and film. His documentaries include Academy Award ® nominated and Emmy Award winning "Life, Animated" as well as "God Loves Uganda," "American Jail," Emmy Award winning "The Apollo," and Emmy-nominated and Webby-winning VR experience "Traveling While Black." His production company One Story Up is currently in production on numerous doc features and series, including: a feature-length adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ "Between The World and Me," an untitled documentary about civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, and a short film series with Topic and First Look Media.

Currently Williams is in pre-production on his first narrative feature, "Cassandro," for Amazon studios.

Roger Ross Williams: his story continues

Monday, September 14, 2020

Kiara Cristina Ventura (CAS '18), Curator of the CYBER HEALING Exhibition

This interview was originally published at The Latinx Project at NYU.

Kiara Cristina Ventura (born. 1996) is a Dominican-American Afro-Latina curator, writer, art advisor, and owner of ARTSYWINDOW. Bronx native, Ventura curates spaces highlighting and documenting the works of young artists of color. Ventura’s love for art history began when she interned at The Metropolitan Museum of Art during high school. She then double majored in Art History & Journalism at NYU and graduated in May 2018. Noticing the lack of representation of artists of color in her art history classes and within the larger art world, she responded via writing, curating, and teaching mobile art history classes. She initiated herself as a curator with the exhibition, FOR US. Since early 2019, she has been working alongside curator Larry Ossei Mensah as a mentee, curatorial assistant, and co-curator.

With a love for contemporary art, art history, and spirituality, Ventura is continuing in breaking barriers by independently curating, writing, organizing public programs, and creating digital content. She has curated at The Museum of the African Diaspora San Francisco, The Bronx Art Space, Vis Arts Maryland, Penn State University, The Longwood Gallery at Hostos, The Andrew Freedman Home, and Reparations Club LA. Kiara serves on the advisory board for Bronx Art Space. From August 2019 to May 2020, she started and wrote for Teen Vogue’s first art column, Art School, highlighting the work of visual artists of color through intimate profiles about their experiences, career, and muses. Her writing has also appeared in Art Forum, Performa Mag, Cultured Mag, and more. Ventura’s work has been covered by Art Forum and Art Net.

Kiara Cristina Ventura: Q & A

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Matthew Perry (CAS '19) on the Criminal Justice Nonprofit He Helped Found


Matthew Perry

You were a CAS College Leader and College Captain. Can you talk about those experiences?

I had the amazing opportunity to lead a cohort of first-year CAS students as a College Leader (2017-18), and then got to help plan and administer the College Cohort Program itself as a College Captain (2018-19). I loved both of these roles—the CCP team was incredibly welcoming and developmental, and I’m still good friends with many of my cohort students.  

What did you study at NYU and how did that education shape what you do now?

I majored in Social and Cultural Analysis and focused my studies on the cultural and legal institutions that undergird the carceral state. Now I work for a criminal justice nonprofit—Richmond Community Bail Fund—that I helped found during my second year at NYU. SCA allowed me to critically engage with the root causes of the problems I was seeing in my bail fund work: capitalism and the ideology of punishment. Without that incredibly formative education in my back pocket, my work would be less thoughtful and less effective.

Matthew Perry: his story continues

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Meet Helene Stapinski (WSC ’87), Writer and Former NYU Bobcat

Helene StapinskiHelene Stapinski as NYU Bobcat
Helene Stapinski (WSC ’87), is the author of three memoirs, including the national best seller, Five-Finger Discount.  Her most recent book is Murder in Matera: A True Story of Passion, Family and Forgiveness in Southern Italy. Stapinski previously wrote the Works in Progress column for The New York Times and currently is a regular contributor across all sections of the newspaper. We sat down with her to find out about her experiences as an NYU student, the inspiration for her writing and her advice for incoming students.

What did you study at NYU and how did your education shape what you do now?

I studied magazine journalism. I learned all the basics at NYU and then used those skills and my clips at the Washington Square News and the Courier to get my first job at the Hudson Reporter, a weekly in Hoboken.

Helene Stapinski: her story continues

Monday, June 22, 2020

Esti Blanco-Elorrieta (GSAS ’19, ’20), Forbes’ “30 Under 30" Honoree

Esti Blanco-Elorrieta
Esti Blanco-Elorrieta (GSAS ’19, ’20) was a 2020 Forbes’ “30 Under 30" honoree in the area of science. According to Forbes: “Over half of the population on the planet speaks multiple languages, but little is known about the neuroscience behind that. Blanco-Elorrieta aims to change that. Her research is devoted to understanding the neurobiology of multilingualism, and has led to a critical reformulation of the theoretical framework of bilingual language organization.” She sat down with us to talk about her groundbreaking research and her time at NYU.

Can you talk about your NYU department?

I am a PhD student at NYU's Psychology department, enrolled in the Cognition and Perception program. This is a program that researches a wide range of topics within human cognition, from vision, to memory to language.

What was your favorite memory of your time at NYU?  

It's difficult to choose just one memory, so I will share two. One of the moments that I remember the most fondly is the first time I came to NYU. I came for the open house and there was a polar vortex affecting the North East, so New York City was covered in snow and literally frozen. When I walked past Washington Square Park though and arrived at the department I got a feeling that this is where I belonged.

The second memory is the lunch time discussions that I have shared with my lab mates (now dear friends), where we would take a pause in our busy days to talk about anything from life or science, which made me feel very stimulated and supported.

Esti Blanco-Elorrieta: her story continues

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Alexander Greenberg (CAS ’03) Shares his Experiences as a CAS Alumni Mentor

Alexander Greenberg
Alexander has acted as a CAS alumni mentor for the past four years. He works in Law and Cybersecurity as Counsel in Intellectual Property, Technology and Cybersecurity, Americas, for Barclays. He shared with us his experiences as an alumni mentor and the advice he wishes he had been given when he was a student.

Can you tell us about your experience acting as an alumni mentor?

I have been a mentor to NYU students since 2017 and it has been one of the most professionally fulfilling experiences. I love the feeling of having a positive influence on students’ academic development and career journey—no matter how small. My time at NYU has set me up for success; by being a mentor, I am giving back to the NYU community.
Alexander Greenberg: his story continues

Friday, May 1, 2020

Jordyn Taylor (GSAS ’14) on Her Debut Novel “The Paper Girl of Paris”

Jordyn Taylor
Look out for Jordyn Taylor’s (GSAS ’14) debut novel, “The Paper Girl of Paris,” coming out on May 26th with Harper Collins. It is a Young Adult (YA) novel about the French Resistance in World War II. We sat down with her to find out about her inspirations, her writing process and her favorite books.

Jordyn is an adjunct professor at the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and a deputy editor at Men’s Health, where she oversees content across all online verticals and edits stories for the print magazine. Before her role at Men’s Health, she worked at Mic, first as a health reporter and then as a breaking news editor during the 2016 presidential election cycle.

What did you study at NYU?

I did a master's degree at the Journalism school. I was in Yvonne Latty's Reporting the Nation/Reporting New York program, where we learned to produce multimedia stories on a local and national level. As an undergrad at Hamilton College, I double majored in History and Theater—in other words, I started at NYU with almost zero journalism experience. That changed pretty quickly; it was the fall of 2012, and not long into my first semester, we were covering the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, a presidential election, and Hurricane Sandy.

Jordyn Taylor: her story continues

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Celebrating our NYU Alumni Journalists Covering COVID-19

Stack of newspapers

We have so much Violet Pride for our NYU alumni who are rising to the immense challenges we face as the COVID-19 crisis continues to alter our lives. We celebrate the journalists who keep us informed and connected, especially now.

Here is a roundup of some of the journalists, all alumni of the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute from CAS, GSAS and LS, who we rely on to bring us vital updates and the stories that shape this moment.

Celebrating our NYU Alumni Journalists continues

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

National Poetry Month with Award-winning Poet Deborah Landau

Deborah Landau
Jacqueline Mia Foster Photography
Deborah Landau is a professor and director of the NYU Creative Writing Program. She is the award-winning author of four books of poetry: Soft Targets, The Uses of the Body, The Last Usable Hour, and Orchidelirium. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The New York Times, and she is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Believer Book Award.

Can you share your thoughts on the power and value of poetry during moments of collective crisis?

We often turn to poems at moments of great challenges and intensity, and the most powerful poems articulate what so many of us are feeling but cannot say. I remember how just after 9/11 The New Yorker published the poem “Try to Praise the Mutilated World” by Adam Zagajewski — an extraordinary poem that has come to mind for me a lot recently.

Deborah Landau: her story continues

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Rebecca Brett (GLS ’20) is the First NYU Student to Receive the Mitchell Scholarship

Rebecca BrettWhat are you studying at NYU?

I study Global Liberal Studies with a concentration in Politics, Rights and Development and Social and Cultural Analysis with a focus on Gender and Sexuality studies. I spent my freshman year abroad at NYU Florence and my junior year at NYU London.

What is your favorite memory from your time at NYU so far?

When I was a freshman, I had really bad imposter syndrome. I felt too dumb and too poor to keep up with my classmates. Professor Gabriela Dragnea Horvath (2019 recipient of the Liberal Studies Teaching Award for Global Site Faculty) drilled the imposter syndrome out of me with tough love. She shredded my writing to bits with encouragement to go to the NYU Florence Writing Center, and she loved to cold-call on me in class. At the end of my freshman year, after gaining some confidence and a 4.0 GPA, I met with her as I often did in her office. I shared with her that I had always been a perfectionist, and I felt as if my time at NYU was only motivating that desire for perfection even more. She responded, "Why do you think that's a bad thing? Perfection is the goal, excellence is merely tolerated." A true NYU icon. I miss her.

Rebecca Brett: her story continues

Monday, February 10, 2020

Jeff Laub (CAS ’06), Co-Founder of Blind Barber, Shares How His Quarter-life Crisis Helped Inspire his Expanding Business

Jeff Laub

Jeff Laub is passionate about creating experiences and building communities. He opened Blind Barber in 2010 as an East Village neighborhood barbershop with a hidden speakeasy bar. In the past ten years his business has grown to 7 locations across the country in NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami Beach and Philadelphia and includes a line of signature grooming products. We sat down with him to find out what drives him and what advice he’d like to share with NYU students.

What did you study at NYU?

I was a History major. I thought I was going to be a lawyer, so History seemed like the appropriate subject matter. Prior to social media, creative endeavors and options other than becoming a doctor or a lawyer weren’t as prevalent. Pursuing a career in law was something I thought I should do, even though I didn’t have a real passion for it. 

How did your education at NYU shape what you do now?

NYU was transformative for me and pushed me to be the person I am now. The city itself, the energy and the diversity at NYU were the most impactful for me in shaping who I am now. The community that was fostered within NYU was exceptional. It felt like everyone was there with the intention to meet new people and to really open their minds. The university encouraged us to explore our passions together. It was refreshing to be in an environment that encouraged that type of collaboration and community. Now my entire business is based off of building community.

Jeff Laub: his story continues

Friday, January 3, 2020

Emilia Klayn (GSAS ’08), the Voice of the Bulgarian Award-winning Short Film “Tasks of the Day”

Emilia Klayn
Credit: Tuk-Tam
Emilia Klayn has leveraged her passion for cinema, literature, the arts, culture, and media into a career in voiceover work, acting, interpreting and translating. She voiced the Bulgarian submission for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film this year, “Задачи за деня/Tasks of the Day” which won the IN THE PALACE International Short Film Festival in 2019.

Emilia also works in the communications industry in Bulgaria, in corporate communications, public relations, public affairs, media relations, employer branding, event management, sponsorship and CSR. She is currently working as a Communications and Communities Manager for Tuk-Tam, the biggest community for Bulgarians who have studied and worked abroad. 

What did you study at NYU?

I graduated with an M.A. in French Studies and French from the Department of French Literature, Thought and Culture and the Institute of French Studies at the Graduate School of Art and Sciences, which is the most comprehensive American academic complex devoted to the culture of France. The program takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of modern and contemporary France and francophone countries through the lenses of culture, language, literature, history, art and society.

Emilia Klayn: her story continues