Student & Alumni Profiles

CCT is filled with talented, motivated, and dedicated students and alumni. These people have been actively involved in many organizations within the CCT and Georgetown community as well as worked in some exciting careers and internships. They have volunteered to be a resource for current and prospective students, so if you have questions about anything CCT student related, please email Ai-Hui Tan or Sarah Twose and they will connect you with the appropriate CCTer.

Current Student Profiles

Lucy Obus

Undergraduate institution and major: Georgetown University, American Studies / Theatre & Performance Studies

Area of focus in CCT: design thinking, organizational communications & experiential learning.

What did you do before CCT? I've worked in various strategy, marketing and communications positions at New York nonprofits, most recently coordinating Special Events and Fundraising at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? I make a habit to be an active participant at as many CCT extracurricular activities as I can, because grad school is a holistic experience that takes place in and out of the classroom, and our cohort is a hoot! I am a CCTechTour Producer, work on GU Forum radio station, and smile proudly at the CCT front desk as a student assistant.

Why did you choose CCT? Looking at graduate programs, I repeatedly expressed that what I wanted to learn wasn't offered in a program yet, a process I affectionately termed "the Goldie Locks experience" (program A is too myopic, program B makes me take classes I'm not interested in, program C is geared towards nonprofits, etc.) I was also conscientious of my age and experience- I've been working for five years and wanted a program that could help me pivot appropriately from that vantage point. CCT sticks to its interdisciplinary goals, drawing scholars from numerous fields with varied objectives, and allows them to craft their program accordingly and put theory into immediate practice; that's what sold me. Having already attended Georgetown University as an undergraduate student, I was confident that the environment and educational experience would be engaging and multifaceted. 

What surprised you about CCT? We often hear the phrase "we are preparing our kids for jobs that don't exist yet," and I am happily surprised at CCT's ability to chip away at that claim: to prepare students to understand the rapidly changing world and the jobs needed for it. I'm also constantly surprised (perhaps impressed) to see where CCT alumni go on to work; the network is vast and dynamic!

 

carson collier

Undergraduate institution and major: Virginia Commonwealth University - Anthropology 

Area of focus in CCT: I would like to research the benefits of making museum exhibits more accessible to students and teachers for classroom use, while exploring different technological mediums.

What did you do before CCT? During my time at VCU I had the opportunity to work for the Virtual Curation Lab, where I was able to digitize artifacts and other remains for educational use. Unlike other opportunities at VCU as an undergraduate, working for the Virtual Curation Lab gave me the freedom to conduct independent research. During my independent studies, I researched the impact 3D printing could have on public archaeology, focusing on the subfield of Zooarchaeology, specifically the Chesapeake Bay. I found that the digitization of faunal remains could greatly benefit the field of Zooarchaeology. Eventually, I was able to present my findings at the annual Archaeology Society of Virginia conference in 2014.

What activities do you participate in at CCT? I am the co-manager of the Technology Design Studio. I help organize and participate in the Car Barn Labs, technical workshops lead by students and alumni. I also participate in Georgetown Forum (radio club) as well as attending CCT film club meetings.  

Why did you choose CCT? I became interested in CCT because it embraces interdisciplinary approaches and courses. I chose CCT because of the awesome students, faculty, and staff who provide support each and everyday!  

What surprised you about CCT? What surprises me about CCT is how talented everyone is and how eager they are to share their talents. I know that if I have a problem, I can find people ready to help me solve that problem throughout the whole program. I believe this need to help one another is why this program is so strong. 

Rebecca Tantillo

Undergraduate institution and major: Clemson University, Operations Management & Italian

What did you do before CCT? I spent a year working for a cashmere manufacturer in Northern Italy, followed by four years in New York working in both the fashion and food industry.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? I work in CCT's front office as well as with gnovis, CCT's academic journal & blog. I also am a member of CCT's "unofficial" film club!

Why did you choose CCT? I chose CCT based on the unique opportunity that the program offers to perform research in a broad array of disciplines. 

What surprised you about CCT? The sense of community and network that the program offers.  Before even starting classes, I was invited to participate in a number of events hosted by current students, faculty, and even alumni.

Mariam Karimi

Undergraduate institution and major: Purdue University, Political Science & Communication 

Area of focus in CCT: Political rhetoric and technology policy formation in the Middle East.

What did you do before CCT? I was an intern at C-SPAN and then was an employee at a Telecommunications company and Hospitality industry.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? gnovis and the CCT Tech Tour. I am also a TA for 505.

Why did you choose CCT? Because I wanted to pursue different fields together, while simultaneously studying the overlap between different fields. I wanted a comprehensive perspective at investigation the impact of policy, technology, and rhetoric on different societies. 

What surprised you about CCT? How diverse student and professor interests are. You are always bound to find someone that shares your interests, just as equally as you are to find someone who has nothing in common with you. The different ideas are great in building arguments.

Shimeng Tong

Undergraduate institution and major: University of Maryland - College Park, B.S. Finance

Area of focus in CCT: Media production and advertising.

What did you do before CCT? I taught Chinese for almost a year in a bilingual elementary school in DC.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? I'm a member of the CCT Tech Tour team and the Media Director of Georgetown University Chinese Students & Scholars Association. I also work as Professor Turner's teaching assistant and Berkley Center's student videographer.

Why did you choose CCT? First, I was a finance major before, so I'm very interested in this interdisciplinary concept. Second, it's still in DC, where I was already familiar with. Third, I wanted to go to a school with castle!

What surprised you about CCT? Students all come from very different background, and the courses within the program are very diversified. So you can always find the answer to any of your questions in CCT.

Yang Yang

Undergraduate institution and major: Tongji University,  Cultural Industry Management

Area of focus in CCT: I focus on international digital marketing and new media.

What did you do before CCT? I was a full-time undergraduate student at Tongji University. I was actively involved in various internships in the media industry including journalism, marketing, and NGOs. I also founded a wechat platform targeted to students on campus and worked as the chief editor. It attracted around 7000 subscribers in 6 months without advertising.

What activities did you participate in during CCT?I participated in organizing the CCT Tech Tour, and I attended Car Barn labs often.

Why did you choose CCT? I like CCT because it is more of a vigorous community than just a program. I feel humbled, inspired, and impressed every day.

What surprised you about CCT? I was surprised by the diverse backgrounds and interests that CCTers have and the synergy they quickly develop. 

Lina McVey

Undergraduate institution and major: Stony Brook University, double major in Linguistics/Political Science, minor in International Studies

Area of focus in CCT: Organizational communication

What did you do before CCT? I have been working as a recruiter for the last several years.

Activities during CCT: I work full time and go to school part time so I'm unable to go to many activities, but I have been to the gnovis debate and happy hours.

Why CCT? I chose this program because CCT is the perfect place to create my own path while combining all the areas I am currently interested in.

What surprised you about CCT? I was surprised by how technological it is, but it's neat to really dive in and learn about the technical aspect of things.

Komal Sachdeva

Undergraduate institution and major: Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication

Area of focus in CCT: At CCT, I focus on technology policy, as well as business and communication.

What did you do before CCT? I have worked with different media organizations in the past, specifically in print and online media.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? I will be an IGO ambassador for Fall 2016. I also presented my research paper on "How Indian government uses social media to promote government initiatives’ at the Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst.

Why did you choose CCT? I am someone with a diverse range of interest: from politics, to media, to law technology and policy. I like studying how technology plays a significant role in shaping business decisions and consensus building. CCT is the only program that gave me the space to pursue all my interests.

What surprised you about CCT? The program’s strong focus on interdisciplinary problem solving, which is something that not every graduate program offers.

Alumni Profiles

Linda Huber, CCT '16

Undergraduate institution and major: Sarah Lawrence College, Anthropology & Philosophy

Area of focus in CCT: User experience, human-computer interaction, applying rich qualitative methods to study technology's impact on our everyday lives.

What did you do before CCT? I've variously worked in NYC at a tech startup, a non-profit design organization, a consulting company, and a non-profit startup.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? Founder and organizer of Media Fest (2015 & 2016), Co-founder and organizer of Car Barn Labs, CNDLS GA and full-time employee, gnovis blogger, keeper of the Booeymonger's flame

Why CCT? When I visited CCT it became apparent to me what a tight-knit and dynamic community of students this program has -- which creates a whole additional world of peer-to-peer learning and collaboration in addition to traditional classroom learning. I also appreciated that CCT is so incredibly interdisciplinary, combining elements of media studies, science and technology studies, policy and communications studies, computer science and more.

What surprised you about CCT? This is not necessarily a surprise, but I learned that the best CCT experience is one that the student builds for themselves. In particular, students often have particular areas of interest that may not be 100% reflected in courses offered at CCT, but you can create the learning experience you want by looking at classes in other Georgetown schools, looking at consortium classes in the DC area, and starting student interest groups / clubs for people of similar interests. 

Ken Williams, CCT '16

Undergraduate institution and major: New College of Florida/University of South Florida (Philosophy); Georgetown (post-bacc); University of Maryland, College Park (post-bacc: philosophy and physiology & neurobiology); the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (grad)

Area of focus in CCT: My research focuses semiotics of the built environment/design (or symbols, systems, and space).

What did you do before CCT? I am what they call a “non-traditional” student, meaning I am a bit older than most who are entering the program. As such, I have a somewhat longer work history than most at CCT. Currently, I am Vice President and Executive Director of Design at Avalere Health/Inovalon and a Docent at the National Building Museum. Before I joined Avalere I was Founding Principal and Executive Creative Director at Kwake Design, my own full-service design and communications agency. I served in numerous roles, including Executive Board Member, National Premedical Chair, and blogger, at the American Medical Student Association. Following a summer internship, I was hired to do communications and copy editing at the National Academy of Social Insurance. I was also a teaching assistant, instructor, and radio DJ at New College of Florida, where I also worked in the electronic music studio of the very mysterious new music luminary, Robert C. Constable Jr.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? Despite working full time, I have managed to be pretty active in CCT life, serving as Editor-in-Chief of gnovis for the class of 2017 and as a research assistant.

Why did you choose CCT? Aside from the convenience of being close to my family and job, CCT gives me access to some of the world’s leading scholars in a radically interdisciplinary program that has allowed me to explore the theoretical issues in which I am most interested.

What surprised you about CCT? I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of backgrounds and interests that CCT students bring to their work and research, which makes for a decidedly more interesting and engaging experience as we tackle issues in a shared space, but with very different tools and very different goals.

Cecilia Daizovi, CCT '16

Undergraduate institution and major: Purdue University, B.A. Public Relations & Strategic Communication 

Area of focus in CCT: Media and Politics, although I have taken a lot of classes outside of my cluster.

What did you do before CCT? I was a full-time undergraduate student at Purdue, and I also served as the Executive Student Assistant for the Purdue Institute for Civic Communication. Additionally, I held two summer internships with the U.S. Department of State and one with the American Foreign Service Association before coming to CCT. 

What activities did you participate in during CCT? I worked at the CCT Front Desk while enrolled in the CCT Program and served as both a Teaching and a Research Assistant for Dr. Bode, Dr. Turner, and Dr. Meltzer during my time at CCT. I also worked off-campus, so between working full-time and being a full-time student, I didn't have time for much else!

Why did you choose CCT? I chose CCT because I was interested in the technology aspect, but more from a communications perspective. I was very young coming out of my undergraduate career, and I knew I needed more education to set myself apart from every other young PR-professional going into the field. 

What surprised you about CCT? What surprised me most about CCT was the number of students who were on the complete opposite spectrum as I was, technologically speaking.  There are actually people in this program who can build robots and entire websites out of code - it's so cool. I came from a Communications and Public Relations background, and I never imagined I would learn so much in-depth information about technology, how it works, and what it does.

Megan Buchheit, CCT '16

Undergraduate institution and major: Saint Louis University, B.A. in History

Area of focus in CCT: I focused my studies on the intersection of technology, business, and communication with an emphasis on digital media and marketing.

What did you do before CCT?Before CCT, I spent a year as a full time volunteer with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, then an additional two years working in the nonprofit sector.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? While in CCT, I worked at the CCT Front Desk, was a Teacher's Assistant for two courses, and was a peer reviewer for gnovis.

Why did you choose CCT? I was very impressed with CCT’s faculty and the way that CCT allowed me to customize my coursework by drawing on many different disciplines while retaining an overarching focus on technology in society.

Area of focus: I focused my studies on the intersection of technology, business, and communication with an emphasis on digital media and marketing.

What surprised you about CCT?I was pleasantly surprised by the strong sense of community in CCT and how interested all of my fellow grad students were in getting to know each other. 

What are you doing now? I work as a Digital Account Executive at Lautman Maska Neill & Company, a fundraising consulting firm that specializes in working with non-profit clients.

Molly Crain, CCT '16

Undergraduate University and Major: Transylvania University, Writing, Rhetoric, & Communication, Minors in English and Music

Area of focus in CCT: How new technologies affect journalism and civic engagement. 

What did you do before CCT? Before moving to DC, I worked on a political campaign for a woman running for Congress.

What activities did you participate in at CCT? At CCT, I wrote for BBC.com/Future, worked the Front Desk, and was a Teaching Assistant for the entirety of my second year. 

What are you doing now? I am doing research for the Psychology Department on the spread of misinformation concerning the topic of parenting. Being a true interdisciplinarian I work with computer scientists, developmental psychologists, and communication/technology professors. We scrape tweets and categorize the main topics that parents are discussing (autism/vaccinations, parenting styles, and breastfeeding/nutrition). Next steps will be determining what within those topics are they talking about, and whether or not they are using accredited information in the process.

Jaime Gonzalez-Capitel, CCT '16

Undergraduate institution and major: Universidad Autonoma (Madrid, Spain), Philosophy

Area of focus in CCT: My personal idea is that technological literacy is a must for any professional seeking employment in a knowledge-centric organization, so I did as many methods courses as I could: statistics, social network analysis, expressive computation, content analysis, and semantic analysis.

What did you do before CCT? I worked at a Spanish nonprofit that specializes on graduate training programs, created a journal in the humanities with my Philosophy friends, worked as a freelance translato,r and did some volunteering for a Freedom of Information nonprofit.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? I was a graduate associate at CNDLS, where I met an amazing, talented team that I truly respect, and I co-founded and coordinated the Car Barn Labs.

Why did you choose CCT? Since I wanted to analyze the transparency of think tanks and how it relates to their communication strategies, I was looking for communications programs in DC and CCT seemed like a perfect fit for me: a friendly environment where a philosopher like me could add methods and insights from the social sciences. I came to CCT thanks to a Fulbright grant.

What surprised you about CCT? The enormously diverse range of skillsets and talent that we can draw from. 

Angela Hart, CCT '16

Undergraduate institution and degree: Bentley University, Communications, minors in English and Law

Area of focus in CCT: I studied new media and politics, satirical news programs, journalistic practices, and political film adaptations. I also completed a thesis.

What did you do before CCT? I came directly to Georgetown after earning my bachelor’s degree.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? While in CCT, I worked as a Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant for four different professors, was a Peer Reviewer for gnovis, worked as the Managing Editor, Web, Video, and Content Director for Electronic Media & Politics (eM&P), wrote for Georgetown’s Her Campus, and was a member of the CCT (Georgetown) Running Club.

Why did you choose CCT? I have always wanted to attend Georgetown University. CCT offered me the chance to earn an interdisciplinary master’s degree and study relevant subjects that are truly important in society.

What surprised you about CCT?CCT offers a variety of wonderful opportunities. I was able to contribute a chapter on ‘Humor and Satire’ in the upcoming text “Social Media and the American Voter” with Professor Owen’s seminar course, speak at many academic conferences, and participate in unique activities on campus (such as Jon Stewart’s movie premiere of Rosewater and the IPPS Reflections on Running Series with previous presidential candidates).

Will Vogt, CCT '16

Undergraduate institution and major: Georgetown SFS, Regional and Comparative Studies (Asia, Latin America)

Area of focus in CCT: My area of focus is the effect of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) on International Politics, especially in "emerging markets" like China and Latin America.

What did you do before CCT? I worked in risk management consulting, and I also have experience in think tanks in DC.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? I am the founder and former director of the DC Tech Tour and the New Media in Asia Research group.

Why did you choose CCT?  I chose CCT because the program's interdisciplinary nature was an ideal fit for my research interests (ICT in International Politics).

What surprised you about CCT?  I never imagined that I, a student of international relations, would spend so much productive research time with classmates on the opposite end of the disciplinary spectrum (e.g. computer science, design, etc.).

What are you doing now? I work for a cybersecurity consulting firm (Delta Risk) where I am currently advising the US Department of Homeland Security on its Cyber Education and Awareness efforts. In this role, I will be involved in the planning and strategy behind this year's [2016] National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Dan Davis, CCT '15

Undergraduate institution and major: Assumption College, B.A. Writing & Mass Communications and Graphic Design

Area of focus in CCT: My main focus was on education, specifically the design of online learning environments. I would be remised to not mention Critical Theory, Film, and Graphic Design as other key areas of interest as well.

What did you do before CCT? I came to CCT straight from undergrad, where I was involved in a campus creative nonfiction publication and had internships in both journalism and marketing.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? During my first year I had an internship at the National Education Association where I worked on campaigns and elections. After that I began working the the Kennedy Institute of Ethics in designing and producing the GeorgetownX Bioethics MOOC. During my second year my interest in MOOCs blossomed into my research assistant role at CNDLS where, with Dr. Yianna Vovides, I did research on learning analytics with Georgetown MOOCs. I also TA’d two courses, one with Yianna and one with Dr. Martin Irvine. In my down time, along with some Designer CCT colleagues, I co-founded the Car Barn School: a collective of media design critics coming from various domains such as filmmaking, critical culture, and education.

Why did you choose CCT? It seemed like the most vibrant graduate program community I had come across.

What surprised you about CCT? My CCT experience changed my perception of what an academic experience can/should be. I would say that, of the many many things I learned in my two years, far less than 50% were learned in a classroom.

Dur Kattan, CCT '16

Undergraduate institution and degree: AlYamamah University (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia), Bachelors of Business Administration in Management Information Systems & Marketing

Area of focus in CCT: My main area of focus is business and technology as I am interested in persuasive communication, branding, and image building through storytelling.

What did you do before CCT? Prior to joining CCT, I worked for two years in the Communications & Public Relations field in the Museums and Alternative Energy Industry in Saudi Arabia.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? While in CCT, I volunteered in CCT’s Spring 2015 Open House and CCT’s Fall 2015 Orientation Day. I also was a Teacher's Assistant for two CCT courses.

Why did you choose CCT? Initially when applying to graduate programs, I was not sure which field of study would combine all my interests. Hence, when I came across Georgetown’s Communication, Culture, and Technology (CCT) program, I was excited to find a unique program that would grant me the benefit of all three disciplines I enjoy.

What surprised you about CCT? I was surprised by the diversity of academic backgrounds CCT students had, and how that positively affected the learning experience in class and the strong network of intellectual individuals I am now connected to.

Emily Rothkopf, CCT '15

Undergraduate institution and major: University of Maryland, College Park, B.S. Marketing

Area of focus in CCT: Digital Marketing and Communications

What did you do before CCT? I worked for 10 years in business development, marketing and communications. Companies include: Hilton Worldwide, Avendra and Educate Online.

Why did you choose CCT? I debated for many years about whether or not to get an MBA, but nothing could convince me to go for it. I reached a point where I felt it was now or never, but I still needed to find a program that I could get really excited about. I wanted to stay in DC, so began researching the local university programs and just happened to come across CCT. It seemed like the perfect fit, and had a unique mix of courses where I could really explore my interests while getting applicable and tangible skills. 

What surprised you about CCT? It was not only the perfect refresh to my marketing and communications expertise, but a refresh to my general cultural views—particularly in terms of technology. It broadened my perspective on a variety of subjects and issues. I think everyone should get some sort of refresher to their education if the opportunity arises.

What are you doing now? I work at CHIEF, a marketing agency based in Washington, DC. I’m a Senior Strategist, working with a variety of public and private sector clients on their marketing and communications strategies.

Elizabeth-Burton Jones, CCT '14

Undergraduate institution and major: John Carroll University, B.A. in Communication & Theatre Arts, Minors in History

What are you doing now? I serve as Deputy Press Secretary for Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). In 2015, I was appointed Adjunct Professor for Georgetown University's Department of Performing Arts where I teach Public Speaking. In my free time I write for local DC community papers, sing around town, and volunteer for the SOURCE Theatre Festival.  

Nida Ahmad, CCT '13

Undergraduate institution and major: University of Colorado at Boulder

Area of focus in CCT: I focused on Sports for Development/Diplomacy and the role social media plays in sports intiatives. 

What did you do before CCT? I was working as a Program Manager at World Learning in partnership with the State Department in implementing cultural and professional international exchanges. 

What activities did you participate in during CCT? I worked at the BioMedical Graduate Office processing MA and PhD applications.

Why did you choose CCT? I chose CCT due to the interdisciplinary aspect of the program which allowed me to explore a range of disciplines which helped solidify my career goals. 

What surprised you about CCT? The diversity of the students background coming into the program and the projects they implementing while at CCT. 

What are you doing now?  I am consulting with think tanks and NGOs on sports for development initiatives and will be starting my PhD in the fall of 2016. My PhD will be in Sports and Leisure, and I will be based in New Zealand. 

Josh Hubanks, CCT '12

Undergraduate institution and major: University of Washington, B.A. in Communication 

Area of focus in CCT: New media and political communication. 

What activities did you participate in during CCT? During CCT I participated in gnovis, serving as a blogger, peer-reviewer and outreach coordinator.

Why did you choose CCT? I was attracted by CCT's faculty and its commitment to interdisciplinary inquiry, specifically in the realms of new media and political communication.

What surprised you about CCT? The diversity of interests and backgrounds of CCT's student body.

What are you doing now? I am a technology consultant at Excella Consulting.

Kasia Podbielski, CCT '10

Undergraduate institution and major: University of Puget Sound, International Political Economy

Area of focus in CCT: Media and politics courses with a focus on cultural diplomacy. I took many classes outside of the CCT program including those from IBD and MSFS. 

What activities did you participate in during CCT? I was the Events and Social Media Coordinator for the program and a peer reviewer for gnovis

What are you doing now? After graduating from CCT, I took a job in the Office of Innovative Engagement (OIE) in the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) at the Department of State where I advised embassies on the strategic use of social media, produced weekly web chats, partnered with tech companies and was project manager for the video team. I am currently a Project Manager at NPR where I works on the Editorial Training team whose mission is to strengthen NPR and Member Station journalists' craft on air and online. Outside of work, I play the cello with the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia.

Jeremy Pesner, CCT '13

Undergraduate institution and major: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Dickinson College

Area of focus in CCT: I mostly took courses from the Technology Policy and Technology in Society tracks. I wanted to better understand how technology affected people and human practices as well as the appropriate policy responses, so I took courses in the sociology of technology, knowledge management, Internet governance, futures studies, and more. I also took courses outside CCT in subjects such as innovation systems, agent-based modeling and human-computer interaction.

What did you do before CCT? I worked as a web developer, designer and video game consultant with a variety of startup companies throughout New York City for two years. However, I realized I was more interested in the bigger-picture questions of technology and how it affects the world we live in. Therefore, I decided to pivot from pure development to policy and research work more evenly divided between the technical and social elements of technology.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? During my time at CCT, I was an author and peer editor for the gnovis journal, a teacher's assistant for two courses, and a research assistant on several projects. I also organized and participated in the annual STGlobal conference and went to many social events with my classmates (always an important part of the program).

What surprised you about CCT? As someone with a computer science degree, I wasn't sure that a program catering to students with non-technical backgrounds would be so helpful for my goals. However, once I got started, I not only studied many subjects that were exciting and relevant, but learned a lot from the perspectives and priorities of other students as well. I was also able to take more technical courses from outside CCT, which would have been more difficult in most other programs.

Why did you choose CCT? It felt more like the program chose me. I first visited the program in 2009, but I was skeptical and unsure it was for me. I didn't imagine I would end up attending. However, I was strongly encouraged to apply by an adjunct professor who I developed a connection with, and in February 2011, decided to take him up on his offer. CCT was the only relevant program I could apply to in the spring, so that made the decision easier. With some retrospection, I think that had I gone to any other program, I would not have been able to take the variety of courses and have the degree of freedom that I did.

What are you doing now? I am currently a Baltimore Corps fellow, and have been placed as a data and policy analyst at the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. I am using R, Excel, Tableau and related software to analyze data, create visualizations streamline information feedback and flow and define certain eligibilities and needs for Baltimore's foster children and social workers. I'm also working to standardize data flows and programming conventions throughout the agency and initiate novel, technology-based smart city solutions to further develop Baltimore's IT infrastructure and empower its most at-risk residents.

Katerina Girginova, CCT '13

Undergraduate institution and major: The George Washington University, Communication Studies, Minor in Jazz Music

Area of focus in CCT: I focused around organizational communication, new media, and creativity studies courses.

What did you do before CCT? I worked at the National Geographic Channel.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? gnovis!

Why did you choose CCT? Because of the creative courses, the opportunity to work at gnovis, the DC location, and the fact that it's a Masters' only program (something rare), which means that the students get a lot of great attention and resources.

What surprised you about CCT? Perhaps that the people there remained as genuinely welcoming and helpful from the prospective students day all the way through to graduation... and even years later, today. 

What are you doing now?A PhD, to my surprise! 

Deron Hogans, CCT '12

Undergraduate institution and major: Hampton University, Broadcast Journalism

Area of focus in CCT: Media & Politics

What did you do before CCT? I was a brand planning intern at WPP’s agency, Young & Rubicam. I also interned as a junior analyst at EffectiveBrands, now     Millward Brown Vermeer.

What activities did you participate in during CCT? I wrote for Professor Diana Owen’s digital political journal, eM&P (electronic Media & Politics). I also was active in my fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi.

Why did you choose CCT? I chose CCT because I wanted to make sense of all my interests. I was a tinkerer who dabbled with code, had an affinity for brand strategy and loved to write. CCT helped me turn my many interests into a focus and eventually a career.

What surprised you about CCT? I was surprised to see so many people like me, who had many interests and were also trying to make sense of it all. I was sure I’d be in the company of seasoned developers, strategists and thinkers, and I was. However, there was no line drawn between the novices and the mavens. Everyone was willing to help. It truly was a democracy of ideas.

What are you doing now? I'm currently a Senior Digital Brand Associate at Capital One who manages digital customer experiences for card customers.