Meet us!

We are students of Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and participants in the 2020 Hofstra in L.A. program. Get to know all about us, our faculty and program co-directors:

Emmeline Blaner

Major/Year: BS in Video/Television; expected graduation in May 2020

Fun fact: Going to L.A. will be my second time ever leaving the East Coast.

Professional aspirations: I hope to work in live studio television, preferably in news or entertainment.

See Emmy’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Jared Brown

Major/Year: Double major in Mass Media Studies and Rhetorical Studies; expected graduation in May 2020

Fun fact: I managed an ice cream store for four years.

Professional aspirations: I am seeking opportunities in the children’s media industry.

See Jared’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Paula Chirinos

Major/Year: Double major in Public Relations and Global Studies, minors in Marketing, Geography and Civic Engagement; expected graduation in May 2020

Fun fact: I have been playing the violin since I was 8 and my greatest accomplishment is getting to play a solo at Carnegie Hall.

Professional aspiration: I hope to lead CSR and multicultural marketing campaigns for a renowned global public relations agency.

See Paula’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Daniella Colletti

Major/Year: BA in Public Relations, minor in Rhetorical Studies; expected graduation in December 2019

Fun fact: I saw the Jonas Brothers perform live eight times this year and met them once at the sixth show I attended.

Professional aspirations: I hope to become a personal publicist for a big-time celebrity and/or work events, including music award shows.

See Daniella’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Aliyah Dinkins

Major/Year: BA in Television Production and Studies; expected graduation in May 2020 

Fun fact: I am a passionate photographer.

Professional aspiration: In my professional future, I aspire to create timely content that spreads knowledge, the capacity to dream, positivity, and self-actualization. Specifically, I want to develop, co-write, and produce animated TV series targeted towards teenagers and young adults that premier on Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network within the next five years.  These shows will be groundbreaking in their way of fusing compelling visuals, imperfect and diverse characters, emotionally penetrating plot lines, cultural/social relevance, imagination, and comedy. 

See Aliyah’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Julia Farella

Major/Year: BS in Video/Television and Film, minor in Journalism, expected graduation in May 2020

Fun fact: I play piano, guitar and I’m a classically-trained singer. 

Professional aspirations: I hope to be a director or technical director for broadcast television.

See Julia’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Joe Gilberto

Major/Year: BS in Video/Television and Business; expected graduation in May 2021 

Fun fact: My name is written on a beam in the One World Trade Center because my dad helped build it.

Professional aspirations: I hope to one day write and produce children’s cartoons.  I think they’re a great way to tell fantastic stories, provide a wide range of representation, and teach valuable lessons.

See Joe’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Kathryn Harley

Major/Year: BA in Public Relations, minor in History; expected graduation in December 2020

Fun fact: I serve as president of the student body at Hofstra.

Professional aspirations: I hope to work in the music industry doing publicity.

See Kathryn’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Kat Holm

Major/Year: BS in Video, Television and Film; expected graduation in May 2021

Fun fact: I’ve owned seven cats at one time.

Professional aspirations: I aspire to be a film director or director of photography.

See Kat’s accomplishments on LinkedIn and her website.

Heather Konefsky

Major/Year: BS in Video/Television and Business; expected graduation in May 2021

Fun fact: I have been doing martial arts for 13 years.

Professional aspirations: I hope to direct or produce a late night talk show.

See Heather’s accomplishments on LinkedIn

Caroline Lea

Major/Year: BS in Video/Television; expected graduation in May 2020

Fun fact: I grew up figure skating competitively.

Professional aspirations: I hope to become a technical manager for a late night show one day.

See Caroline’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Penelope Lopez

Major/Year: Double major in Journalism and Rhetorical Studies, minor in Spanish; expected graduation in May 2020

Fun fact: I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain and Havana, Cuba. 

Professional aspirations: I aspire to be a world news correspondent.

See Penelope’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Christina Morgana

Major/Year: BS in Video/Television; expected graduation in May 2021

Fun fact: I met Jane Lynch the last time I was in California.

Professional aspirations: I hope to work in a studio as a camera operator or stage manager.

See Christina’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Kalle Neuman

Major/Year: BA in TV Production and Studies, minor in Creative Writing; expected graduation in May 2021

Fun fact: As a senior in high school, I joined the Army Reserves because it was the only way I could afford to go to school in New York to study TV.

Professional aspirations: My goal is write or produce for a late-night talk show, or be the showrunner for my own sitcom.

See Kalle’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Marissa Joy Santorelli

Major/Year: BA in Television Production and Studies; expected graduation in May 2020

Fun fact: I am a first generation American!

Professional aspirations: I hope to be an on-air talent/reporter or studio operations manager.

See Marissa’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Connie Tais

Major/Year: BA in Film Studies and Production; expected graduation in May 2020

Fun fact: I’ve never had soda in my life.

Professional aspirations: My dream is to work as a writer and director of narrative films and documentaries.

See Connie’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Joe Unda

Major/Year: BA in Film, minor in Creative Writing; expected graduation in May 2021

Fun fact: I traveled around the east coast to see Chance the Rapper perform five times in a year (meeting him once in the process).

Professional aspirations: I hope to write, or be a showrunner for a sketch, or drama-comedy series.

See Joe’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Michael Valentino

Major/Year: BA in Marketing, minor in Television; expected graduation in May 2020

Fun fact: I am a self-branded “famous person in training.” 

Professional aspirations: My dream would be to create and star in a sitcom, and later host my own talk show. 

See Mike’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Jessica Zagacki

Major/Year: Double major in Television Production and English, minor in public relations; expected graduation in May 2020

Fun fact: I am obsessed with watching The Food Network.

Professional aspirations: I am most interested in working in the preproduction and development side of the television industry. I want to write for television. I also want to be involved with coming up with new ideas and establishing a solid framework for new shows. I am also interested in working in the publishing industry as a publicist. Ultimately, one of my dreams would be to build a career that combines both of my greatest passions— television production and book publishing. Therefore, I would love to work in television development as a literary scout, discovering engaging books and turning them into award-winning television series. Additionally, I would love to produce video content for publishing houses in order to promote authors and to shine a spotlight on their work. Lastly, I aspire to become an author one day and to get my writing published.

See Jess’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Dr. Peter Gershon, aka “G”

Position: Co-Director, Hofstra in L.A.

Fun Fact: I have been an avid and active Dead Head since 1970.

My Hofstra history: Over the 24 years I have been at Hofstra, I have taught television production at all levels, and coached television production students through their work in Hofstra Entertainment Access Television (HEAT). I have been with the Hofstra in L.A. program since its inception. I was a track coordinator in television and department chair in the Dept. of Radio Television Film. I’ve twice won Distinguished Teaching awards at Hofstra and produced an award-winning documentary, “With One Voice: the Battle Against Breast Cancer on Long Island”.  As professor emeritus, I am currently teaching part time in television studies and mass media, still working with HEAT students and the television shows they produce, and working on special projects with the LHSC. Still having fun.

See G’s accomplishments on LinkedIn .

Dean Adria C. Marlowe

Position: Co-Director, Hofstra in LA

Fun fact: One of my favorite movies is “The Princess Bride” — it even inspired my wedding ring inscription.

My Hofstra history: As associate dean for the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, I oversee external relations and am responsible for school-wide coordination of outreach programs, public relations, scholarships, professional development activities, alumni affairs and fundraising efforts. I joined Hofstra in 2007, initially as director for development research in the Office for Development and Alumni Affairs, and later assumed the role of director for major gifts. Before coming to Hofstra, I was assistant director for development at The MacDowell Colony, an artists’ residency program located in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and development associate for community relations and special events at the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, New York. I earned my bachelor’s degree in arts management from Russell Sage College and a master’s degree in public relations from Hofstra University.  In 2015, Dr. Gershon and I launched the Herbert School’s “Hofstra in L.A.” program.

See Dean Marlowe’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.

Professor Jeff Morosoff

Position: Chair, Department of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations

Fun fact: I began my communications career as an AM radio disk jockey, using the on-air name “Jeff Scott.”

My Hofstra history: After a brief time on the radio, I spent three decades in public relations, working for corporate, government, nonprofit, and academic institutions. I was an adjunct professor for many years before coming to Hofstra in 2010, where I’ve had the opportunity to create and run the graduate program in PR. After spending a month in Italy in 2016 to teach in the Hofstra in Rome program, I signed up to participate in Hofstra in L.A., and this is my third year joining our wonderful students on the west coast. Hofstra in L.A. inspired me to start the Hofstra in NYC program in 2019, which also features a week of visiting agencies, newsrooms, and studios– and networking with top professionals, often who are Hofstra alumni. These are truly amazing experiences for The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication students–and a fab time for me, too. 

See Prof Morosoff’s accomplishments on LinkedIn.


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