Photo of Chapin Hall, home of the Cali School of Music

Spotlight on Alumni – Fall 2014

Posted in: Alumni Success Stories

Students graduating from the College of the Arts go on to pursue successful careers as actors, dancers, directors, choreographers, technicians, producers, filmmakers, teachers and arts administrators, among others. The alumni are part of our extended family and their numerous successes are our successes:

Art and Design

Ginette Montoya (Animation/Illustration 2013) was commissioned to illustrate a seven-page spread for Psychology Today.

Hannah Scherba (Animation/Illustration 2013) was commissioned to illustrate a four-page spread for Parade magazine.

Coral Payano (Art History, 2013) works at the George Segal Gallery as registrar.

Chris Janitz, (Industrial Design, 2012) is a watch designer at Movado Group Int. on the Ferrari and Hugo Boss brands.

Joe Lombardo (Industrial Design, 2011) works for Movado Group Int. on the Lacoste and Tommy Hillfiger brands.

Andrew Zhang (Industrial Design, 2011) works for Movado Group Int. on the Movado and Movado Bold brands.

Geoff LaCorte (Industrial Design, 2013) works at Jim Best ID.

Stephanie Whittaker (Industrial Design, 2013) at MZ Wallace.

David Song Randa (Industrial Design, 2013) works at Luggage.

Kevin Manthy (Industrial Design, 2013) and Aviv Butvinik (Industrial Design, 2014) work at Impact Displays.

Blagoja Gorgioski (Industrial Design, 2013) works at Daniel Arsham Studio.

Young Sun Compton (Graphic Design, 2010) completed his MFA degree at Maryland Institute College of Arts and was hired to work with Abbot Miller, a partner at the Internationally recognized Pentagram Design Studio. He assisted on the design and installation of the exhibition “Century: 100 Years of Type and Design” at the AIGA Design Center in New York City.

Beth Heinzen (Graphic Design, 2013) was hired as creative director at Toys "R" Us International.

Amir Kobaslija (MFA 2005) presented a solo exhibition, “Miniatures,” at George Adams Gallery, New York, NY.

Current students and recent graduates of the MFA Program presented "Sliver," at Index Art Center in Newark, from October 10-24. Participating artists were: Alex Schoenberg, Natasha Jozi, Christine Soccio, Daniel Morowitz, Teresa Braun, Dana Hemes, Irena Pejovic, Jackie Walsh, Stephen Douglass, Esmerelda Vazquez, John Ryan, and John Spano.



Minyoung Park (Artist’s Diploma, piano ’14) was accepted for a Masters in Accompanying degree at the Manhattan School of Music.

Tyler Rubin (BMus, Theory-Composition ’14) was accepted into the graduate program at the Tisch School at New York University.

Communication and Media

  • Magdalena Doris (Broadcasting, 2012) is a reporter for News 12 The Bronx.
  • Kelly Jones (Broadcasting, 2010) is editorial assistant to Scott Pelley on The CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes.
  • Phil McCrickard (Broadcasting, 2011) is segment producer and script coordinator at ABC’s Good Morning America.
  • Karolina Miziolek (Broadcasting, 2006) is a producer at Bloomberg Television in Hong Kong.
  • Niki Santana (Broadcasting, 2012), Ian Elliott (Broadcasting, 2013), Jasmina Polanco (Broadcasting, 2012), Robert Hoffman (Broadcasting) and Theresa Lewis (Broadcasting, 2012) work for NJTV News.
  • Tanja Rekhi (Broadcasting, 2012) and Asha McKenzie (Broadcasting, 2012) are reporters for WENY-TV in Elmira, New York.
  • Leigh Scheps (Broadcasting, 2007) is a reporter for Verizon’s Fios 1 News.
  • Jackie Loder (Broadcasting, 2013) is a producer and weekend assignment editor for NBC 40 in South Jersey.
  • Ronald Tomaino (Broadcasting, 2008) is a studio director for News 12 New Jersey (and an adjunct in TVDM).
  • Brittany Ungano (Broadcasting, 2014) is a production assistant at WABC-TV.
  • Ana Garza-Gomez (Broadcasting, 2013) is a graphics PA at CBS News.
  • Steve Milone (Broadcasting, 2010) is EVS video replay operator for NY Yankees games at YES Network.
  • Bobby Melok (Broadcasting, 2009) is a web producer for (World Wrestling Entertainment).
  • Brian Henry (Broadcasting, 2012), Sarah Meyers (Broadcasting, 2012) and Lex Ruscil (Broadcasting, 2008) work in production at Fox News Channel.
  • Amanda Olsen (Broadcasting, 2013) is a technical operations specialist at NBC Universal.  
  • Lindsay Rassmann (Broadcasting, 2013) and Jeff Onorato (Broadcasting, 2013) are on the production staff for Paula Zahn: On the Case, which airs on the Investigation Discovery Channel and is produced by Weinberger Media.
  • Jack Smith IV (Broadcasting, 2014) is a reporter for The New York Observer.
  • Stephanie Petchers (Broadcasting, 2013) is a production assistant for Al Jazeera America.


Theatre and Dance

Brian Cichocki (BA Theatre Studies, 2000) directed an off-Broadway play, Money Grubbin’ Whores, at The Lion Theatre, that opened September 30 and ran until October 19. 

Brittany Sambogna (BFA Acting, 2014) has been in the George Street Playhouse in their Educational Tour, and workshop of the new musical, Gabby Goes Green.

Aryana Sedarati (BFA Acting, 2014) was a performing apprentice at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.

Lorenzo Villanueva (BFA Acting, 2013) has worked On Borrowed Time, directed by Joel Grey at Two Rivers Theatre Company, Red Bank, NJ, and is a performing apprentice at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Louisville, Ky.

Dustin Fontaine (BFA Acting, 2011) has appeared in Blue Man Group, New York, NY.

Tony Knotts (BFA Acting, 2012) landed the role of Hally in Master Harold and the Boys at Luna Stage.

My Side of the Sink, a short new play written by Hillery Brotschol (BFA Acting, 2013), and starring Shannon Sullivan (BFA Acting, 2013) and Alejandro Hernandez (BFA Acting), and directed by Eddie Carroll (BFA Acting, 2013) held its world premiere at the Midtown International Theatre Festival, NYC, and also MCTC New Works Festival.

Bret Lada‘s (BFA Acting, 2011) appearances on television include as guest star "Troy Mallick" on CBS’s The Good Wife; co-star on CBS’s Person of Interest; guest star "Congressman Paul Kincaid" on CBS’s Hostages; in a recurring role as "Sgt. Mel Axelrod" (opposite John Goodman) on Amazon Studios’ Alpha House for a two-episode arc; and guest star as Craig Rabinowitz on Investigation Discovery Channel’s Deadly Sins. Theatrical work includes appearances in William Inge’s A Loss of Roses, directed by Austin Pendleton at the Arkansas Rep Theater; reading of a new play, Gloria, featuring Zach Grenier and Dick LaTeesa at Playwrights Horizon. He’s also appeared in a commercial for the New York Stock Exchange.

Jon Barker (BFA Acting, 2008) worked on Pericles, Tovarich, Trelawny of the Wells, Henry IV, Part One, Othello, and The Misanthrope at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

Tom Dugan (BFA Speech and Theatre, 1982) acted in and wrote Wiesenthal, which opened November 2014, off Broadway, in New York, NY; and wrote The Ghosts of Mary Lincoln, starring Michele Tauber (BFA Acting/Directing) in the one-woman show.

Leon Dombrowski served in Costume Design on a new production of Tarzan at the Muni Theatre, St. Louis, Mo.