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Communication students meet with alumni in Los Angeles

Seventeen Lawrence Herbert School of Communication students are spending 10 days traveling around Los Angeles, where they are meeting with Hofstra alumni and other industry leaders in fields such as television, film, radio, publicity, and arts and entertainment journalism.

The fourth annual “Hofstra in LA” program is connecting students with internship and career opportunities in the heart of the West Coast’s entertainment industry during a series of exclusive meetings and events from January 3-13, 2018.

More than a dozen meetings were scheduled with industry executives including alumni Bryan Diperstein (agent at ICM), Tara Sattler (associate at Weintraub/Tobin), Gary Janetti writer and producer), Cameron Kadison, (partner at Mortar Media), Jill Gershman (SVP Marking Creative, ABC Entertainment), Jo Sharon (EVP of Development at Magical Elves), Mark Bracco (EVP Programming and Development, Dick Clark Productions), Adam Bialow (Consultant, Business Affairs & Theatrical Stage Productions), and Jay Sebastian (SVP of series at Warner Bros. Animation), as well as Lauren McCollester (SVP business affairs at NBCUniversal), Liz Patrick (director of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”), Liz Laud (affiliate sales and marketing specialist), and Zach Sang (executive producer and host of the nationally syndicated radio show “Zach Sang and the Gang”).

“Hofstra in LA has been an enlightening experience over the past week, opening mine and my fellow students’ eyes to all the different jobs the entertainment industry has to offer. Hofstra alumni are always eager to help students further their careers, and I’m thankful I was here in Los Angeles to learn from them and experience the West Coast,” said Tara Conklin, a senior public relations major and program participant.

A highlight of the trip was a reception at the Directors Guild of America Theater Complex on Thursday, Jan. 11, which was open to Hofstra alumni of all majors. Approximately 60 people including alumni, current students, faculty, administrators, accepted students and their parents, attend the event, which was co-sponsored by Hofstra’s Office of Admission and Office of Development and Alumni Affairs.

Students also attended a panel discussion with a dozen recent Hofstra graduates who spoke about their experiences moving to L.A. They had the opportunity to break off into smaller groups to visit on their own with alumni working in casting, artist management, news production, public relations, development, event planning, and operations. They also took tours of Warner Brothers Studios, Deutsch, and PMK+BNC.

The 17 participating students, all juniors or seniors, were selected from a competitive pool of about 40 applicants on the basis of good academic standing, faculty references, and an application.

They are:

  • Zachary Alexander ’18, Video/Television
  • Felicia Banda ’19, Dual Major: Journalism & Film Studies & Production
  • Alison Bonaviso ’18, Video/TV and Business
  • Ellen Boyle ’19, Video/TV and Business
  • Daphne Christidis ’18, Public Relations
  • Tara Conklin ’18, Public Relations
  • Kylah Cooke ’19, Video/Television and Film
  • Libby Creek ’18, Video/Television
  • Chelsea Cueto ’18, Public Relations
  • Johanna Fogle’19, Video/Television and Film
  • Jillian Laganelli ’18, Video/Television and Film
  • Brittany Liscoe ’18, Mass Media Studies
  • Haley Moffatt ’18, Public Relations
  • Payton Muse ’18, Journalism
  • Maria Santana ’18, Video/Television
  • Abigail Sullivan ’18, Video/Television
  • Danielle Tana ’19, Public Relations

The students are accompanied by Herbert School Associate Dean Adria Marlowe, Associate Professor of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations Jeffrey Morosoff, Associate Professor Emeritus of Radio, Television, and Film Peter Gershon, and Assistant Dean Michele Roberts.

The cost of the program is offset by support from the Herbert School Dean’s Council, Hofstra alumni, and other donors to the Herbert School Student Experience Fund. A limited number of full sponsorships were also provided by Hofstra alumni to ensure that deserving students can participate in the program regardless of financial resources.

“Hofstra in LA” expands upon the many opportunities Hofstra students already have to engage with alumni and industry leaders on campus and in New York City, and allows students to make valuable connections and gain insights that can help them succeed in a very competitive market.

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