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STUDIODUKE MENTORS

These mentors with accomplished careers in entertainment, media, and the arts have volunteered to work with the students whose projects are accepted into the StudioDuke program. Student-mentor teams will be formed based on the project type and audience.

Chuck Adams ’64, L’67 (Chapel Hill)
Executive Editor, Algonquin Books
Website

Jennifer Baltimore, L’92 (LA)
Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, Universal Music Group
Website

Pola Changnon, ’85 (ATL)
General Manager, Turner Classic Movies
Website

Robb Chavis ‘98 (LA)
Co-Executive Producer, ABC’s black-ish
Website

Drew Crevello, ‘96 (LA)
Writer/Producer; Veteran Film Studio Executive
Website

Soleio Cuervo, ’03 (Bay Area)
Founder & Partner, Combine
Former Designer/Advisor, Facebook (invented “like” button), Dropbox
Website

Claire Florian, ’09 (NY)
Studio Company Manager, American Ballet Theatre
Website

Hillary France, ’03 (NY)
CEO/Co-Founder, Brand Assembly
Website

Peter Friedlander, ’96 (LA)
Head of UCAN Scripted Series, Netflix
Website

David Garfinkle, ’83 (NY)
CEO, Hello Entertainment
Broadway Producer, Ghost the Musical, Spider-Man Turn off the Dark, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Tony Awards 2014 Winner, Best Musical)
Website

Jon-Sesrie Goff, MFA ’16 (NYC)
Program Officer, Ford Foundation
Website

Amy Gravitt, ’95 (LA)
Executive Vice President Comedy Programming, HBO
Including: Ballers, Girls, Insecure, Silicon Valley, Veep
Website

Mangesh Hattikudur, ’01 (NYC)
Former Senior Vice President, Podcast Development, iHeartMedia/HowStuffWorks
Co-Founder, Mental Floss 
Website

Hilary N. Huskey, ’11 (Durham)
3-D Character Artist, Game Developer, Writer
Visiting Assistant Professor/SunTrust Endowed Chair, North Carolina Central University
Website

Eric Hölljes, ’09 (Nashville) 
Singer/Songwriter, Delta Rae
Website

Brandt Joel, ’87 (LA)
Head of Talent, William Morris Endeavor
Website

Dave Karger, ’95 (LA & NYC)
TV host, Interviewer, Entertainment Expert
Featured on NBC Today, Access Hollywood, Turner Classic Movies
Website

Lisa Katz, ’95 (LA)
President Scripted Programming, NBC; shows include This is Us (Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, 2018)
Website

Christina Baker Kline, P’18 ’22 (NYC)
#1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train, A Piece of the World, The Exiles and five other novels
Website

Michael “Koz” Kosarin ’82 (NYC)
Emmy award-winning and Grammy-nominated multi-media conductor (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin)
Website

Penka Kouneva, G’97 (LA)
Award-winning Film and Game Composer
Prince of Persia, Transformers video games; NASA’s Heroes and Legends exhibit
Website

Ezra Kucharz, ’97 (NY)
Chief Business Officer, Draft Kings
Formerly: Special Advisor to CEO of CBS & President of CBS Local Digital Media
Website

Maria Kuznetsova ’08 (Auburn, Alabama)
Writer; Fiction Editor; Assistant Professor, Auburn University
Website

Jeremy Lange, MFA ’18 (Durham)
Photographer/Filmmaker; Former Instructor of Photography, Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Duke University
Website

Aaron Lazar, ’94 (LA&NY)
Actor/Producer
Website

Courtney Liu,’13, MFA ‘21 (NYC & Durham)
Broadway Performer/Assistant Dance Captain, Phantom of the Opera
Website

Julia Livshin, ’96 (Washington D.C. area)
Literary Agent, Julia Livshin Literary Agency (literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, memoir, children’s books); Formerly: The Atlantic (short stories) Website

Sequoia Maner, ’08 (Atlanta)
Assistant Professor, Poet, Spelman College
Website

Sean McManus, ’77 (NY)
Chairman, CBS Sports
Website

Heather-Marie Montilla, ’99 (South Lyon, Michigan)
Library Bureau Chief, PBS Books; Instructor, Michigan State University & Eastern Michigan University; Non-profit Management Consultant
Website

Eric Oberstein, ’07 (NYC)
Managing Director, Harlem Stage
GRAMMY-winning producer, musician, consultant
Website

Kevin Plunkett, ’95 (LA)
Executive Producer, Jigsaw Productions/Elevation7; Former Executive VP and head of Television, New Regency TV; Former Head of Scripted Programming, E! (The Royals, The Arrangement) SVP Comedy Development ABC Studios (Happy Endings, Cougartown, Scrubs, etc)

Charles Randolph-Wright, ’78 (NY)
Film/TV/Theatre Director, TV Producer, Screenwriter, Playwright
Broadway’s Motown: The Musical; Television’s Greenleaf, Step Up Highwater
Website

Bobby Rosenbloum, ’91 (ATL)
Shareholder and Vice-Chairman, Global Entertainment & Media Practice
Greenberg Traurig, LLP
Website

Julien Thuan, ’97 (LA)
Partner and co-Head, Motion Picture Literary Department, United Talent Agency
Website

Mark Vahradian, ’89 (LA)
President, Production, di Bonaventura Pictures (at Paramount Pictures)
Films include: Transformers series (Executive Producer), Deepwater Horizon (Producer)
Website

Greg Veis, ’03 (SF)
Senior Editor, Apple
Formerly: HuffPost Highline, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, GQ
Website

Ryan White, ’04 (LA)
Director/Executive Producer, Tripod Media,
Netflix: The Keepers (Emmy-nominated), Hulu: Dr. Ruth, Magnolia Pictures: Good Ol’ Freda, HBO: The Case Against 8 (Two-Time Emmy-nominated; Oscar shortlist) EPIX: Serena; PBS: Pelada
Website

Katie Wyatt (Durham)
President and CEO, El Sistema USA
Website

Laura Yorke, ’85 (NYC)
Book Editor, Publisher, Literary Agent & Writer 
Website

Danielle Zapotoczny ’96 (Durham)
Senior Director of Partnerships & Communications, United Nations Foundation; Strategic Advisor to the United Nations Creative Community Outreach Initiative
Formerly: Producer, Wheelhouse Entertainment

Stephen Zapotoczny ’97 (Durham)
CEO & Founder, The Magic Factory
Formerly: Producer/Vice President Development & Production, Wheelhouse Entertainment (We Were Soldiers)

There are so many avenues for mentorship between the faculty and alumni network here at Duke. Samuel Klein ‘19
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STUDIODUKE STUDENTS

PAST STUDIODUKE STUDENTS

2020-21 STUDENTS
These Duke students have been accepted into the StudioDuke program for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Arlene Arevalo ‘21
School: Trinity
Major: Global Cultural Studies | Program in Literature
Project: Memoir
Mentor: Laura Yorke

Paul Chen ‘21
School: Trinity
Major: Public Policy
Minor: Creative Writing
Project:  Screenplay
Mentor: Robb Chavis

Marlowe Early ‘21
School: Trinity
Major: Visual Media Studies: Certificate in Documentary Studies
Project: Screenplay
Mentor: Kevin Plunkett

Andy Ju ‘21
School: Trinity
Major: Visual Arts and Computer Science
Minor: Cinematic Arts
Project: Documentary
Mentor: Ryan White

Anna Kasradze ‘21
School: Trinity
Major: English and Global Cultural Studies
Minor: Russian Literature
Project: Novella
Mentor: Christina Baker Kline

Daniel Kim ‘21
School: Trinity
Major: Theater Studies
Minor: Biology
Project: Screenplay
Mentor: Julien Thuan

Sophia Li ‘21
School: Trinity
Major: Neuroscience
Minor: Photography
Project: Documentary Photography
Mentor: Jeremy Lange

Chris Norlund ‘22
School: Fuqua School of Business
Project: Podcast
Mentor: Mangesh Hattikudur

Ganesh Pentapalli ‘22
School: Trinity
Major: Mathematics and Global Cultural Studies
Minor: Finance
Project: Sci-Fi Thriller Screenplay
Mentor: Mark Vahradian

Andres Paciuc ‘21
School: Duke University School of Law (3L)
Project: Screenplay
Mentor: Drew Crevello

Anil Prasad ‘22
School: Trinity
Major: English
Minor: Chemistry
Project: Children’s Book
Mentor: Julia Livshin

Irene Qiao ‘22
School: Trinity
Major: Computer Science; Certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Project: Original Music
Mentor: Eric Hölljes

Jacob Rubin ‘21
School: Trinity
Major: Computer Science
Minor: Music and Education
Project: Original Musical
Mentor: Aaron Lazar

Andrew Witte ‘22 & Ami Wong ‘22
School: Trinity
Major: Program II in Narrative Arts: Storytelling Forms and Functions (Ami); Public Policy, History & Curatorial Practice (Andrew)
Project: Children’s Book
Mentor: Heather-Marie Montilla

Aaron Zhao ‘22
School: Trinity
Major: Visual Arts and Biology; Certificate in Documentary Studies 
Project: Documentary Photography
Mentor: Jeremy Lange

2019-20 STUDENTS
These Duke students were accepted into the StudioDuke program for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Nima Babajani-Feremi, ’22
School: Trinity
Major: Literature, English
Project: Poetry Portfolio
Mentor: Sequoia Maner

Clayton Delp, ’20
School: Trinity
Major: Music, English minor
Project: Gun Requiem (original music composition)
Mentor: Eric Oberstein

Soraya Durand, ’21
School: Trinity
Major: International Comparative Studies, Political Science, Documentary Studies Certificate
Project: Journey of Dreams (short documentary)

Thalia Halloran, ’22
School: Trinity
Major: English
Minor/Certificate: Creative Writing; History
Project: In Loco Parentis and Other Stories (short story collection)
Mentor: Maria Kuznetsova

Justin Koga, ’21
School: Trinity
Major: Public Policy
Project: Music+Connect (YouTube channel)
Mentor: Katie Wyatt

Casey Pettiford, ’20
School: Trinity
Major: International Comparative Studies
Project: Patria and Hero (screenplays)
Mentor: Robb Chavis

Quinten Sansosti, ’20
School: Trinity
Major: Political Science
Project: Blood on the Saddle (feature screenplay)
Mentor: Kevin Plunkett

Caroline Waring, ’20
School: Trinity
Major: Global Cultural Studies
Project: Eye Disorders on Television (short stories)
Mentor: Christina Baker Kline

2018-19 STUDENTS
These Duke students were accepted into the StudioDuke program for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Justin Baez, ‘19: Remnants Mentor: Jeremy Lange, MFA ’18 | Photographer Justin is creating documentary photo-essay on homelessness in Durham.

Janie Booth, ‘19: Miss Spain Mentor: Jeremy Lange, MFA ’18 | Photographer Janie is from Charlotte, North Carolina studying Art History and Chemistry. Her StudioDuke project, Miss Spain, investigates an archive of found photographs and responds to them through creative writing and visual arts.

Flurina Boslough, ‘20: Sustainable Alaskan Clothing Company Mentor: Hillary France, ’03 | CEO/Co-founder, Brand Assembly Flurina is from Alaska studying mechanical engineering at Duke. Her StudioDuke project involves the creation of a clothing line of Alaskan outerwear.

Jess Chen, ‘20: Eyes Unseen Mentor: Chuck Adams, ’64, L’67 | Executive Editor, Algonquin Books Jess is from the San Francisco Bay Area studying Art History and Public Policy. Her project is a short book of poetry entitled Eyes Unseen, a chapbook engaging themes of absence, invisibility and material remnants.

Daniel Egitto, ‘21: Birdsong Mentor: Christina Baker Kline, P ’18, ’22 | NYT Bestselling Author Daniel is a Literature major from Ocala, FL. His StudioDuke project—a novel called Birdsong—follows the adventures of Peter Ashbery through the backwoods of Florida in a quirky, often mind-bending quest to find a purpose in life.

Sam Elliott, ‘20: Artificial Mentor: Lisa Katz, ’95 | Co-President of Scripted Programming, NBC Sam is from Overland Park, Kansas studying English, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Arts of the Moving Image. Sam’s StudioDuke project is entitled Artificial, an original sitcom that tells the story of Ava, the first ever artificially intelligent being created by the United States government.

Jaxson Floberg, ‘20: Indie/Folk Album Mentor: Eric Hölljes, ’09 | Singer/songwriter, Delta Rae Jaxson is from Huntersville, North Carolina majoring in English with a certificate in Arts of the Moving Image. His StudioDuke project is an eleven-song indie/acoustic album which draws on a wealth of influences, including traditional folk songs and the more contemporary work of artists like Iron & Wine and Fleet Foxes.

Samuel Klein, ‘19: The Man Who Never Smiles Mentor: Kevin Plunkett, ’95 | Executive Producer, Jigsaw Productions Sam Klein is a political science major from Pelham, NY. His project, The Man who Never Smiles, is a neo-western/sci-fi/fantasy pilot script.

Zaire McPhearson, ‘20: Cultural Metamorphosis Mentor: Jon-Sesrie Goff, MFA ’16 | Executive Director, The Flaherty Zaire is a multimedia artist from the Queen City of Charlotte, North Carolina pursuing an MFA|EDA. The project is a series of digital images and sculptural works that display the different stages from caterpillar to butterfly; the body of work explores how Black culture has been altered to portray a different message throughout history.

Valerie Muensterman, ‘20: Did You Forget Your Name? Mentor: Julien Thuan, ’97 | Partner and Co-Head, Motion Picture Literary Department, United Talent Agency Valerie is from Evansville, Indiana studying English and Theater Studies. Her StudioDuke project is a coming-of-age story following Charlene, a 13-year-old with a severe stutter, whose life changes directions after witnessing a fatal train accident in which she is unable to call for help.

Emily Otero, ‘20: The Eye of Arctos Mentor: Hilary N. Huskey, ’11 | Visiting Assistant Professor, NCCU Emily is from Miami Beach studying Computer Science and English. Her project is a fantasy horror visual novel called The Eye of Arctos, which follows the story of a young woman who works as the executioner for a malevolent eldritch god.

James Robinson, ‘20: We See the Change Mentor: Ryan White, ’04 | Director/Executive Producer, Tripod Media James is from Portland, ME and is majoring in Environmental Science and Policy with a Certificate in Documentary Studies. His StudioDuke project is a short film about the impacts of climate change and land loss on native tribes in Southern Louisiana.

Iliana Sun, ‘20: Heartless Mentor: Amy Gravitt, ’95 | EVP Comedy Programming, HBO Iliana is first year grad student from China and has lived in Germany. Sun is working on a sci-fi romance feature length film called Heartless.

Sheridan Wilbur, ‘19: At Will Mentor: Greg Veis, ’03 | Executive Editor, HuffPost Highline Sheridan Wilbur hails from North Smithfield, Rhode Island and is finishing her degrees in Political Science, Psychology and a certificate in Ethics & Society. She partnered with Mathilda Christensson to write, edit and publish At Will, an 88 page print and eprint magazine.

SPRING 2018 STUDENTS
These Duke students were accepted into the StudioDuke program for the inaugural Spring 2018 cohort.

Christopher Ames ’20
Project: RobArt (A.I. + robotics)
Mentor: Ezra Kucharz

Jillian Apel ‘18
Project: TV Pilot (screenplay)
Mentor: Lisa Katz

Cameron Beach ‘20
Project: Documentary
Mentor: Dave Karger

John Benhart, ‘19 & Garrett Post, ‘18
Project: Patients (TV show)
Mentor: Amy Gravitt

Nicole Blake ’18
Project: professional sports reel
Mentor: Sean McManus

Tristan Bouan ‘18
Project: Trainhopper (scripted feature)
Mentor: Steve Zapotoczny

Caroline Brockett ’20 & Alexandra Davis ‘20
Project: The Coven (digital publication)
Mentor: Pola Changnon

Lanre Danmola ’18
Project: Warren (screenplay)
Mentor: Julien Thuan

Will Francis ’19
Project: Bennie (play)
Mentor: David Garfinkle

Brooks Fredrickson ’22 (graduate student)
Project: album of chamber works
Mentor: Penka Kouneva, Bobby Rosenbloum

Alex Gonzalez ‘18
Project: TV Comedy (screenplay)
Mentor: Kevin Plunkett

Michael Ivory, Jr. ‘18
Project: poetry, non-fiction essays
Mentor: Chuck Adams

Thomas Li, 2018
Project: Coup (screenplay)
Mentor: Brandt Joel

Jacqueline Monetta ‘18
Project: Escape from Tehran (screenplay)
Mentor: Ryan White

Cara O’Malley ‘18
Project: Artificial (young adult sci-fi novel)
Mentor: Christina Baker Kline

Jackson Prince ’19
Project: 1600 Vine (original musical)
Mentor: Charles Randolph-Wright

Omo Sanusi ‘21
Project: novella
Mentor: Greg Veis

Harini Sridhar ’18
Project: children’s pop-up book
Mentor: Dani Zapotoczny

Madeline Taylor ‘17
Project: web series (screenplay)
Mentor: Peter Friedlander

Kobi Theiler, ’18
Project: Crimewarp Inc. (animated TV series)
Mentor: Stephen Zapotoczny

Robin Wang ‘19
Project: Switch (sci-fi short)
Mentor: Mark Vahradian

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