Recent Achievements

by Morgan Eagle November 3, 2014  

Read highlights and accomplishments of UCLA Extension’s students and instructors.

Student News

Kate Rees Davis, Directing Certificate, has had her film The Vanished selected as a finalist at the Houses of Parliament in London. Begun in 2012, Film the House seeks talented filmmakers from across the UK. Kate also directed the short Cell Phone, which played at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Watch the clip

Elissa Matsueda’s script, La Vida Robot, which won the 2010 Writer’s Program Screenwriting Contest, is being produced by Pantelion Films. The drama about four undocumented Mexican-American high school students who form a robotics club, stars George Lopez and Marisa Tomei. Read more about the cast and crew in The Hollywood Reporter.

American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) LA Chapter recognized Architecture + Interior Design graduates and current students with numerous awards and a scholarship. Here is an overview.

  • Darra Bishop, MIA graduate, Awardee
  • Romina Hausmann, current student, Scholarship Recipient – $1000 Harold Grieves Student Design Scholarship
  • Cynthia Lambakis, Awardee
  • Seth Matheson, MIA graduate, Awardee
  • Laura Schwartz Muller, Arc_ID graduate, Awardee and President-elect, ASID LA.
  • Samantha Williams, MIA Graduate, Awardee

Laurel Hummel Scholarship for International Students

Summer Hummel Winners

Lisa Kreimeyer is enrolled in the Certificate in Business and Management of Entertainment. In her statement, she writes, “Being here at UCLA Extension amongst so many other international students as well as American students has also made me understand my origin better and has made me reflect on what it means to be German, what my roots are and how I can apply the specific culture and my experiences from Germany here in the US.”

Meital Lugassi is enrolled in the Certificate in Entertainment Studies. Meital wrote, “In Israel, I was about to start my PhD in Art History, but decided that it’s now or never, I have to follow my screenwriting passion, regardless of how frightening it may be.” Her goals are “to complete my certificate, and write stories that will touch people’s heart and make a difference in their lives, either by showing them they’re not alone, or simply by lifting their spirits in times of need.”

Sumin Sohn is enrolled in the Certificate in Global Sustainability. Her focus is clear: “After working for Disney for 3.5 years, I decided to re-launch my career in the field I am most passionate about: Global Sustainability…. I believe that the certificate program is a worthwhile investment in my professional development for becoming an influential leader who can contribute to the sustainable growth and development around the world.”

Fall  Hummel Winners

Dillon Bowman is enrolled in the Screenwriting: Film and TV Comprehensive Certificate. In his personal essay Dillon states, “The Laurel Hummel Scholarship is important to me because, based on my progressing career in the film and television industry, it seems as though the more I learn about the many aspects of film making there are, the more I want to take the time and educate myself in each specific area. As an aspiring screenwriter, I put forth a lot of research into schools and programs that offer exactly what I needed. Upon discovering UCLA Extension through the word of mouth from producers and writers I work with on set in Toronto, It was clear that the Extension programs best suited my needs.”

Kerry Kolbe is enrolled in the Screenwriting: Film and TV Comprehensive Certificate. She expects to complete her studies at the conclusion of the Winter 2015 Quarter. In her statement about what winning this scholarship would mean to her, Kerry wrote, “Furthermore, to receive recognition from UCLA Extension in the form of this scholarship would be a huge honor and encouragement as I go forward in pursuit of my life’s passion to be a TV drama writer.”

Aleksandra Natalia Waltoś is enrolled in the Marketing Certificate. Aleksandra wrote, “If anyone asks me, what I value most in life, I would say – relationships. As a person who always moves from one place to another, it is extremely important for me to be able to keep honest relationships despite the distance. This is my strongest asset and this is also why I study marketing at UCLA Extension—to be able to learn how to build amazing relationships between consumers and a brand.”

Nuria Botella Zamora is enrolled in the Business and Management of Entertainment Certificate. In her personal statement Nuria wrote, “I believe in international education and the pursuit of excellence as keys to a fulfilling career in our global world. This scholarship would be my way to help my family and thank them for believing in my dreams…. I would like to continue developing my critical thinking and maybe enrolling also in Producing, and I believe in my possibilities to make a positive impact in society through the use of film and TV.”

More News 

The Arts

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) LA Chapter  honored several instructors (past and present) from the Architecture + Interior Design Program (Arc_ID) with numerous awards for their contributions to the profession.

Virginia Knight was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Ms. Knight, a former Interior Design instructor, taught Studio II and Accessories for Residential Design.

Shepard Vineburg, Faculty liaison to the ASID Student Chapter, was recognized with an award for his contributions to students.

Kat Fern, distinguished instructor, past-president of ASID LA, and Arc_ID graduate, was recognized for her contributions to the industry and profession.

Todd Bigelow, Design Communication Arts  instructor and professional photojournalist for over 25 years, teaches The Business of Photography in January 2015, and his workshop was named one of Photoshelter’s Top 50 workshops around the world.  His work has been featured in Sports Illustrated, Smithsonian, Time, Newsweek, People, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Washington Post, and many others.

The Writers’ Program long-time poetry instructor Suzanne Lummis has published a poem, “How I Didn’t Get Myself to a Nunnery” in the The New Yorker. A highly accomplished and well-published poet and award-winning instructor, Lummis is a long-time LA resident, and granddaughter of one of the leading lights of early Los Angeles, Charles Fletcher Lummis.

Janet Wilcox, Arts Instructor of the Year awardee (2012), a writer, producer, and actor, released the second edition of Voiceovers: Techniques and Tactics for Success, in October.

Master of Interior Architecture brochure was recognized with a bronze marketing award by UPCEA, the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education.

Business, Legal Programs, & Management

Ira Kalb, instructor, was interviewed by NPR Marketplace on “Can J.C. Penney’s new CEO make the brand popular again?” Read, or Listen.

Dean’s Office

Dean Wayne Smutz offers his thoughts on higher education in a Q&A, “High-Touch, High-Tech: The Future of Postsecondary Efficiency,” in The Evolllution, an online paper dedicated to nontraditional higher education.

Engineering & Technology

In June, Los Angeles Business Journal held its Annual CIOs of the Year Awards. Advisory Board members Dan Meacham and David Lam were honorees. According to Publisher & CEO Matthew Toledo, “These important individuals and their teams play a vital role in making Los Angeles businesses, institutions, nonprofit groups successful. Their decisions often impact all aspects of business including their companies’ growth profitability, functionality and competitiveness in the marketplace.”

Eugene Tseng, an internationally recognized expert on solid and hazardous waste issues, heralded the opening of the City of Thousand Oaks Hazardous Waste Facility in June. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, the facility incorporates design features identified from a review of 30 existing Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facilities across the nation. The study was conducted by Dr. Eugene Tseng. Read more in Green Scene.

Humanities and Sciences

Betsy Spier, instructor and psychotherapist, offers expert insights on the topic “Substance Abuse Counselors in LA Will Be Gainfully Employed in Coming Years” on CBS Local. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist with more than 20 years of experience in the mental health and substance abuse treatment fields.

Certificate Graduation Ceremony  

This is Our Time,” a song by Lyricists Debra Gussin and Dale Effren commissioned for the 2010 Certificate Graduation Ceremony, appears on the CD Living With A Dream. The song has also been recorded as the debut single by Bernice Reyes, 15-year-old winner of Ottawa Idol. Watch:

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