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New York Film Academy Faculty

FACULTY

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mary Samuelson Mary Samuelson
Chair of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Dr. Mary Samuelson received her Ph.D. and MA degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and completed her undergraduate work in Cinema-Television and English Literature at the University of Southern California (USC). For the past four years, Mary has taught courses and advised students in the Cinema and Media Studies and Writing Programs departments at UCLA, the Cinema-Television department at Los Angeles Community College (LACC), and here at the New York Film Academy (NYFA). Her essays "Radical Moment: The National Recovery Administration and Hollywood's 'New Deal'" and “Wartime News Flow: Government and Studio Newsreels, 1941-1945” will come out in collections focusing on film and the law (September 2016) and the U.S. newsfilm (June 2016), respectively. Mary’s dissertation “The Patriotic Play: Roosevelt, Antitrust, and the War Activities Committee of the Motion Picture Industry” is slated for book publication in Spring 2017.

Zareh Arevshatian Zareh Arevshatian
Film Studies

M.A. in Critical Studies, California State University, Northridge; B.A. in Radio-Television-Film, CSUN. Adjunct faculty at Los Angeles Mission College. Media Coordinator for the School of Film, TV, and Digital Media at UCLA. Background in retrospectives and festival programming, American Film Institute, American Cinematheque, and UCLA.

Brian Beery Brian Beery
English, Public Speaking

MFA Screenwriting, AFI. BA Theater Arts, UCSC. Vested member of SAG. Rewrote scripts based on recommendations from Oscar-nominated filmmakers. Winner, Kodak 35mm Award for “Speed Dating” and George Mayr Award for Excellence in Screenwriting. Recommended “Sideways” to Alexander Payne. Has worked on both sides of development, listening to and giving film pitches.

Camille Boag Camille Boag
Natural Sciences

Bachelor's in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley and a Master's of Science in Biology from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Her most recent research focuses on the relationships between endemic rodents and invasive grass species in central California;

Megan Breen Megan Breen
Dramatic Literature; Comparative Lit

MFA in Dramatic Writing, USC School of Theatre; BFA in Dramturgy/Criticism, DePaul University. Writer of over a dozen plays, as well as television and feature length films.

Drew Tolman Brosnan Drew Tolman Brosnan
Psychology of Film, Film Studies

M.A. in film studies from UMiami, Coral Gables; B.A. in communication from UMass, Amherst. Drew is an animation producer with over 15 years of experience making family blockbusters in both development and production for Fox, Disney, Universal and Warner Bros.

Jennice Butler Jennice Butler
History of Acting

MFA in Acting, UC Irvine; BS in Theatre, University of Evansville. Member of The Road Theatre Company and Fugitive Kind Theatre. Other theatre companies she has performed for include: International City Theatre, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Summer Repertory Theatre and Loose Canon Collective.

Mike Civille Mike Civille
Film Studies; Cultural Studies

PhD American Studies (Boston University); MFA Film Studies (Boston University) As a film scholar, Mike has presented papers on Hollywood cinema and popular culture at the Society of Cinema and Media Studies, the Popular/American Culture Association, the California American Studies Association, the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), and the Baseball Hall of Fame. As a film director, his short After June (2006) played at several nationwide film festivals including the Tribeca Film Festival and the Palm Spring International Festival of Short Films.

Mary Cobb Mary Cobb
Dramatic Literature

In addition to her continuing professional career, ongoing and former memberships in The Actors Studio, The Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company and others, Mary coaches professional actors in modern and Shakespearean roles. She has established children’s programs in Shakespeare throughout our country, including Crown Theatre-Go-Round in Kansas City, MO; Shakespeare for Fun in San Diego, CA; Resident Artists’ Children’s Theatre Program – KC, MO. She also participated in the CBS Radnor Directors Project.

Vanessa Conte Vanessa Conte
Academic Advisor; English; Pre-College English

MA in Linguistics, CSU, Long Beach; MFA in Painting, UCLA; BS in Studio Art and Art History, New York University; CertTESOL Certificate, St. Georg Institute, London, England.. Presented research at the California TESOL Conference and the American Association of Corpus Linguists. Exhibits paintings and drawings internationally. Research topics include gender and power dynamics in both visual and spoken language and pragmatics of second-language learners.

Anastasia Coon Anastasia Coon
Public Speaking; Critical Thinking

BFA in Theatre - Acting Emphasis, Chapman University. Conservatory Training Certificate, Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre. MFA Acting, UT Austin. Adjunct Instructor at USC, Teaching Artist: Pasadena Playhouse, Guest Artist: Directors Lab West, Board Member: 2nd Sundays Screenplays LA.

Aly Covington Aly Covington
Health & Wellness

MS in Health Administration and BS in Kinesiology/Athletic Training, Cal State University Northridge. NATA-BOC Certifed Athletic Trainer. 2008 NAWBO Youth Advocate of the Year for efforts toward childhood obesity. Serves on the Cultural Recreation Advisory Board for her local city council.

Merrilyn Crouch Merrilyn Crouch
English; Public Speaking

Merrilyn Crouch received an MFA in Theater from The University of Southern California and has worked as an actor, writer and director in commericals, television, and film for over 20 years. Merrilyn has written, produced and directed promos for clients including CNN International, TNT, FOX, Discovery Channel, NUVO TV and others. She can be seen on the Food Network’s Good Eats in the recurring role as Alton Brown’s sister, Marsha.

David D'Andrade David D'Andrade
Drawing; Art History

Award winning artist with exhibitions nationwide. Past and present teaching experience include: Instructor for New Roads School, adjunct instructor for Sonoma State University, El Camino College and Napa Valley College. Degrees: San Francisco Art Institute MFA 1996; San Francisco Art Institute BFA. 1994; Pratt Institute, attended 1982-85.

Olivia Elliott Olivia Elliott
Writing Fundamentals; Psychology of Creativity

Olivia received her MS in sociology, social theory, and public affairs from the University of Amsterdam; she is finishing her MA in education, linguistics and culturally diverse education/TESOL this spring from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, and has a TESOL certificate from Trinity College of Rome, Italy. Olivia has studied and worked abroad in several countries including Korea, the Netherlands, Italy, and Portugal. Before arriving at the New York Film Academy, Olivia spent seven years teaching courses and advising students in writing composition, research, and rhetoric and logic at the University of Colorado, Denver.

Sherando Ferril-Cupid Sherando Ferril-Cupid
Film and Media Studies

Sherando earned her M.A in film and media production at the New York Film Academy, and holds a B.A in media and communications from University of the West Indies. Film and TV performing credits include “Ghetta Life,” “Real Friends,” “Traxx,” “Lime Tree Lane,” host on the reality series “The Anchor” and morning talk show “CVM at Sunrise.” Sherando was also the host of her own radio show for eight years in Jamaica. For 13 years, Sherando’s voice provided weekly entertainment on one of the most popular local radio dramas, Power Connection. She was nominated for best actress in the Actor Boy Awards (Jamaican version of the Tony Awards). International credits include numerous voice-overs, TV commercials, and founding Cuferri Productions.

Stephen Florian Stephen Florian
English

B.A. in English Literature, Grand Canyon University; Magna Cum Laude. M.A. in English with a focus on Rhetoric and Composition, California State University Northridge. Recipient: 2015 Mahlon Gaumer Award for best critical essay on English at California State University Northridge.

Michael Fuller Michael Fuller
English, Dramatic Literature

Michael Woodworth Fuller received his BA in Spanish and MA in drama at San Francisco State, and his PhD. in communications and drama from USC, where he taught both academic and acting curricula, and was director of the BFA-MFA acting company. Dr. Fuller was chair of the Theatre Program for the Idyllwild School of Music And The Arts (ISOMATA), and its child drama specialist for the Children’s Center. He wrote for the Promo Department at CBS-TV, collaborated on several television episodes with the late Alan Levitt (former story editor of “Maude”), wrote for Garry Michael White at Lorimar, and scripted several low-budget, independent Westerns. His novel, “Legacy,” received the Book Publicists of Southern California’s Award for Best Fiction in 2014. His Short story “I Killed Your Son” received special commendation in Firstwriter Magazine’s 12th International Short Story Contest. “Killed” was one of the 12 commended internationally. In addition to two Drama-Logue Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Professional Theater for directing, Dr. Fuller was an alternate Fulbright Scholar in drama and is a LAUSD District Intern Golden Apple Award recipient.

Mira Furlan Mira Furlan
Dramatic Literature

Award winning actress Mira Furlan has starred or co-starred in over 25 films, most notably the Academy Award ® nominated and Palme d’Ore winning “When Father Was Away on Business.” She has over forty television credits and starred in "Babylon 5", which she won a Sci-fi Universe award for best supporting actor. Mira’s work in her home country of Yugoslavia resulted in two Golden Arenas (Yugoslavia’s equivalent to an Oscar).

Nedra Gallegos Nedra Gallegos
English, History of Theatre

Nedra Gallegos has taught theatre and writing since 1993, beginning at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. She has extensive and varied experiences with teaching the fundamentals of acting, playwriting and creative writing. Her expertise is working with “non-actors,” creating a supportive atmosphere where they can tap into their imagination, go beyond their comfort zone, and explore their creativity. She has worked in New York and Los Angeles teaching in a myriad of circumstances in colleges, public and private schools, and homeless shelters, as well as as a private coach. She is uniquely qualified to work with students from all walks of life and to effectively guide them as they discover the artist within themselves.

Ros Gentle Ros Gentle
Psychology of Performance

BDA, National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), University of NSW, Australia; Diploma in Teaching, Balmain Teachers' College of Advanced Education, Sydney. Producer, director and current working actress of 40 years experience with many IMDB credits. Corporate consulting clients include Foxtel Television, The Motion Picture and Television Fund and Opera Pacific. Teaching experience at NIDA, Actors Center and her own studio in Australia and Joanne Baron/DW Brown Studio, NYFA in NYC and Australian Institute of Dramatic Art in the U.S.

Lonnie Halouska Lonnie Halouska
Economics; Film Studies

MS, USC School of Cinema-Television; JD, Loyola University. Entertainment and telecommunications lawyer, negotiator and business manager for more than 20 years. Major studio and network background.

Richard Van Heertum Richard Van Heertum
Academic Advisor; Film Studies; Cultural Anthropology

Richard Van Heertum has a PhD in Cultural Studies and Education from UCLA and a MA in Economics from SDSU. He has published three books, 25 academic essays and chapters and over 150 articles in the mainstream media on film, music and culture.

Lexie Helgerson Lexie Helgerson
Music Appreciation

B.A. mass communications, University of California, Berkeley; Certificate Higher Education, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School; Her debut short film “Vivien” was a finalist at the Moonfaze Feminist Film Festival 2015, official selection Bend Film Festival, Pasadena International Film Festival, Palm Springs ShortFest Film Market 2016. She co-founded indie band Who Can Sleep in Spring 2016, which has received praise from IMPOSE, Crave, Nothing But Hope & Passion, The New LoFi. Debut EP slated for release January 2017; Who Can Sleep’s debut music video “Jean Seberg” achieved official selection Moonfaze Films 2016; she also served as a company member with the American Shakespeare Center 2012-2013.

Erin Hill Erin Hill
Film Studies

PhD and MA (UCLA), BA (University of Michigan). Visiting Professor, UCLA. Recipient: Chancellor's Prize, Jean Stone Fellowship, Collegium of University Teaching Fellowship (UCLA); Nina Leibman Fellowship (California Law Center), Newman Screenwriting Prize (University of Michigan). Recent published chapters in Making Media Work (NYU Press), The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies (Blackwell), Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries (Routledge). Forthcoming book: Never Done: "Women's Work" in Media Production History (Rutgers).

Jan-Ryder Hilton Jan Hilton
Writing Programs

Since 2010, Jan-Ryder Hilton has taught college students in a variety of courses ranging from English Composition to The American Dream in Film. He earned his Master’s degree from Towson University, one of Maryland’s most acclaimed schools, known in the region as a historic “teacher’s college.” In his first two years at the New York Film Academy, he has established a reputation for having strong organizational skills and creativity. He now leads the Language Center in providing tutoring assistance to our students.

Travis Holder Travis Holder
Theatre History

Trained at Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts, Goodman Theatre at University of Chicago; studied with Uta Hagan, Stella Adler, and Kenneth McMillan. Five plays produced nationally and wrote the screenplay for the award-winning 2010 feature film “Surprise Surprise.” Veteran of six Broadway productions and numerous national and international tours. Honored with the LA Drama Critics’ Circle Best Actor Award; Drama-Logue, ReviewPlays.com, Sage, and four Maddy Awards; six acting nominations from LA Weekly; Ovation, GLAAD, and NAACP nominations. Prominent theatre critic since 1987 for such publications as Back Stage, Entertainment Today, and ArtsInLA.

Karen Howes Karen Howes
English, Dramatic Literature

BA in philosophy from The College of William and Mary; MFA in writing for the performing arts from UCR. Current recipient of numerous arts grants and theater commissions, including work with the William Inge Center, International City Theater and The Academy Theater. Winner of the Maxum Mazumdor New Play Prize and the 2014 New Science Driven Play Award. Served as artistic director for The Young Actors Ensemble and worked as a writing/acting instructor for over 15 years, with plays published by Smith and Kraus. Also worked as a journalist and on-air news anchor covering science and technology issues. Resident playwright at SkyLight Theater in LA, and currently under commission with Open Eye Theater in NY to write a musical set during the reform movements of women’s rights and abolition.

Jeremy Jones Jeremy Jones
Environmental Biology

Jeremy Jones has a background in both technical and musical theatre as well as aerospace engineering. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in musical theatre from Palm Beach Atlantic University and studied engineering both at the University of South Florida and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Mr. Jones toured the country as a lighting technician, lighting designer and stage manager for several years and has been teaching in the liberal arts for nearly 10 years.

Louis Klonsky Louis Klonsky
Geology; Mathematics

MS in Geology, Rutgers University; BA in Physics, Columbia University. Adjunct lecturer, California State University, San Bernardino. Senior Staff Geophysicist, Chevron.

Konstantin Kremenetski Konstantin Kremenetski
Geography; Mathematics

B.S. Physical Geography, Moscow Lomonosov University, 1983 PhD Geomorphology and Paleogeography, Institute of Geography, USSR Academy of Sciences, 1987; Teaching experience in Earth Science, Environmental Science and Geography disciplines.

Linus Lau Linus Lau
Film Studies

Linus Lau is a veteran professor of film studies at several colleges including Long Beach City College, where he was the recipient of the 2012 Sterling Award for his contributions to the Department of Visual and Media Arts. After receiving an MFA in film production from USC's school of Cinema-Television, Linus' films played at over 25 film festivals internationally. He currently works as a composer for clients such as 20th Century Fox, Valve Entertainment, Columbia Pictures, and the Weinstein Company and he just published his first college textbook, “A Film Theorist's Companion,” with Cognella Academic Publishing.

Linus has in previous iterations of his life served as film festival judge, game conference panelist, and radio DJ. Prior to coming to his senses he was an executive assistant to several A-list film directors. He has sworn to secrecy.

Paul Laverack Paul Laverack
Film Studies

MFA in Screenwriting and MA in Mass Communication (Journalism), California State University, Northridge; BA in Theater, Elmira College. Paul has written and directed independent feature and short films, both narrative and documentary. He has also produced video content for the nonprofit Families In Schools foundation, traveled the nation as a stage performer, and taught students of all ages in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Paz Leon Paz Leon
Psychology

MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute. BFA in Film Studies and Modern Literature from Université Louis Loumiere, Lyon, France. She has directed several short films and music videos and is currently developing her first feature film.

Jesse Maimon Jesse Maimon
Film Studies

Jesse holds an MFA from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television Producing Program, and a BA in film studies (Intensive) from Yale University, where he wrote his senior thesis on Dziga Vertov. He has produced films under the guidance of Oscar-winner Bobby Moresco and Oscar-nominated actor/director James Franco. With more than two years of experience in feature development at 20th Century Fox, Jesse currently works as a content tagger for the Walt Disney Company.

Michael Matthys Michael Matthys
Public Speaking; Dramatic Literature

M.F.A. University of Minnesota; BA, Buffalo State College, teaches Dramatic Literature and Public Speaking. For NYFA he has also taught Voice, Movement, Dialects, Accent Reduction, Shakespeare, and History of Acting. As an actor, Michael has appeared at the Ahmanson Theatre, A Noise Within, Shakespeare LA and on many other stages. He also teaches physical acting at AADA and has served on the faculties of SDSU and Stella Adler Academy as well.

Kathleen McLaughlin Kathleen McLaughlin
History of Photo; Visual Aesthetics

Received her BS in Psychology (1990) and MFA in Photography (2001) from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She has received grants from Fulbright-Hayes (2015), United States Fulbright Senior Scholarship Program (2003), and the IREX (Individual Advanced Research Opportunities) Fellowship Program (2003). Kathleen’s images have recently been published in National Geographic Traveler Magazine (2015) and the Dutch FLOW Magazine (2015). Her work has been exhibited in numerous group and solo shows. She is an active member of the Society for Photographic Education.

Genia Michaela Genia Michaela
English; Public Speaking

Attended North Carolina School of the Arts, MIT and Yale, where she studied physics, opera, screenwriting and theatre, and played Division1 ice hockey. She is a SCUBA divemaster and has worked as a stunt freediver.

Kevin Y Njabo Kevin Y Njabo
Environmental Biology

PhD in Biology (Behavior, Ecology and Evolution), Boston University. Adjunct Assistant Professor at UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and Department of Environmental Health Sciences. Research interests in Ecology and Evolution of Tropical Diseases, Forest Conservation and Legislation.

Matteo Nurizzo Matteo Nurizzo
History of Design; Art History

Master of Science in Industrial Design and Fashion Management at the Politecnico di Milano ITALY. Designer of a baby Stroller for the company Brevi. Designer of the "Gundam" Lamp that covered various group exhibits of REUSE DESIGN in Europe Director and Editor of "Style In Frames". client: Comune di Milano, which the changes, in the city of Milan (Italy ), of fashion, culture, architecture and music,from 1920 till 2004. Accompanying the project itself isa 137 page book that tells a story of the city of Milan.

Founder of "King Milano" a Graphic-Video-Audio company (Not associated with anymore). Worked at Lillisimone as graphic and video artist. Clients: Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Tissot, Panerai, Opel. As freelance videographer and editor, clients: BM Factory, Banque PSA Finance, Castiglioni. Editor for various short indie films. Avid Certified Instructor.

Robert Pucci Robert Pucci
Academic Advisor; Film Studies

BA with honors in Economics, Gettysburg College; JD, Washington College of Law at American University; Licensed Attorney, NY and NJ; Writer “The Corruptor” New Line Cinema; Writer “The Spider & The Fly” Paramount Television, Writer of the fiction novel, “In Harlem’s Way.”

Peter Rainer Peter Rainer

M.A. from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts; undergraduate studies summa cum laude at Brandeis University, member: Phi Beta Kappa. Peter Rainer is the film critic for the Christian Science Monitor and can be heard regularly on NPR’s “Film Week” on kpcc-fm.

Peter was one of three finalists in 1998 for the Pultizer Prize in Criticism and is a three-time winner of the Arts and Entertainment Journalism Award for best online film critic. He has served as film critic for New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Herald Examiner, New Times Los Angeles and Los Angeles magazine. His writings have also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and GQ. Peter is president of the National Society of Film Critics and has appeared as a film commentator on CNN, ABC News World Tonight, Bloomberg Radio and Nightline.

He has lectured on film at colleges and film societies throughout the world and contributed to numerous books and journals. He is the author/editor of two books: “Love and Hisses” (1991) and “Rainer on Film: Thirty Years of Film Writing in a Turbulent Era” (2013), a career-spanning collection of his essays about which David Denby of The New Yorker wrote: “No one is better at establishing the intersection of politics and popular culture.” Peter has also written and co-produced two A&E Biographies, on Sidney Poitier and John Huston, and co-authored the film “Joyride" (1977). He has served on the main juries for the Venice and Montreal film festivals.

Yolanda Sanders Yolanda Sanders
Public Speaking

BA in Communications, Howard University; MFA in Acting, UCLA. Some of her work includes the national one-person show, “Faces of America,” Voice of America’s popular radio drama “Pay Day,” as well as other numerous radio dramas, documentaries, and PSA’s.

Matt Sarnoff Matt Sarnoff
Media Studies, Film Studies

Matt Sarnoff received his BFA from Cooper Union and his MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He started his career in Hollywood at ICM Partners and then became a founding partner at Scenario Literary Management. He has had projects in development at Warner Brothers and at Sony Pictures. He has worked professionally on all sides of film production, including writing, directing, acting, cinematography, production design and editing. In addition to his work as a filmmaker and teacher, Matt is an accomplished painter, whose work has exhibited in galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Stockholm, and Berlin.

Zoee Sciarrotta Zoee Sciarrotta
Visual Aesthetics

With a BFA in art and BA in psychology from the University of Iowa and a MFA in studio arts and MA in communication studies from California State University, Los Angeles, Zoee is a interdisciplinary-focused cultural studies scholar. Drawing from her work experience in fashion, photography, higher education, fine arts, and new media, her research is centered on understanding how we make meaning of our visual experiences in the world and how identities are formed in and through culture.

Jim Senti Jim Senti
Dramatic Lit; Comparative Literature

MFA , Harvard University and Moscow Art Theater. BA, Butler University; Studied with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Griffith University. Also teaches Performance in Communications at California State, Northridge. Founding company member of award winning Fugitive Kind Theatre Company in Los Angeles.

Shlomo Sher Shlomo Sher
Ethics; Critical Thinking

Shlomo Sher received his PhD in Philosophy with a focus on ethics from USC in 2009. He was a Research Associate at the USC Levan Institute of Humanities and Ethics (2009-2011) and has taught courses at USC, CSU Fullerton, CSU LA, Mt. St. Mary’s College, Beijing Normal University, and East China Normal University.

Fred Siegel Fred Siegel
Environmental Biology

Secondary Teaching Credential, Cal State University Long Beach; BA in Biology, UCLA; Post-graduate certification in science instruction by Cal Tech, Northern Arizona University, and Sea Education Association (SEA), Woods Hole, MA. Adjunct instructor at UCLA. Previous teaching assignments at Venice High School, Bell High School, and the American School of Barcelona.

Andrew Simpson Andrew Simpson
Public Speaking; Critical Thinking

Double B.A in Political Science with a focus in international security and in Drama with a focus in acting from Stanford University. He teaches Critical Thinking, Public Speaking , Art/Culture/Society, Writing, US and World History, and Mathematics. As an actor, he starred in the independent films Heathens and Thieves, Dark Mountain, and The Phoenix Project, and appeared with Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice.

Sage Howard Simpson Sage Howard Simpson
Public Speaking; Critical Thinking

BA, Lewis & Clark: MFA, UC Irvine. Founding member of acclaimed theatre company The Fugitive Kind. Specializes in Film Studies, Public Speaking, and English composition.

Maya Montañez Smukler Maya Montañez Smukler
Film Studies

Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies, UCLA. Lecturer at Otis College of Art and Design, the New School, and UCLA where she teaches film and television studies. Forthcoming book: Liberating Hollywood: Women Directors and the Feminist Reform of 1970s American Cinema (Rutgers).

Diana Stanich Diana Stanich
Environmental Biology

ABPhD, Capella University; MBA, University of La Verne; MA in Physical Education/Health, California State University, Long Beach; BS in Kinesiology, University of California, Los Angeles. Professor of Kinesiology/Dance, Santa Clarita Community College District.

Riley Steiner Riley Steiner
Shakespeare; Theatre History

MFA in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin College in Virginia; was classically trained at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and studied acting for many years with the legendary Uta Hagen at HB Studios in New York. Has taught at Mary Baldwin College, Stuart Hall College Prep. Her play, Tucumcari, premiered at the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Maureen Tabor Maureen Tabor
Psychology; Sociology

Maureen Tabor, PhD Yale University, started teaching at UC Berkeley and then turned to the stage where she acted, taught, and directed. Next was over a decade of work in major motion picture studios: Paramount and Warners. She then returned to academia in Southern California at California State University, Los Angeles, before joining NYFA in 2014.

Stephen Tapert Stephen Tapert
Film Studies

MA in humanities film studies (The University of Chicago); BA in education and French studies (The Evergreen State College). Stephen worked for eight years at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where, as a researcher, he provided foundational work for the Academy’s forthcoming film museum. He subsequently wrote a book on the women who won the Oscar for Best Actress and curated an accompanying exhibition at the Museo Nazionale del Cinema in Turin, Italy, and at the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin, Germany.

Julie Taiwo Oni Julie Taiwo Oni
Associate Chair; English and Literature

Julie holds a BA in creative writing from Pepperdine University and an MFA in dramatic writing from USC. She was a finalist in The Inkwell’s Inkubator Festival in Washington, DC for her play “Tether” (2009), which was later produced by Doorway Arts Ensemble in Maryland (2011). She was selected as one of four finalists to receive a workshop production for Son of Semele’s Company Creation Festival, once in 2014 for “Bunk,” and again in 2015 for “Denim.” She has participated in four seasons of L.A. Views Ten-Minute Play Festival with Company of Angels as a member of the Playwrights Group. Some other productions of her plays include: “Day’s Pay” with Moveable Piece for the Hollywood Fringe Festival, 2011; “nat&EM” for Company of Angels, 2013; “Ethiop-ica” for The Robey Theatre’s Paul Robeson Theatre Festival, 2014; and the upcoming “The Hotel Play” for the 25-year anniversary of Playwrights’ Arena, co-produced by Center Theatre Group (2017). Julie was a semifinalist for Center Theatre Group’s Sherwood Award 2016, and she is currently a member of The Robey’s History Detectives Workshop.

Chelsey Jordan Tolman Chelsey Jordan Tolman
Natural Sciences

Master of Science in environmental economics from Harvard University, and a Bachelor’s in economics from Clark University. Career includes research in bacteria transport in sandy substrate, environmental consulting, certificated public school science education, and 10 years as college adjunct faculty in environmental science, biology, earth science and physics.

Igor Torgeson Igor Torgeson
Mythology; Film Studies

M.F.A. Film, Boston University. B.A. Journalism, The George Washington University.

Igor works as a actor, producer and post-production specialist in Los Angeles. Over the past ten years, he has completed both long-form and short-form projects for a variety of clients, including Southern California Gas, McGraw-Hill, National Lampoon, and The Gameshow Network. Igor has taught at the UCLA Extension and NYFA, as well as having extensive experience teaching workshops at, ABC, NBC and CBS, as well as the 2012 DV Expo. Igor also teaches and performs improvisational comedy at theaters around the L.A. area with his troupe, The Captains of Industry.

Steve Weese Steve Weese
Mathematics; Coding

BS in Computer Science, George Mason University; MS in Computer Information Technology, Regis University. Instructor and computer contractor for Anthem College, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, ECPI College of Technology, and Stratford University.

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