Alumnus brings documentary film to Tate Theatre

Michael Peroff (left) and co-writer Hal Rifken (right) shoot b-roll for film
Michael Peroff (left) and co-writer Hal Rifken (right) shoot b-roll for film. (Photo: Michael Peroff)

“Behind the Strings,” a Shanghai Quartet documentary film, will premiere at the University of Georgia’s Tate Theatre on Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. 

The Tate Theatre screening will be free for all attendees and be followed by a live video conference Q&A with Grady College alumnus Michael Peroff (ABJ ‘67), who produced, executive produced and co-wrote the film, and members of the quartet. 

“Behind the Strings” dives into the lives of the members of the globally successful Shanghai Quartet. It follows them on their rise to the top and shows what it takes to stay there. It also reveals why China keeps inviting them back to play their once forbidden music. 

“The story is about how a successful quartet achieved success and what it takes,” said Peroff. “It is about the life they lead, how they became successful and the price they pay.”

The story takes viewers back to the time of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Four young musicians fled to the West, as classical music was banned in China. Isolated and dejected, the musicians overcame the language and cultural barriers against them to become one of the preeminent string quartets in the United States. 

The quartet studied with masters, attended Juilliard and began performing at major music festivals and well-regarded classical music venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and The Kennedy Center. Along the way, the original cellist decided to leave, and the quartet brought on a highly praised, young graduate student from Spanish Harlem with a “New York attitude.”

Rifken shoots video of the Shanghai Quartet.
Rifken shoots video of the Shanghai Quartet. (Photo: Michael Peroff)

The pressures of their immense success, spending 180 days each year on the road, and their teaching responsibilities created a host of new challenges. The quartet persisted, though, and has played a major role in helping Western classical music gain new acceptance in China, where they now regularly sell out shows.

The film, which originally debuted in 2020, has won and been considered for numerous awards, including being named “Best Documentary Film” at the Jarvis Classical Arts Film Festival and being nominated as “Best of Festival” at the Richmond International Film Festival.

“Beyond the Strings” is being brought to campus by the Center for Asian Studies, Department of Entertainment & Media Studies, Department of History, Department of Theatre and Film Studies and the Hugh Hodgson School of Music.

EMST students network with alumni and creatives in Los Angeles

The opportunity to network and learn directly from the experiences of alumni and industry professionals is one of the key advantages of study away programs. Entertainment & Media Studies students have spent nearly two months in Los Angeles as part of the Grady LA Field Study program, and the following recap follows along one week of the program. It was written by Laurena Bernabo, assistant professor and lead instructor for the LA program which included 24 students this year.


Kathryn Kostovetsky stands at the head of the table talking as a group of eight students listen.
Kathryn Kostovetsky (AB ’18), associate producer at 51 Minds Entertainment, shared her experiences moving to Los Angeles after earning her journalism degree.

The week started with guests in Tuesday’s class including Grady alumna Kathryn Kostovetsky (AB ’18), associate producer at 51 Minds Entertainment, and Lisa Steele, a three-time Emmy award winning producer for “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” who earned her fourth nomination just that morning. Students were excited to learn more about the career opportunities that exist in the world of unscripted television production.

On Wednesday night, Emmy award-winning television writer Ellen Plummer sat down with a small group of students who specifically want to write for film and television. Plummer shared wisdom from her years writing on “Friends,” as well as general advice for succeeding as a writer in Hollywood. After her talk, she gave feedback as the students practiced pitching scripts they are currently writing.

The next evening, the class guests were Matt Solik, a “baby writer” for “9-1-1: Lonestar,” and UGA alumnus Brent Fletcher (ABJ ’98), established television writer and current showrunner for “Superman & Lois” on the CW. Though Solik and Fletcher met only minutes before class started, it seemed the two had been best friends for years; their chemistry was amazing, and the students learned a lot while sharing many laughs.

The week concluded with two exciting excursions. On Friday morning the group traveled to the Disney Studios lot to meet with UGA alum Mitch Powers (ABJ ’96), vice president and general manager for D23, the Walt Disney fan club. After an exclusive tour of the lot, Powers and his colleague, Patty Miranda (ABJ ’13), shared their exciting work with D23 and answered student questions. Later that evening, the group was hosted by UGA alum Jace Cook (ABJ ’90) and his wife Rachel O’Connor, an executive producer at Pascal Pictures. While students chowed down on pizza and cupcakes, Cook and O’Connor shared their career trajectories including Cook’s many years at CAA (Creative Artists Agency) and O’Connor’s success with the recent Spiderman films and “Little Women.”

Jace Cook and Rachel O'Connor talk with students outside. A grove of palm trees is in the background.
Jace Cook (ABJ ’90) and his wife, Rachel O’Connor (far right) talk with students after a dinner they hosted.

Grady InternViews: Darby Taylor

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Darby is participating in the Grady LA field study and internship program. She has two internships, one as a development intern for Temple Hill Entertainment, and another as an intern for the Producer’s Guild of America.

Briefly describe your internships and responsibilities.

At Temple Hill Entertainment, I perform coverage on screenplays, pilots, and book manuscripts to assess whether the material is worth developing into television or film content. I read the material, write up a synopsis, comment on pacing, characterization, tone, and plot, and then recommend a decision for the creative executives. I also sit in on development meetings, which provide me insight and a better understanding of the film and television landscape.

At the Producer’s Guild of America, I create materials to streamline and assist with the Guild’s ‘mark arbitration’ process. I conduct research projects to verify producing credits for Guild membership, update databases, and identify potential films for the awards season.

How has this role helped you discover what you are passionate about?

Both of my internships have confirmed my passion for the entertainment industry and that I want to be involved in the creation of television shows and films. Working at Temple Hill and the Producer’s Guild has given me an insight to two very different sides of the industry, and validated my passion for the industry and desire to work behind-the-scenes to bring certain stories to life.

How will this role guide your future career path?

Ultimately, my dream career is to get into post-production, or editing for film or television. I believe that when working on such a big and collaborative team as film crews, it’s integral to understand all aspects of the industry in order to make the production process smoother. As a future editor, I now know what parts of a script are significant enough to include in the final cut, as well as which team players have the most creative control over a project’s vision.

What advice would you give to students who are looking to pursue similar opportunities?

Networking is the best way to get your foot in the industry. Start reaching out to UGA alumni and other industry professionals as soon as possible, such as through LinkedIn or the UGA Mentor Program. When reaching out, it’s best to be authentic, intentional and respectful. Be honest, do your research beforehand, and thank people for their time. Although it can be scary, people want to help you and give advice based on their own experiences in the industry.

What has been your favorite part about your internship so far?

My favorite part about my Temple Hill internship is getting to provide my own opinion and experiences to the company. My perspective as a young student is welcomed with open arms, as I am encouraged to participate in staff meetings, give honest feedback about potential scripts and books, and discuss my favorite content with other interns and executives.

My favorite part about my internship with the Producer’s Guild is getting an insight to the industry from the unique perspective of a trade association. I have a better understanding to what all goes into film production through the producer’s role and what needs to be kept in mind when applying for the Producer’s Guild of America mark or membership to the Guild.

Darby is participating in the Grady L.A. program. (Photo:submitted)
How have the classes you’ve taken at Grady prepared you for this internship?

The ‘writing for entertainment media’ class I took taught me a lot about what works and what doesn’t work in a script. We read and critiqued many scripts, gaining an understanding to critical story elements such as character development, beats, tone and pacing. This class has made the coverage process a lot smoother, because I can easily differentiate my personal feelings on a piece of material and the actual elements that build a story.

Planning and helping on student short films through the production basics and cinematography classes I’ve taken have given me a brief insight to the effort that goes into feature filmmaking. My internship at the Producer’s Guild has taught me just how massive the crews behind our favorite films are and how much producers have to balance in order to bring certain visions to life.

 

Grady InternViews: Demi Lehman

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Demi is participating in the Grady LA field study and internship program. She has two internships, one as a development intern for the Motion Picture Corporation of America, and another as a casting trainee with David Kang Casting.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

David Kang Casting focuses primarily on casting music videos, commercials, film, and digital content. Their previous projects include casting for Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” and “Bad Blood” music videos and Katy Perry’s “Roar” music video. Some of my responsibilities include writing and posting character breakdowns to casting websites, reviewing auditions, and communicating with producers and talent.

The Motion Picture Corporation of America (MCPA) is a production company that has produced a wide array of films from Dumb and Dumber to Netflix’s The Princess Switch series starring Vanessa Hudgens. As an intern, I am responsible for reading and covering scripts, assisting in making pitch decks, and social media and agency outreach.

Demi is interning in Los Angeles, California for David Kang Casting and the Motion Picture Corporation of America. (Photo:submitted)
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned so far?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and do more than you’re required to. Your supervisors want you to learn and make the most of your time, so they will appreciate it when you take initiative.

What about this position has surprised you?

For both of my internships, everyone has been so flexible and open with catering my responsibilities to my interests, as well as making sure I am getting what I want out of the internship. I wasn’t expecting there to be this much flexibility in the industry, especially at the intern level, so I have appreciated their efforts to adapt to my interests and needs.

How will this role guide your future career path?

My supervisor at my casting internship knows I have a background in acting, and that I want to pursue acting professionally when I graduate. Because of this, she has encouraged me to audition for our company’s casting calls that fit my demographics to get practice and get seen by L.A. producers and directors. I wasn’t expecting that I would be able to be both a casting assistant and actor at the same time, so this has been an amazing discovery to learn it’s possible to do both. Even if I decide to stop pursing acting, I love getting to work in casting to help uplift other actors following their dreams.

What has been your favorite part about your internship so far?

At both of my internships, my favorite part has been getting to connect with new people. I have met so many kind and hardworking individuals who are happy to share their knowledge and experiences in the industry with me. I also enjoy getting to know the other interns I’m working with and building a network for myself to have for when I am out of school.

What advice would you give to students who are looking to pursue similar opportunities?

Don’t be discouraged if you’re not getting offers immediately when you’re just starting out on the internship hunt. I remember being confident I would find something in two weeks, when it actually ended up taking me about three months and reaching out to over a hundred people. Networking and prospecting takes time, so start early – but don’t consider how long it takes as an indicator of your self-worth.

Grady InternViews: Christine Yared

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and your responsibilities.

I work closely with the preschool team to gain insight into the development pipeline. My role as an intern includes assisting the staff with various office duties, shadowing the development staff on projects, observing creative meetings, and gaining exposure to the workflow. Additionally, I provide script coverage, review stories, and learn about pitching.

How will this role guide your future career path?

As someone who aspires to work in children’s media, this role will allow me to get an inside look at the industry and see where I would best fit in.

What about this position has surprised you?

I have been pleasantly surprised by how intentionally Nickelodeon has crafted their internship program. They truly want interns to learn during their time here so that they can succeed in their future careers. A few of the ways the company does this is by organizing meetings where interns can hear from employees in different departments, emphasizing mentorship, and supporting the physical and mental well-being of the interns.

What is the most challenging part of this position?

The most challenging part is not being able to talk about the projects I’m working on!

What lessons will you take back with you to the classroom in the fall?

I will take back the lessons of not selling myself short and being more confident when I express my thoughts and opinions.

What has been your favorite part about your internship so far?

My favorite part has been getting to work and form relationships with all the kind and talented people at Nickelodeon, especially those on the preschool team! 

Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed awarded 2022-2023 Sarah H. Moss Fellowship

Wunpini Fatimata Mohammed, assistant professor in Entertainment and Media Studies, has been named a recipient of a 2022-2023 Sarah H. Moss Fellowship. 

Administered by the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Georgia, the fellowship provides funds for travel and related expenses for tenure-track faculty pursuing advanced scholarship, research and study.

Mohammed’s research project is titled, “Media and Decolonization: Re-righting the Subaltern Histories of Ghana.” With this funding, she plans to travel to several cities in Ghana, including Tamale and Accra, to conduct archival research, ethnographic observations and follow-up interviews to supplement research already done which will become a scholarly book.

Wunpini Mohammed, assistant professor in EMST, teaches Entertainment Media Analysis outside in the Media Garden.
Wunpini Mohammed, assistant professor in EMST, teaches Entertainment Media Analysis outside in the Media Garden. (Photo: Sarah Freeman)

“In this research project, I am interested in examining the silenced histories of media in African communities that have historically been shut out of their own representations,” said Mohammed.

“I am going back to my community in Ghana to learn more about the media cultures of the country to satisfy some of the curiosities I had growing up as a child,” she continued. “I will be examining content on mediums such as radio and TV, focusing on how they have served as a tool for marginalization and a site of resistance within this community.”

Mohammed will be spending time at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation in Accra to sort through their archives and gather data to support the section of her book on technology and media development in Ghana.

Mohammed will also spend time at community gatherings to learn more about community relationships with media at the regional and national level. In Tamale, she will be hosted by the  Department of Communication, Innovation, and Technology of the University for Development Studies. 

“Growing up, I barely saw representations about me and my community in national media. This sparked my interest in media and the politics of media representation,” Mohammed said about what motivated her to pursue this research topic. “These experiences have inspired me to contribute to building knowledge in the field of media so that the people who come after me will have something to build on too.”

Grady InternViews: Jack Casey

Graphic which says Jack Casey, Hometown: Marietta Georgia, Title: Visual journalist, Company: The Oglethorpe Echo, Location: Oglethorpe County, GeorgiaThis is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.

I’m doing an internship through Grady with the Oglethorpe Echo. It’s a newspaper that covers all of Oglethorpe County, a county east of Athens. I’m a visual journalist, so I take photos and videos to go alongside stories, that are both printed in the paper and put on our website.

How will this role guide your future career path?

Somewhere in my career, I really just want to be able to document life around me and create stories from that. With the Echo and the small town stories you find in Oglethorpe County, this internship is perfect for that.

How have the classes you’ve taken at Grady prepared you for this internship?

Even though I am majoring in Entertainment and Media Studies, the sports media program really has prepared me best for this internship. The classes I’ve taken through it so far have taught me skills including how to communicate with sources, how to work with fast-paced deadlines, and then a little bit of camera work here and there. I feel like those classes I’ve taken so far through the sports media certificate have really prepared me the best.

How has this role helped you discover what you are passionate about?

I’ve known for a while – if not forever – that visual journalism and visual media have been my passion. This internship has allowed me to really take that passion of the real world and run with it. The Echo isn’t a newspaper where you’re learning as things go – it’s the real deal. You’re making a paper weekly and uploading articles to the website. As a digital journalist, that’s just music to my ears. I get to see photos and videos that I produce in real works, and it really pays off.

student holds up camera to take photo
Jack’s role as a visual journalist includes taking photos and videos that accompany stories for the Oglethorpe Echo. (Photo:submitted)
What advice would you give to students who are looking to pursue similar opportunities? 

My advice would be to take advantage of whatever opportunities come your way. Apply to things, talk to people and get experience. You’ll find that wherever you end up, you’ll get experience that is maybe a little outside of your comfort zone or something that you didn’t initially sign up to do while you were there – which is a good thing. I’m a visual journalist for the Echo, but I’ve already written an article. It’s that kind of experience – that isn’t what you’re necessarily there to do – that’s actually a good thing, and you’ll benefit from it.

EMST major Abigail Clark earns industry honor

Grady College Entertainment and Media Studies major Abigail Clark was chosen as a multimedia journalist (MMJ) to work at the Broadcast Education Association/National Association of Broadcasters annual convention in Las Vegas, which happened April 23-26, 2022. Clark was one of four students across the United States to be awarded this opportunity. 

Abigail Clark holds a camera on her shoulder.
Abigail Clark, from Dade City, Florida, spent four days reporting on the BEA convention and NAB show. (Photo: submitted)

BEA Student MMJs are a select team of undergraduate and graduate students with the task of reporting on the BEA convention and NAB Show in real time by using and infusing a variety of storytelling methods, including text, audio, video, pictures and graphics (or infographics). Student MMJs are tasked to think outside the box while reporting on the events and bring their unique visual storytelling skills and training to life. 

 “When I was accepted into the program, I screamed with excitement for the opportunity to go to Vegas for work,” said Clark. “I never thought at this stage in life I could say I went on a trip for work-related purposes.”

Student MMJs were selected in a nationwide search by a pool of professionals and educators. Awardees received travel stipends, press passes and full access to the NAB Show Newsroom, while working under the guidance of two faculty advisors. 

Daily assignments introduced student MMJs to different aspects of media, entertainment and technology through a series of interviews and stories that cover sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, award winners and special events. The student-produced content was regularly posted on BEA’s website and through social media. 

Keith Wilson has mentored me and worked with me on all different kinds of facets of production,” said Clark. “Applying what I had learned from him through production basics and cinematography really benefited me in the MMJ Program while on site in Vegas!” 

“I was thankful to those who helped me along the way and to Dr. Hamilton for sharing the opportunity with me and to Dr. Chess for assisting me with the application and sending over a letter of recommendation,” she added. “I am also thankful to the university for all the opportunities I have had and for having the opportunity to represent such a prestigious school in a highly respected convention.” 

Content created by Clark and her fellow MMJs is available on the BEA website.

#ProfilesOfTenacity: Sherry Liang

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?

The only class I enjoyed in high school was newspaper, so I came into college as an intended-journalism major. I joined The Red & Black within my first month and became an editor the following semester. But I already felt stagnant, which is not a feeling you want as a freshman, so I sought a creative outlet with EMST. I wish I could reassure freshman me that both journalism and EMST would welcome (and continue to welcome) me with open arms — that pursuing both paths would change my life — but I think she already knew.

What are you passionate about?

A lot, sometimes too much. I’m passionate about independent student journalism and innovating the newsroom’s status quo. I’m passionate about people and our emotions — the way we interact and react — and finding the universal in the personal. The entertainment and journalism I grew up with rarely told the stories of my community. I never saw myself in the media industry, so I hope I can play my part in changing that for future generations.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

I hope I’ll remember the everyday moments like mingling with friends between classes, group exercises in cinematography, staying up until 2 a.m. finishing a script, sheltering from a tornado in one of the many windowless first floor classrooms, busting a kneecap open after class (unrelated to the tornado), table reads in Writers’ Room or watching film premieres at Ciné and University 16 … the list goes on. 

I also think back to when we planted seeds for ideas that would shape my college experience — like brainstorming web series concepts in Writers’ Room, pitching an AAJA chapter at UGA to Dr. Lough, the first conversations about the Backlight Student Film Festival, or the beginnings of what would become The Red & Black’s DEI Committee.

Liang served as the editor-in-chief of The Red & Black in spring 2021 (Photo: Taylor Gerlach).
What or who has had the biggest impact on your life during your time at UGA?

The students, by all means. From day one, I’ve been inspired by everyone’s dedication to each other’s work at The Red & Black, The Industry, in classrooms and on the screen. Members of Writers’ Room, for example, have exceeded every conceivable expectation of mine when I restructured the club. From first-time screenwriters to EMST veterans, everyone’s bonded over these characters and scripts that we’ve created. I’m also beyond impressed by students on the Selection Committee for the Backlight Student Film Festival, who have spent nearly 10 hours across three weeks watching and judging film submissions. This level of commitment and collaboration is a trademark of the students at this college.

As I round out my senior year, I feel like I’ve finally found my place with my people. Graduating and leaving UGA feels bittersweet and pre-nostalgic, but I am mostly relieved that given the volatility of the universe and its infinite possibilities, we all found ourselves here, together, if only for a moment. (Existential thoughts courtesy of Everything, Everywhere All at Once.)

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

Directing my first short film this semester was one of the most surreal moments of my college career. I’ve written a few scripts, so that part of the process was familiar. But as I watched actors bring the characters I created to life, heard people laugh at these jokes I wrote from my bed at 3 a.m., and witnessed an entire crew devote their many precious hours to execute my story — I felt a type of unbridled joy and gratitude that I had never experienced in a collaborative environment. I’ll chase that feeling and those people for as long as I create. 

(Bonus full-circle moment: The film is about student journalism!)

What are you planning to do after graduation?

Lots of soul-searching, a bit of traveling, and hopefully some revelatory experiences — but first, the Cannes Film Festival.

A behind the scenes look at Liang’s short film directorial debut (Photo: Jaida Green).
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor, mentor or family member?

Coming in as a beginner, I was intimidated by EMST before even setting foot in a classroom. But over the last two years, I’ve never had a professor who expected us to know everything. Professor Evans taught my first screenwriting class, and from day one, he emphasized improvement above all else. Your work doesn’t have to be perfect, it might never be, but you just have to do and improve. I’ve always had some level of performance anxiety, and reminding myself of that philosophy has been liberating. As a chronic procrastinating perfectionist, it’s what motivated me 24 hours before the deadline to write my first TV pilot that became a BEA Festival finalist. It wasn’t a perfect script — one judge’s comments made that very clear — but that’s one script (and an award) more than I had before I started. 

Who is your professional hero?

I have so many. UGA alumnae Kendall Trammell, Elaine Reyes, Samira Jafari, Alex Laughlin and Amanda Mull are just a handful of the journalists who inspire me. Editors at CNN and The Red & Black have shaped my confidence and voice as a journalist. The writer-director in me also looks up to the power-duo of Lulu Wang and Barry Jenkins (who share a dog-child with a hyphenated last name — talk about life goals). 

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I talk to myself a lot, entire conversations. Sometimes I’ll mute my podcast in the car just to hear myself talk … to myself. Most of these answers came from me talking to myself. 

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

My body is actually solar-powered. Give me some sun, a few trees, maybe a sprinkling of fall foliage or spring flowers, and I’m there. I frequent Herty Field or the MLC stone benches for napping, and outside the PAF for a solid four-legged table to do some work. You can also find me gazing off into the sunset at Lake Herrick to inspire an aforementioned revelatory experience … been doing a lot of that lately.



Ph.D. Profile: Farrah Youn-Heil

Growing up with immigrant parents, Aarum (Farrah) Youn-Heil said she feels like television and movies helped raise her. From a young age, it stuck out to Youn-Heil that not everyone she saw on the screen looks like she does. She wondered: “If people saw Asians on TV as outsiders, would they see me like that too?”

It’s that very question that inspired Youn-Heil to seek her Ph.D. from Grady College’s department of Entertainment and Media Studies.

“Pursuing my Ph.D. has provided me an avenue to keep exploring the impact that TV and movies have on people of color,” said Youn-Heil. “Beyond that, I’m curious how we communicate about race interracially and how TV could be a pedagogical tool for difficult racial conversations.”

Graphic indicating Youn-Heil's answers to three questions: Why pursue your Ph.D? Why Grady? and What do you want to do with your degree?

Ultimately, Youn-Heil, who received her master’s in interpersonal communications from UGA in 2020, wants to use her doctoral degree to become a professor and a researcher. She is eager to help facilitate conversations about race and media both inside and outside of the classroom.

 “I hope to be an educator that encourages students to question who and what they see on the screen,” Youn-Heil said. 

As a doctoral student over the past two years, Youn-Heil has conducted interviews with individuals about their experiences with interracial communication apprehension.

“During a time of social distancing and a rise of racial violence, people of color struggle having conversations about race interracially,” she explained. “Personally, I see how it has impacted our mental health as well.”

Throughout her time on campus, Youn-Heil has also prioritized helping those pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees at UGA build their communication skills.

As the communications consultant with the Division of Academic Enhancement’s Presentation Collaboratory, Youn-Heil helps students strengthen their public speaking abilities and overcome communication apprehension. And while working as a graduate assistant for the organization International Student Life last summer, Youn-Heil and her peer ran a workshop series solely for international doctoral students at UGA.

“The workshops were dedicated to building their intercultural communication skills and creating thought-provoking research conference presentations,” explained Youn-Heil. “It was an amazing experience getting to be creative and collaborate with a doctoral student in another discipline! I learned so much!”

Farrah Youn-Heil at the Division of Academic Enhancement’s Presentation Collaboratory on campus.
Youn-Heil at the Division of Academic Enhancement’s Presentation Collaboratory on campus. (Photo: Submitted)

Youn-Heil went on to explain how grateful she has been for her time at Grady, learning from and working with top scholars dedicated to her research.

When asked if she has any advice for someone considering pursuing a Ph.D, Youn-Heil said: “Take advantage of your curiosity, and go for it! I never felt like a school person. But, as a doctoral student, I think of it less as school and more as a time to be an explorer.”