Each year, student applicants are screened and hand-picked to participate in the Community Voice Project Fellows’ program, where they are trained to become Digital Storytelling Facilitators. The Fellows exhibit academic excellence, creativity, and a passion for storytelling. We are proud of the projects each of our Fellows have diligently completed.
Linda is working towards a Master’s in Public Anthropology while working at the university Career Center. She is interested in health and environmental issues. Her undergraduate degree is in photography, and she hosted and produced a podcast about culture and events in Louisville, Kentucky. Linda spent two years in Togo with the Peace Corps. She has volunteered with refugees in Kentucky and has also worked with a reproductive rights organization. Through the Community Voice Project, Linda is looking forward to honing her video skills and learning more about collaborative storytelling.
Mary Alice McMillan
Mary Alice is an MFA candidate in American University’s Film and Media Arts program. A North Carolina native, she is passionate about sharing stories of rural America and hopes to empower communities to share their own stories through digital media. Mary Alice hopes to pursue a career as an independent documentary filmmaker sharing stories that can mold and shape society and create positive change. In the past, she has created short films and promotional pieces for Carolina Cross Connection, the United Methodist Church, and Habitat for Humanity of D.C., among others. As a female filmmaker, she believes in the necessity of representation and inclusion in film, and intends to spend her career and influence providing outlets for all members of the community to create and inspire.
Before making her mark at O’Keefe, Asia developed countless corporate, educational, and mission pieces. Experienced both behind the camera and in the edit suite, Asia brings her creative focus and vision to each and every production. A storyteller, Asia enjoys transforming clients’ ideas into meaningful expressions. Through the use of creative cinematography, sleek graphics, and dynamic sound design, she creates powerful and memorable pieces. A skilled editor, Asia is fearless with any new production technique – especially when it can add even more “wow” to a video. This dedicated approach has resulted in industry recognition, including several Telly Awards. Asia received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Mass Communications with a concentration in Video Production from Frostburg State University and Masters in Producing for Film, Television, and Video at American University. She was also selected as the 2017 School Of Communications Commencement Speaker.
Joanna Zwanger graduated with an MA in Producing for Film, Television, and Video from American University’s weekend master’s program in the spring of 2017. She currently serves as the Supervisor of Broadcast Network Operations for BBC America in Silver Spring, MD. In her current position, she manages the generation of broadcast logs, graphics scheduling, and coordination of various deliverables for on-air and VOD. Before joining BBC America, Joanna worked for PBS as the Assistant Director of Promo Distribution, handling an array of on-air promotion responsibilities for the network – scheduling, assisting local stations, and advising producers. Joanna moved to the DC area shortly after graduating from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Radio/Television. She also studied radio documentary at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, ME.
A woman with imagination and creativity, A’Montay Giddings-Watson shows interest in various facets of filmmaking such as, Directing, Writing, Animation, Motion graphics, and Photography. For A’Montay, filmmaking is about expression and representation. She believes in bringing awareness to her audiences and creating a diverse spectrum within the media. As such, she hopes to inspire others to strive in their own craftsmanship. More importantly, she loves embracing new knowledge and exploring different cultures. An alumna of Howard University with a B.A in Radio, TV, & Film and a double minor in Psychology and Electronic Studio, A’Montay Giddings-Watson currently attends American University as an MFA candidate in Film and Electronic Media.
Diana is an MFA candidate who uses film and other forms of art as mediums to share the gospel of Christ, encourage, inspire, enlighten, and uplift. Realizing its power and potential, Diana developed a deep appreciation for storytelling at a young age. Writing has always been at the forefront of her passions. Diana aspires to thrive as an independent filmmaker, using her creativity, deep thoughts, personal experiences, and encounters to create powerful stories that audiences can relate to and benefit from. She also seeks to produce documentaries that will amplify the voices of the unheard, overlooked, and ignored. Diana currently works as an Event Coordinator and Photographer for the DC Web Fest, founded by Director Otessa Ghadar.
Amberly Alene Ellis
Amberly Alene Ellis is an independent filmmaker, writer and documentarian dedicated to the belief that film is one of our greatest tools to ignite deeper human connection and inspire social change. In 2015 she created Film For The People Productions. Her 2014 documentary Bullets Without Names was selected as an installation at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore to bring awareness to gun violence and was also nominated for Best Documentary at the American Vision’s Awards. She was the recipient of a 2014 Tinker Grant to research cinema and social policy in Cuba at ICAIC, the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry. In 2016 she was awarded a Ruby Artist Grant from the Baltimore Cultural Alliance to film the journeys of ten African American youth from West Baltimore as they travel to Havana Cuba to learn African history. Her writing examines issues of race, gender and culture in Latin America and the Caribbean. Her latest documentary, Hermanas en Ruedas ( Sisters on Wheels) premiered in Havana, Cuba on January of 2017. Hermanas in Ruedas follows the stories of young women in the underground skateboard culture in Havana.
Mike is an MFA student at American University studying Film and Electronic Media. He has had the opportunity to work as a director, cinematographer, and editor on a number of different documentary projects in places ranging from San Francisco, Kenya, Colombia, and Washington DC. After graduating from the University of San Francisco with a BA in International Studies and a minor in Film Studies, Mike gained significant experience as a video producer while working for a few production companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has an innate curiosity of the world and of different cultures, which is what drives him to pursue a career as a visual journalist and documentary filmmaker. Mike hopes to continue to tell stories that shine a light on under-reported events and that give a voice to marginalized groups of people.
Kayla Lattimore is a first year MFA film student at American University concentrating on Social Documentary. After traveling the world and working in television and marketing in Los Angeles four years she decided to get her master’s in documentary film to be able to create impactful work for her community and the world. She aspires to be a producer and create documentaries and content centered around race and social in justice issues in the United States and Latin America.
Destiny D. Owens
Destiny D. Owens is from Rocky Mount, North Carolina. She is a 2016 graduate of North Carolina Central University where she attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and another Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication with a focus in Journalism and Media Studies. She has a thorough background in writing, historical scholarly research, and documentary work. She is currently enrolled in the MFA Film and Electronic Media program at American University. She believes films are the best way to tell a story and actually make an audience understand and feel the impact of the message on the highest level. She is interested in giving a voice to people and communities who rarely get the chance or platform to speak for themselves. It is all for and about the people for Destiny. She is simply an avenue to the greater goal.
Michael has a background in journalism and the labor movement, and a strong interest in using film and video to tell the stories of working families. He is currently coordinating statewide communications for the Maryland Campaign for Paid Sick Days, and co-producing a feature-length documentary about Walmart workers titled “Dear Walmart.” Previously, he has worked as an organizer for the Communications Workers of America (CWA), a communications specialist & video producer for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a freelance videographer, and a regional communications director for the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA!). Michael holds a masters’ degree in Producing for Film & Video from American University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism, with a concentration in Latin American studies, from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Matt is a current MFA student at American University with a concentration in political, cultural, and social impact. Prior to studying at AU, Matt was a child welfare consultant for The Annie E. Casey Foundation and most recently Kids Insight, an organization dedicated to improving outcomes for youth in foster care. His community arts and film experience includes; creating a community-based youth photography program in Baltimore with Living Classrooms Foundation, assisting in the production of videos in which youth in foster care tell their stories, and creating short documentaries and photo essays profiling Baltimore nonprofit leaders.
Kelsey is an alumna of Stephen F. Austin State University (TX) where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in political science and communications. After graduating, Kelsey spent two years in Africa with the Peace Corps. She recently earned her Master’s degree in film & electronic media from American University last May. Several of her short films have made the film festival circuit. Currently, she is an Associate Producer for arts and culture programming at Maryland Public Television.
Anna is a visual media producer from Washington, DC. Recently her work was exhibited with the College Art Association and the University of District of Columbia. With a Japanese mother, Swedish father, and a home that migrated from country to country, she frequently found herself in situations where language was either used to include or exclude. Her hope is to use visual media to express and explore themes that can be lost in verbal translation.
Anna is an MFA candidate in American University’s Film and Electronic Media program, with a BA from Georgetown University in Linguistics and Performance Studies.
Alexis is currently pursuing a master’s degree in film and video. She recently served as a co-director and co-writer for “Chesapeake Footsoldiers,” a documentary for Maryland Public Television’s 2016 Chesapeake Bay Week. As an alumna of the AU School of Public Affairs, Alexis is passionate about social justice and storytelling. Outside of class, Alexis performs standup comedy in the DC area. She currently works in higher education fundraising. Following graduation, Alexis hopes to pursue a career in film and television development or screenwriting.
I was born and raised in New York City and attended CUNY: Brooklyn College where I majored in Film Studies and minored in Education. I was a grade school teacher for the past decade in New York and California. I enjoy spending time with my family: my husband Adam, my cat Shachar, and my dog Phaedra. I also enjoy watching and creating media (films, videos, etc.), travelling, taking photos, collecting magnets, listening to oldies music, and teaching whenever I get the chance. I am thrilled to be a part of CVP and grateful for this opportunity.
My name is Steve Rosenberg and I’m a second year MFA student in the Film and Electronic Media program at American University. In 2011, I also graduated from AU as an undergraduate with a Broadcast Journalism degree and a minor in Justice. Growing up in South Jersey, I always had a passion for filmmaking and writing. After a three-year hiatus of working in law, I decided to come back into the world of media. It was this decision, which led me to come back to school to refine my skills as a storyteller for both narrative and documentary films.
Vincent is currently a second year MFA candidate at American University in the Film and Electronic Media program. Currently, Vincent creates media in both fiction and non-fiction. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Film Studies from the University of North Florida, with a concentration in Ethics and Documentary Studies. Throughout his undergraduate program Vincent served as Philosophy Club President and as a Creator for an on campus Documentary Program AfterImage Productions. His work focuses on the Jacksonville community and were screened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville from 2012-2014.