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N O I T A T I N I 6 1 0 2 L L FA

4 HAVE A SUBMISSION FOR THE NEWSLETTER? E-mail your Alumni Chair, Cass Lang, at!


LIBBY CREEK is a Video/Television major from Chicago and is in her second year at

Hofstra. She aspires to work at NBC and become the “Lorne” of her generation. On campus, Libby is the president and founder of the Hofstra Badminton Club, an active member of Hofstra Concerts, and, of course, works as a crew member on several HEAT Network shows. In her free time, she enjoys going to concerts, chilling with friends, and watching too much TV.

PLEDGE NAME: LORNE TREE: ADVENTURE ELLEN BOYLE is a sophomore TV/Video and Business major from Wayne, NJ. She was an Orientation Leader this past summer and is currently involved with the HEAT Network, WRHU and a new addition to Zeta Phi Eta this fall. She knew she wanted to be involved in television when she attended her first live taping of a local show in the 7th grade, and hasn’t looked back since. Ellen likes all aspects of communication but desires to become a producer for Fox News sometime in the future. Her interests include politics, country music, dogs in general, and bagels but exclusively from New Jersey. Her dislikes are people who think it’s pork roll.

PLEDGE NAME: BEESLY TREE: ACADEMY SARAH HANLON is currently a sophomore at Hofstra University majoring in journalism

and minoring in writing studies + composition (so she loves to write...a lot). When she’s not covering the latest fashion and beauty trends for Hofstra’s chapter of Her Campus, she’s probably scrolling through social media or in pursuit of a Starbucks drink. Once she graduates college, she aspires to become a nicer version of Miranda Priestly. She hopes to become the Editor-in-Chief of a magazine or launch her own media company while living in New York City. For now, though, she’s thrilled to be one of the newest members of Zeta Phi Eta!

PLEDGE NAME: VENICE TREE: TRAVEL DAPHNE CHRISTIDIS is a junior Public Relations and Drama double major from Rochester, NY. She hopes to combine both her passions for the theatre arts and communications by working in entertainment public relations one day. Daphne hopes to have a job in NYC after graduation, but will go wherever life takes her. She joined Zeta Phi Eta in order to learn from her peers and become a better professional. A fun fact about Daphne is that she is in search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

PLEDGE NAME: AGATHA TREE: ACADEMY SAM BUSSELL is a currently a sophomore and is a B.S in video/Television and Film at

Hofstra University. Right now, he is a member of WRHU and getting involved in the HEAT Network. He is a huge film fan and has been making films since he was a young kid. Sam decided to join Zeta Phi Eta as it was a great opportunity to connect with more people within the communication field at Hofstra and wants to help with the growth of the Hofstra chapter of Zeta Phi Eta.



HARRISON GRUBB is a sophomore Journalism major, Political Science minor from Livingston,

New Jersey. His dream is that one day, people can tune into CNN or ESPN to see him up on screen. Since coming to Hofstra, Grubb has been heavily involved at WRHU, as well as crewing a handful of HEAT Network productions. He also had the once in a lifetime opportunity to volunteer at the debate, working as an usher in the debate hall. Being able to be in the same room as the next president of this country is an experience he will never forget. As someone who just finished going through the recruitment process, he is particularly excited for what Zeta has to offer, especially after making so many great friends along the way.

PLEDGE NAME: SAWYER TREE: ACADEMY XAVIER WILLIAMS is a character. A character is someone that has multiple uses in a story. They could be the protagonist, antagonist, supporting role, lover, anything. That is Xavier. In his life, he sees himself as the protagonist, but in others could be anything. His personality is mixed with so many characteristics that it would be impossible to type them all. A character is someone made with traits, but each one different. Somedays he could loving, fun, silly, goofy, serious, immature and mature all at the same time. Xavier’s life passion is writing. He wants to write his own shows or movies. To make his own characters that people will enjoy or connect with. He’s always wanted to help people, but also entertain. That is why he chose to be a TV and Film major. Xavier joined Zeta Phi Eta so that he can accomplish his goals and surround himself with people who are working towards similar goals. All the while, he hopes to gain friends to add to his story, the story of his life. One day, he hopes to grow from being a character to a storyteller.


BEN GREGORY is from Virginia and came to Hofstra to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Video/

TV and Film with the goal of graduating in the spring semester of 2019. While on this path, Ben has begun writing/ crewing HEAT Network shows like Two Weeks Notice and Director’s Cut. Alongside this, he has joined WRHU and become active in a variety of student film shoots across campus. Ben joined Zeta with hopes of polishing his professional etiquette and meeting more people with similar passions within the fields of communication arts and sciences. In five or ten years, he hopes to be writing and directing movies that inspire people in the same way that subsequent films have inspired him. He wishes to tell stories that captivate and stick with people well after they’ve left the theatre. But for now, he hopes to gain the experience and skills necessary to do so.

PLEDGE NAME: REDWOOD TREE: TRAVEL ABBY STRUSOWSKI is a current sophomore pursing a journalism major and creative writing minor. Right now, she is unsure if she wants to become a television anchor or continue in print. Her writing has been published in The Hofstra Chronicle and on blogs. As for her television experience, she has been featured in the crowd on programs such as Fox News, CNN and MSNBC during the Presidential Debate at Hofstra. She cites Bob Costas, Anderson Cooper and Maria Menounos as her idols. Her ultimate goal is to become the host for E! News or the Editor-in-Chief of a major publication, such as The New York Times or VOGUE.


3 novemBER 2016 ISSUE

ALUMNI PANEL On November 12, current Zeta Phi Eta members were joined by faces of Zeta’s past. Graduates of Hofstra and our chapter, Emi Feldman, Maddie Michalik, Rachel Geller and Celia Werner had quite a few invaluable pieces of advice to share. It’s not often that students are given access to a niched panel such as this one. Emerging from four different sectors of the communications field, print and broadcast journalism, production and public relations, we were presented with a range of diverse experiences. A few key take-aways from the panel incude the following:

1. TAKE A BREAK If you can avoid jumping right into a job, the general consensus from this panel was to do so. See the world. Sleep. Give yourself time to adjust.

2. WHEN IN DOUBT, GO FOR IT If you don’t, you’ll never know what could’ve been. Most times, “No” is the worst that can happen. Be your best advocate.

3. SHOW INTEREST Talk to everyone. Ask for meetings. Show people who you are and find out more about the people surrounding you.

4. WORK YOUR BUTT OFF It’s not going to be easy. If you dedicate yourself to working hard, people will notice. No one is going to do it for you. Having Zeta Phi Eta alum come back for an intimate panel discussion was special. I hope future Alumni Chairs will consider hosting more! As I prepare to graduate in December, I can only imagine how it would feel to be able to provide real insight to the next generation of members. I’m so grateful to know such helpful, interesting and inspiring people in the field of communications.

- Cassidy Lang


ELECTION NIGHT AT CNN It’s been four weeks since the 2016 Presidential Election and, truthfully, I’m still in shock that I got to be a part of the magic. For the past three months I’ve had the incredible opportunity to intern with CNN in the social TV department, working with some of the brightest and most talented producers I’ve ever met. When my boss asked me whether I was free to work debate and election nights, I immediately said yes, knowing that despite the severe sleep deprivation it would cause, I would have the experience of a lifetime. Social TV is one of three departments at CNN that falls under the larger social media department. With bureaus across the world, it’s a group that has roughly 300 people based in hundreds of different locations, and yes, pretty much all of us worked election night. My team is responsible for the social media accounts tied to the specific shows and the anchors of those shows. I work directly on New Day, CNN Newsroom, The Situation Room, Erin Burnett OutFront, and Anderson Cooper 360, throughout the week. On election night the lineup was much different, and was nothing close to a normal work day for me. From 5 PM on we ran “Election Night in America” featuring Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper, among various other CNN correspondents. The real TV magic was happening out of the Washington, D.C. (politics) bureau, while we sat in New York making the social media magic happen. There were dozens of producers working to constantly cut clips from what was happening on air and write Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts to accompany them. With votes coming in by the second, it was a very strategic process about how and when things were posted. Projections were made only on the CNN accounts, and my team’s job was to make sure that all of those projections made it onto every single show account (at least 15 accounts in total). For about 6 hours we were focused on sharing those projections and watching the numbers, closely, to determine what stories we

would write as the night went on and to execute Facebook lives from across the city. One of my favorite things that happened throughout the night was a Facebook live that was recording the empire state building, the newseum in Washington D.C., and the Las Vegas strip. In those three areas they had large scale projectors illuminating the buildings with real time results, an electoral college count and a map of the 50 states. Each time a state was projected it would appear on the building with the winning candidate’s face. It was incredible to watch the work of the social department come to life! Another major part of my job at CNN is to write short stories for the website based on moments that happen on air. Election night was mostly maps and numbers for the beginning of the night, but after 11 PM when correspondents and surrogates for each candidate began discussing the current results and the future of America, it was important to watch the conversation and look for any good, passionate moments to write about. I was responsible for pulling the transcripts of each segment that someone wanted to cover, verifying every word and highlighting strong moments and quotes for an article. This was happening by the second and faster than I could process, but it was so exciting to help be a part of the production of 20+ stories on election night. I also assisted with cutting video from the live on air feed to post on social media and downloading MP4s to send to the right teams to ensure that everything that needed to be posted on social media made its way there. “Election Night in America” officially wrapped up a little after 3:30 AM, at which point I was physically dead, mentally exhausted and still trying to process the full day of class + work I endured all in 24 hours. But, I crawled into bed and slept for a few hours before returning to work later that day, ready to tackle the discussion of our newest President-elect.

- Marisa Russell

5 november 2016 ISSUE

ALUMNI MENT SHANNEN WALSH Written by Ellen Boyle Last Friday, I ventured into the big apple to meet with my alumni mentor, Shannen Walsh. Her company, which she has been with since January, is called Phosphene. Phosphene is an independent visual design studio. The company receives footage from various television shows, movies, and Netflix shows and the artists work meticulously editing to create effects that the client wants. I was unfamiliar with companies that do this kind of work, so I was very excited to meet Shannen and her coworkers and see what a day in the life of Phosphene entails.

Once I arrived at Phosphene, Shannen showed me around the office and told me what happened in each area. She showed me the screening room and where all the artists sit to do their work. She also set up meetings for me to talk with an artist and a producer so that I could get a feel for what a job like that would entail. First I spoke with Josh, who is one of the artists currently working at Phosphene. He showed me some of his work, and taught me that the key to visual effects is to make it so that the edits go unnoticed. They should appear natural. I learned from Josh that much more is edited in movies and TV shows than I thought, such as street signs and buildings. Next, we spoke to Joe who is a producer for Phosphene, and whose job is more along the lines of what I want to eventually be doing. Joe is in charge of assigning work to the artists, keeping in contact with the clients, and reviewing work before it is

submitted. The meetings that Shannen set up for me were extremely helpful and appreciated what she did to make sure I got the most out of my visit to Phosphene. After we were done at Phosphene, Shannen and I headed to lunch. It was there that we talked about Hofstra, internships, what post-grad life is like. Shannen told me that while in school, her goal was to be a producer for a children’s show, but she loves working for Phosphene, showing that it is imperative to take advantage of opportunities in front of you, even if it might not be exactly what you are looking for at the moment. We also talked about the programs at Hofstra and she encouraged me to continue to be active in the HEAT Network and to take advantage of the SCO in Rome program. We spoke about the importance of networking and always presenting yourself in a professional manner. She advised me to keep on top of all my classes, because coming close to graduation and realizing that you are missing a mandatory class can be devastating. Having a Zeta alumnus who can give me advice about the rest of my years at Hofstra and tell me first hand about the professional industry is an extremely helpful resource that I will be sure to utilize again in the future.

MOLLY BERNITZ Written by Xavier Williams If I could think of one word that could describe Molly Bernitz I could not find one. It is not because there is nothing interesting about her. It is because she is too interesting. I guess I could give a few adjectives that could do some justice. I would say that Molly is bold, ambitious, goal oriented and, most of all, chill. For a person with those characteristics there is no doubt that she is in the right field.

She moved from New York to L.A. for a job, to be a production assistant for a show. Not to mention, she did not know if she would get the job or not. If that is not bold then what is? Not only was it bold to travel far from home, but to risk her time and money. I do not know if I could ever take a risk like that. She is now working her way to becoming a member of the Director’s Guild so that she can become an Associate Director.

Currently, Molly is a freelancer, frequently working as a production assistant. She will freelance until she has enough experience to be accepted into the guild. The work load and hours are crazy. There is no definite start or end to her work day. There’s no nine to five. Just work to work. Our conversation was an eye opener. She possessed so much knowledge of her field that by the end of our conversation, I was wishing I could induct her as a member of the guild. The lifestyle she chose is so wide that I wonder how did she find a way to fit in it. If you want a mentor that will open your eyes to a career path, well, she’s definitely a good fit. I know that she is just starting out and working her way through, but she’s a woman will goal and mind. When you hear her speak, you can sense her passion and dedication and that she is willing to sacrifice to achieve her goals. Her life may be hectic because of her job, but she maintains a chill vibe. I hope that one day she will be the Associate Director for a show written by me.


TOR SPOTLIGHT VICTORIA VANDERGRIFT Written by Sam Bussell This past week I met up with my Alumni Victoria because she lied out in California we had to have a meet up over Facetime and it was a great time to talk to her.

When I first found out that Victoria was my alumni mentor I was very excited to get to know her and it has been very good ever since. When we talked I learned so much about her as well the industry itself. We talked about her work in reality television as and her role in finding the people who would fit well in reality television. I feel like me and her connected a lot in our understanding of the industry as well. If I ever have any questions about the industry I can ask her right away and she can answer them with 100% clarity. In Zeta Phi Eta, Victoria was an Alpha, which means she was part of the very first class. It was great to learn what it was like to be a part of the first Zeta class and to see how things have changed over the last few years. It was funny when I asked her about what it was like to go through the pledging system and she literally told me that she was the first class and all I could say was “oh” because I had no idea what class she was; but it was great to hear that she likes to be a part of the alumni system so that she can help the pledges get through the system and help them learn more about Zeta and its short history at Hofstra so far. One of thing that I have taken away

from talking with is when she told to make sure to develop thick skin in the entertainment industry. I always thought that it was a dog eat dog world and she proved my suspicions to be true with that piece of advice. What was also amazing was our love for both television and the changes it is going through as well as our love for the west coast. What made Victoria such as great fit for me as a mentor was the fact that she is out in LA and the fact that I am considering going out to LA sometime in the future. She has told me how living out on the west coast is so much different than living out on the east coast. She also gave me advice on what I have to do in order to do Hofstra in LA my junior year and who I need to talk to in order to go. In the end, I had such a great one-on-one conversation with Victoria and will definitely have a chat with her sometime soon. I think I lucked out with the perfect alumni mentor.

ALEXI VELASQUEZ Writen by Harrison Grubb Tonight I spoke with my alumni mentor, Alexi Velasquez, about her life and work after college. Despite graduating this past May, she feels as if she’s still a student, but although she missed going to Hofstra, she doesn’t miss not being able to sleep and having to stress about homework all the time.

Currently, Alexi works in broadcast at CBS in New York City, where she has been for around two months. Since she currently works in the field, she


was able to give me some great advice on what to expect out of the industry and what I should do while I’m still in college. As someone interested in working in broadcast journalism, she noted that my involvement in WRHU is great for my resume and thanks to the station’s credibility and notoriety at being one of the best college stations in the entire country. In addition to working at RHU, she suggests that I should get involved in shows like Hofstra Today, especially since I’m interested in possibly pursuing a career in the news. While her advice on what to do to ensure I can find a job in the field was especially helpful, her current situation as a recent graduate working in journalism really opened my eyes on what to expect coming out of college. She explained how her life has been since graduating college, and what its like to be someone working in one of the lowest positions in the network, something that I know I will have to expect straight out of school. Talking with Alexi definitely helped me realize what I can do to further my chances of landing an internship this summer, and also helped me realize what I should expect in the future as a journalism major entering the field straight out of collge.

7 november 2016 ISSUE



9 november 2016 ISSUE

3 ways to Stay involved 1 share on social media #EXPLOREWITHZETA

2 contribute to the newsletter

3 join us for future alumni events


Zeta Phi Eta November 2016 Newsletter  
Zeta Phi Eta November 2016 Newsletter  

Our third newsletter of the semester. Say "hello" to our new members - the Theta class! WIL.