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Previous Episodes

Art Imitating Life

This week on Media in the Mix, host Grace Ibrahim is joined by H Spencer Young, AU alum, artist, director, screenwriter and strategic consultant. Young received his bachelor's degree in Visual Media from the School of Communication as well as a Film Direction Certificate from the Academy of Performance Arts in Prague. He has since gone on to direct, write and consult for companies like Vogue, CBS, Food Network and Nike, along with working for individuals like Beyonce and Mykki Blanco.  

Listen and discover how art can imitate life! 


The Path to Post-Production

On this episode of Media in the Mix, host Grace Ibrahim, introduces Emily Hall, an SOC alum and post-production coordinator in Los Angeles. Hall graduated from the Film and Media Arts program and has gone on to work mostly in editing and post-production while maintaining a freelance photography, video, and film business.

Listen now to learn about how Emily decided post-production was the right path for her. 


Sports Events Are the Memories Business

On this episode of Media in the Mix podcast host Grace Ibrahim is joined by American University's (AU ) sports communication professor, Matt Winkler. Winkler worked as AU’s Athletic Communications and Sports Information Director and launched the first online M.S. in Sports Analytics & Management at AU as well.

He is the founder and executive director of an annual sports career conference, and also served as an on-site game-day media operations consultant for numerous nationwide athletic leagues. 


Our Time to Give Back

In this episode, host Grace Ibrahim is joined by SOC Alum, Derek McGinty. McGinty is a journalist, commentator and award-winning interviewer. He got his start at WHUR radio in Washington D.C. and since then has gone on to work for various programs on CBS, HBO, and ABC. He then returned to Washington D.C. to work with WUSA. 


I Made the L.A. Move...Should You?

In this episode, host and AU alumna, Grace Ibrahim sat down with Zachary Gradishar, a recent SOC alum working to break into L.A.’s entertainment industry. Ibrahim and Gradishar discuss the challenges of post-grad life and the power of small plans.

Gradishar graduated with a BA in Public Relations and Strategic Communication in 2022 and has since then launch his own podcast, “Let’s Chat with Zach.” The podcast was originally created as a way for him to stay connected with his network of friends, but he quickly realized that the conversations were relevant to many young graduates starting out on their own.


Pandemic or Endemic? The Fate of the Entertainment Industry

Media in the Mix relaunches this fall semester with its new host, Grace Ibrahim of the SOC Communications and Outreach team. In this first episode, Grace sits down and has a candid conversation with American University School of Communication’s (AU SOC) associate professor and director, Claudia Myers.

Throughout the episode, Myers talks about things that have changed within the film industry, hinting at an increase in overall flexibility thanks to the ability to work remotely. However, Myers makes it a point to mention the disproportionate impact on independent filmmaking in terms of production costs and the risks associated with interruptions to the filmmaking process due to COVID-19.


The Evolution of the Film Industry & Award Shows

How has Hollywood changed over just the course of one long, storied career? From nickel and dime shows, blockbuster epics and contemporary tentpole IP films, to how industry changes have influenced award shows, and the waxing and waning interest in them—Russell Williams has seen it all. Today’s audiences aren’t subject to “appointment television,” and their choices in how to consume content also influence award season. Find out what industry insider, Professor Williams, thinks about these changes and more, on this episode of Media In the Mix.


The New Workforce Wave

Have you ever felt like the 9-5 life wasn’t for you? Maybe you’ve felt like pursuing entrepreneurship, or a side hustle. Starting one’s own business has long been seen as the solution to the work week rat race. But self-employment requires its own strategies and structure.

On this episode, we speak to #AUSOC alums, Jack Fitzpatrick and Megan Elizabeth Clark, about finding their own pathways to entrepreneurship, how corporate and freelancing work differs from each other, and how their time at AU influenced their careers today.


The State of Far-Right Extremism in America

Today’s news cycles are filled with stories of polarizing information, soundbites, opposing viewpoints, and shocking current events. Where is the surge of right-wing extremism coming from? And how far does it extend into media, culture, and identity?

This episode answers these questions and more. It also features an introduction by SOC Dean Sam Fulwood, and a conversation between the following panelists:

Kurt Braddock, Ph.D
Asst. Prof. in the School of Communication

Cynthia Miller-Idriss, Ph.D
Sociologist and Prof. in the School of Public Affairs and School of Education
Co-Founder and Director of the Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL)

Brian Hughes, Ph.D
Research Assistant Prof. in the School of Public Affairs
Co-Founder and Associate Director of PERIL


The Evolution of Superhero Narratives and the Human Experience

Superhero sagas top box office ticket sales and streaming services. But these aren't the stories or heroes of yesteryear. The characters we see today are more complex, and diverse, than those of the past. The stories tread new ground and speak to a range of issues, some timeless and some distinctly tied to current events. What is so compelling about these imagined figures and the powers they possess? Why do they resonate with us so well? What is the future trajectory of this genre?
On this episode of Media In The Mix, we talk with alum Jai Jamison, a writer and director, and a story editor on Superman & Lois on The CW, and delve deeper into these topics.


What Is An Influencer?

In this episode of Media in the Mix we explore the idea of being an "influencer" and how a person can make an impact in the real world with their online persona. We chat with SOC alum Andy Lalwani, who is now the host for “Culture Q,” a weekly show on Revry TV about news, pop culture, politics and more for the queer community; and Paige Kaiser, who is currently a junior in SOC studying Public Relations and Strategic Communications, and a YouTuber with over 300K subscribers, about what it means to be an influencer, creating content, and the responsibility they have to their followers in the digital space.


What's In An Identity?

Hispanic Heritage Month (also known as Latino Heritage Month or Latinx Heritage Month) is an annual celebration which celebrates the history and culture of Latino and Hispanic communities. In this episode, we examine the role of political correctness in the age of cultural identity by looking at how those in the Latino and Hispanic communities describe and identify themselves, versus how society and the media perceives their identity through the lens of School of Communication alumna, Camila DeChalus. DeChalus is currently a senior DC politics reporter for Business Insider where she covers issues related to the Justice Department and the federal courts.