May commencement included first EMA grads
calendar icon26 May 2022
Lincoln, Neb.--Among the nearly 120 Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts undergraduate students who graduated on May 14 were the first nine emerging media arts graduates from the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts.
The Carson Center opened in the fall of 2019. Preparations for the center were launched in 2015 with a $20 million gift from the foundation of iconic talk show host Johnny Carson.
The students graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in emerging media arts.
Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts Founding Director Megan Elliott wrote on Facebook, “One of my favorite memories from today’s commencement ceremony will be of a giant group hug with the very first Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts alumni. . . . These young people are truly fabulous, and I am so incredibly proud to know them. I can’t wait to see what they do and will continue to actively support them. Watch out, world—here they come!”
The EMA alumni include the following students, along with their responses to the question “What are you looking forward to following graduation?” To learn more about these seniors, visit the Carson Center’s Instagram at @carsoncenterunl.
• Payton Bergkamp, of Salina, Kansas. “I plan to move to the East Coast (either New York City or Boston) and start working in the camera department as an assistant camera in the film and television industry. I’m really looking forward to finding people and mentors to help me navigate the industry and help me get opportunities.”
• Mitchell Guynan of Blair, Nebraska. “After graduation, I plan on continuing my freelance filmmaking journey and preparing to move to the coast to continue being a cinematographer.”
• Kayla LaPoure, of Colorado Springs, Colorado. “I would love to work in the video game industry, but I am excited to pursue design in general.”
• Allison Lund of Omaha, Nebraska. “I’m applying to SMU Guildhall, and if I get in, I’ll possibly be attending in the fall. But if I don’t, I’ll be applying for more internships and jobs that are related to 3D art for game design.”
• Mike Rapsys of Naperville, Illinois. “I will be working with Husker Athletics as a Creative Media Specialist.”
• Madeline Schmit of Lincoln, Nebraska. “I would really like to be some kind of fiction writer. I would love to write for TV or film, but I’ve recently realized that I also enjoy writing stories for games with multiple pathways and one big thing I’ve learned in the EMA program is that stories are everywhere and baked into everything we do. On the other end of the spectrum, I took a literature class this year, and it got me back into reading books, so I want to do that, too. Basically, I want to write anything and everything all the time. Additionally, I love video editing, and I love being on film sets, so I would also be interested in being involved with film/TV production in one way or another.”
• Angela Walsh of Creston, Iowa. “I’m hoping to get a job as a 3D modeler, but I also have a myriad of other skills I can use.”
• Megan Whisenhunt of Mascoutah, Illinois. “I hope to enter the field of 3D animation (cinematic or gameplay, I’m not picky). But I first intend to gain some entry level experience by sticking around Nebraska and working with a local company doing digital design.”
• Annie Wang of Omaha, Nebraska. “I am looking forward to starting fresh. I’ve been in school for so long that it’s pretty much all I’ve ever known, so I’m excited to explore life outside of that. I currently don’t have any plans set in stone, but I think I’ll try to chill for a bit, save up and see what opportunities are out there before I make any decisions, In terms of what field I want to work in, I’d love to work in post-production, but I’m also very open to a lot of other areas.”