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Meet the Class of ’21: ‘Time Flies But I’ll Never Forget It’

Emerson Today reached out to graduating seniors from across the College and asked them the same seven questions. Here’s Part 1:

Erica Jones in Black Lawyers Matter sweatshirt and mortarboard on Boston street
Erica A. Jones (Courtesy photo)

Erica A. Jones
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Major: Political Communication
Minors: Peace & Social Justice and Business Studies

Tell me about your time at Emerson.

While at Emerson, I tried my best to succeed in academics while balancing a solid social and extracurricular life. I became an RA my last two years of college and capitalized on the opportunity to learn the importance of leadership. I also decided to venture out beyond the Boston campus and study abroad in the Netherlands for a semester. I also participated in the Washington D.C. internship program, where I gained experience in business and health care at a non-profit organization.

What was your favorite class or project, and why?

My favorite class is tied between Civil Rights with Professor Michael Brown or African American History with Professor Kerima Lewis. These courses taught me the foundation of the real American history that I was never taught back in elementary, middle, or high school. These courses opened my eyes to the discrepancies in the United States and the educational system for not teaching me the whole story the first time I was taught these topics.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Emerson?

Studying abroad is one of my favorite moments. I was able to explore the world, eat all different types of food, and make some amazing friends that will last a lifetime.

What song or movie will forever remind you of your college years?

Freshman year my friends and I used to participate in AMC Theater’s $5 Tuesdays. The first movie we all went to see as a “family” was Nobody’s Fool, and it will forever stick with me as a bonding moment.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of mastering the skills to succeed in my academics, something that I wasn’t as strong in back in high school. I am proud of myself for strengthening these skills and being able to graduate in three years with Latin honors.

What do you wish you had known four years ago?

I wish I had known four years ago that school goes by faster than you think. I still remember my parents flying to Boston with me and each of us lugging two suitcases to help get me moved in. Sometimes I wish I took more time to have fun, rather than always be so focused on work, but I am proud of my accomplishments. Time flies, but I’ll never forget it.

What are you doing (or hoping to do) next?

I plan on forwarding my education by pursing a dual degree of a JD/MPH. I will be attending Washington University in St. Louis in the Fall of 2021 for my JD, and Johns Hopkins University for my MPH in the Summer of 2022.


Samantha Golub sitting on fountain in Washington Square Park
Samantha Golub (Courtesy photo)

Samantha Golub
Hometown: Marlboro, New Jersey
Major: Theatre Education and Performance

Tell me about your time at Emerson.

Throughout my Emerson career, I have had the privilege to work on a multitude of projects with several different companies as a director, assistant director, and arts administrator. Currently, I am the 2020/2021 Cutler Creative Producing and Engagement Fellow with ArtsEmerson, where I work with the associate producers of ArtsEmerson on all elements of creative producing and the administration that goes along with it.

During the Summer of 2019, I worked in Manhattan at The New 42nd Street Studios as a studio operations apprentice, where I assisted in the day-to-day operations and long-term planning of 14 rehearsal studios in The New 42nd Street Studios and The Duke on 42nd Street, a black-box theater. I executed ongoing research to ensure that the studios are meeting the needs of the New York performing arts community, including the planning and completion of a gender-free dressing room space, a new parent room, and additional artist resource spaces.

At the Emerson Costume Shop, I am the sole office assistant, responsible for all administrative and organizational tasks needed throughout the shop. I also act as an Emerson Performing Arts Ambassador, facilitating Performing Arts admission and audition events and Performing Arts tours for the department.

I have acted as the assistant director of Detroit Red by Will Power, directed by Lee Sunday Evans, with ArtsEmerson, and with Emerson Stage I have acted as an assistant director to Everybody by Brendan Jacobs-Jenkins (directed by Annie Levy), The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht (directed by Timothy Douglass), 10 out of 12 by Anne Washburn (directed by Maureen Shea) and Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (directed by Joe Antoun). I am also a member of a student theatre artist collective called Mercutio Troupe.

What was your favorite class or project, and why?

In the Spring of 2020, just a few weeks before the pandemic removed us all from in-person learning, I directed a scene from Machinal by Sophie Treadwell, in the style of Antonin Artaud, during Annie Levy’s Directing 2 class. I look back on the project fondly, as it was my last in-person directing project at Emerson.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Emerson?

One of my favorite memories from my experiences with Emerson Stage was during the tech rehearsals for 10 out of 12, which I assistant directed. The theater was freezing cold, so Maureen [Shea] and I were sitting in the first row of the Semel Theater covered in blankets, and it’s an image I’ll never forget! Those tech rehearsals were some of the best times I’ve had at Emerson.

What song or movie will forever remind you of your college years?

“I’m Like a Bird” by Nelly Furtado.

What are you most proud of?

I’m very proud of the work that I accomplished as an assistant director of Detroit Red with ArtsEmerson. I was a junior at the time, and it was my first professional credit as a member of a production team. The show gifted me with many lifelong connections that I’ll never take for granted.

What do you wish you had known four years ago?

That four years from then, I wouldn’t be able to direct/do theatre in-person because of a global pandemic!

What are doing (or hoping to do) next?

I’ll be moving to New York City in September, in hopes of attaining an arts administration/teaching artist position in the New York theatre community!


Justin Pham in suit holding award
Justin Pham (Courtesy photo)

Justin Pham
Hometown: Singapore
Major: Journalism

Tell me about your time at Emerson.

During my four years at Emerson, I tried to be involved with as many productions as I could. I spent most of my four years with WEBN, two of those being as a sports director. During those years, I was lucky enough to cover MLB Spring Training, the Super Bowl, and local sporting events in Boston, such as the Red Sox Championship Parade, and Red Sox “Truck Day,” the last one even winning a New England student Emmy. I also spent semesters working on GME, Critical Damage, and EIV Evening News as an executive producer (GME), assistant director (GME and EIV Evening News), and director (Critical Damage).

As for on-campus jobs, I worked at the Journalism Production Center for three years where I learned almost everything I know from Bob Murphy and the friends I made while working there. Before COVID hit, the JPC acted as a home for me, as it allowed me to be around people that were passionate about the same things I was passionate about, and it’s the reason that my Emerson experience was as good as it is.

What was your favorite class or project, and why?

My favorite class would probably have to be TV News Producing because of the people in the class and just the work that we were able to do. A lot of the people in that class were friends of mine that were all talented journalists in their own right, and on a week-to-week basis, we were able to put together a 30-minute newscast that one could argue be aired on TV.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Emerson?

I think my favorite memory from Emerson has got to the end-of-year celebrations at the JPC. During my sophomore year, me and a couple of other students that worked at the JPC created an end-of-the-year video in the studio that we showed the entire staff at the party. We also had mini competitions such as a cable coiling contest and other little games that were fun to see people do. It was also a time to celebrate the seniors that were graduating to bigger and better things, and all the hard work that everyone put into the semester.

What song or movie will forever remind you of your college years?

I think the whole Avengers and Star Wars sagas will be what I remember most when it comes to movies, just because those movies dominated any discussions people had. Avengers End Game was a once-in-a-lifetime example of expanded universes and long-term storytelling that actually had a fulfilling payoff.

What are you most proud of?

I think the thing that I’m most proud of is all the connections that I’ve made and the people I’ve met through the shows that I’ve worked on. It would be impossible to pick a single show that I’m most proud of, but working with the likes of Bob Murphy, Angel Salcedo, Tyler Englander, Sophia Giordano, Dylan McCaffery, Brian Danuff, Kayla Larosa, Isabel Indresano, and so many others, all of whom have helped shape me into the person that I am today and for that I will forever be grateful.

What do you wish you had known four years ago?

Something that I wish I would have known four years ago is that I would really only have three years to work on productions and explore the [city] of Boston due to COVID-19.

What are you doing (or hoping to do) next?

Hopefully, I get a job in production in either sports or esports, as that’s what I’m really passionate about at the moment.


Jenna Dewji in front of tiled wall
Jenna Dewji (Courtesy photo)

Jenna Dewji
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Major: Business of Creative Enterprises
Minor: Entrepreneurial Studies

Tell me about your time at Emerson.

I originally came to Emerson as a VMA major and switched to BCE during the second semester of my freshman year, after I started a company with some floormates. I joined Alpha Epsilon Phi that same semester. During my sophomore year, I started my stint as a Resident Assistant, first in Piano Row and then the Little Building in the subsequent years. I also joined Emerson’s forensics (speech and debate) team, become an undergraduate assistant in the BCE Department, and worked at the Iwasaki Library.

Outside of school, I worked at Equinox just across the street from campus; volunteered on weekends at my mosque; interned at firms like ONA by Yoon Chung and Boenning & Scattergood; and continued my training in classical Indian dance.

What was your favorite class or project, and why?

My favorite course was most definitely either of Stanley Miller’s classes: Finance & Accounting and Strategic Management. 1. Because Stanley Miller is a great professor and a very funny individual; and 2. Because it was in taking those classes that I realized I wanted to have a career in finance in some capacity.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Emerson?

My favorite memory would have to be the first time traveling with my speech and debate team. You know, long car rides will really bond a group of individuals together. It set a precedent for everything and anything we did after that.

What song or movie will forever remind you of your college years?

This isn’t a song or a movie, but the show New Girl will always remind me of my time at Emerson. A couple of friends put me on it during my sophomore year, and it will always remind me of them and how they really became more like family.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of my learning curve, both academically and personally. I made mistakes; I gained perspective; I learned how to have grit. Sometimes it’s the non-tangible things that are the most important in life. 

What do you wish you had known four years ago?

Four years ago, I arrived in Boston and absolutely hated it. If you had told me then that I would have actually stayed and graduated with a degree in business and an interest in finance, I would have thought you were crazy. So, I guess I wished I had known to A) listen to my brother’s advice about where I’d land on my career path, and B) rather cliché, but that everything would, in the end, work out just fine.

What are you doing (or hoping to do) next?

I hope to work in investment banking next, ideally at an entertainment finance-focused firm.


Anthony Rodriguez in Emerson T-shirt with Emerson backpack hanging behind him
Anthony Rodriguez (Courtesy photo)

Anthony Rodriguez
Hometown: Buffalo, New York
Major: Writing, Literature, and Publishing

Tell me about your time at Emerson.

Oh, where do I begin? I have been incredibly involved on Emerson’s campus, but to break it up, within my major I served as the WLP Senator on Student Government for a semester. Outside my major, I took part in and now produce Survivor Boston; I am one of the co-presidents for Emerson Reads YA; and I co-founded First Gen E-M, which is a student group for first-generation and low-income students on campus.

Additionally, I have been with the Orientation program for three years here at Emerson, where during my junior year I was on the Orientation Core Staff team. I have worked in so many places on campus as well, my first job being with Jumpstart; I was with them for two years before I joined the Campus Center as the assistant event coordinator. I also recently was the chair of the Emerson Recognition and Achievement (ERA) Awards, which was such a fun experience.

Outside of campus I was a bookseller at Trident Booksellers and Café on Newbury Street, and I also interned at Hachette Book Group as their sub-rights intern.

What was your favorite class or project, and why?

My favorite class was my Literature of the Gothic class with William Orem. It gave me a renewed feeling of why I loved reading. I have always been obsessed with Gothic literature, and being able to hone in on that specific genre in one class was so fun.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Emerson?

I would say my favorite memory of being at Emerson was when I was on Core Staff for Orientation and it was our first day of training. Seeing all the Orientation Leaders together again and being able to reintroduce ourselves to them and get them ready for Orientation was such an incredible feeling. I felt the energy and excitement in the room. I miss that so much.

What song or movie will forever remind you of your college years?

Dua Lipa’s first two albums. Everyone who knows me knows that I am very obsessed with Dua and her music. I listened to her first album, Dua Lipa, my freshman year and even saw her in concert! That album stuck with me for a while until her most recent release, Future Nostalgia. I got that album right at the end of my time here at Emerson. They mean so much to me because the growth of those albums reflects the growth I have had being at Emerson. I am not the same person I was in 2017, he has changed so much, and I believe for the better.

What are you most proud of?

I have way too many things to be proud of: Orientation, my work I’ve done for first-generation/low-income students, and chairing the 2021 ERA Awards are just some of the highlights.

What do you wish you had known four years ago?

That everything is going to be OK and to be open to anything and everything!

What are you doing (or hoping to do) next?  

I am actually going to grad school! I am going to be attending Boston University Wheelock College of Education for Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, with a focus in Higher Education! I am super excited for this next step in my journey!


Mikaela Joyce in front of book shelf
Mikaela Joyce (Courtesy photo)

Mikaela Joyce  
Hometown: Lexington, Massachusetts
Program of Study: Media Design (MA)

What was your favorite class or project, and why?

My favorite course was Media Design Studio I, with Professor Elisa Hamilton. We worked across multiple mediums, analyzed contemporary art, and discussed civic media interventions. 

What is your favorite memory from your time at Emerson? 

There are many, but one that sticks out was visiting the Pixar exhibit at the Museum of Science with my cohort. It was one of the first times we got to spend time together (due to the pandemic and the shift to virtual learning), and I loved learning about the technical side of animated films. 

What song or movie will forever remind you of Emerson? 

I jammed out to the Soulchild remix of “19-2000” by Gorillaz when I came to campus for the first time as a graduate student, so probably that!  

What are you most proud of? 

I am most proud of the collaborations with my cohort and our community partners. I chose the program at Emerson College because it is very values-driven. Working together with stakeholders, we co-designed projects with meaningful impact. 

What do you wish you had known when you started the program?

Where to pick up my ID card! Finding the office was a bit of a struggle that day. 

What are you doing (or hoping to do) next?

After graduation, I would like to work in emergent media or UI/UX design, while still making time for animation. 

Coming up: Graduates in Comedic Arts, Marketing Communication, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Visual and Media Arts, and the Individually Designed Interdisciplinary Program.

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