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MEET OUR
FAMILY

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Rachel Allen

...discovered her passion for filmmaking as a video producer working across film, tv, theater, and live events. From her personal experience of becoming increasingly aware of systemic and compounding social/environmental issues through media and activism, she knows sharing great stories can inspire, connect, inform, and motivate people as well as entertain. She's committed to producing media that reveals and uplifts underrepresented communities, ideas, and norms — and is enthusiastic about entertainment that gives back through charitable partnerships. As an MFA candidate of USC's Peter Stark Producing Program, she's currently developing her thesis project, which uses a classic fable to explore themes of defining your role in the climate crisis and tackling climate grief. Rachel views environmental issues and climate change narratives as critically important and is always pushing for creative and unexpected ways to make these subjects accessible to a broad audience.

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Gabrielle Broome

...is an artist and aspiring educator. She was born in New York in 2000 on Earth day. She has always been super passionate and angry about the way the planet is being destroyed. As a little girl, she would make headbands made out of dum dum wrappers. She likes to experiment creatively in many different art forms including video, ceramics, poetry, dance, etc. Her passion projects include playwriting about a girl trying to learn Kabbalah to become a golem, Hebrew letter meditation movements, earring making, and painting what she sees in spiritual realities. Gabrielle’s work is often uncanny and poetically haunting, it relates to the universe and conceptions of femininity, human brokenness and their intersections with Jewish religion. She is currently based in Los Angeles studying Fine Art as a junior at USC Roski with a minor in religion.

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Laura Calero

...is an undergraduate senior studying Communication at USC. Growing up in Puerto Rico, she quickly saw how her beautiful and vibrant island was deteriorating as a result of climate change. The natural disasters that have ravaged Puerto Rico and particularly impacted low-income and coastal communities have inspired Laura to learn about environmental and social-economic inequalities to help aid and rebuild local communities. She is always looking for ways to get involved, whether it be through simple beach clean-ups, volunteering at A Place Called Home, or as the vice president of Challah for Hunger. Laura is committed to advocating for social and environmental justice and believes that the Arts and Climate Collective is a great step forward.

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Eileen Chen

...is a junior undergrad environmental studies and journalism double major with minors in GIS and music. Born and raised in Anhui, China, she loves exploring cities around the world. She is a member of the Student Sustainability Committee, a reporter for Annenberg Media, and a Geodesign Fellow at USC Spatial Sciences Institute working with the Metropolitan Water District to build an energy dashboard. She has been a product intern at an AI copyediting chatbot startup, a rter for L.A. neighborhood news, an environmental think tank intern researching synergistic pathways of air quality and carbon neutrality in China, and a producer for JOVRNALISM, an award-winning AR/VR journalism program. She seeks to maximize her interdisciplinary background to develop innovative solutions for wicked challenges. Fun fact: She is an avid organ player who loves libraries and flowers, and managed to squeeze four instruments onto her international flight to L.A. 

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Seongjune (Andy) Cho

...is currently an undergraduate freshman at Roski School of Art and Design and Viterbi School of Engineering. He enjoys expressing himself through craft—his favorite being mixed-media sculptures. Within his pieces, he visually shows the hypothetical world he sees through his own lens. Often by adding twists, he makes fun/light-hearted yet conceptually deep pieces that stick with the audience and allow it to simmer in their subconsciousness. Surprisingly, although he works utilizing artistic media and expression, he considers himself more as an inventor rather than an artist. By introducing a unique twist through his lens, Andy invents sculptures that emphasize the mundane and how it significantly interacts with the everyday lives of everyone.

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Nehali Doshi

...grew up in Mumbai, India, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Architecture (B.Arch). During and post her education she worked within the realm of urban design, landscape architecture, and community design. Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture + Urbanism and a Graduate Certificate in Heritage Conservation at USC. In these years, she has worked as a Research Assistant and is currently working part-time at PWP Landscape Architecture. She has an inherent interest in designing projects in the public realm, that are based and revolve around complex issues of identity, communities, and cultures and seeks to cater to the issues of urban identity, social inequity, and cultural narratives through the design.

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Daniela Velazco

...is a Los Angeles native with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University and currently a Dual Degree student in Landscape Architecture + Urbanism and Heritage Conservation at USC. Daniela hopes to work with community members to curate places that build nature connections and resonate by telling the stories of the people within them. Before returning to graduate school she worked as a place-based outdoor educator and forest preschool teacher.

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Emily Eid

...is double-majoring in Russian and Art. She loves to work with all media, but her favorite is painting. From a young age, her adopted uncle Ahbihay fostered her interest in fighting for and protecting Indigenous rights. After he passed away from Covid-19 this year, she is even more determined to carry on his memory and inspire change through her artwork. 

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Paola Espinosa

...is a creative, skilled, and dedicated designer with a drive for a sustainable future. She is currently a second-year graduate student in the MFA Design program at the University of Southern California, where she is focused on the research of biomaterials and their viable use within the fashion industry. Her goal is to design clothing that will positively impact the apparel industry’s future and transform the way society views clothing.

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Hannah Michael Flynn

...is a Master of Landscape and Urbanism and Master of Urban Planning student at USC. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Visual Arts from the University of Chicago. She is interested in the intersections of green space, livability, participatory design, and biodiversity.

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Vivian Li

...is a writer and designer studying at the University of Southern California in the Iovine and Young Academy. At USC, she is developing sustainable design guidelines for the USC Office of Sustainability, managing social media communications for the Student Sustainability Committee, and serving on the Presidential Symposium Advisory Board. She is the founder and team lead of climatedu, a climate course made for students, by students. She is actively involved in climate journalism and has been recognized by the New York Times as a winner in their STEM Writing Contest. In her free time, Li loves baking plant-based snacks, running, and singing out loud.

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Kelsey Mcgee

...is a writer and director from Basking Ridge, NJ currently pursuing her MFA in Film & TV Production at the University of Southern California. In 2019, she graduated from Boston College, where she received the Salmanowitz Grant for Moral Courage in Film. Through this grant, Kelsey flew to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she filmed a short documentary on the arts and reconciliation in a post-conflict society. While at USC, Kelsey’s 508 short film “CRYSTAL” has screened at festivals across the U.S. and received awards. As a director, Kelsey greatly values collaboration and inclusivity. Kelsey is deeply interested in and passionate about truth-telling, reconciliation, and healing through art. 

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Jack Mittemeyer

....is 22 years old and a graduate student working to get a MA in specialized journalism. He is most interested in environmental related topics. Jack enjoys spending time outdoors and his hobbies include biking and going to the beach. He also grew up in San Diego. Prior to studying at USC he received an undergraduate degree in journalism at Indiana University. He spent much of his time here working in and learning about broadcast news. Here he also minored in environmental science and graduated in the spring of 2021. At USC Jack is working to improve his skills as a documentary filmmaker. After college he hopes to pursue a career in documentary. He is working to make films covering a variety of outdoor and environmental related topics. Some of Jack's favorite nature documentaries are those narrated by David Attenborough.  

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Josh Palmer

...is a second-year computer science Ph.D. student who is flowing into the intersection of computing, spirituality, and decolonization. His ancestors hail from the bucolic highlands of Scotland as well as the dark green forests of Poland. He is excited to journey on a pilgrimage next summer to nourish reconnection with these ancestral lands. When not flowing into research, he loves to frolic in the garden, cook nourishing foods, commune with woodland spirits, shake his tail feathers, and do fun math problems. He also loves being a teaching assistant and learning from his brilliant students. He is composting self-limiting beliefs into nutrient-rich soil to cultivate safe spaces for collective healing. He feels blessed to join loved ones in decolonizing academic spaces. As we heal and decolonize ourselves, he dreams that the love of power will be irradiated by the power of love.

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Rianna Rios

...is a junior majoring in Public Policy and minoring in Performing Social Change. Prior to transferring to USC in the fall of 2020, she spent a gap semester volunteering in India and Vietnam as well as studying abroad in Spain. The variation of these encounters has highlighted different moments of self-awareness in a professional, personal, and global sense. She chose the combination of policy and the arts because she wants to highlight: the importance of the “in-between” stories that have not been acknowledged in today’s policies. Accordingly, throughout her academic career, she plans to conduct her own research on how community performing arts projects cultivate a more inclusive mission in the policy areas of sustainability, urban planning, and education. By having a nexus of creativity and theoretical practice in policymaking, she hopes to collectively lead with a more empathetic and realistic framework.

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Eytan Stanton

...is an amalgam of experiences and genetic predispositions currently embodied as a human being from the Bronx. Some of his formative experiences include coming of age in NYC’s skateboarding and street art youth culture, apprenticing at various farms, and food justice organizing in his neighborhood. Eytan draws great inspiration and strength from his ancestors, mentors, family, friends, and gardens. His ancestors were rabbis, Kosher chicken butchers, printing press operators, brewers, and three generations of small business owners. His mentors include multimedia artist, educator, DJ, and writer Nicky Enright as well as activist, gardener, and community leader Raymond Pultinas. Back home, with the support of his family, he cultivates a regenerative urban garden with four chickens. Eytan is a Geodesign Fellow pursuing a B.S. in Geodesign with the hopes of leveraging the fields of design and planning for prosocial, ecological, and regenerative change-making. 

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Patrick Waechter

...is a nonfiction multimedia storyteller with focuses on destigmatization, comedic activism, and making complicated things simple. Since 1996, his work has appeared in a whole bunch of publications, some of which you've heard of and some of which you haven't. He was previously the Managing Editor of travel media company ARareWorld, for which he produced 100 issues and reported from 77 countries. Now, he’s pursuing an MA in Specialized Journalism at USC Annenberg with emphasis studies in XR production and digital learning. He’s particularly interested in identifying new ways to convey scientific knowledge, and he’s thrilled to be a part of this community of creative problem solvers united by that exact mission.

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Sage Wheeler

...is a sophomore pursuing a B.A. in English Literature and a B.S. in Environmental Science and Health. After spending his freshman year at Loyola Marymount University's School of Film and Television, he transferred to USC to further his interdisciplinary study of storytelling and natural science. He has interests in a broad range of academic disciplines but treasures most the opportunity to extend that learning to the community around him. In addition to working on his ACC project, he is a staff writer and copy editor for the Daily Trojan newspaper and an active member of the Environmental Student Assembly.

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Stella Yoo

...is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying English Literature and Urban Sustainable Planning. She was born in Seoul and raised in the Los Angeles South Bay. Outside of the Collective, she is an Ahmanson Lab Innovation Scholar conducting research for Bunker Hill Refrain, a digital project that reimagines the Downtown neighborhood lost to urban redevelopment through narrative mapping and data visualizations, and works at Kaya Press, an indie publisher of APIDA diaspora literature. Her interests encompass the intersections of arts and culture and urban planning, and how we can build community power and care through organizing and creative placemaking.

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Milagros Montalvo

...identifies as a Queer, Latinx creative artist from Brooklyn, NY. Milagros is currently a second year student in the Peter Stark Producing MFA program at USC. She was raised in an Afro-Puerto Rican household rich with cultural and diasporic traditions that inform the creative lens in which she works. Having worked in talent representation, unscripted television, and now feature film and scripted TV, Milagros aims to bring her people, culture, and perspectives into the Hollywood narrative and help usher in bold, dynamic, and wholly representative media content. 

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Cam Audras

...is an L.A. native who studies Viola Performance and Environmental Studies at USC. As an undergraduate researcher studying attitudes towards solar energy in the desert, he became fascinated with the role that storytelling plays in engaging communities with environmentalism. He’s performed in acclaimed venues across the United States, Europe, and Australia and hopes to combine his passion for environmental advocacy with his love for music to encourage tangible progress towards environmental sustainability and justice.

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Jordy Coutin

...is currently a second year Master of Public Policy student at USC and will begin a PhD in Public Policy and Management at USC in the fall of 2021. His substantive focus is on local government responses to homelessness, immigration, and health. At USC he founded The Price of Policy, a student-produced public policy podcast focusing on the hidden and explicit consequences of public policy decisions in LA. Prior to joining USC, he worked as a Housing Coordinator with Brilliant Corners, allocating housing subsidies and providing property related tenant services to formerly homeless clients to improve housing stability.

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Arabella Delgado

...is a first-year Ph.D. student in American Studies and Ethnicity at USC. She received her B.A. in Anthropology and American Culture from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Arabella’s research interests revolve around the representation of ethnic Mexicans in preservation projects along the U.S.-Mexico border and how this impacts public history.

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Sue Dexter

...is currently a Ph.D. candidate at USC's Sol Price School of Public Policy, studying goods movement, urban spatial structure, and technologies to reduce carbon emissions. This interest stems from her concern for the environment, numerous years working in logistics, and living near the USA's largest port complex. Her dissertation investigates life-cycle impacts of alternative fuel heavy-duty cargo vehicles on greenhouse gas reductions, as well as impacts to firm operations. She holds a master's degree from the London School of Economics in Operations Research and serves on the Advisory Board for Cabrillo High School's Academy of Global Logistics (AGL) program.

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William Higbie

...is a producer and documentary filmmaker studying in the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Growing up in a leafy suburb just two miles beyond the Detroit border, he quickly saw the economic and racial inequities that exist within America. This put him on a mission to understand how these differences came into existence in Detroit and explore what his own privilege meant. William spent four years crafting the short documentary Painting the Town: the Street Art of Detroit which won best documentary at the All American High School Film Festival and gained acceptances into DOC NYC, Mill Valley Film Festival, and the Traverse City Film Festival. His passions for politics, the climate crisis, and criminal justice reform are at the root of many of his new projects.

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Imani Johnson

...is a sophomore studying Business Administration and minoring in Environmental Studies. She has always been fascinated by the intersection of business and the environment and seeks ways to redesign the production and consumption of goods via sustainable models. On campus, she is involved in Marshall Outreach Volunteer Entrepreneurs, a mental health podcast called Honesty Hour, and recently founded the podcast Eco Alarm. In her free time she enjoys baking, photography, and upcycling old clothes from her closet.

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Jelina Liu

...hails from Berkeley, California, and is deeply involved in the climate movement, particularly in student-led efforts to secure colleges’ divestment from fossil fuel. She is always looking for ways to combine her passion in grassroots organizing with her love for documentary film and at USC she studies Journalism and NGOs and Social Change with a minor in Documentary. Jelina will be spending her summer in Minnesota at the frontlines of the fight to stop the Line 3 Pipeline.

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Jaime Lopez

...is a third year Ph.D. candidate studying Urban Planning and Development at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. He has undergraduate degrees in film production and history from UCLA, a Master’s degree in City Planning from UC Berkeley, and was recently a Planning Commissioner in the City of Paramount. His doctorate studies focus on environmental planning/justice, participatory planning, and the use of narratives and storytelling in policy making and public participation. Over the past year he has directed two short documentaries in Southeast LA, showcasing local civic engagement and environmental justice concerns.

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Cassandra
Flores-Montaño

 

...discovered her passion for filmmaking as a video producer working across film, tv, theater, and live events. From her personal experience of becoming increasingly aware of systemic and compounding social/environmental issues through media and activism, she knows sharing great stories can inspire, connect, inform, and motivate people as well as entertain. She's committed to producing media that reveals and uplifts underrepresented communities, ideas, and norms — and is enthusiastic about entertainment that gives back through charitable partnerships. As an MFA candidate of USC's Peter Stark Producing Program, she's currently developing her thesis project, which uses a classic fable to explore themes of defining your role in the climate crisis and tackling climate grief. Rachel views environmental issues and climate change narratives as critically important and is always pushing for creative and unexpected ways to make these subjects accessible to a broad audience.

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Natasha Nutkiewicz

 

...is an Argentinian multi-hyphenate artist and entrepreneur studying Theatre and Cinematic Arts at USC. After her experience immigrating and growing up in Miami, she is determined to promote empathy, equity and justice through her various art forms and productions. She is excited to create films that move the world forward with the USC Arts and Climate Collective.

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Catelin Shane

...is an alumna of the High School for the Performing & Visual Arts and Howard University, where she began filmmaking for social justice. In 2016, she served as a community development site coordinator for Alternative Spring Break following Hurricane Harvey, which was awarded President Barack Obama’s highest medal in community service, the Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. As an MFA candidate of the Film & Television Production Division at USC, she dedicates her time to directing and storyboarding films that reflect the beauty in (re)membering who Black people have always been to one another: with reverence to cultural meaning-making and a curiosity for unexploited freedom.

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Gwenan Walker

...combines her passions for both the visual arts and marine sciences to produce compelling art that explores climate change particularly as it affects our planet’s oceans. As a sophomore at USC, her artistic interests currently lie within painting and 2D animation, although she plans to use her current project to further expand her creative horizons.

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Irene Franco Rubio

...is an activist, writer, and organizer based in Phoenix, Arizona. She is studying Sociology at USC and minoring in Race, Ethnicity and Politics. Irene is an Agent of Change within the Dornsife Civil Rights Advocacy Clinic and a Norman Topping First-Gen Scholar. A young Latinx woman of Guatemalan and Mexican descent, Irene is rooted in community and devoted to movements for social, racial, and environmental justice. She is committed to advocating for BIPOC communities through intersectional movement building and uplifting historically underrepresented voices. Irene is a Gen Z media professional centering her work at the intersection of activism, media, and journalism as a catalyst for change.