September 2017 Alumni Buzz

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Summer Dunsmore

2010 Undergraduate Transfer Scholar, University of California, Berkeley

2016 Graduate Scholar, Duke University

Summer just returned from a trip to Cape Town South Africa and is settling down to finalize her thesis, for which she plans on publishing an experimental writing piece and screen an anthology of seven short films. As of now she is planning and hoping to stick around and continue to teach/work at Duke after she graduates. Summer has a show premiering at the end of September in San Diego, CA entitled In Other Words, which is an immersive experience that uses video, dance, collage, and text in order to represent the coalescing nature of new media arts, arts activism, and feminist critique. Find more about the show at


Chris LeFlore

2012 College Scholar, Williams College

Chris just returned from a trip to NASA’s Glenn Research Center, where he had been invited for training associated with M-YEARS (Michigan Youth Education Access Resource Services) – an afterschool program in Detroit that he and his mother founded. M-YEARS students participate in a diverse curriculum, with topics ranging from politics to engineering.  This past summer, Chris was in D.C. working for Congressman John Conyers through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. He recently joined Detroit City Council Member Janee Ayers’ staff as a Policy Analyst. Through his work with Council Member Ayers, Chris authored legislation that declared Juneteenth (a holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the US) a day of black economic liberation in Detroit.


Elizabeth Simoens

2010 College Scholar, Butler University

 2014 Graduate Scholar, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance

Elizabeth lives in London, England and found a way to combine her love for performance and gaming and works as the Immersive Games Researcher and Designer for Fire Hazard Games. She also has her own design company, SeaSylph Games. Elizabeth’s gaming experiences can be found at museums, raves, and on local streets. She is currently working on two wizard themed games, a puzzle game for the British Museum, and a shipwreck themed game for a 2,000 person rave all happening in October. Check out Elizabeth’s website for more about her game designs:


Lauren Key

2014 Undergraduate Transfer Scholar, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

 Lauren just wrapped up her M.A. in Management at Wake Forest in May and promptly started a job in branding at Newell Brands Yankee Candle. After three months, Newell gave her the opportunity to move to NYC and work in ecommerce. She is now part of the Demand Creation Office in Union Square. Her group drives the demand and creates the content for the company’s paid social media ads for such brands as Sharpie, Rubbermaid, Papermate, Yankee Candle, Calphalon, and Coleman.


Candie Solis

2010 Undergraduate Transfer Scholar, Southern Methodist University

2014 Graduate Scholar, Southern Methodist University

Candie is located outside Houston, TX and works for HP, Inc as an IT Developer / Engineer II, otherwise known as a Problem Solver. She develops custom (front-end and back-end) solutions in C#/.NET, Python, C++, and other languages to support the activities and needs of HR Global Systems at HP, Inc.  On any given day, she could be serving as triage to determine the root cause of a defect or developing creative solutions.


Evan Kassof

2012 Graduate Arts Scholar, Royal Academy of Music

Evan is working this summer for artist, inventor, and musician Andy Cavatorta. In his studio, Evan is focusing on developing a new kind of musical instrument, similar to the ondes martenot, but with a myriad of complex timbral possibilities derived from the particular use of germanium phosphate crystals. His role is split between advising on the musical aspects of the instrument, designing new prototypes, and assisting in fabrication. The instrument will be unveiled in Graz, Austria in November as part of a concert of newly commissioned music celebrating the scientist who discovered germanium phosphate. More information can be found at


Jon Alexander

2012 Undergraduate Transfer Scholar, University of Texas, Austin

Jon has been working at Facebook as a product analyst since the beginning of 2016. He review products to detect and prevent fraudulent use. Since the past election, Jon has been getting involved in advocacy in the areas of immigration, prison reform, education, and health care. Jon is currently volunteering for Inside Books Project, which primarily sends books and other educational materials to Texas inmates, as well as fundraises and promotes the reform movement. To learn more about Inside Books Project, visit them at


Anastassia Goidina

2011 College Scholar, Emory University

Anastassia is presently working as a Marketing Analyst at BTS Asset Management outside of Boston, MA. She is considering an MBA, but her current passion is her blog, Nukde: For the Wolves Hungry to Learn. She shares her personal experiences as well as interviews with others about the constant desire to learn and grow. Recent blogs have included an interview with current non-traditional Cooke Scholar Gina Edwards about her experiences returning to education later in life as well as Anastassia’s lessons learned while studying abroad in South Korea. Visit to read more.

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