Tag: Alumni

Q&A with Outgoing Duke Arts Administrative Fellow Marika Niko

We recently spoke with Marika Niko, our outgoing Duke Arts Administrative Fellow for the 2023-24 academic year, who shared about their experience in the year-long role. Marika has been invaluable to the Duke Arts team and will be missed! If you’re interested in this opportunity, applications are now open for the 2024-25 Duke Arts Administrative Fellowship.

Alumni Spotlight, Academy Award Edition: Jing Niu (MFA | EDA ’14)

Niu is a film and music video director based in Los Angeles. Her work addresses motifs of freedom, mythology and the Asian diaspora in the United States. She worked as an assistant editor and post-production coordinator on A24’s Everything Everywhere All at Once. Duke Arts and Forever Duke recently caught up with Niu to learn about her work. Read our Q&A below!

Q&A with Laurel Toyofuku ‘14, Chelsea Factory, Head of Marketing and Community; Formerly Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

In this interview with the Duke Entertainment, Media & Arts Network (DEMAN), Laurel Toyofuku ‘14 shares how her undergraduate experiences — including a Duke in New York semester and an internship with Duke Performances — helped her navigate a career in the arts. “I loved having the opportunity to be immersed in all sides of presenting artistic experiences,” she says.

Q&A with Chelsea Grain ‘16, Content Strategy & Analysis Manager, Netflix

In this interview for the Duke Entertainment, Media, and Arts Network (DEMAN), Chelsea Grain ‘16 discusses how she leveraged Duke resources into her current position at Netflix. “Feed your passion—try classes that make you excited, get to know your professors, give yourself permission to fully commit to your interests while you're at Duke,” she shares.

StudioDuke 2021–22: In Their Own Words

This year’s StudioDuke students and mentors share favorite memories, valuable takeaways, and helpful advice from their experiences. StudioDuke is a program of Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship in collaboration with DEMAN and Duke Arts. This signature program provides students the opportunity to take their advanced, on-going creative projects to the next level.

Q&A with Grace Li ’17, Netflix-Optioned Author of Portrait of a Thief

Author and Stanford medical student Grace Li ’17 shares insights on her debut novel Portrait of a Thief, which is currently in development to become a Netflix series, as well as advice for students hoping to pursue a career in creative writing. “I think the most important condition to being a writer is being an active participant in the world,” Li says.

Q&A with Cory Rayborn ’98, Founder & Manager, Three Lobed Recordings

In this interview with the Duke Entertainment, Media & Arts Network (DEMAN), Cory Rayborn '98, corporate attorney by day and founder/manager of Three Lobed Recordings by night, shares how he balances his law career with his creative pursuits. “The label offers me an outlet that I simply cannot get out of my ‘day’ job,” he says.

Q&A with Charlie McSpadden ‘10, Vice President, Levantine Films

In this interview with the Duke Entertainment, Media & Arts Network (DEMAN), Charlie McSpadden ‘10 offers advice for students pursuing a career in the film industry. “Becoming a quick study, anticipating problems, and being reliable and communicative were crucial skills for the world of film production,” he shares.

Duke Alumni and Faculty Lead the Return of Live Theater

After nearly two years of virtual performances, live theater has made its long-awaited return to both Broadway and Duke’s campus. Samantha Streit ‘22, who was part of the cast of Duke Theater Studies’ Fall Mainstage Show Golem, interviews Duke alumni and faculty about their thoughts on producing theater during the pandemic and what the future holds for live performances.

Q&A with Tori Cohen ‘15, Designer, Shulman + Associates

In this interview with Duke Business Oriented Women, Tori Cohen '15 shares how her time at Duke and Teach For America helped guide her toward a career in design. “I reflected on these experiences and realized that I was the happiest when I was doing something visual and creative,” she shares.

Q&A with Drew Neisser ‘79, Founder, Renegade & CMO Huddles

In this interview for the Duke Entertainment, Media, and Arts Network (DEMAN), marketing guru Drew Neisser ‘79 shares his advice for students hoping to turn their creativity into a career. This Wednesday, Nov 3, join Neisser and Duke Marketing Club for an in-person conversation on navigating a career in marketing post-college.

Q&A with Maureen Farrell ‘01, Reporter, The New York Times

In this interview for the Duke Entertainment, Media, and Arts Network (DEMAN), Maureen Farrell ‘01 offers advice for students and alumni hoping to pursue a career in journalism after Duke. This Thursday, Oct 7 at 8pm, Farrell will be in conversation with her co-author Eliot Brown about their recently published book, “The Cult of We: WeWork, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion.”

Q&A with Peyton Dilweg ’18, Actress & Model

In this interview with the Duke Entertainment, Media & Arts Network (DEMAN), Peyton Dilweg ’18 shares how her undergraduate experiences helped her launch her acting and modeling careers. “My post-Duke takeaways entailed learning to take bold risks and going hard after something—even, and especially, at the risk of failure,” she says.

Q&A with Nathaniel Hill ‘12, Founder & President, Broadway Plus

In this interview for the Duke Entertainment, Media, and Arts Network (DEMAN), Nathaniel Hill ‘12 shares advice for students interested in the business of Broadway. This Thursday, September 23 at 8pm, Hill will virtually be in conversation with two alumni directors helping lead the return of Broadway: Charles Randolph-Wright ’78 and Danya Taymor ’10.

Q&A with Jon Steinlauf ‘79, Chief US Advertising Sales Officer, Discovery Inc.

In this interview for the Duke Entertainment, Media, and Arts Network (DEMAN), Jon Steinlauf ‘79 shares how his marketing classes at Duke gave way to his current position at Discovery Inc. “If you are lucky enough to find an industry you aspire to be in long term, try to find managers that will help you at good companies with products you believe in,” he says.

Q&A with Marina Poole ‘17, Video Editor, MasterClass

In this interview for the Duke Entertainment, Media, and Arts Network (DEMAN), Marina Poole ‘17, video editor at MasterClass, offers advice for students hoping to break into creative industries. “No matter how low on the ladder you are—and you will have to start there—bring your best attitude forth every day,” she shares.

Q&A with Tori Bilas ‘17, Account Manager, Jump Media

In this interview for the Duke Entertainment, Media, and Arts Network (DEMAN), Tori Bilas ‘17, account manager at Jump Media, discusses her experience navigating different career paths before landing a job she loves in equestrian sports and shares advice for current Duke students.

Q&A with Laura Kirby ‘11, Child Clinical Psychologist & Author

In this interview for the Duke Entertainment, Media, and Arts Network (DEMAN), Laura Kirby ‘11 discusses how she used her experience as a child clinical psychologist to write a children's book. “My goal is to combine my passion for child development with my love of writing in order to write enjoyable books for kids,” she shares.

Artists as Researchers: Dancing Through STEAM

Three Duke alumnae share how they split their time at Duke between rigorous science courses and a steadfast passion for dance. “When I got to college, it wasn’t really a question of whether or not I would continue to dance as I pursued a career in medicine,” Gabby Cooper '20 said. “It was how I could make both of them work.”

Q&A with Daisy Jing ‘10, Founder & CEO, Banish

In this interview, Daisy Jing ‘10, who founded and operates the skincare company Banish, shares how she forged her path in the beauty industry as an entrepreneur. “I think something a lot of Duke women struggle with is perfectionism,” Jing shares. “That was something I struggled with, and you have to learn how to be okay with not being perfect.”

Q&A with Angela Zhou ‘14, SAG-AFTRA Actor

Actor Angela Zhou ‘14, whose credits include “Promising Young Woman” and “Hell on Wheels,” offers advice for students looking to break into entertainment. On April 7, Zhou will join a panel of fellow Duke Asian American alumni working in Hollywood for a conversation about their career paths and experiences.

Q&A with Kelsey Wang, Senior Manager, Finance, Hello Sunshine

Kelsey Wang, senior manager of finance at Reese Witherspoon's media brand Hello Sunshine, shares Duke experiences that helped her break into the media and entertainment industries. On March 24, she will be in conversation with fellow Hello Sunshine employees about the company's role in creating diversity in media.

Q&A with Martavius Parrish ‘14, Teaching Artist, Lincoln Center

Martavius Parrish ‘14, a teaching artist at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, discusses his experience of switching from a medical track to a Theater Studies major while at Duke. "I wound up performing in Ragtime during the Trayvon Martin tragedy and it changed my life. Amazing mentors and academic advisors. . . helped me emotionally, academically, and logistically shift gears from pre-med."

Yng-Ru Chen ‘01 on Why She Opened Praise Shadows Art Gallery

Yng-Ru Chen ’01, owner of Praise Shadows Art Gallery in Boston, MA, is presenting an exclusive virtual preview of the new exhibition, “Memento Mori,” on March 11. Ahead of the event, Chen connected with her former professor, Gennifer Weisenfeld, to reflect on their initial meeting at Duke and Chen's journey into the art world.

At the Intersection of Art and Science

Clay Sanders, who received a PhD in civil engineering from Duke in 2020, currently has a painting depicting a dance rehearsal on display in the Rubenstein Arts Center. He shares how making art has helped his career as an engineer and provided him with an outlet during difficult times.

Blurring the Lines: Collective Resonance During COVID-19

Courtney Liu '13, MFA in Dance '21, shares "Blurring the Lines" created with undergraduate students in Intermediate Ballet. "Creative projects are still being made and it is more important than ever to share, engage with, and celebrate each other's work," shares Emma Geiger, MFA EDA '22, who collaborated on filming and editing.

Q&A with Lisa Borders ‘79, CEO of LMB Group, LLC

Lisa Borders '79, CEO of LMB Group, LLC, Former President/CEO of Time's Up, and Former President of the WNBA, discusses her experience working as a senior executive and elected official as well as strategies she used at the forefront of organizations in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Q&A with Cassie Calvert (Baltimore Ravens)

In this interview with Cassie Calvert (Trinity ’16), we learn how this former undergraduate followed her passion as a feature reporter for Duke Athletics to score a role as a Social Media Coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens.

Q&A with Deborah Grausman (Actor/Singer)

In this interview with Deborah Grausman (Trinity ’02), we learn how this former undergraduate has navigated her passion to perform and sing through opportunities such as doing voice-overs for Sesame Street, performing in productions of Fiddler on the Roof, The Secret Garden and Peter Pan, and more!

Q&A with Ashley Alman (Netflix)

In this interview with Ashley Alman (Trinity ’13), we learn how this former undergraduate navigated experiences from INDY Week to the Huffington Post to her current gig as Creative Marketing Manager at Netflix all while following her passion of utilizing media to share stories to the masses.

DEMAN 101: Tips & Tricks for DEMAN Weekend and Beyond

Connecting with new people can seem tough—but it doesnʼt have to be! With the tips below from DEMAN 2019 panelist Angela Silak ’09 of Hollywood Resumes, you can make your experiences before, during, and after DEMAN Weekend (Nov. 1–2, 2019) fun, meaningful, and productive.

Q&A with Dana Berger

"As an actor, a common feeling to have is that there is no "road map" or direct path to achieving your goals...I've learned is to say YES as much as possible." Read more from this interview with actress Dana Berger.

Q & A with Jacob Tobia (T ’14)

Jacob Tobia (T '14) is a writer, producer, and author of the forthcoming memoir, Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story. Read their interview with DukeJournos, the Duke alumni journalist network.

Duke’s Creative Lab for Arts Entrepeneurship

Having a strong mentor is a key part of personal and professional development—no matter your field. StudioDuke forges mentorships through one-on-one connections with professionals who have attained distinction in their creative fields.