Thursday, August 14, 2008

Featured Alumnus: Ivan Kander

Despite my reputation as Mean Old Professor Cohen, my former student Ivan Kander recently friended me on Facebook. He must be over the trauma of my exams -- and considering that he graduated only a year ago (2007), that is a remarkably swift recovery. Ivan writes:

During my time at GW, I was a very proud English major. I thoroughly enjoyed all my classes on modern and historic literature, and I relished the camaraderie between the professors and students. However, when I wasn't analyzing literary texts in the classroom, I was pursuing a strong interest in filmmaking and video production. Through lots of trial and error, I taught myself the how to edit video, design for print, and develop content for the web.

In turn, when I graduated from GW in 2007, I landed a position with JuiceBox Design Communications -- a boutique video production and design firm located in Northern Virginia. My time at JuiceBox has given me invaluable experience in the world of digital video. Currently, I serve as secondary camera operator on documentary style shoots as well as an assistant video editor and junior graphic designer for our in-house productions.

In my spare time, I cohost, shoot, edit, and produce a weekly movie review podcast entitled "Worst Movie Ever!", which can be downloaded for free via iTunes or through my personal website, www.lucky9studios.com. Also, I'm currently preparing to direct a short film that I hope to submit to the DC Independent Film Festival.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my wonderful professors at the GW English department. Throughout my time there, I was always impressed with their intelligence (a level of intellect to which I can only aspire) and insight. Often people find it odd that I graduated with a degree in English, yet I'm pursuing a career field that seems completely unrelated. Well, to these detractors I simply relate that English has afforded me a dynamic skill set, from the ability to organize information rationally to strong critical thinking skills. And, most importantly, it related the simple but important fact that -- when it comes down to it -- there is just no substitute for being able to tell a good story, regardless of the medium.

We in the English Department are happy to hear that you are having such success, Ivan, and wish you the best in the future.

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Featured Alumnus: Ivan Kander
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