Sponsored by the Visual and Media Arts Department at Emerson College

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2019: WHO WE ARE

Amber Yang


Originally from Beijing, China, Amber received her BA in Fine Arts from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2016. She studied photography, digital video, painting, drawing, printing, sculpture, and art history. Amber has also worked as a fashion editor at L’ Officiel China and as a new media editor at Harper’s BAZAAR China. Currently a second year MFA candidate in Film and Media Art at Emerson College, Amber is working actively as a filmmaker. She has written and directed several short films and has written her first feature movie. She works as the supervisor at the Emerson Urban Arts Gallery, as well as a graduate assistant in the Film and Media Art department. Besides making narrative films, she is also passionate about finding her creative voice through different mediums.

Ellen Washington


Ellen Washington is currently pursuing an MFA in Film and Media Arts at Emerson College. She is passionate about dismantling systems of poverty and oppression through her work as an artist and activist.  Ellen works as a graduate assistant in the Office of Intercultural where she supports cultural organizations and helps to plan diverse and intersectional events for the campus community. Ellen graduated from Macalester College in 2014 with a BA in Humanities, Media, & Cultural Studies with a Focus in Film. Upon graduating from Macalester, Ellen returned home to Springfield, Ohio to be close to family and serve the community that helped to shape her. While there, she worked for two non-profit organizations before deciding to return to school to pursue her passion for film and art.  A Midwestern through and through, Ellen loves spending time outdoors, cheering on the Columbus Blue Jackets, and most importantly, feeding the people she cares about.  Ellen enjoys spending her free time at home with her two strange cats, baking, acquiring slightly useful skills like quilting and soap-making, and watching an obscene amount of television.

Arantxa Duran

Outreach & Selection Committee 

Arantxa Duran is a first year graduate student in the Film and Media Arts program at Emerson College. She studied her undergraduate degree in Digital Film Production at Universidad
de Monterrey back in Mexico, where she is originally from. As her undergraduate thesis, she
directed a short film titled “Funerales Paz” (“Paz Funeral Homes”), which received academic
excellence. The film is currently in Post Production thanks to a grant from IMCINE (Mexican
Institute of Cinematography) and will be travelling through festivals by the end of this year.

Madeleine Derveloy

Outreach & Selection Committee 

Madeleine Derveloy is a Mississippi native who has a passion for filmmaking and storytelling. She completed her undergrad at Emerson College and now is a full time graduate student at Emerson. She strives to tell stories that empower, incite positive change and awareness. She is currently producing a BA thesis film while also working as a gaffer, director, and cinematographer on other shoots. She works as a shift supervisor at Emerson's Equipment Distribution Center where she helps patrons and employees learn equipment and safety. Her goal after graduate school is to teach at a college level to help others find passion in film and to direct, gaff and shoot films that speak to her.

Diana Kasem

Outreach & Selection Committee 

Diana is a PhD student and a teaching assistant in the Department of Communication in UMass, Amherst. She focuses on Film Studies, media, and theater. She got a master's degree in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University in the USA. She earned her M.A. in Art History in The Belarusian State Academy of Arts and B.A. degrees in English Literature and Theater Studies in Syria. In these programs, her theses were Searching for Hamlet Again, and Theatre and Screen Art of the Late 20th and the Early 21st Century. Her story for children, The Apple Girl, was published in 2012 and received an award from the ministry of culture. In 2008, she directed and wrote the play Blue Memories at the General Secretariat of Damascus Festivity as an Arab Capital of Culture. She has written and directed for many international film festivals, as well as lectured at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus. She is the founder and editing manager of the website 7GATES which supports culture and arts.

Rachel Thompson

Selection Committee 

Rachel Thompson is a second-year graduate student in Comparative Media Studies at MIT, where she researches the ethics of American incarceration media in the context of criminal justice policy. She earned her BA in Social Anthropology and Comparative Literature from Harvard University.

Susan Smith

Selection Committee


Susan Smith is an activist artist working in socially engaged projects focused on issues of dispossession and displacement. Smith is the assistant director and member of the graduate faculty in the Intermedia MFA program at the University of Maine, as well as coordinator for the campus Lord Hall Gallery. She holds an interdisciplinary doctoral degree researching social practice, activism, and critical theory, and an MFA in Intermedia/Studio. Smith is the founder of the #uprootedcollective , focusing on issues of class, labor and gender inequities, and the power of collective voice, with initial performance events in Washington DC and Queens, NY, working with a mobile unit as a space for collaborative socially engaged art. Smith also works as an independent curator, coordinating group exhibitions across New England. The most recent of these exhibitions include #safetywork and BedWritten, an exhibition of women artists addressing issues of sexuality and violence. Smith uses site-specific installation, textile and printmaking as a mode of not just representing social issues, but as catalyst for change. With a background in landscape design, Smith also practices guerilla gardening, and believes planting is a fundamentally revolutionary act.


Jinhwa Oh

Selection Committee 

Jinhwa Oh is a graphic designer based in New York. She was born and raised in South Korea, and moved to the U.S. in 2016 as a Fulbright scholar. She received an M.F.A. in graphic design from Rhode Island School of Design in 2018. After graduation, she was featured in Wallpaper* magazine’s Graduate Directory and One to Watch. Her work has been recognized and published internationally by the Red Dot Award, Yanko Design, and Spark Award. Currently she works as a graphic designer at Pentagram in New York.​