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Alumni Spotlight: Shevon Greene

We connected with Shevon Greene, a Communication Studies, Film, and New Media department alum. Shevon graduated in 2021 with a degree in Communication Studies. She has answered several questions letting us know about her experience at Augsburg and what she is doing now.

Shevon Greene
Photo of Shevon Greene

Tell us a bit about yourself.  

“I was born and raised in Minneapolis and have lived in the metro area for most of my life. I still reside in Minneapolis on the outskirts of downtown. I love the creative side of communications, advertising and content creation, I have a passion for DEI  [Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion] and a fun fact about me is that I adopted a hedgehog a couple years ago.”

What are you doing now?  

“After being a college intern with Xcel Energy for 3 years within HR and Communications departments, I was offered a job as a Brand Assistant in the Ad & Brand department. My job is essentially being a brand champion, which means being an expert in the brand standards and guidelines and encouraging that within the company, ensuring that all communications and ads are up to brand standard, and I also assist in content creation and writing for various ads on behalf of Xcel Energy.” 

How are you using what you studied in the Department of Communication Studies, Film, and New Media Studies in your current job? What helped prepare you for your current job?

“Two classes that instantly come to mind are Interpersonal Communication and Intercultural Communication. I remember learning about Interpersonal Communication, specifically about different cues in both verbal and nonverbal communication, and seeing that in the workplace now has been insightful. Intercultural Communication was also a great class to take, especially for the workplace when you are communicating and collaborating with different people who have their own ways of communication based on how they were raised or what their customs are. “

What advice do you have for current students majoring in Communication Studies, Film, and/or New Media Studies?

“Enjoy the classes while you still have them because I miss them a lot and I’m grateful that I learned so much from them. Also, don’t feel pressured to know exactly what you want to do with your career right away. Just live in the moment and take in the learning experiences.” 

Are there any projects you’re currently working on that you’d like to share with us?

“Currently I am helping lead on the steering committee of Xcel Energy’s first Asian American Pacific Islander Business Resource Group as the Communications & Branding Director.” 

Alumni Spotlight: Callie Jones

We connected with Callie Jones, a Communication Studies, Film & New Media department alumna. She graduated in 2017 with a major in Film Production, and minors in Communications and Spanish. She answered several questions letting us know about her experience at Augsburg and what she is doing now. 

Tell us about yourself. Where do you currently work, live, etc.

Callie Jones Headshot

I’m currently working as a freelance television broadcast technician in the Twin Cities. My current position is doing Graphics as a Television Broadcast Technician with the Minnesota House of Representatives in the Information Services Department.

What was your major and what year did you graduate? 

At Augsburg I majored in Film Production with minors in Communications and Spanish. I graduated in 2017.

What are you doing now?  Describe what your job entails.

As a freelancer, I have had the opportunity to hold several different positions over the last four years. I primarily work in Sports Production and have worked for Fox Sports North, The NFL Network, ABC, and Long Haul Trucking – just to name a few fun ones. I spend most days on television production trucks for high school, college, and semi-professional sports broadcasts around the Twin Cities as an editor, graphics operator, score box operator, replay operator, and camera person! Every day is different, and that’s a huge part of why I love my job.

How are you using what you studied in the Department of Communication Studies, Film, and New Media Studies in your current job?

The classes that prepared me most for my current job taught me how to do every aspect of production! Learn as many different aspects of the industry as you can. Being knowledgeable about different crew positions makes finding work easier until you find your niche!

What was the most memorable part of your experience at Augsburg? In our department?

I met my best friends in the Film Department making short films in Murphy Square on a 16mm Bolex. A lot of my time overlapped with the Athletic Department as a Track and Field Athlete where I met some of the best people, traveled around the US, ran really fast, and made two sports documentaries with the support of the Film and Athletic Departments. I was lucky to go to a school that really understood the student-athlete experience. I had the best of both worlds doing all of the things that I loved as a student/artist and as an athlete. I never felt like I had to choose one over another.

What advice do you have for current students majoring in Communication Studies, Film, and/or New Media Studies?

Use the “small school” aspect of Augsburg to your advantage – really build relationships with your professors and the staff at Augsburg! They will be able to better help you choose classes that you are passionate about, give you the support you need while you are working on projects/films in college, and get you connected to people at Augsburg and in the community that can help you be successful after graduation. I owe the professors and staff at Augsburg so much for connecting me to the right people my senior year. Professor Jenny Hanson, Don Stoner (Sports Information Department, Augsburg Athletics), Kelly Anderson Diercks (Associate Athletic Athletic Director), and Former Head Track and Field Coach, Emily Hackert, helped bring my keystone documentary to life. They did everything they could to support my project, and that short film helped me get the internship that kick-started my career.

Anything you didn’t learn/encounter during your time spent in college that you wish you would have known heading into the professional workforce?

Be flexible when you are getting started in the industry. Taking jobs that don’t pay well or are really long days may be discouraging, but you get 100% out of it what you put in. Talk to people that are in roles that you could see yourself in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years. Ask them what they did to get there, what they were doing at your age, what their favorite gig has been, or what they like/dislike about their job. This will help inform your career path and tell you what you need to be doing now to get to where you want to be later. I still do this four years after college, and it can be a great ice breaker on set.

Alumni Spotlight: Cole Seidl

We connected with Cole Seidl, a Communication Studies, Film & New Media department alumni. He graduated in 2012 with a major in Film, on the Production track. He answered several questions letting us know about his experience at Augsburg and what he is doing now. 

Tell us about yourself. Where do you currently work, live, etc.

I currently live in Rochester, New York. I moved here just recently from Bethlehem, Palestine, where I was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Al Quds Bard College. I returned to the U.S. to take a tenure track position with Monroe Community College.

What was your major and what year did you graduate?

I majored in Film, on the Production track.

What are you doing now?  Describe what your job entails.

I am currently a professor of Cinema and Screen Studies. I teach film history, critical analysis, and video production courses. I also advise Senior Thesis Projects virtually at Al Quds Bard College for the students graduating from the Media Studies program there.

How are you using what you studied in the Department of Communication Studies, Film, and New Media Studies in your current job? 

I teach film and media studies, so my background studying it at Augsburg was the base knowledge I used to build my understanding of the concepts and films I currently teach.

What was the most memorable part of your experience at Augsburg? In our department?

I received an URGO grant to shoot a feature film, which functioned as the crash course to managing a feature film set. The film I made during that grant became a key part of my resume for my graduate school applications. The most memorable part of the department was the relationships I built with other students. I still keep in contact and work on film projects with several of them.

What advice do you have for current students majoring in Communication Studies, Film, and/or New Media Studies?

Make as much work as possible and foster relationships with those who are making interesting work. Once you leave school, it’s difficult to find a large number of passionate, creative people. You can get a jump start right now.

Is there anything you’re currently working on (inside/outside of work) that you would like to share with us?

I’ve started pre-production for a feature film to shoot in Palestine with some of my former students.

Student Production Award for “College Life”

“College Life” by Darton Weaver

Darton Weaver took home a Crystal Pillar for the short documentary “College Life” Friday night at the 2020 Student Production Awards.

The Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognizes outstanding achievement in student production annually through the work of their foundation.  The event was live-streamed; you can watch the announcement online:


Film Program extends support to Walker’s “Women with Vision” Series

Written by Jenny L. Hanson

March is Women’s History Month.  The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis is hosting some pretty awesome women and featuring their film, media, and artworks all month long.  After closing out February with an event series on acclaimed filmmaker Julia Reichert, March brings the work of an early queer film influence of mine, filmmaker Cheryl Dunye to the screen.  The Walker will also take a look back at the Women with Vision series, and continue the Indigenesis series focusing on indigenous film that opens with what reasons to be a fun new media adventure curated by Missy Whiteman.

A key component of this year’s programming is “Women with Vision: Then and Now.” The event series features the cinematic work of some of the women who participated in the Women With Vision showcase (also known in its early years as Women in the Director’s Chair).  It also celebrates the curatorial work of Walker Senior Curator of Moving Image Sheryl Mousley.  Minnesota’s own Film Fatales Melody Gilbert and Kelly Nathe, who curated many of the events in the series, will also be hosting a candid conversation with filmmakers about their journey.  I might also note that among the filmmakers is Augsburg instructor Jila Nikpay!

Computers encoding media
Hanson is utilizing the program’s media lab to encode media for Walker Event.

Curating the work of filmmakers who identify as female, who are persisting as directors, cinematographers, and storytellers and creating space for people to see the films is important work.  The film industry has notoriously discounted the work of women and persons of color.  Movements like #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite have sought to bring about change.  Events like those at the Walker this month are part of what is needed if a systematic change is going to occur.  I know this first hand, as the Walker gave me one of my first film screenings as part of the Women in the Director’s Chair and the Jr. Home Girls Series many, many, years ago. It gave me hope as a young queer filmmaker that I could make a living creating films.

So, when we were asked to help transfer work for the event series, we were happy to offer our support.  This kind of equity is exactly the kind of thing our program embraces and seeks to live out.

Please show your support at these events, many of which are free. Visit: for more details.

Department Majors Collaborate on Music Video “Be Saved”

Written by Preston Peterson | Album Artwork provided by Kirby Gage

I had a chance to talk with Kirby Gage about a collaboration he did with other Augsburg students. The project “Be Saved” is an original song and music video by Kirby Gage featuring Zayguap. See what Gage and I talked about in my recounted interview.

Preston: What are your majors?

Gage: I am a New Media: Game Design & New Media: Promotional Communication double major, for the time being at least. My videographer Finn Elsmo is a Film Major. Isaiah (Zayguap) has taken this semester off, however, is pursuing a New Media: Promotional Communication major.

Preston: What Augsburg spaces or equipment were used to make the video?

Gage: We rented cameras from Augsburg a few times, for several different shoots. Thanks to Jenny Hanson, we were able to use the black box facility in the chapel on campus. In this room, there is an option for complete darkness and it allowed for interesting shots with different lighting.

Preston: What is “Be Saved” about?

Gage: I have a lot to talk about when it comes to the video. After I made this song, for my upcoming album Story Time I realized that I had something special to work with. The connection with Finn began when I was working with my partner Kim Lindgren. Together we run a clothing brand called Kold Heart Clothing. She suggested that Finn and I talk about making a music video together. The first time we met we did a shoot at Minnehaha Falls. It went super well and Finn and I knew we were going to have something cool here, we did some editing right away and sat on it for a while. We did this 4 more times before landing on a final edit. We then went to my home studio to record Isaiah’s section of the video. After a long process of editing and color correcting with Finn, the real challenge began. For this video, we wanted to try and do something unique. I decided to do hand-drawn animations and line edits throughout the entire video. Something I will do more of in the future. For the Animations, I would draw in my notebook whenever I had the chance, even in class sometimes. I then put those drawings into Photoshop and animated them frame by frame. I did the same thing in After Effects for the line edits going frame by frame and added the finalized edits there as well. The entire process of the video took a few hundred hours to complete. I had a lot of firsts here. I’m extremely happy with the way it turned out, and I’m super happy that people enjoy it! 

None of this would’ve been possible without Finn Elsmo, Isaiah Lindsay, Kim Lindgren or Ben Poole. Also, a special thanks to Jenny Hanson and the New Media Department let us use their equipment and space for recording.

Preston: Where can people find you and the people involved online?

Gage: I have a few links if people are interested. 

Spotify: Kirby Gage (Also on Apple Music, Sound Cloud, etc.)

Spotify: Zayguap

Instagram: Kold Heart Clothing

Instagram: Kirby Gage

Instagram: Finnr Sverre

Instagram: Zayguap

Instagram: Ben Jammin’

Another Festival for Samiera Abou-Nasr’s film “Of Our Youth”


Film characters talking in a restaurant [Still image from the film]
“OF OUR YOUTH” Directed by Samiera Abou-Nasr
Augsburg University film alum Samiera Abou-Nasr has a short film being featured in the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival. She was interviewed by Minnesota Daily, a local student-run media and newsgroup, to talk about filmmaking and her experiences.

The Twin Cities Arab Film Festival is happening September 26-29. You can see “Of Our Youth” at the festival being held at St. Anthony Main Theatre in Northeast Minneapolis. Her short film will play in a block of other local films on Saturday, September 28 at 4 p.m. For more info and ticket information visit the MSP Film Society.

Editor’s Note: Did you miss the festival? You can watch “Of Our Youth” online. Find it featured under Student Work. You can also here Samiera and JC talk about the film during a red carpet interview at the Twin Cities Film Festival.

Films nominated for Student Production Awards from the Upper Midwest Emmy® Foundation

Crystal Pillar Award for College-Fiction
Upper Midwest Student Production Award from the Upper Midwest Emmy Foundation for “Monday Train” Photo: Sarah Van Sickle

Written by: Sarah Van Sickle

Congratulations to all of the Augsburg students that were nominated for a Student Production Award from the Upper Midwest Emmy® Foundation! Nominations were announced today and Augsburg has six nominations in five categories. The Upper Midwest Chapter of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognizes outstanding achievement in student filmmaking. While Augsburg has been nominated before and won twice, this is the most nominations the University has ever received. The 2019 Student Awards Ceremony takes place on April 12th.

Augsburg nominations are as follows:

Short Form: Fiction

“Cycle,” directed by Winston Heckt; editing/sound by Lukas Olson; written by Lauren Tabor; and advised by Robert Cowgill.

“Fairy of the Night,” directed by Joel Myers and advised by Jila Nikpay.

Long Form: Fiction

“Take Me Home,” written/directed by Rebecca Lynn Schroeder; editing/sound by Lukas Olson; camera/editing by Winston Heckt; produced by Francesca Chiari; assistant director Meredith Carstens; production design by Olivia Drury; and advised by Jenny Hanson.


“Lets Talk,” directed/produced by Adrianna Foreman and advised by Jenny Hanson.

Animation/Graphics/Special Effects

“Rodney and Jimmy and the Campfire,” directed by Joel Myers and advised by Jenny Hanson.


“Amusement,” edited by Joel Myers.



Intercollegiate Film Festival

Film Festival LogoAugsburg University welcomes undergraduate students from around Minnesota to the annual Intercollegiate Film Festival.

The festival recognizes the work of student filmmakers and writers as part of an interconnected statewide film community. The festival provides networking opportunities and juried merit awards of distinction. The festival is organized by Augsburg University film scholars and juried by professors and industry professionals.

Entry Fee: $5.00 (free for Augsburg students with waiver code)
Submission Deadline: April 1st.

Submit to the festival on Film Freeway

Intercollegiate Film Festival proudly accepts entries on FilmFreeway, the world’s #1 way to enter film festivals and creative contests.