Ranj Atur, is currently a PhD candidate at UC Santa Barbara, focusing on Greek religion and Greek polytheism. She is also working closely with Professor Christine Thomas, an archeologist from Harvard who teaches religious studies courses at UCSB. Atur, looks at language in ancient religions by way of archeological artifacts: statues, clay tablets, pottery, and paintings from between the first century BCE and first century CE.
In a recent interview, Atur discussed how ancient religions have influenced the development of language and religion over the centuries.
21-year-old Kyrié Howard, a film and media studies major at UC Santa Barbara, recently sat down for an interview to discuss her experience in the program, how she found her calling, how she continues to hone her craft, and her plans for the future. Prior attending UCSB, Kyrié interned at Bad Robot Productions, a company led by the acclaimed film producer J.J. Abrams.
UCSB student Mikayla Knight is the current president of Shrunken Heads, an entirely student run musical theater society, that seeks to utilize theater and art not only as a mode of expression, but also as a platform for human rights activism. Knight has also performed a piece on sexual assault during the annual production of The Vagina Monologues and Herstories, a performance that deals with various aspects of the feminine experience. She recently spoke about her work in this interview.
During the fall of 2018, Kindra Ontiveros was offered a program management position. Shortly after her start, the government awarded her department a million-dollar contract for an aerospace research project. Ontiveros is now the lead financial advisor for the project.
In a recent interview she spoke about how she has been cultivating her confidence at work in the aerospace industry and the path she took to get there.
Not many college students have the honor of receiving the title of “award-winning screenwriter.” But Aashka Pandya, a graduating student double-majoring in Film & Media Studies and Communication, earned that elite title earlier this year when she received the Best Screenplay award at the 2019 Santa Barbara International Film Festival 10-10-10 Competition. In this interview, she comments on her award as well as the connection her Indian American identity has on her filmmaking and creative process.
At a club fair at UCSB, film student Spencer Williams was immediately drawn to InterVals A Cappella, a student-run music club. “I was so drawn into the vibe. Everyone is cool,” he said. For the last four years, Williams has focused on his film and media education and his a cappella group. As he is set to graduate soon, he reflects on the profound impact being a part of his a cappella group had on his life and what it has taught him as he steps into a new future.
Alex Meinhof is a second-year student majoring in philosophy at UC Santa Barbara. He is involved in the music scene on campus and works at UCSB’s radio station, KCSB-FM, which serves as both a means of entertainment of place of community for students. Meinhof recently spoke to HFA about his experience in this interview.
The job of an environmental journalists is to take the scientific language of research studies and clarify it in a concise manner for the general public. It is their responsibility to inform the public on the current state of the environment.
In a recent interview, Kayla Curtis-Evans shared what drew her to pursue this field and what she plans to achieve in the future.
Film and Media Studies major Katelyn Zamudio recently produced Playdolls, a documentary that looks at the issue of human trafficking from different perspectives. In a recent interview, Zamudio discusses her experience bringing this issue to light in an empathetic way.
In a recent interview, Raymok Ketema, a first-generation African American college student pursuing her PhD in History at UCSB, discussed her project for the Center for Black Studies Research on minorities in engineering and why she perseveres in her work for women, the Black community, and other people of color.
Third-year student Zeina Safadi, majoring in political science with minor in professional writing, is accustomed to public speaking. As she works towards graduation and a future career in law, she balances her academic life and jobs: undergraduate peer advisor, Mock Trial president, legal assistant at the law offices of Robert B. Locke, and attorney general at UC Santa Barbara. With an impressive resume and a facility for public speaking, Safadi spoke in a recent interview about the ways public speaking has played an important role in her life.
It’s a “dystopian fiction tragi-comedy set in 2050” that explores “our desire of a technological utopia that is supported by human greed and inevitable climate change,” said Maiza Hixon, a graduating Master of Fine Arts student.
Hixon recently held a reading of her first written play Chimera at the Art, Design and Architecture Museum in conjunction with the opening of the 2019 MFA thesis exhibition Temporary Clash.
“I consider that evening in May 2018 and the months of work leading up to it to be some of the most memorable and impactful experiences of my life,” says Giovanna Vicini, a graduating Film & Media Studies and Communication double major at UCSB, of hosting the 27th Annual Reel Loud Film & Arts Festival onstage at Campbell Hall. “My teammates and I led the organization toward record-breaking growth, achieving Reel Loud’s most competitive year to date.”
Directors rely on history to be a backdrop and to set the scene for their storytelling, Film and Media Studies and History double major Ryann Stibor says. In a recent interview, she answers questions about how knowledge of history affects society today and how that knowledge intersects with her second major in film.
“I never considered that I wanted to be a director until I realized that you had to put yourself in the position of an actor,” Theater and English student Katherine Hamilton admitted in a recent interview. She discusses what influenced her to change her focus from acting to directing, and how that choice—and her subsequent directing of “I Didn’t Want a Mastodon,” a student-produced, one-act comedy—has influenced her in return.
Kaili Emery, a UC Santa Barbara global studies major, spent her fall quarter pursuing an international marketing internship in in Colombia. In an interview, Emery explains how her UCSB education influenced this experience abroad.
The following Student Spotlight videos, produced by Writing Program students, feature three UCSB artists who express their academic interests and personalities through their creative endeavors.
Student film director Hunter Johnsen discusses his passion for film and his involvement in the Film and Media Studies Crew Production class. His movie called “Obsolete,” a project for this course, is set to premiere March 22 at the Pollock Theater.
Word Magazine explores life in Isla Vista, the neighborhood next to campus. As current art director of the magazine, Alaska Yokota is one of a team of students who writes for the magazine and designs its layout. In a recent interview, Yokota discussed her experience with Word Magazine and her views on the future of digital humanities.
Dance and Psychology major Yuna Choi has been planning the Mini Beach Ball hosted by UC Santa Barbara’s cotillion club. The Mini Beach Ball, a collegiate dance competition, will be held later in May. In a recent interview, Choi talked about her experience planning the upcoming dance competition and what she hopes to accomplish by coordinating this year’s Mini Beach Ball.