Mentors

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If you are an Ohio State University student, have experience with computer graphics and/or animation and are interested in becoming a mentor for this program, please contact Program Director Maria Palazzi at palazzi.1.osu.edu.
 

Maria Palazzi

Maria Palazzi is the Director of the Advanced Computing Center for Art and Design (ACCAD) and Associate Professor of Design. As the project leader and founder of ACCAD's annual summer program Digital Animation: A Technology Mentoring Program for Young Women she has received support from sponsors such as The Women’s Fund, Fifth/Third Bank and Dreamworks Animation. Her interest in mentoring women in technology grew out of her experiences in production and education in which women are under-represented as animators and students of animation.

Advanced
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Charlotte Belland

Charlotte Belland 
(2001)



Industrial, Interior & Visual Communication Design

Charlotte completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at The Columbus College of Art and Design as a four-year Battelle Scholar. Extra-curricular work with animation directed her to further study at The Ohio State University where she completed an MFA in Computer Visualization.

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Samantha Steele

Samantha Steele
(2001)



Industrial, Interior & Visual Communication Design

Samantha was a graduate student in the Department of Industrial, Interior and Visual Communication Design at The Ohio State University where her interests included working in animation production. She graduated from OSU with a BS in Industrial Design. Her experience included working for Procter & Gamble Co., where she was involved with the development of various brands. She also contracted at Design Axis. Inc. and Priority Designs, Inc. where she worked as an Industrial Designer.

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Katie Whitlock

Katie Whitlock
(2001)




Theatre


Katie was a doctoral student in the Department of Theatre. Her interest in technology stemmed from her work in sound design for theatre as well as her research interests. Katie's work in theatre has included numerous sound designs, directing credits and even a performance or two. She has a BFA in Stage and Arts Management from the University of Arizona and an MFA in Theatre Design from the University of Memphis.

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Erika Cucchetti

Erika Cucchetti
(2003) 




Industrial, Interior & Visual Communication Design

Erika graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. While working in architecture firms after graduation, she began to cultivate other design area interests that she discovered during her undergraduate studies. Erika then returned to OSU to pursue an MFA in Design. 

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Jessica Miller

Jessica Miller
(2001, 2003)




Art & Technology


Jessica was a graduate of The Ohio State University with a BFA degree in Art and Technology. Jessica worked as a mentor for the Women and Technology summer program and also worked in ACCAD's Motion Capture Lab. Her interests included interactivity and she completed a piece that incorporated industrial magnets that were programmed to control ferrofluids.

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Beth Novak

Beth Novak
(2003)




Industrial, Interior & Visual Communication Design

Beth completed an MFA degree at The Ohio State University's Department of Industrial, Interior, and Visual Communications Design with a specialization in Interface Design. After earning a degree in Visual Communication from Ohio University, Beth worked in the design departments of such companies as The Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, and America Online.

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Shana Burns

Shana Burns
(2004) 




Digital Animation & Visualization

Shana holds an MFA in Digital Animation and Visualization from The Ohio State University and a MFA in Scenic Design from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

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Rachel Smith

Rachel Smith 
(2004) 




Art Education

Rachel was a Master’s student in the Department of Art Education. She holds an Ohio Visual Arts Teaching License and has experience teaching the visual arts in a variety of settings and was a Teaching Associate for Art Education 160: Art and Music Since 1945. Rachel research interests included controversial art, contemporary art, and web and interactive design, focusing on implications for art education.

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Carrie Wilson

Carrie Wilson
(2003–2004) 




Digital Animation & Visualization

Carrie was a Master's student in the Industrial, Interior, and Visual Communications Design program specializing in Computer Animation and Visualization. Her areas of interest included 3D animation, lighting, and texturing as well as video, web, and photo manipulations. Carrie's research was based on incorporating multimedia into live performance, and designing these elements for live performance.

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Yuegu Hu

Yuegu Hu
(2004)




Industrial, Interior & Visual Communication Design 

Yuegu was a graduate student in the Design Department at The Ohio State University. She graduated in 2003 from OSU with a Master's Degree in Architecture and completed her Bachelor's in Architecture from Tsinghua University, P. R. China. Hu's focus of research was on Web and Interactive Design as it applies to the architecture field.

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Vita Berezina-Blackburn

Vita Berezina-Blackburn
(2001,
2004–2005) 


Animation Specialist, ACCAD


Vita is ACCAD's animation and motion capture specialist. She teaches ACCAD classes on motion capture, 3D modeling and virtual reality. Her interests are focused on the integration of motion capture, virtual production, virtual reality and 3D modeling. Vita holds an MFA in Art and Technology from The Ohio State University, an MA in Computer Art and a BBA in Marketing from West Texas A&M University.

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Cara Christeson

Cara Christeson
(2005) 




Digital Animation & Visualization, Design

Cara graduated from the University of Florida College of Engineering  with a degree in Digital Arts and Sciences. Aspiring to become a Technical Director for computer animated films, she continued her education by pursuing a MFA in Design at OSU.

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Melissa Crum

Melissa Crum
(2005) 




Industrial, Interior & Visual Communication Design

Melissa graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in Visual Arts Studies, which focused on traditional art forms (painting, drawing, photography, etc.). She then pursued her MFA in Digital Animation at OSU where her research focused on using animation as a tool to teach elementary school-aged children.

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Katie Lynch

Katie Lynch
(2005)




Art


Katie graduated in from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a dual focus on Glass and Ceramics. She has taught fine arts courses in the Glass Department and Foundation, and was an instructor at Glass Axis, a public access glass facility. As a graduate student in the Department of Art at The Ohio State University her artistic pursuits included interactive media, kinetic sculpture, creative writing, and lost wax casting.

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Kathy Vajda

Kathy Vajda
(2003–2005)




History of Art


Kathy was a Doctoral student in Ohio State's History of Art Department. She was also a Graduate Research Associate at ACCAD working on funding research, grant writing and program development. Kathy completed her MA at the University of Texas at Austin in Media Studies with concentrations in Convergent Media and Technology and Information Policy. Her research interests focused on contemporary media arts.

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Caitlin Gosnell

Caitlin Gosnell
(2006)




2004 Program Participant 

Caitlin participated in the Digital Animation Mentoring Program during the summer of 2004, and then returned to the program as a mentor during her time as an undergraduate at The Ohio State University.

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Fran Kalal

Fran Kalal
(2003–2006)




Digital Animation & Visualization

Fran attended The Ohio State University on a University Fellowship. She was a part of the MFA program in the Design Department where she studied 3-D surfacing, ActionScript programming, and interactive installation creation.

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Esther Palmer

Esther Palmer
(2005–2006)




Dance & Technology

Esther received her BA from the University of Chicago and completed her MFA in Dance and Technology at the Ohio State University. Her creative work and research interests combined the moving image and performance, exploring issues of perception.

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Alice Panek

Alice Panek
(2005–2006)




Computer Graphics & Animation

Alice attended DePaul University, studying Computer Graphics and Animation, and minoring in Japanese. As a past participant in the 2003 Digital Animation Mentoring Program, she sought to encourage interest in digital art among young women.

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Ashley Thorndike

Ashley Thorndike
(2006)



Dance

Ashley was an MFA candidate in the Department of Dance. She received her BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah and an MEd in Counseling from the University of Virginia. She was a co-founder of Prospect Dance Group in Charlottesville, VA.

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Francie Buschur

Francie Buschur
(2004,
2006–2007) 


Design

Francie graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts Graphic Design, and worked in the fields of Corporate Identity and Wayfinding Graphics for three years before returning to OSU to pursue her Masters Degree.

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Terri Lynn Easter

Terri Lynn Easter
(2007)



Geodynamics


Terri received a BS in electrical engineering from Gannon University, and MEd in math, science, and technology education from The Ohio State University. She also completed a MS degree in geodynamics followed by a PhD in geodynamics at OSU researching molecular dynamics of solid solutions.

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Annie Maclean

Annie Maclean
(2007)




Industrial, Interior & Visual Communication Design

Annie was an MFA candidate at The Ohio State University in the Department of Industrial, Interior, and Visual Communication Design pursuing a degree in Design Development. Annie's academic interests included 3-D graphics and animation, visualization, and teaching. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Interior Design from OSU.

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Beth Albright

Beth Albright
(2006–2008) 




Design


Beth received a BFA in graphic design from the University of Notre Dame. Afterwards, she's worked as a designer and art director for clients including Disney, Warner Bros., and Nickelodeon. Her credits included Space Jam, 101 Dalmatians II, and The Fox and the Hound II, along with a number of commercials and theatrical shorts. Beth then pursued an MFA The Ohio State University specializing in digital animation.

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Neelima Karanam

Neelima Karanam
(2008)



Computer Science Engineering


Neelima pursued  her Masters in Computer Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University specializing in Computer Graphics and Animation. Her interests included full body motion capture and special effects in Maya.

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Amber Cecil

Amber Cecil
(2008–2010) 




Digital Animation & Interactive Media

Amber received a Bachelor of Science degree from Bradley University in Peoria, IL with a major in graphic design and a minor in multimedia. Upon graduation she worked as an Assistant Art Director in fields of corporate identity, print design, and illustration for one year before coming to The Ohio State University to pursue her Masters Degree.

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Jane Drozd

Jane Drozd
(2007–2010) 




Digital Animation & Interactive Media

Jane received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art with a specialization in glass from The Ohio State University. As a graduate student in the Digital Animation and Interactive Media MFA program her research interests included interaction, 3-D animation, and glass casting. 

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Mary Twohig

Mary Twohig
(2008–2010)




Digital Animation & Interactive Media

Mary was a graduate student in the Digital Animation and Interactive Media MFA program in the Department of Design at The Ohio State University.  She graduated from Bowling Green State University with a BFA in Digital Arts. Her primary interests included animation and game design.

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Natalia Mercado

Natalia Mercado
(2008–2011)



Animation


Natalia is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Animation. She interned at ACCAD and attended the Digital Animation Program in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Natalia also mentored in the 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 programs.

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Florence Gouvrit-Montaño

Florence Gouvrit-Montañol
(2011)


Art & Technology


Florence received a BFA from “La Esmeralda” in Mexico City and an MPhil in Philosophy of science and technology from The National Autonomous University of Mexico. She then completed an MFA degree in Art & Technology at OSU researching the area of empathy in New Media arts.

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Gigi Fournier

Gigi Fournier
(2014)




Art & Technology


Gigi received her BFA in Art and Technology at The Ohio State University. She has an Associate Degree in Digital Design and Graphics from Columbus State. Gigi was also a participant in the Digital Animation Mentoring Program from 2005-2008.

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Nikki Lemon

Nikki Lemon
(2011–2012, 2014)



Digital Animation & Interactive Media

Nikki received her BFA in Art with a specialization in art and technology from The Ohio State University. She then received her MFA from the Department of Design at OSU in the Digital Animation and Interactive Media program. Her thesis research involved pre-visualization, layout and cinematography.

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Tristyn Lyon

Tristyn Lyon
(2014)




Art & Technology


Tristyn completed a BFA degree in Art & Technology at The Ohio State University. Her interest included post-production, cinematography, and lighting. Tristyn was also a participant in the Digital Animation Mentoring Program in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

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Karen Ross

Karen Ross
(2014–2015)




Digital Animation & Interactive Media

Karen received a BFA in Animation from Edinboro University. She then completed an MFA degree in Digital Animation & Interactive Media at The Ohio State University. Karen’s specialties included 2D animation, character design, and storyboarding.

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Malory Spicer

Malory Spicer
(2011–2015)




Digital Animation & Interactive Media

Malory was an MFA student at The Ohio State University studying Digital Animation & Interactive Media. She received her Bachelors Degree in Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) from OSU with a focus on computer graphics and animation. Malory was a participant in the Digital Animation Mentoring Program in 2005, 2006, and 2007 before returning as a mentor.

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Alice Grishchenko

Alice Grishchenko
(2015–2016)



Digital Animation & Interactive Media

Alice received her MFA in Digital Animation and Interactive Media at The Ohio State University and has a BFA in Graphic Design from Florida State University. Her research focused on creating interactive media using game engines and programming of procedural animation.

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Laura Leon Jordan

Laura Leon Jordan
(2016)



Design Research & Development

Laura completed an MFA in Design Research and Development at The Ohio State University and has a BSD in Industrial Design from OSU. Her research focused on creating interactive media to communicate and deliver health information in order to aid in health literacy.

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Sarah Lawler

Sarah Lawler
(2015–2016)




Theatrical Lighting Design

Sarah attended The Ohio State University in pursuit of he Masters. She graduated with a B.A. in Theatrical Design, with an emphasis in Lighting from California State University San Bernardino. As a Lighting Fellow at The Old Globe Theatre, she was an assistant lighting designer for the Tony Award winning show A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. Working as a freelancer, Sarah has designed shows such as Two Gentleman of Verona, Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing, and Miss Kitty's Wild West Revue.

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Maddy Varner

Maddy Varner
(2016)




Art

Maddy Varner studied Fine Art at Carnegie Mellon University as an undergraduate. She is a founding member of Deep Lab, a computer security collective, and a former Virtual Research Fellow of the Free Art and Technology Lab. Maddy was also a participant in the Digital Animation Mentoring Program from 2009–2012.

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Ece Karaca

Ece Karaca
(2017)




Design Research & Development

Ece received her MFA from The Ohio State University in the Department of Design’s Design Research and Development program. As a visual communication designer, her interests were in interactive information design and data visualization. Ece's creative research focused on data visualization prototyping using emerging interactive technologies.

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Riley Patrick

Riley Patrick
(2014–2018)




Art & Technology

Riley studied Art and Technology as an undergraduate student at The Ohio State University. Her focus was on animation, game design, and virtual reality. Riley was also a participant of the program from 2009–2012.

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Audrey Jewell

Audrey Jewell
(2017–2018)




Art

Audrey pursued her BFA in Art and Technology at The Ohio State University. Her interests included both 2D and 3D animation, and her focus was on making short comedic films that comment on more serious issues.

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Stacey Dunten

Stacey Dunten
(2017–2018) 




Digital Animation & Interactive Media

Stacey was an MFA Candidate at The Ohio State University in the Department of Design's Digital Animation and Interactive Media program. She also holds a BFA in Digital Arts from Bowling Green State University.

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Leah Coleman

Leah Coleman
(2018) 




Digital Animation & Interactive Media 

Leah received her MFA from The Ohio State University in the Department of Design’s Digital Animation and Interactive Media program. Her focus involved developing an understanding of her own definition of animation, as well as contributing to the field of animation, specifically in 2D medium. 

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Elena Garcia

Elena Garcia
(2018)




Art


Elena received her BFA in Art and Technology at The Ohio State University. Her interests included 3D animation and modeling as well as photogrammetry and concept art.

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Ashten Brooks

Ashten Brooks
(2019)




Art


Ashten graduated from the Ohio State University with a BFA in Art and Technology where she worked on developing an augmented reality app, ARTrees, which helps facilitate playful and educational interactions with trees on campus. Her work mainly focuses in 3D animation, 2D animation, and digital illustration.

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Sara Caudill

Sara Caudill
(2019)




Digital Animation & Interactive Media

Sara received a BA in East Asian Studies from the College of William & Mary. She taught English for three years in South Korea before returning to pursue an MFA in Design at The Ohio State University specializing in Digital Animation and Interactive Media. Her animation credits include an internship on The Simpsons and a role as the background designer and color stylist for a peer's thesis film.

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Maya Jenkins

Maya Jenkins
(2019)




Design Research & Development


Maya graduated from The Ohio State University with a BA in Communication Technology and New Media with Design and Japanese minors. After two years serving as assistant digital editor for Columbus Dispatch Magazines, she returned to OSU to pursue an MFA specializing in Design Research and Development. Maya's research interest entailed using user experience and interaction design methods to reduce stigma surrounding suicide and mental health disorders.

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Abby Walouke

Abby Walouke
(2019)

 




Art

Abby completed her BFA at The Ohio State University pursuing a focus in visual development, concept art, and animation. She also worked at OSU Athletic's Video Production department creating animations for scoreboards and website. Abby is also a freelance artist around the Columbus area creating a broad range of work such as illustrations for tattoos, wedding invitations, and sculpting monsters for haunted houses.

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Sasha Yu

Shasha Yu
(2019)

 




Design

Shasha was a graduate student in the Department of Design at the Ohio State University. Before returning to OSU, she had a master's degree in Psychology and worked as a UX researcher in a global Game Design company. Her research interests examined design for deep human values, specifically how design would empower people. Shasha's projects focused on facilitating growth mindsets of creativity for college students by using a game design approach, and creating an interactive social support network to promote college students' subjective well-being