Expand AU Menu

Solar Decathlon Team Students Bios

Robbie Boccelli

Robbie Boccelli

Robbie Boccelli is a sophomore seeking his BA in Film and Media from the School of Communication. His interest in videography originally stemmed from his production of skateboarding films before expanding to narrative and documentary productions. Coming from a musician-filled group of friends, he films and photographs live performances in his home state of Arizona as well as here in the District. He is currently working on a project called "3017E," a collection of both local and art of all kinds filmed live in his apartment. Beyond filmmaking, he is an avid supporter of the Boston Celtics.

Annelise Cohon

Annelise works for the NEA Health Information Network (NEA HIN) the non-profit t health and safety arm of the National Education Association (NEA) and oversees NEA HIN's programs on ending child hunger in America's public schools. She is passionate about empowering teachers, educational support professionals, staff, and students to organize and improve the health and safety of their school.

Before moving to DC, Annelise worked for Best Buddies, an international nonprofit t that provides social integration opportunities for individuals with disabilities through jobs and friendships. Through the Rotary Foundation she also served as an Ambassadorial Scholar for a one-year fellowship in Haifa, Israel, focusing on Peace and Conflict Studies.

Annelise graduated from Scripps College in Claremont, CA and holds a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and is currently pursuing a Masters of Arts in International Education and Training at American University.

Anedra Edwards

Anedra Edwards

Anedra Edwards is a native Washingtonian and a production professional specializing in producing, promo script writing, video shooting and editing. She has served multiple positions for NBC Universal, BET Networks, Comcast Television, and several other television and production companies. Her portfolio includes producing advertising promos for NBC4 for their 5pm and 11pm news stories, camerawoman covering NBA games throughout the U.S. for various public access shows and extensive production work for several cable televised award shows and series i.e. BET Honors Award Show, 3 seasons of Bobby Jones Gospel Show etc. She has been recognized for her design expertise, creativity and technical experience, which culminated in her being honored with a PromaxBDA, bronze award in 2012 for her broadcast marketing work with NBC4 in Washington, DC. In addition to working with Victory Marketing Agency as a Brand Ambassador in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area, she is currently a Masters of Fine Arts candidate for Film and Electronic Media at American University.

Richard Fields III

Richard Fields is a full time student at American University earning his MA in Film and Video. After earning his B.S. in Community and Behavioral Health from the University of Maryland, College Park, he combined his education with his love of film by joining the Positively Beautiful project, which follows the lives of 5 friends facing the stigmas of life with HIV through the form of a feature length documentary. Additionally, he works as an editor and cinematographer for ph balanced films, a non-profit Washington, D.C. based film company with primary focus on issues of human rights, fair trade, and corporate accountability. He has completed his first semester at American University, and looks forward to his involvement with the Solar Decathlon project. He focuses his studies in directing and cinematography, as he continues to gain invaluable experience and sharpen his craft.

Chris Jasinski

Chris Jasinski is a junior studying public communication and political science at American University. Chris has had extensive strategic communication experience, most recently working in the Social Media Marketing Department of USA TODAY. Before USA TODAY, he worked for the Office of North Carolina Bev Perdue, as well as EMILY’s List.  As a member of Team Capitol DC, he is responsible for maintaining the team's strategy, content and brand on social channels, in addition to collaboration with the team on Web content.

Elizabeth Linares

Elizabeth Linares

Elizabeth Linares is in her first year at American University and is pursuing an MFA in Film and Electronic Media. Originally from Columbus, Georgia, she studied Photojournalism at Ohio University before moving to the District of Columbia.

Patricia Long

Patricia Long

Patricia Long is a first year MFA student studying Film and Media Arts. Patricia earned her Bachelor's degree in English at Bowie State University in Bowie, MD.

Kelsey Marsh

A new graduate student at American University, Kelsey Marsh is pursuing her MFA in Film & Electronic Media within the School of Communication. In 2009 she graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas with a BA in Communications -Radio/TV (emphasis in production) and Political Science. During her undergraduate study, Kelsey worked as a producer, director, news reporter/correspondent at her campus TV and radio stations. She also gained experience interning at the CW33 News station in Dallas and worked as a Production Assistant on two prime-time reality TV shows. After graduating, Kelsey accepted her invitation to serve in the Peace Corps working as a community health and economic development volunteer in the Kingdom of Lesotho. Her experience abroad reaffirmed her desire to make documentaries highlighting human rights and social injustices.

Lauren McCarty

Lauren McCarty is a graduate student pursuing a M.A. in Public Communication from American University’s School of Communication. In 2008, she earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism in broadcast journalism and obtained a minor in theater performance. Lauren began her career working as a reporter for mid-Missouri’s NBC affiliate, but knew her interests lay in other areas of the communication industry.  She briefly worked for an advertising company in New York City, and then accepted a position working as the Public Relations and Marketing Coordinator at a human services nonprofit agency in Salt Lake City. Currently, Lauren works in the communications department at the American Society for Public Administration located in Washington D.C. Her experiences telling the stories of vulnerable members of society through journalism and public relations solidified her desire to further her education and continue a career in strategic communications. Lauren is excited to join Team Capitol DC as a representative of American University for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.

Alexandra (Lexy) Ruperti

Alexandra (Lexy) Ruperti

Alexandra Ruperti is a MFA in Film and Electronic Media student at American University. She graduated from The College of William & Mary in 2007 with a BA in Theatre Arts and spent the time before graduate school working at a variety of different jobs - taking her from the restaurant floor to an office desk. She has experience in team building and leading as well as organizing and assistant directing local independent films. Having grown up in an environment that emphasized green and energy-efficient living she is excited to be involved with the 2013 Solar Decathlon.

Kay Ryan

Katherine is currently in her final semester at American University earning her second master's degree, this one in the International Training and Education Program. As part of this program Katherine recently completed an internship with Save the Children where she helped develop training modules focused on safe driving for the Global Safety and Security team.

Katherine holds a Master's degree in Special Education from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University and has been a special education teacher for the past 17 years. Prior to enrolling at American University, Katherine was a learning support teacher and the Learning Support Coordinator at the International School of Luxembourg in Luxembourg. She also coached basketball, chaperoned student trips to Switzerland where the students learned about the environment, and chaperoned a student trip to Tanzania where the students completed volunteer work.

Before moving to Luxembourg, Katherine was a special education teacher in the public schools in Massachusetts. In addition to teaching, Katherine has developed curriculum at various grade levels in a variety of subject areas. While teaching in Massachusetts, Katherine also coached field hockey. Katherine is a certified Orton-Gillingham instructor and has completed contract work in mathematics for McGraw-Hill Publishing. Katherine has an undergraduate degree in English and Human Development from Boston College and after graduating was a volunteer for one year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Visalia, CA.

Matt Shor

Matthew Shor is a Texan seeking his BA in Communications - Film and Media from the School of Communication. In 2010 he graduated from R.L. Turner high school in Carrollton, Texas, with distinction from the Academy of Media Arts and Technology, which helped develop his skills as a cinematographer and filmmaker. Before enrolling at AU, Matt lived abroad in France via the Rotary Youth Exchange program, it was there where he discovered his passion for film photography. Since coming to American, he has worked on an 18 episode short television series, Party Animals, which will be aired on NBC's channel 4 and online at the NBC website. Having traveled across the world, his love for barbecue and a great story only further justify his desire to make beautiful images tell a stellar tale.

Krystala Skordalos

Krystala Skordalos

Krystala is a first year student in the MA Film and Video program at American University. She comes to American University following her graduation from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she received a BA in Sociology and a certificate in LGBT Studies. Throughout her undergraduate coursework, she became fascinated with the intersection of media and identity, primarily the way in which minority characters are written and developed. She questioned the kind of impact these characters have on the formation of the identity of a film or TV show's viewers, which sparked her decision to study film. For this reason, Krystala hopes to be a part of the process of creating socially conscious fictional characters.

Solar Decathlon Team Faculty Bios  

Caty Borum Chattoo

Caty Borum Chattoo

Caty Borum Chattoo is a full-time professor of Public Communication. She has multifaceted expertise in social change communication, integrated media campaigns, and documentary film and television production. Most recently, she worked as a senior vice president at a D.C. global communications agency. She also worked in Los Angeles with producer Norman Lear through both the Norman Lear Center, a multidisciplinary think tank, and as a founding director of Lear’s Declare Yourself, a national youth civic engagement campaign. Prior to this work, she served as a program officer in the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Entertainment Media & Public Health program. In addition, Borum Chattoo has produced documentary film, TV, and short-subject advocacy videos for groups including the AFL-CIO, California Nurses Association, ICLEI USA, YWCA, and others. She co-produced the investigative feature documentary film, "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," and served as a key media spokesperson; and she served as co-producer and field producer for an investigative TV documentary series about environmental social justice, "Sierra Club Chronicles," which aired on Link TV and the Sundance Channel. st of Low Price," and served as a key media spokesperson; and she served as co-producer and field producer for an investigative TV documentary series about environmental social justice, "Sierra Club Chronicles," which aired on Link TV and the Sundance Channel.

Larry Engel

Larry Engel

Larry Engel is a full-time professor of Film and Media Arts. With more than 30 years of teaching and filmmaking, his documentaries appear on PBS, the Discovery Channels and National Geographic, among other outlets. Awards include a Daytime Emmy for Best Cinematography and the Mountain Spirit award from Mountain film in Telluride. His teaching focuses on theory, production and emerging media. His favorite classes include Classroom-in-the-Wild: Extreme HD Alaska, and The Practice of Environmentalism that takes students to the Galapagos Islands. The PBS series "The Human Spark," hosted by Alan Alda, and directed and photographed by Engel, premiered January 2010. The series won the prestigious AAAS Kavli 2010 Science Journalism Award for In-Depth Reporting (more than 20 minutes)."Potato Heads: Keepers of the Crop" premiered at the DC Environmental Film Festival in March 2010.