School of Media Arts & Design Alumni Summit
March 2019 | Library Room 103
- LISTEN to experiences of ANIM, Film, GCOM & GDES Graduates: from undergrad to working professional.
- ASK questions to get the answers you need.
- JOIN the mixer & mingle with our alumni.
This summit is partially funded by a grant from the Solomon G. Comstock Memorial fund of the Minneapolis Foundation, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Brian Ashburn is currently a writer on the new Freeform comedy, UN•RELATED. Previously, he wrote scripts for I FEEL BAD and A.P. BIO, as script coordinator for their first seasons. He’s worked in the writers’ rooms of THE OTHER TWO, DR. KEN, and a few dead pilots. He also does feature work with Rashida Jones and Max Winkler. Previously, he interned at ELLEN, CNN's ANDERSON COOPER 360, and on DJANGO UNCHAINED during college. He also volunteers for Big Brother Big Sister with his Little, Johnny; performs bad improv and even worse stand-up; takes solo backpacking trips around the world; and wins cars on game shows.
Kassie graduated from MSUM's Graphic Communications program with an emphasis in print production in Fall 2015. She was offered a job the morning of her graduation at Short Printer in Fargo, North Dakota as a graphic designer and a customer service representative. Kassie has worked with many different clients in the Fargo-Moorhead area ranging from large companies to non profit organizations. Outside of the print shop she enjoys snowmobiling, water sports and going on adventures with her dog, Mr. Cheverton.
Miah Detjen is a Digital Marketing & Video Specialist with a passion to tell a story. In 2015, she received her BA in film production from MSUM, with minors in history and English creative writing. During her undergraduate career, Miah’s silent short documentary, Daddy, about growing up with a deaf father, shown at film festivals across the country, she attended the Los Angeles Film Study Center in Los Angeles, California and completed her senior year at MSUM directing a realistic World War Two fictional short, The End of The Road, with LA actors and MSUM peers. Her career has taken her to a variety of multimedia settings, working with professionals in Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Minnesota.
Outside of work, Miah is involved in a variety of creative activities spanning from editing a Youtube channel, freelancing, cooking, and Dungeons and Dragons. You’ve got to keep the creative juices flowing, whether it is in an edit, trying a new sheet pan recipe, or while slaying a dragon. See Miah's work at http://www.miahdetjen.com See Miah's work
I graduated MSUM in 2014 with degrees in Film Production and Graphic Design and since then I've been pursuing both. I worked in Fargo, ND with a company as an Art Director doing graphic design and their videography up until November of 2017 where I then decided to make the move to the sunny state of CA. Since my move, I've been freelancing in both graphic design and film where I've designed for print and digital with multiple companies and have been working as a Production Assistant on various film sets at the same time. See Kayla's work at http://www.kayladuffney.com See Kaylah's work
Derek Fletcher graduated from MSUM May 2017. Since then, he's shot weddings and Sanford informational videos for Grassfire studios, local commercials, business profiles, AgweekTV, and webisodes with Click Content Studios (sister company of Forum Communications Company), and as of the new year, started a new job as Creative Services Producer for The City of Fargo, where he will begin doing commercial and documentary work for Fargo. Until then, there is a HUGE chance of flooding and he's primarily been filming live government meetings and creating their graphics. Derek is proud of beginning the show "Rides" in his time at Click. He can't wait to see some of those episodes hopefully hit TV in 2019. See a sample of Derek's work at See a sample of Derek's work
Digital video editor and motion graphic artist working for renowned social media and entertainment productions companies. Her work helps drive one of the most engages audiences of Snapchat. She has produced more than 500 viral animations for Buzzfeed's Snapchat and Mitu Instagram. She has also created engaging pieces of content to promote Billboard music Awards, Golden Globes, Streamy Awards and Emmy Awards.
Aaron Lehman graduated from MSUM in 2011 and moved to New York City shortly thereafter. He got his start working as a research assistant for Emmy winning documentary filmmaker Ric Burns ("Death and the Civil War" and "Enquiring Minds: The Untold Story of the Man Behind the National Enquirer") at his production company Steeplechase Films. Aaron has been working in tv ever since, and freelances as a Production Manager in the unscripted world. He has worked on various series such as AMC's "James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction" and "Ride with Norman Reedus." He most recently finished working on Animal Planet's "The Zoo". He resides in Astoria, Queens.
Patrick McKeown graduated from MSUM in 2013 with a degree in Film Production and a minor in Music. Following graduation, he moved to New Jersey to pursue freelance film work in NYC within the camera department. He worked as a Preparatory Technician at Arri Rental, a camera rental house for area film productions. Through client contacts made at Arri, he joined the Local 600 Cinematographers Guild and made the jump to on-set film work. He began freelancing as a camera utility on various NYC productions (Person of Interest, The Get Down, The Deuce) in NYC in 2015. He has since worked full-time as Camera Utility on Marvel’s The Punisher Season 1 and Daredevil Season 3, the upcoming film The Dead Don’t Die, and most recently on Dickinson for Apple TV. He is now freelancing as 2nd Assistant Camera. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with his fiance (Kate, who wrote this bio), rabbit (Theodore, the cutest little bun), and an excellent head of hair (needs no further explanation).
Sam Szczesny-Dale graduated from MSUM in 2016 with a Major in Graphic Communications with an emphasis in Interactive Multimedia. She fell in love with web design and development at the age of 11 and has continued to evolve her passion while working at BNG Design for the past three years. She's led web projects for clients like Power Plate Meals, H&I Nutrition and Saving Smiles Dentistry, while also account managing local favorites like Nichole's Fine Pastry and Spicy Pie Pizza. Prior to her time managing the web team, she edited BNG Team's full length film "How Hard Could It Be?".
John Wander was born in Fargo, ND in 1992. He graduated from Hawley High School in 2010 and again from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design. During his time spent at MSUM, he was able to acquire a position as a IT assistant where his duties were to provide Apple support to faculty and departments across campus. He also acquired a position as an Assistant Graphic Designer for Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Marketing Department. During this time, John was awarded a Silver Addy Award for a print/digital marketing campaign titled “Tools-4-School” which aimed to provide information to students about the technology available to them on campus. He was also given the opportunity during this time to design a book for New Rivers Press titled American Fiction Volume 13. In 2015 Lookthink, a UX design firm offered John a position as a UX designer in the heart of Washington DC. His experience there was extensive and the type of work was very diverse. He got an opportunity to work directly with clients and provide successful design solutions to both small and large companies. After 2 years of working in DC, John obtained a position at Shinebox, a branding agency in downtown Minneapolis where he has currently been working for 2 years.
John is a UX Designer born and raised in the heart of the midwest. Growing up in a family that fostered a strong passion for the arts, John dedicated himself to creativity and had a strong passion for solving problems. Ambition and determination to press forward in his career has given John the opportunity to work with incredibly talented teams and provide intuitive design solutions to businesses across the country. See John's work at http://www.jkwand.com See John's work
- 12:30-1:00pm - LUNCH
- 1:00-2:00pm - General Session
- 2:00-2:15 - Break (allows for travel time to breakout rooms on campus)
- 2:15-3:15 - Breakout Sessions
- 3:15-3:30 - Alumni/Student Mingle