The New York Film Academy hosted a unique and riveting Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Women’s Alumni (SWAN) event at its New York campus at Battery Park last week. The “Travel and Storytelling” event featured a panel of six SAIS Alumni.
“We are so thrilled and honored to collaborate with SAIS Women’s Alumni Network of Johns Hopkins University,” said NYFA’s Senior Executive Vice President, David Klein. “SWAN’s focus on international relations and humanitarian efforts across the globe so closely align with our mission.”
This panel was the first in a two-part series on a topic that is close to many SAISers — how travel has impacted careers — as well as the art of storytelling.
The featured panelists were:
- Jane Buchanan (’02), Associate Director, Europe & Central Asia Division, Children’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch
- Ajay Kaisth (’89, B’88), Principal at KAI Advisors LLC
- Daniela Kaisth (’89, B’88), Founder and President of Gratias Partners
- Rebecca Ruf (’06), Vice President of Programs at the Global Banking Alliance for Women
- Karen Seiger (’89), North America Editor-In-Chief, 111 Places That You Must Not Miss
- Amy Wolfcale (’90), Founder, Falcon + Wolf
“We have really fantastic relationship that we built with NYFA, and hope to continue to build in the future,” said SAIS alumna Sarah McGrath, who provided the opening remarks for the evening.
Cyndi Freeman, a two-time NY Fringe Festival award-winning solo performer and storyteller with 20 years of experience, was the facilitator for the evening. Freeman’s shows have been presented in Boston, Amsterdam, Ireland, The UK and NYC. Some other credits of hers include “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central, “Campus Comedy” on HBO, and “Compromising Situations” on Showtime.
“I’m in love with storytelling,” said Freeman. I believe it’s in how you choose to tell the story that shows who you are.”
Beginning with Karen Seiger, SAIS alumni panelists shared their stories about how the ability to travel — as well as their personal travel experiences — has had an effect on their professional decisions and career paths.
Attendees of NYFA students and SAIS alumni also had the opportunity to respond to the panelists’ short, exciting, effective stories, as well as share their own with the audience.