Alumni Spotlight

Many of our students have gone on to careers in the film and television industry; others are pursuing academic careers teaching film. This page is a work in progress, so if you are a Film Studies alum and we've lost track of you, please drop the Film Studies Coordinator an email about what you're doing.

Taylor Adams graduated in May 2009 and is currently a Raleigh based award-winning writer and producer specializing in program development. He has produced local and regional television programs, had short films screened and won at several film festivals, and is now working on a variety of television and film sets as well as producing and editing web-content for Scrapt Productions. Scrapt Productions is an online channel dedicated to non-fiction, info-tainment coverage of stories and subjects not exposed to mainstream media. You can check out those programs here

Tyler Borden is a 2011 Film Studies graduate. After working as a PA and travel department manager for the Showtime series Homeland, Tyler joined the International Cinematographer guild in 2014 and worked on the Kate Beckinsale film The Disappointments Room, and the Cinemax series Outcast. Tyler directed a short film, Murder Millin 2014, and is currently working as a camera technician for Arri Inc. in Charlotte NC.

Jason Buel
 is an Assistant Professor of Communication at North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount, NC. His research focuses on the intersections between technology, politics, and documentary media. Jason completed his MA in English (Film Studies) in 2012. In 2017, he earned his PhD in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media at NC State. His dissertation is titled “Whose Screens? Our Screens! Digital Documentary and Social Activism.” His article, "Assembling the Living Archive: A Media-Archaeological Excavation of Occupy Wall Street" will appear in Public Culture 30.2.

Robert Burleson graduated in the spring of ‘05 and started out as a Camera Operator at WRAL-TV in Raleigh before moving to Master Control Operator in ‘06 and then to a Morning Newscast Director in ‘07. After 5 years directing the morning and noon show for WRAL he decided to try something new. In ‘12 he moved to Denver, Colorado to take on the Lead Morning Director for KCNC-TV. There he learned how to direct using automation which after two years led him to the position of Lead Director for the new CBS Network venture of CBSN, CBS's version of a 24 hour cable network. He enjoys living in New York City but knows he will probably end up back in North Carolina some day.

Meredith Caccamo graduated from NCSU with a BA in Film Studies in ‘10, and then completed her MFA in film editing at Chapman University in ‘13. Meredith is currently working as an editor at Industry Creative, a trailer house in Los Angeles, and in the past year she has worked on several campaigns including 13thGhost in the Shell, Transformers: The Last Knight, and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.

Aaron Cook is a filmmaker currently based in Los Angeles. He received his BA in Film Studies from NCSU in 2014. Since moving to California, he has assisted on projects for Spotify, BTW Productions, and served as an AmeriCorps teaching artist, providing filmmaking instruction to youth in the greater Los Angeles area. He is completing an M.F.A. in Film Directing at the California Institute of the Arts where he has taught a course exploring queer subtexts within American horror cinema. He is currently in production on his graduate thesis film, Hoosier which provides an intimate glimpse into queer life in America's heartland. You can find more information about the film here:

Jason Curtis
graduated with a film studies B.A. in 2007. He works as a Freelance Executive Producer based in New York City. He has recently worked on digital, design, event, and video projects for INFINITI, Apple, and PUMA. Prior to going freelance, he held production roles at a range of agencies and studios including JWT, Psyop, Stinkdigital, and Droga5. His portfolio can be seen at his website:

Darius Dawson
 graduated with a Film Studies BA in 2012, and later received his MFA in cinematography at NYU. Eventually Darius began full-time DP work at an advertising company in Pennsylvania, working with clients such as Hershey, New Holland, and Geisinger Medical. One of Darius’ commercials aired locally during the Super Bowl, and he also won two Telly awards for branding content cinematography while there for Armstrong Flooring. Recently, Darius left that company and moved to LA where he is now earning an MFA in Directing from AFI. 

John DeMarsico
 graduated with a Film Studies BA in 2009, and moved to New York to work as a Production Assistant for the TV network SportsNet New York. John learned how to direct baseball under the tutelage of the late broadcast hall-of-famer and 42-time Emmy winner, Bill Webb, and is currently the Senior Associate Director and Contributing Director of SNY's TV coverage of New York Mets Baseball. John has been nominated for multiple regional Emmy awards in New York for his coverage of the team. John travels the country with the Mets from March-October and broadcasts a 162-game schedule, and during the baseball offseason, he is the Lead Director of SNY's TV coverage of the 11-time National Champion UConn Huskies Women's Basketball team.

Zach Finch
(M.A. 2010) earned his Ph.D in English-Media, Cinema and Digital Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2017 where he is now an Associate Lecturer and Academic Advisor for the Film Studies program. He is the co-editor of Directory of World Cinema: Scotland (Intellect, 2015) with Dr. Bob Nowlan.

Kevin M. Flanagan (M.A. 2009) received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015 and is currently Term Assistant Professor of English at George Mason University. In June 2016, he was a Guest Curator at the British Film Institute, where he co-curated the "Architecture on TV" season. Flanagan is editor of Ken Russell: Re-viewing England’s Last Mannerist (2009, Scarecrow Press). His book, War Representation in British Cinema and Television: From Suez to Thatcher, and Beyond, is under contract with Palgrave (part of the “Britain and the World”series).

Nathan Gelgud
graduated with a BA in Film Studies in 2000 and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He is an illustrator and cartoonist, doing work for Penguin Random House, Film Society of Lincoln Center, ESPN, New York Review of Books Classics, and the Paris Review. He recently made movie posters for Kino Lorber and the Metrograph theater. He also makes movie director tote bags that are available at theaters and stores around the country and at the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris. Gelgud's first graphic novel, A House in the Jungle, will be released by Koyama Press in the fall of 2018.

Morrow Gordon After interning for Skip Elsheimer at the "A/V Geeks" educational film archive during his senior year at NCSU and graduating with a Film Studies degree in 2009, Morrow moved to New York City where he continued his passion for film. He and his wife are currently living in North Carolina where they are benefactors and supervisors of the successful Statesville “Full Bloom Film Festival.”

Robert Greene (B.A. 2000) is a filmmaker and writer. Bisbee ‘17, his latest documentary, premiered at Sundance Film Festival, where it was regarded as one of the best of the fest. His previous film,
Kate Plays Christine (2016), won multiple awards, including a Jury Award for Writing at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. His previous critically acclaimed documentaries include Fake It So Real (2011) and the Gotham Awards-nominated Kati With An I (2010) and Actress (2014). Robert has also worked as a writer and a post-production supervisor. Currently, Robert is the Filmmaker-in-Chief at the Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the University of Missouri.

David Hambridge
is an award-winning documentary and commercial filmmaker who graduated with a degree in Film Studies in 2009. Based in downtown Raleigh (, he has recently directed a documentary feature called, Kifaru (, a film about the last male northern white rhino in the world and the Kenyan rhino caretakers that protect him 24 hours a day. His work has been featured on a variety of TV and web distribution platforms, and his work with grassroots non-profits has taken him across the world. David’s close relationship with NCSU has led to multiple projects within the university, one being an educational documentary called My Masculinity Helps (co-produced with NCSU’s Dr. Marc Grimmett) a story about the role of men in sexual violence prevention. This documentary has been screened at universities, festivals, conferences, and in communities all across the US as a tool to educate and inspire. His work has been recognized by a nomination for “an outstanding feature story in a newsmagazine” in the 39th annual news&documentary Emmy Awards. David’s latest film, Kifaru won both the grand jury and audience documentary awards at 2019 Slamdance Film Festival.

Dante Harper is a filmmaker living in Los Angeles. Dante directed and shot The Delicate Art of the Rifle (1996) at NCSU. After earning his M.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts at UC San Diego in 2005, Dante was invited to the prestigious Sundance Institute to work on Dreamland, his screenplay on the life of Timothy McVeigh. His spec script for what eventually became the Tom Cruise hit Edge of Tomorrow was on the 2010 Black List of screenplays likely to never be produced. As of 2016 he is noted as working on the screenplay for Venom, a Marvel/Sony movie based on the popular comic book character.

Kerrie Hayes graduated in 2010 with a degree in film studies. She has worked as a Member Service Specialist at the American Institute of CPA's, and continues to work on independent film projects. Kerrie is currently the marketing coordinator at Galloway Ridge, putting some of her degree to use by editing videos for their website and social media.

Colby Hoke
received his BA in Film Studies in 2007 and worked as an assistant editor for Trailblazer Studios. While at Trailblazer, he dubbed for television, organized company archives, and helped edit specials for the Discovery Channel as well as commercials for Travelocity, BB&T, and Audi. Post-graduation, he landed a job at Red Hat and has been there since, making videos for the Brand Communications and Employment Branding teams. In 2014, Colby moved to the Marketing Content team and is a writer and editor, focusing on

Neal Hutcheson is an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker whose films have appeared on PBS and The Documentary Channel. In 2005, Neal was a recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, and three of his films were honored in a special showing in Berlin, Germany in 2006.  He received the Bill Arnold North Carolina Film Award from the Carolina Film and Video Festival in 2008 for The Outlaw Lewis Redmond, and an Emmy in 2009 for The Last One. In 2013, he received a Midsouth Emmy nomination for Coresounders, and in 2015 he and Danica Cullinan received a Midsouth Emmys for First Language.

Tim Kiernan won the John Hope Franklin Fellowship awarded by Full Frame. He started the video department at Capstrat and then the video department of Red Hat. He created his own production company in ‘09 called 521STUDIES. They coordinate with global brands like Citrix, Red Hat, and Lenovo, and small non-profits like the Jaime Kirk Hahn Foundation.

Wes Latta is an editor, cinematographer, and composer. Based in New York, he has worked as Assistant Editor at Ogilvy & Mather. Currently Wes is working as a freelance editor.

Cory Livengood graduated with a double major in Film Studies and Communications in 2006. He was a Motion Graphics Designer/Video Editor at Centerline Digital until 2015 when he and Mack Garrison, another NCSU alum, founded Dash Studio, located in Raleigh, and have produced content for companies such as IBM, Lowes, and Red Hat.

Nancy McVittie received her M.A. in English with a concentration in Film Studies from NCSU in 2008. In 2013, she received her PhD in Screen Arts and Cultures from the University of Michigan. She is currently a faculty member in the department of Communication, Media & Theatre at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, and has been a consultant in the student writing center program for the City Colleges of Chicago since 2013. In September 2016, her first book “Fade to Gray: Aging in American Cinema” (co-authored with Timothy Shary) was released by University of Texas Press.

Russell Mick graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing and also a minor in film in 2000. His minor in film ignited his passion for cinematography and motion pictures, which led him to getting his A.S. in Film/Video from Full Sail. He started Running Man Pictures in 2014 when he decided to start building his own brand. The company is based in Tallahassee, FL, but travels all over the south, and most recently have produced works for ESPN and HGTV.

Kieran Moreira is 2011 Film Studies BA graduate. In 2012, his debut short film, The Weaver, which he directed and edited, screened at the prestigious Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, NC and won “Best Editing” at the Carrboro Film Festival 2012. Kieran’s most recent film, Harbinger (2014), became a passion project during his time at local Raleigh production studio, Drawbridge Media. Spanning roughly twenty days of production, the film shot in over 17 unique locations across the state of North Carolina. It won “Best Narrative Short ­Drama” at the 2015 Longleaf Film Festival and the “Excellence in Filmmaking” award at the 2014 Carrboro Film Festival. Kieran has worked in the industry for over five years within the corporate, commercial, and ad agency spaces. His assistant editing credits include programming on TLC and UP networks.

Kali Navé graduated with a double major in film studies and mediated communication in 2006. She has worked in print, mobile, online, and audio advertising since graduation. She currently lives in Boston and is the Manager of Advertising Operations at PRX for all PRX/Radiotopia podcasts. She records voice-overs, creates short stories and films, and sings in a band called Rocking Horse Rodeo during her free time.

Charlotte Neufeld graduated from NCSU with a BA in Film Studies in 2014 and has worked in different capacities, primarily in Production and Set Design worlds, on film and television projects around the country. She is currently based in Los Angeles.

Nicole Opyr graduated with a Film Studies degree in 2005. She is an editor, and has worked on various web series, including Pretty: The Series; the Havana Film Festival award winning documentary The Man of Two Havanas; and the Discovery Channel series Surviving Alaska. She is currently a promo and marketing editor for Fox Broadcast TV in Los Angeles.

David Orr (
B.A. 2010) is currently a coordinating producer at Figure 8 Films in Carrboro, NC where he works on the UPtv series Bringing Up Bates and Sister Wives (TLC). Since graduating from NC State with a B.A. in film studies, David has worked in various production roles on commercials, still photo shoots, and television series, which include Salvage Dawgs (DIY Network), Lizard Lick Towing (truTV), Los Jets (NuvoTV), and Southern Uncovered with the Lee Brothers (Ovation).

Josh Peery 
graduated from NCSU in 2009 with both a BA and MA in English & Film. While working on his graduate work Josh was hired by Icarus Studios, a Cary, NC video game company as a writer and designer. Josh has worked in the video game industry for several firms since ‘07 and has launched AAA and indie video game titles. Along the way Josh has had journal articles published and he wrote a chapter in the textbook PLAY/WRITE on video game writing. Josh currently works for East Carolina University designing Serious Games for health sciences education.

Shayne Pepper completed his doctoral work in the CRDM program at NC State in 2011. He is currently a faculty member in the Department of Communication, Media, and Theatre at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago where he teaches courses in film and media studies. His research agenda is at the intersection of popular media, political activism and public service. His work on HBO’s HIV/AIDS programming has appeared in academic journals and edited book collections.

Rob Phillips graduated from NCSU in 2008 with an MA in English and Film. While at NCSU, he attended Full Frame and Telluride Film Festivals as a fellow. In 2013 he began work on a feature-length documentary with Jay Korreck and At Large Productions, a Raleigh-based media company, after the filmmakers met while working together as high school teachers in Raleigh. Their award-winning documentary, Teacher of the Year: A Documentary Based on a True Story, has screened in film festivals across the country since the March 2017 premiere. Rob’s work as a filmmaker and educator has been written or talked about in The Atlantic MonthlyHuffington PostPolitico, and WUNC’s The State of Things. His writing about film has appeared in Senses of Cinema, EdNC, and in the edited collection of essays, Screen Lessons: What I Have Learned From Teachers on Television and in the Movies.

Lauren Pilcher is a PhD candidate in Film and Media Studies at the University of Florida. Their research focuses on non-theatrical and useful cinemas; visual representations of race, gender, and sexuality; and 20th century American media and culture, particularly in the US South. They are currently writing their dissertation which examines representations of the American South in films produced by institutions, organizations, and businesses for instructional and promotional purposes during the post-World War II period.

Tori Pratt graduated with a double major in Film Studies and Media Communication in 2010. She is currently working as the Lead Senior Digital Strategist at Atlantic BT, a technology consultancy in Raleigh, NC.

Meghan Balfrey Rushing graduated with BAs in Communication and Film Studies in 2008. Currently, she is the Public Relations Specialist for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Duke University in Durham, NC. She is also a freelance photographer, graphic designer, and brand strategist.

Patrick Shanahan graduated in 2010 with a film studies degree, and formed a production company in Raleigh, Minds of the Independent Screen, whose mission is to use film stock rather than digital formats. Patrick produced, wrote, directed, and edited a feature-length film, The Carolinian, and a short film, Soleil, both on super 16mm using Arriflex film cameras. Most recently, Patrick has finished a feature film titled Crash Blossom, which will be released in 2018.

Brian Santana (M.A. 2005) graduated from The George Washington University in 2012 with a PhD in American Studies. He then taught in the Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University from 2012-2015. He is now currently a faculty member in the Department of English and Modern Languages at Shepherd University. He has published on a diverse range of subjects, from 19th century American culture and literature, to contemporary film history, and American visual culture.

Dylan Ward is a writer and storyteller. His work includes short stories, screenplays, essays, and reviews. He resides in North Carolina with his family and is at work on his first novel.