Viewing entries in
Student Spotlight

Ancient Religions, Archeology, and the Role of Language

Ancient Religions, Archeology, and the Role of Language

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.

A UCSB Film Student Interned for J.J. Abrams

A UCSB Film Student Interned for J.J. Abrams

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.

At the Intersection of Theater and Activism

At the Intersection of Theater and Activism

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.

A Philosophy Student Heads into the Aerospace Industry

A Philosophy Student Heads into the Aerospace Industry

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.

Screenwriter Aashka Pandya Explores Cultural Identity Through Film

Screenwriter Aashka Pandya Explores Cultural Identity Through Film

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.

A New Vibe: Spencer Williams Discusses the Appeal of A Cappella

A New Vibe: Spencer Williams Discusses the Appeal of A Cappella

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.

A Community Soundtrack: How Radio Affects Life at UCSB

A Community Soundtrack: How Radio Affects Life at UCSB

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 Risks and Rewards of Environmental Journalism

The Risks and Rewards of Environmental Journalism

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.

A Student Filmmaker Takes on Human Trafficking

A Student Filmmaker Takes on Human Trafficking

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.

Breaking Barriers: Raymok Ketema Sheds Light on Minority Access

Breaking Barriers: Raymok Ketema Sheds Light on Minority Access

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.

The Power of Persistence: Zeina Safadi on the Art of Public Speaking

The Power of Persistence: Zeina Safadi on the Art of Public Speaking

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.

 MFA Grad Maiza Hixson Mounts A Multimodal Production

MFA Grad Maiza Hixson Mounts A Multimodal Production

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.

Dim the Lights: Giovanna Vicini on Hosting Film Events

Dim the Lights: Giovanna Vicini on Hosting Film Events

“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.”

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Filming the Past and Present

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Filming the Past and Present

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.

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Katherine Hamilton Finds A New Calling in Directing

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Katherine Hamilton Finds A New Calling in Directing

“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.

From a California Classroom to a South American Start-Up

From a California Classroom to a South American Start-Up

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.

Hunter Johnsen: Creative Freedom in Crew Production

Hunter Johnsen: Creative Freedom in Crew Production

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.

Student Spotlight: An Art Director On Digital Humanities

Student Spotlight: An Art Director On Digital Humanities

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.

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT:  A Leader in Dance

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: A Leader in Dance

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.