Season 6

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Evy Chen ‘10 on Making it as an Entrepreneur

May 16, 2023, 12:00 p.m. EST

Evy entered Emerson as a marketing student and left an entrepreneur - for life! She and Georgette discuss the cultural inspiration behind Evy Tea, and get candid about navigating the entrepreneurial reigns as a woman of color, the challenges she faced raising capital, and one thing she wouldn't compromise on. Recorded on April 23, 2023.

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Jasmine Solano ‘06 on Making it as a DJ, Digital Host, and Cultural Organizer

May 23, 2023, 12:00 p.m. EST

Jasmine is a multidisciplinary artist in all the ways. She's a DJ, an on camera and radio host, a cultural organizer, just to name a few. Georgette and Jasmine both have deep WERS roots, fun fact: Jasmine created The Secret Spot,  and they wax poetic on her journey building a career around music and activism, her new work-life balance, and advice she'd give her younger Emerson self. Recorded on March 29, 2023.

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Madeline Kay Sneed MFA ‘20 on Making it as a Fiction Writer

May 30, 2023, 12:00 p.m. EST

Madeline was on her way to becoming a published author before she completed her MFA. She shares how writing her debut novel, The Golden Season, became a form of liberation for her navigating the intersection of queerness and faith, and how her forthcoming novel, Today, Tonight, Forever, showed the lessons she learned on becoming traditionally published, how she freed herself through writing, and advocating for the LGBTQ+ community personally and artistically. Recorded on March 22, 2023.

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Ballard C. Boyd ‘04 on Making it as a Director

June 6, 2023, 12:00 p.m. EST

Ballard C. Boyd is a segment director and producer and segment producer at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert but before he made it to late night television or won any Emmys, he was making ice cream in his hometown after graduating from Emerson. The path to what we want is rarely linear and he shares his journey with Georgette while giving us a glimpse into how he eventually made it in New York and what kept him going even during the so-called tough times. Recorded on April 4, 2023.

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Winnie Carrillo ‘14 on Making it in Film Development

June 13, 2023, 12:00 p.m. EST

Growing up in Guatemala, Winnie never imagined that she’d find herself as a film executive at a top Hollywood Studio. Winnie shares with Georgette how she remained steadfast in wanting to assist international students like herself and was very honest about how she learned some things the hard way during her time in school. On this journey, we're often reminded to stay flexible and Winnie did just that. Recorded on April 13, 2023.

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Chrystee Pharris on Making it as an Actress

June 20, 2023, 12:00 p.m. EST

Chrystee knew at a very young age, she was meant to perform and has done just that with roles on Scrubs, Passions, and most recently, Monogamy. She gets real with Georgette about her time at Emerson, how she's easing her way back into acting after a brief hiatus, and how keeping up with the current trends in her industry has kept her gainfully employed. Recorded on April 19, 2023.

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Georgette Pierre MA ‘09 on Making it as a Creative Producer

August 15, 2023, 12:00 p.m. EST

Georgette passes the mic to our new host, Hunter Reis ‘17! Hunter explores the trial and error process of creating content for brand-new social media platforms and how the pandemic reset his relationship to work. He then turns the tables on Georgette, and they reflect on the highlights of her time as host and what project she’s diving into next. Recorded on July 14, 2023.

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Seth Adam ‘08 on Making it as a Diplomat

October 24, 2023, 12:00 p.m. EST

Seth Adam is no stranger to career moves. After getting his degree in Theatre Studies, he spent time working at GLAAD before becoming a US Foreign Service Officer. He talks to Hunter about lessons he’s learned along the way including finding work you love, learning from your mistakes, and using your voice for good. Recorded on September 2, 2023.

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Jamie Loftus ‘14 on Making it as a Comedic Writer

October 31, 2023, 12:00 p.m. EST

After her time at Emerson, Jamie Loftus started out as a comedian, but certainly didn’t stop there. Between starting a podcast (before they were cool) and writing a New York Times Best Seller about the history of hot dogs (yes, hot dogs), her creative endeavors have taken her to a lot of places, most recently even out to LA. Jamie shares with Hunter how taking risks and keeping things fresh have led to her success. Recorded on August 30, 2023.

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Jessica Joseph ‘13 on Making it as a Marketing Strategist

November 7, 2023, 12:00 p.m. EST

Jessica Joseph, Director of Commercial Strategy for the New York Time’s WireCutter, joins Hunter to talk all things green: from advice for young professionals on money management to connecting to her family roots while gardening during the pandemic. She reflects on her time in advertising, the joys of teaching, and the lasting impact the Emerson community has on her personal and professional relationships. Recorded August 25, 2023.

Season 5

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Zach Kornfeld ’12 on Making it in Digital Production

October 11, 2022

Zach Kornfeld studied video production at Emerson, and now? He tries EVERYTHING. A member of the beloved YouTube channel turned multi-media franchise, The Try Guys, Zach uses his Emerson degree every day — but he’s not doing it alone, and in fact, recommends strongly against doing just that when the power of collaboration is immeasurable. Recorded July 25, 2022.

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Pamela Zapata ‘10 on Making it as a CEO

October 18, 2022

Pamela Zapata is a powerhouse who can do it all, but in running a business, she’s learned the hard way that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. But before all that, she was Georgette’s supervisor at WERS. After a decade of not seeing one another, the pair catches up to talk about training a team remotely, finding the confidence to negotiate your salary and making the decision to let go of perfection for the sake of progress (AND saving yourself in the process).
Recorded on July, 27, 2022.

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David Yoon, MFA ‘00 on Making it as an Author

October 25, 2022

David Yoon tells lies for a living. He’s been chasing the feeling of making his entire class laugh at a story in the 3rd grade, and with time, talent, and a little luck, has 4 different titles with his name on the spine in any given bookstore. Alongside his wife, Nicola, who he met at Emerson, the writer power couple has set forth on a journey to help other POC writers tell love stories for their imprint, Joy Revolution. Dave talks with Georgette about everything from the importance of taking a break, rejection, and being your own boss. Recorded on August 1, 2022.

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Dominique Bañas ‘13 and Quinn Marcus ‘13 on Making it Together

November 1, 2022

For a Making it Big first, we have a dynamic duo who first became friends while at Emerson. From Boylston Street to Sunset Boulevard, Dominique and Quinn’s decade-long friendship laid the foundation for their creative, working relationship, as they embark on making a travel-dating show together. The pair discuss inspiration versus comparison, how to keep your creative fire lit when it feels like the world is trying to snuff you out, and what it’s like to create work with your friends after honing your industry skills for 10 years. Recorded on August 4, 2022.

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Shanaé Burch ‘13 on Making it in Public Health

November 8, 2022

Shanaé Burch is a storyteller at heart and is now using her roots in the theater to revive health and reconcile hearts while pursuing an EdD in Public Health at Columbia University. Her path may seem like a winding one but as she shares her experiences on the stage, in the classroom and as a co-editor of Poetry for the Public’s Health, you’ll find that this Emerson alum is a living embodiment of our motto, Innovation in Communication and the Arts. Recorded on August 2, 2022

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Dion Lim ‘06 on Making it as a Broadcast Journalist

November 15, 2022

After earning a reputation as a feel-good news anchor, Dion Lim found her serious side in the wake of the pandemic and the rise in violence and bigotry toward the AAPI community.  On the surface, she might have a perfect smile, hairdo, and face of makeup -- in addition to an aesthetically pleasing Zoom backdrop -- but make no mistake, Dion is so much more than the face you see on your TV. She and Georgette delve into her life as a reporter, her new role as author and how some of the most important things she learned at Emerson didn’t come from her text books. Recorded on August 10, 2022. 

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Alan Gwizdowski ‘09 on Making it as a Cinematographer

November 22, 2022

Alan Gwizdowski started out shooting skateboarding videos with his high school buddies before he found himself at Emerson College. It was there that he met some new friends, specifically Dan Perrault ‘09 and Tony Yacenda ‘10, who he’s continued to work with, mostly recently on the Paramount+ series, Players. Alan and Georgette wax poetic about the advice he'd give his younger self, his “holy shit” moment working in television, and lessons he learned the hard way. Recorded on September 19, 2022. 

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Donzaleigh Abernathy ‘80 on Making it as a Triple Threat

November 29, 2022

Donzaleigh Abernathy chose Emerson because she wanted to go to school where people would learn and know her name. Flash forward after many years as a working actress, activist, and writer, and people in airports know her name! She joins Georgette to talk about life as an artist, growing up during the Civil Rights movement with its creators, and the importance of the connections she made during her Emerson days. Recorded on August 9, 2022.

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Evy Chen ‘10 on Making it as an Entrepreneur

May 16, 2023, 12:00 p.m. EST

Evy entered Emerson as a marketing student and left an entrepreneur - for life! She and Georgette discuss the cultural inspiration behind Evy Tea, and get candid about navigating the entrepreneurial reigns as a woman of color, the challenges she faced raising capital, and one thing she wouldn't compromise on. Recorded on April 23, 2023.

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Jasmine Solano ‘06 on Making it as a DJ, Digital Host, and Cultural Organizer

May 23, 2023, 12:00 p.m. EST

Jasmine is a multidisciplinary artist in all the ways. She's a DJ, an on camera and radio host, a cultural organizer, just to name a few. Georgette and Jasmine both have deep WERS roots, fun fact: Jasmine created The Secret Spot,  and they wax poetic on her journey building a career around music and activism, her new work-life balance, and advice she'd give her younger Emerson self. Recorded on March 29, 2023.

Season 4

Episode 1: May Calamawy ‘08 on Making it as an Actress

May Calamawy was bound and determined to become an actress. She teased the idea of studying industrial design to appease her family, but when she got accepted at Emerson, she chased her dream all the way from Bahrain to Boston. From a role on Golden Globe-winning Ramy to an upcoming part on Disney+ and Marvel’s Moon Knight (out March 30, 2022), May is one to watch, but the path to those projects wasn’t exactly a straight shot. She talks with Georgette about that path and an actor’s journey to authenticity - from the roles you attract, the people you work with, and the importance of trusting your gut.

Episode 2: Howard “D” Simpson ‘94 on Making It in Radio

D Simpson’s relationship with 88.9FM WERS started off the way anyone’s might: by listening. From a teenage fan tuning in from Mattapan to becoming on-air talent while a student, D’s relationship with Boston’s beloved station has grown and transformed over the years. He later stepped on as the Operations Manager and now serves as its General Manager. Georgette knows better than anyone how special D is, having been mentored by him while at Emerson herself. The pair reunite to talk about the importance of mentorship, creating your voice, speaking your truth, and letting “it’s funny how things turn out” become your motto.

Episode 3: Jill Bream ‘03 on Making It as a Costume Designer

Jill Bream is known for dressing funny people - whether it be the many stars who cycle through SNL or the hilarious cast of The Other Two, it’s Jill’s costuming that brings the characters to life and enhances the hilarity that ensues. She and Georgette chat about her clothing-filled journey from Gabriel Brother’s (now Gabe’s) in Ohio to Boylston Street to the bright lights of 30 Rock - as well as her alum husband, their proposal story, the importance of keeping track of your receipts, and the very interesting jobs she’d choose if she were ever to switch careers.

Episode 4: Traci Blackwell, MA ‘14 on Making it as a Scripted Television Executive

Trustee Traci Blackwell has spent years nurturing the television shows you love - from Girlfriends to Supernatural to Jane the Virgin, Traci was there every day, season to season, shepherding production. After 14 years at the CW, she leveled up in her career again - this time as an EVP of Scripted Programming for the BET network. Her secret? It’s a climb. Georgette talks with her all about the rung-to-rung journey up that ladder, advice to pay more attention to your personal life, and how she wouldn’t be where she is today without Emerson’s LA program.

Episode 6: Deborah Feingold ‘73 on Making It as a Photographer to the Stars

Deborah Feingold’s 40-year career as a photographer started during her days at Emerson College. It was a perfect recipe: the dashed dream of becoming an actor, a job in a camera shop on Boylston Street, and Stephen Shipps, the professor who changed her life forever. Since then, she has taken so many iconic shots of major figures from Madonna to President Obama. Deborah and Georgette chat about building up your confidence, wishing she wasn’t so angry in her young adulthood, and the importance of making a life that matters to you.

Episode 7: Matt Labov ‘90 on Making It in Publicity

Matt Labov may have wanted to become a sportscaster while at Emerson, but he’s made quite the career for himself representing all sorts of people and projects as one of Hollywood’s veteran publicists. He’s worked with clients ranging from video games to country music but carved out a unique space for himself working with A-list comedians. Georgette and Matt talk about finding your niche, rejection building character, avoiding the shoulda-coulda-woulda by taking risks, and above all else, the advice to not take things personally.

Episode 8: Hunter Harris ‘16 on Making It as a Writer, Reporter, and Voice in Pop Culture

Hunter Harris always knew her future would involve writing, but came to Emerson thinking she would become a “serious Watergate reporter.” What she ended up discovering was that both what she liked AND did best had everything to do with pop culture and entertainment. In our season finale episode, Hunter gets meta with Georgette about the challenges and joys of interviewing others while being interviewed herself. The two talk about her Substack newsletter, the decision to go freelance, and how the practice of writing is much more about exercising a muscle than cultivating a talent.

Season 3

Episode 1: Sara Morgan ‘05, MA ‘10 on Making It as a Woman in Tech

Not only is Sara a “Double Lion,” but she also serves as a member of Emerson's Board of Advisors. She and Terri chat about her seemingly winding but very intentional career path from radio to PR to Tech and how being a mentor for and volunteering with young Women of Color who are following in her footsteps has connected her back to Emerson in a profoundly meaningful way. Recorded on August 3, 2021

Episode 2: Brent Baughman ‘10 on Making It as a Radio and Podcast Producer

Brent is usually on the “other side of the glass” working as a podcast producer for NPR, but he was kind enough to sit in the guest chair for this conversation with Terri. Find out why he was determined to not go into radio when he entered Emerson, how he ended up at NPR 12 years ago, and how he’s managed to create new opportunities for himself during his decade plus long career there. Recorded on August 2, 2021

Episode 3: Carolyn Snell ‘97 on Making it in the Music Industry

Carolyn and Terri have a blast throwing it back to the 90’s as she shares her journey from Biore Pore Strip girl at Lilith Fair to tour manager for Brandi Carlile, Janet Jackson, Reba McEntire and the Indigo Girls - just to name a few! Carolyn is working with some of the biggest names in the music industry but still finds time to give back to a very special place to her, Thistle Farms, and explains how it made a much bigger impact on her than she expected. Recorded on August 2, 2021

Episode 4: John Grisby, MA ‘94 on Making it as a Leadership Consultant

John is a unique alum in that he never set foot in Boston while earning his Masters in Global Marketing, Communication & Advertising. John and Terri discuss how he’s made a career overseas teaching leaders how to lead, whether they be in the energy industry or sports, and why he thinks Emerson has always been on the cutting edge of innovation and played a critical role in his life. Recorded on August 4, 2021

Episode 5: Edwin Hill, MFA ‘03 on Making It as a Crime Novelist

Emersonians may know Edwin as one of their professors, but the outside world knows him as the critically-acclaimed writer of mystery and crime fiction who penned the popular Hester Thursby series. But Edwin wasn’t an overnight sensation. He and Terri chat about what finally inspired him to be a full time writer after a long career in the publishing industry and why he encourages his students to break the rules of writing. Recorded on August 5, 2021

Episode 6: Mal Meyer ‘15 on Making It as a Reporter

Mal knew he wanted to be a reporter, but didn’t realize he wanted to be an investigative reporter until he went to a conference that a fellow Emersonian posted about it. Mal shares his journey from San Francisco, CA to Bemidji, MN (yes, it’s a real place) to Portland, ME with Terri as they discuss the best way to get the scoop, why he’s really good at keeping secrets, and how he found himself at Emerson on a bit of a whim and it ended up being exactly the right place. Recorded on August 6, 2021

Episode 7: Alexis Clements ‘01 on Making It as a Writer and Filmmaker

Alexis started out thinking that a career in acting would be a good backup for a career in writing but as it turns out, she’s had a pretty impressive career as a writer, filmmaker and recently, podcast host. Terri and Alex chat about working in the arts (for better or worse), how she found herself at Emerson after a Science & Technology High School and the importance of building a community. Recorded on September 3, 2021

Season 2

Episode 1: Chelsey Cartwright ‘13 on Making It in Politics

Little did Terri know that days after speaking with Chelsey about her whirlwind career on the Biden Harris campaign, Chelsey would be named the new Deputy Liaison to the White House for the US Dept. of the Interior. Hear just how Chelsey got there while also remaining true to the storyteller that she’s always been. Recorded on January 13, 2021.

Episode 2: Jill Gearin ‘18 on Making It in Sports

Jill and Terri discuss what it means to be a “woman in sports” after Jill landed a job as the voice of the Visalia Rawhide right after graduating from Emerson. Jill has a unique perspective on the game of baseball as not only a woman, but as an athlete as well. Recorded on February 10, 2021.

Episode 3: Marc Douthit ‘86 on Making It as a Lawyer

You may think “lawyer” and know exactly what this episode will be about. Marc Douthit is, indeed, a lawyer, but he’s also a person in a world that tends to overthink itself and underestimate everyone else. You’ll be surprised to hear how Marc ended up at Emerson, into Law and even into the role of Dad in a very unexpected way. Recorded on February 10, 2021.

Episode 4: Felicia Pride MA ‘05 on Making It as a Writer

Felicia Pride may consider herself to be a “late bloomer” but she’s certainly hit her stride now as a writer on “Grey’s Anatomy” and the founder of “The Create Daily”, just to name a few of her accomplishments. Felicia shares her perspective on not just being a writer, but the great importance of finding her form. Recorded on January 27, 2021.

Episode 5: Dr. Rik Lemoncello, MS ‘99 on Making It as a Speech Language Pathologist

Dr. Rik Lemoncello knew he wanted to be a speech pathologist but never expected his love of baking to also play a huge role in his future career. Dr. Rik shares how he came to be the founder of Sarah Bellum's Bakery and Workshop, a nonprofit organization that focuses on providing return to work opportunities for adults with brain injuries, and of course, delicious treats. Recorded on January 18, 2021.

Episode 6: Laura Zurowski ‘90 on Making it as a Full-time Artist with a Full-time Job

Laura Zurowski has had some pretty interesting jobs throughout her career but now she’s found herself with a hobby, built on her desire to get to know the city of Pittsburgh that, much to her surprise, she gets paid for. Terri and Laura chat about how her Emerson experience led her from the WERS studio to Mis.Steps and everything in between. Recorded on January 11, 2021.

Episode 7: Jae Williams ‘08, MA ‘16

Not only is Jae Williams a “double Lion,” but he can also add “staff” and “faculty” to the lens with which he looks at Emerson through. Jae does just that in his current role in the Social Justice Center. Jae and Terri have a refreshingly honest conversation about diversity, inclusion and why Jae knows that he was meant to be at Emerson. Recorded on February 8, 2021.

Episode 8: Chen Tang ‘10 on Making It as an Actor

Chen Tang is an actor, an Asian American actor, and he shares with Terri not only what representation means to him, but how he aspires to see our world move past it. Not to mention the talent for layering he acquired during the Boston winters! Recorded on January 22, 2021.

Season 1

Episode 2: Eitan Chitayat, MA ’99 on Making It Big as a Brand Creative Director

Eitan Chitayat discusses changing his career path one semester away from graduation, how he ended up working on an iconic Volkswagen ad campaign and what it felt like having his “I’m that Jew” video go viral. Recorded on March 5, 2020.

Episode 3: Maurene Goo, MA ’07 on Making It Big as an Author

Maurene shares her journey from journalism student to acclaimed YA novelist as she and Terri discuss her need for a deadline, writing for comic book heroes and how she never dreamed of becoming an author...or did she? Recorded on March 6, 2020.

Episode 4: Jaimee Hall ‘03 on Making It Big as an Entrepreneur

You’ll love Jaimee Hall’s take on the legal world as she explains how she ended up there after starting out as a theater student, what brought her to LA, and then back again, and why she decided to start an Alumni Chapter in St. Louis. Recorded on April 13, 2020.

Episode 5: Manny Jaquez ‘13 on Making It Big in the TV Industry

Manny and Terri chat about how the pandemic has affected the world of comedy, why he cared way more about his fellow Emersonians’ spec scripts than his own and their mutual love of Six Feet Under. Recorded on May 13, 2020.

Episode 6: Janice O'Leary, MFA ‘96 on Making it Big in Publishing

Hear how Janice O’Leary went from designing pens to writing about private jets and the best whiskeys out there, how she learned how to edit in her workshops in Emerson’s MFA program, and why she hated having to get dressed up for Boston Magazine parties, but still loved her job there. Recorded on April 30, 2020.

Episode 7: Bunny Kinney ’07 on Making it Big as a Filmmaker

Bunny chats with Terri from his home in London and shares his unique perspective on film making, how creating digital content shaped his career and why he hopes Emerson is still full of weirdos. Recorded on April 6, 2020.

Episode 8: Paloma Valenzuela ’09 on Making it Big as an Artist

Paloma shares her insights on being a Boston based artist, the importance of cultural representation across all media and why it’s actually totally ok with her to not have Cardi B status. Recorded on May 28, 2020.

Bonus Episode: Making it Big with Kevin Bright and Norman Lear

Join Kevin Bright '76 as he sits down, virtually of course, with Emerson alumnus and Hollywood legend, Norman Lear '42 for this special bonus episode of Making It Big in 30 Minutes. The episode was recorded on October 15, 2020, in multiple locations, resulting, at times, in uneven audio levels.

Be sure to join the 1,500+ alumni over Emerge to connect, network, and let us know why you should be a guest on the next season of Making it Big! Head over to