Featured Alumnus: Ivan Kander

Despite my reputation as Mean Old Professor Cohen, my former student Ivan Kander recently friended me on Facebook. He must be over the trauma of my exams — and considering that he graduated only a year ago (2007), that is a remarkably swift recovery. Ivan writes:

During my time at GW, I was a very proud English major. I thoroughly enjoyed all my classes on modern and historic literature, and I relished the camaraderie between the professors and students. However, when I wasn’t analyzing literary texts in the classroom, I was pursuing a strong interest in filmmaking and video production. Through lots of trial and error, I taught myself the how to edit video, design for print, and develop content for the web.

In turn, when I graduated from GW in 2007, I landed a position with JuiceBox Design Communications — a boutique video production and design firm located in Northern Virginia. My time at JuiceBox has given me invaluable experience in the world of digital video. Currently, I serve as secondary camera operator on documentary style shoots as well as an assistant video editor and junior graphic designer for our in-house productions.

In my spare time, I cohost, shoot, edit, and produce a weekly movie review podcast entitled “Worst Movie Ever!”, which can be downloaded for free via iTunes or through my personal website, www.lucky9studios.com. Also, I’m currently preparing to direct a short film that I hope to submit to the DC Independent Film Festival.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my wonderful professors at the GW English department. Throughout my time there, I was always impressed with their intelligence (a level of intellect to which I can only aspire) and insight. Often people find it odd that I graduated with a degree in English, yet I’m pursuing a career field that seems completely unrelated. Well, to these detractors I simply relate that English has afforded me a dynamic skill set, from the ability to organize information rationally to strong critical thinking skills. And, most importantly, it related the simple but important fact that — when it comes down to it — there is just no substitute for being able to tell a good story, regardless of the medium.

We in the English Department are happy to hear that you are having such success, Ivan, and wish you the best in the future.

Similar Posts