Remnants of the Past with Alumna Kaitlin Jencso
Corcoran alumna and the current Studio Manager & Instructional Technologist for Lens-Based Media Kaitlin Jencso made the news this summer for her stunning photo installation, 'We Miss You,' which was displayed at Hamiltonian Artists.
December 13, 2021

New Hamiltonian Artist Fellows, Films and Exhibitions: Recent Corcoran Alumni News

Corcoran alumni have been doing incredible work, from receiving prestigious awards to publishing books and launching films. Here is a recap of just some of our alumni’s remarkable accomplishments last year, achieved during an unpredictable era of turbulence. Read about student and faculty accomplishments, too.



Nostalgia for the “Simpler Times”: How Media and Aesthetics Romanticized the Pastoral 

Corcoran school alumni Leah Brand (M.A in Arts History, 2021) spoke about modern romanticizing of the pastoral through Cottagecore and video games, hosted by the Coalition of Master's Scholars on Material Culture, in September of 2021. You can also read Leah Brand's publication on the subject here.




Oh, Mother of Mine


Exploring the Generational Impact of Incarcerating Mothers

Anna Rawls is a recent graduate of the Corcoran, obtaining her MA in New Media Photojournalism this Spring 2021. Her multimedia graduate capstone, “Oh, Mother of Mine,” explored the generational impact of the incarceration of mothers through a short documentary film, photography, and writing.


Since graduating, Anna has facilitated community engagement events and film screenings in the Washington, D.C., area where residents have been able to connect and learn. She conducted a print sale to raise funds for film festivals, where the work has so far been selected for the Tryon Film Festival and awarded Semi-Finalist at the Flickers’ Rhode Island Film Festival.


Recently, Anna screened her film and participated in a survivor-led conference led by Community Family Life Services that explored the intersection between domestic violence and criminal justice. This fall she will be co-hosting a community engagement event with law students in the D.C. area alongside DC Justice Lab.


In September 2021, The Justice Arts Coalition (JAC), a national network that “harnesses the transformative power of the arts to reimagine justice,” hosted the first ever virtual screening of "Oh, Mother of Mine."




MichaelAngelo Rodriguez


Escaping Reality with MichaelAngelo Rodriguez’s Otro Tiempo

Alumni MichaelAngelo Rodriguez (BFA in Fine Art Photography, 2018) has a solo exhibition called Otro Tiempo showing at Transformer from September 18 - October 23, 2021.



GW Alumna Debra M. Lee Donates to the Future of Innovation at GW’s Textile Museum 

A testamentary gift to establish the Debra M. Lee and George L. McLennan Fund for Innovative Textile Art Education and Community Engagement Fund will provide resources for “out of the box” endeavors with local artists. Lee, who has had her knitwear designs published in hand-knitting magazines and books, hopes the endowment will seed new projects and innovative new ways to connect the fiber art community and elevate the craft. The museum is available to the general public or can be visited virtually here.



GW Alumna Jasmine M. Rush Welcomed to the Stage with Rave Reviews

Academy of Classical Acting graduate Jasmine M. Rush will be starring in Queens Girl in the World by Caleen Sinnette Jennings and directed by Dawn M. Simmons at the Central Square Theater in Boston. Her performance has received rave reviews in recent engagements! Here is the review from the play’s tour to Ithaca’s Hangar Theatre.



Welcoming Back the Classes of 2020 and 2021

In October 2021, we welcomed back Corcoran's Classes of 2020 and 2021 to campus for GW's Centuries Weekend. Take a look at their NEXT work from the last two years in this video created by New Media Photojournalism alumna Maria Luz Bravo ('19). You can also see some of their past work on the NEXT website here and NMPJ podcasts here.




Mengjiao Wang


Corcoran Graduate Receives Prestigious Student Design Award

Interior Architecture graduate Mengjiao Wang recently won the Student Design Award for her submission of “NEXT Office” to the 2021 IIDA MAC Design Competition.


Mengjiao attributes her success to her time at the Corcoran. "I think I am really lucky to have had a good team to work with," she said. "Corcoran provides me an opportunity to work with people with different backgrounds, and my classmates always try their best to support each other's concepts. The professors were also really friendly and willing to help in any aspect. These encourage me to do what I wanted and finally finish this project. Also, there is a word that really helps: 'Stopping on the wrong path also helps to move forward.'"


Mengjiao is currently back in China, where she just started her career in the Gensler Shanghai office, focusing on retail design. Congratulations, Mengjiao!






The Infinite Wisdom of “Guncles”:
How a Corcoran Alum Illustrates Diversity

Corcoran alumnus Kyle Marcus Bryant (BFA Fine Arts '18) recently illustrated a book called "The Wisdom of Guncles" by author Michael Dumlao. The story is about the unique role queer folk fill within their families, especially for their niblings (gender neutral term for nieces and nephews). The book is a collection of real-life stories from a diverse group of actual guncles (gay uncles), imparting wisdom that applies to the broader human experience. Each chapter is dedicated to a different guncle “archetype” and headed by one of Kyle's drawings. The aesthetic is inspired by mythological pantheons, tarot cards, grimoires, astrological signs, and star charts. To learn more about the book, visit the book’s website here, and for more of Kyle's work, click here.



Corcoran Alumni Make Historical Feat as Hamiltonian Artist Fellows

Alumni Kyrae Dawaun is in the new Hamiltonian Artist Fellows class (2021-2023)! Dawaun received his BFA at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in 2013. In case you missed it, the 2020-2022 Hamiltonian Artists Fellows also includes three Corcoran Alumni: Maria Luz Bravo (MA, New Media Photojournalism 2018); Joey Enriquez (MFA Fine Arts 2020); and Lionel Frazier White III (BFA Fine Arts 2018). For more information on the artists, click here



A Marriage of Graphic Design and Information

Bailey Edelstein, MA New Media Photojournalism ‘17 (@baileyedelstein) works in the Communication and Public Engagement Department for Summit County, Utah, bringing her skills in video production, photography, graphic design and social media management to deliver information to county residents.


In talking about her work, Bailey said, "I draw upon so much of what I learned from my New Media Photojournalism curriculum in my daily job functions. Recently this East Coast flatlander put on her cowgirl boots and embedded into Summit County's rural culture during their annual fair. This video features a local steer wrestler and served as a promo for selling tickets to the weekend's professional rodeo."




Silenced Women


Exploring Generations of Silenced Women

Corcoran alumna Ariane Torres is publishing We are the Kings on March 1, 2022. A tribute to family history, specifically the woman’s side, Torres shows the difference in women’s struggles as compared to men, and how women are made to feel invisible. With themes of feminism, domestic space, and women’s invisibility, this story delivers headstrong, driven characters that carry readers through the special bonds between women, and how they rely on each other.



The Success Stories of Alumni Businesses

Corcoran alumna Christine Schmidt (BFA 2001) was recently featured in the GW Magazine’s gift guide. For the past fourteen years, Christine has been growing her business, Yellow Owl Workshop, where she sells a wide array of products like greeting cards, socks, and jewelry. Her unique style and varying designs bring a fresh wave of products each season, contributing to her successful business. Congratulations, Christine!


Corcoran alumna Aseeli Coleman, an exhibition design graduate, recently started a candle company, &Flora Studio. Check them out for eco-conscious crafted candles and home goods.




Yesterday We Said Tomorrow


Corcoran Alumni Capture Vibrant Art Through Prospect.5's Impressive Triennial Catalog

Corcoran alum Jordan Amirkhani (M.A in Art History ‘10) recently contributed to Prospect.5’s Triennial Catalog. Titled “Yesterday We Said Tomorrow,” the catalog features the diverse and vibrant art of New Orleans created in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Corcoran alum and current program administrator for Corcoran Art History Andy Johnson (B.A. ‘14, M.A. ‘15) also contributed towards the catalog. Congratulations, Jordan and Andy!




Hamiltonian Artists


“We Miss You”: Remnants of the Past with Alumna Kaitlin Jencso

Corcoran alumna and the current Studio Manager & Instructional Technologist for Lens-Based Media Kaitlin Jencso made the news this summer for her stunning photo installation, 'We Miss You,' which was displayed at Hamiltonian Artists. The installation was featured in the Washington Post and the Washington City Paper, and it received praise for its ability to capture loss and longing. Congratulations, Kaitlin!






Prestigious Honor Awarded to Dana Tai Soon Burgess, who also launches Podcast

Cohen Lecture Award, one of the most prestigious dance and dance history lectures given in the field. The award provides a dance researcher or practitioner the opportunity to present a major paper or interdisciplinary presentation, based on research or a body of accomplished work, at the Fulbright Association’s annual conference. The lecture was held in October 2021.


Professor Burgess also recently launched ("Conversations About the World through a Hyphenated Lens"), where prolific Asian American artists, writers, and thinkers explore questions about race, identity, and creating in America. In a recent episode, Dana sat down with Susan Choi, the 2019 Book Award winner. Susan discusses navigating her mixed racial identity growing up in the midwest, her father's experience as an Asian immigrant in America during racial segregation, and the importance of exploring and writing about adolescence. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcasts