Julia Brown was born and raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. She grew up loving the outdoors and playing numerous sports. She is thankful for her athletic career and all it has taught her. In high school, at Bishop McGuinness, her basketball team won the state championship all four years, so she understands the rewards of hard work and being a part of a great team. She went on to play four more years of basketball at Western Carolina University where she changed her major three times and finally found her love for public relations. Julia graduated from Western Carolina in spring 2018 with a major in Communication, a focus in Public Relations, and a minor in Business Administration. She is passionate about public relations and hopes to make an impact on the world through the field. Julia’s time as a student athlete taught her a lot about leadership and she is excited to earn her M.A. in Interactive Media, providing her with the skills to be a leader in the public relations field.
Shay Carlson graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Broadcast and Digital Media, and a minor in Marketing. Shay’s diverse interests have led her to pursue careers as an equestrian, musician and photographer before finding the communications field to be the perfect blend of innovation, design and technology. During undergraduate internships in print media, marketing and nonprofit communications, Shay had the chance to experience a wide variety of communication outlets and capitalize on her strengths. During her senior year, Shay used her knowledge of multimedia production to design the media for the stage production “John Lennon, The Mobster, and the Lawyer,” most recently picked up by The Peace Center in 2018. During her undergraduate studies, she cultivated a passion for sustainability and environmental awareness, and continues to find educational methods for communicating the impact of sustainable living. Her interests in multicultural experience and nonprofit organizations have motivated her to learn as much as possible through hands-on experience as a global communications intern over the summer, contributing to her future dream to work internationally to promote multicultural understanding. Through the iMedia program, Shay hopes to expand her knowledge in UX/UI design so that she can be fully equipped to help organizations stay both digitally and environmentally sustainable.
Born and raised in Durham, North Carolina, Drew Daffron graduated from Elon University in spring 2018 with a B.S. in Sport Management along with minors in Communications and Spanish. During his time as an undergraduate, Drew worked at Duke University in its Athletic Facilities, Game Operations and Championships department. Drew hopes that the iMedia program will give him the opportunity to better develop his multimedia skills and help him determine which track he wants to pursue professionally.
A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Alessandra Ferguson graduated from North Carolina Central University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications, specializing in Broadcast Media. During her undergraduate studies, she interned for WNCU JAZZ 90.3 radio and worked as a personal photographer for the underground radio station on campus. Following graduation, she continued as a freelance photographer and videographer making her clients’ visions reality. Alessandra's hope is to hone her skills and become a world-class television producer.
Joshua Gay was born and raised in Greenville, North Carolina. He studied English at North Carolina Central University in Durham. As an iMedia student, he plans to further develop his skills in videography and photography. As a creator, he aspires to spread love around the world and tell compelling stories about humanity. He lives by the phrase, “I can and I will.”
Originally from South Florida, John Gorman has lived in North Carolina since 2012. He started his collegiate career in the transfer program at Alamance Community College, then transitioned to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he majored in Media Studies. He lives in Carrboro with his girlfriend and two cats, and he’s also a server at a local restaurant on the weekends. John is a huge fan of collecting bad movies on VHS tape, and he loves to play Dungeons and Dragons with his friends.
A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Ellington Hayes graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in 2017 with a B.S. in Graphic Design Technology. While he was an undergraduate student, Ellington was involved in several on-campus activities and served as a graphic and social media designer for the university’s intramural sports program. Through the iMedia program, Ellington plans to sharpen his technical skills and be an ambassador for people of color in the media industry.
Zach Henkels was born in Russia and adopted when he was seven months old. He initially settled in Strongsville, Ohio, then moved to Chapel Hill for a year, before relocating to Charlotte. He’s had a passion for singing his entire life as well as a love for video games. He graduated from the University of Mount Union with a bachelor’s degree in Interactive Media with a double minor in Web Design and Computer and Network Security. As an undergraduate, Zach was a brother of Phi Kappa Tau, Epsilon chapter, as well as a member of the Concert Choir. Through the iMedia program, he wants to develop video games and expand his knowledge of the industry.
Originally from Bronx, New York, Devon James moved to Fayetteville at the age of 16. In 2018, he graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with a dual degree B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Graphic Communication Systems. As an undergraduate, he worked with the student newspaper as well as the yearbook where he found a passion for journalism, advertising and branding. He looks forward to challenging himself in new areas, such as website design, during his time in the Interactive Media program. In his free time, Devon enjoys activities such as rock climbing, playing video games, and archery.
Claudia Jensen was born and raised in Bronxville, New York. In 2016, she graduated from Trinity College with a B.S. in Psychology. During her undergraduate career, she was a student athlete on the Trinity College women’s rowing team. Following graduation, she began a full-time position at NeuroCog Trials in its technology department as a validation specialist. It is there that she discovered her passion for digital media. She is excited to be a part of the iMedia program and further expand her knowledge in the digital realm.
Katie Jostes graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2016 with a B.F.A in Digital Art and a minor in Computer Science. As an undergraduate, Katie’s focus was in interactive art, and she also learned 3-D modeling, animation, photo manipulation and digital painting. She was a member of the Honors Learning Community and served as an officer in Bowling Green’s Computer Art Club and president of the Game and Anime Music Ensemble (GAME). In her spare time, she enjoys playing video games, couponing, baking and finding new ways to channel her creative energy. As an Interactive Media student, Katie looks forward to gaining the skills that will allow her to combine her technical and creative abilities to excel as a user experience designer.
Sneha Kulkarni was born in India and raised in North Carolina. Throughout high school, she gravitated toward visual arts classes and knew that she always wanted to work in a creative field. She graduated from North Carolina State University in 2015 with a B.S. in Business Administration and concentrations in Information Technology and Marketing. Immediately after, she was hired as a systems analyst at Fidelity Investments, where she spent two-plus years working with business clients, developers and quality analysts to create and enhance applications within the 401K platform. It was there that she discovered her interest in UI/UX design. Sneha has a passion for the arts and her hobbies include photography, painting, singing and videography. She is excited to hone her skills through the M.A. in Interactive Media program and looks forward to enhancing her knowledge in concepts of UI/UX, graphic design and marketing.
Cassidy Kutzer, a Burlington native, attended Elon University for her undergraduate studies, earning a bachelor's degree in English in just three years. When she isn't writing, she trades her pens for pets, spending her weekends working at a local exotic animal store. The majority of Cassidy's free time is filled within the pages of a book or behind a gaming controller. She hopes that the Interactive Media program will help her achieve her goal of finding a writing career within the gaming industry.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Geremy Mack attended North Carolina A&T State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Graphic Communication Systems. Geremy spent his time as an undergraduate developing skills ranging from graphic design and photography to game and web design. With a master’s degree in Interactive Media, he plans to further enhance his skills and eventually teach at his alma mater.
A native of Wilmington, North Carolina, Tyrin McMillan graduated from North Carolina A&T State University, earning his bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in Mass Media Production. During his time at North Carolina A&T, he interned at multiple radio stations and emceed numerous events. Tyrin is excited to see what Elon's iMedia program has in store for him, and he plans on becoming a triple threat working in the music, film and fashion industries.
Emily Morin hails from Essex, Vermont. She graduated from Elon University in December 2017 with a B.A. in Communication Design and a minor in Digital Art. Throughout her undergraduate career, she held multiple graphic design internships with Trone Brand Energy, Elon’s Office of Sustainability, and Randolph Electric Membership Corporation. After graduation, she began working full time as a graphic designer for the Nature’s Emporium and Natural Dog stores in North Carolina and Virginia. She left that position in June to spend the summer prior to iMedia working as a camp counselor with the Haw River Canoe and Kayak Co. In her free time she enjoys the outdoors with her dogs, Bailey and Peanut. Through the program, she hopes to build on her undergraduate education and gain some of the more advanced skills required to pursue a career in UX/UI design.
Sophie Natan is a culture and travel enthusiast who graduated from Elon University in 2017 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. As an undergraduate, she was immersed in various sustainability initiatives: the Eco-Reps peer education, design research at Loy Farm, community gardening efforts in Elon, Burlington and beyond, and an ethno-botanical research trip to Western Samoa. Sophie served for two years on the executive board of Spectrum, Elon’s LGBTQIA+ student organization, and was invested in other diversity inclusion and intersectionality movements around campus. Professionally, she has followed her passion for supporting local food systems in both commercial and nonprofit endeavors. Sophie is excited to gain the digital media skills and insights she needs to share stories that educate and inspire social change.
Jessica Parker is a proud Navy brat who now calls North Carolina home. She graduated from Catawba College with a degree in History and a minor in Education. During her time at Catawba, she interned at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, working in research and marketing. After graduation, she started teaching various social studies classes in Wake County Public Schools. After teaching for three years, she recognized the growing need for interactive technology in the classroom and beyond to help her succeed in her passion of helping others understand the global world. Jessica is excited to gain new knowledge and experiences at Elon University.
Brittany Pearson graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in December 2016 with a B.A. in Graphic Communication Systems. As an undergraduate, she worked as a student assistant in the technology department. She is excited to learn new skills in graphic and web design.
An Akron, Ohio, native, Contia’ Prince graduated from Elon University with a B.A. in Cinema and Television Arts and a minor in Italian Studies. As an undergraduate, she completed an internship with All Pro Media, conducted an independent study on Italian culture, and founded Cufflink Magazine, an online lifestyle publication. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys reading, writing and watching reruns of her favorite shows. Through the iMedia program, Contia' intends to master coding and post-production software. Upon graduation, she will pursue employment, international filmmaking and a doctoral degree in film sociology – in that order. Her ultimate goal is to become a producer and development executive for Walt Disney Studios and/or Disney Channel. Afterward, she intends to establish her own multimedia production company with subsidiaries in virtually every area of entertainment. Contia' looks forward to learning from her peers and surmounting every challenge the program has to offer.
Fannique Robinson graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in May 2018 with a B.S. in Graphic Communication Systems. As an undergraduate, Fannique held leadership positions in Tau Sigma National Honor Society, Golden Key International Honor Society, and Young Technology Professionals. Additionally, she worked as a freelance designer, creating logos, flyers and promotional cards for local eateries and accessory businesses in the Greensboro area. She is thrilled to participate in Elon’s iMedia program, where she will learn new skills and build on the ones that she already possesses.
A native of Houston, Cuquis Robledo graduated from Duke University in 2017 with B.A in Psychology. During her time in Durham, she was president of the Duke Disability Alliance, a student-run organization that promotes awareness and advocacy for disability issues on campus, and was involved in two main-stage theater productions as well as some off-campus productions. Cuquis also worked for a disability nonprofit called Disability Rights Washington (DRW), assisting with its Rooted in Rights Project in Seattle between 2015 and 2018. At DRW, she wrote blogs about disability issues and oversaw disability advocacy videos, including one that campaigned for more accessible curb cuts in the city called #CrappyCurb. She also serves as the public relations director of Little People of America (LPA). Through the iMedia program, she plans to develop her skills in video production, animation and graphic design.
She would love to work at places such as Shutterfly or Disney, or start her own production company, producing creative and accessible content. In her spare time, Cuquis loves Latin dancing, acting and visual arts, and gardening.
Aaron Scott was born in Durham and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He received a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Communication Systems from North Carolina A&T State University. During his time at A&T, Aaron was a member of the Honors Program and the A&T chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. He later joined Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. His future plans include landing a job in the media industry and using his skills to give back to his community, while possibly earning a doctorate degree.
Donita Sharkey was born and raised in Memphis, before calling Maine home for three years. She is a 2018 graduate of Elon University, earning a bachelor’s degree in Cinema and Television Arts. As an undergraduate, Donita traveled to Ghana, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand to explore cultures and cuisines while maintaining a healthy academic course load. A proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., she is also passionate about capturing the essence of human nature through film. As an Interactive Media student, she hopes to enhance and develop a broader spectrum of skills, ultimately propelling her into the world of cinema and beyond.
Juliana Walker, a native of Spruce Pine, a small western North Carolina town, graduated from Elon University in May 2018 with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in International Studies. During her time at Elon, Juliana was involved with WSOE-89.3 where she served as news director and hosted her own show, “Screen Shots.” Additionally, Juliana traveled extensively with study abroad programs in Germany, the Czech Republic and China, and she spent a semester in London. While in England, she interned with The Wealth Briefing, a financial news website. She also completed a summer internship with WLOS News 13 in Asheville. Juliana is excited to return to Elon for another year to earn her M.A. in Interactive Media, strengthening and developing new skills in the digital media realm.
Tyquan Williams was born and raised in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He received a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Communications Systems from North Carolina A&T State University. During his time at A&T, he mentored high school students planning to attend college. He is also a member of the Prince Hall Freemasonry, Invincible Lodge #251 and serves on its retention, fundraising and awards committee. Tyquan has created multiple identity brands, promotional and marketing tools for several small businesses in eastern North Carolina. Through Elon’s iMedia program, Ty hopes to hone his craft in graphic design and develop his skills in coding and video production.
Matt Wotus, a native of Cary, North Carolina, graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2017 with a B.A. in Media and Journalism and a minor in Anthropology. After graduation, he was a summer editorial intern for an online publication in Washington, D.C., and a digital news intern for CNN in Atlanta. Matt looks forward to challenging himself in new areas, such as programming and graphic design, during his time in the iMedia program. He hopes to use the skills he learns to positively impact the fields he’s passionate about, which include the environment, healthcare and politics. In his free time, Matt enjoys photography, cheering on the Tar Heel sports teams, and spending time with friends.
Benjamin Yerby grew up in Apex, North Carolina. In high school, Ben developed a passion for various creative media, including art, digital art, photography, graphic design, web design, film and video, and 3-D modeling. He graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2017 with a B.A. in Communication Studies and a minor in Digital Arts. While focusing his studies on integrated marketing communication and advertising, Ben also applied his knowledge of brand development, graphic design, video production, and web development to projects inside and outside of the classroom. While attending UNCW, Ben was heavily involved in the rebranding of the UNCW College of Arts and Sciences, worked with university and public clients, and served as the lead creative for a marketing firm. Additionally, he worked as a full-time IT intern for an insurance organization, which improved his development and design skills. In his free time, he enjoys movies, 1980’s sitcoms, and exploring national and state parks.
Born in Warner Robins, Georgia, Simone Young calls Charlotte home. She graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in May 2015 with a B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communication and a concentration in Broadcast Productions. As an undergraduate, she played the tenor saxophone for the Blue and Gold Marching Machine. She also volunteered with the university’s television studio, interned at WLXI-TCT, and studied abroad in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. She hopes to improve her skills in video production and photography, while gaining more knowledge about digital media.