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Foundation News
November 13, 2019

Faculty Seminar: The Conference Connects Classrooms to Industry

Seventy-Four Media Educators from Colleges and Universities Nationwide Attend Inaugural Three-Day Conference Offering Unparalleled Access, Instruction and Insight from Top Hollywood Television Pros

  • Faculty Seminar: The Conference

    Madeline Di Nonno (left), chair of the Television Academy Foundation and CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, presented the "Intersectionality on Television: Getting it Right" panel during the Television Academy Foundation's 2019 Faculty Seminar: The Conference, Nov. 5, 2019.

    Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP Images
  • The Power of TV

    Sarah Rodman, (from left) entertainment editor, Entertainment Weekly, moderated The Power of TV: Star Trek, 50 Years of Diversity & Inclusion, with Star Trek Executive Producers Alex Kurtzman, Jenny Lumet and Michelle Paradise during the Television Academy Foundation's 2019 Faculty Seminar: the Conference, Nov. 5, 2019.

    Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP Images

The Television Academy Foundation launched its expanded Faculty Seminar: The Conference program for media educators Nov. 4-6, 2019, at the Saban Media Center in Los Angeles, California.

The three-day, immersive conference offered television and media educators essential information on current industry trends and innovation and panel discussions with top creative professionals to help instructors better prepare students for a career in the entertainment business.

For the past 30 years, the Foundation's Faculty Seminar had been application-based and accepted a limited number of attendees; the new 2019 conference welcomed three times the number of educators to register for this unique media conference.

"We're thrilled to launch the updated and expanded Faculty Seminar: The Conference, reaching more educators and, in turn, increasing our impact on students aspiring to careers in media," said Madeline Di Nonno, chair of the Television Academy Foundation. "By exposing instructors to the best and brightest professionals, they obtain cutting-edge industry information to enrich curriculum, better preparing students for the ever-changing media job market."

Seventy-four professors hailing from colleges across the country, including Fordham University, Western Michigan University, University of Alabama, University of Texas, University of Southern California, Delta Community College and Tennessee State University, among others, attended the event.

The forum covered a wide range of subjects including programming, production, development, distribution, creative disciplines, technology, trends, business models, employment and diversity initiatives.

A keynote conversation with Peter Friedlander and Nina Wolarsky, Netflix's vice presidents of original series, kicked off the event.

Additional panel topics and featured speakers included:

  • The Pitch: Best Practices for Shopping an Idea with Kalia Booker, director of drama programming at HBO; Steven Canals, writer/producer/director (Pose); and Jaime Dávila, president and co-founder, Campanario Entertainment.
  • A Conversation with Susanne Daniels, global head of original content for YouTube.

  • The Writers Room with Sarah Dunn, creator/executive producer (American Housewife); Craig Mazin, writer/executive producer (Chernobyl); and Shoshannah Stern, creator/writer (This Close).
  • The Reality of Unscripted Television with Executive Producers Erika Bryant (Family or Fiancé; Real Housewives of Atlanta), Elise Doganieri (The Amazing Race) and Rob Eric (Queer Eye); and Jill Dickerson, senior vice president, programming and development, OWN.
  • Power Lunches with Cris Abrego, chairman, Endemol Shine Americas, and CEO, Endemol Shine North America; Dawn Olmstead, president, Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios; and Patrick Macmanus, writer/producer/showrunner (Dr. Death).
  • Creating a Pilot: From Script to Screen with NBC’s Superstore star Nico Santos; Justin Spitzer, executive producer/creator; and Michael Gallenberg, production designer.
  • Intersectionality on Television: Getting it Right with Madeline Di Nonno, chair, Television Academy Foundation, and CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

The conference also included one of the Foundation's signature The Power of TV events focused on diversity representation, on and off screen, within all Star Trek series moderated by Sarah Rodman, entertainment editor, Entertainment Weekly, with panelists Alex Kurtzman, executive producer, all Star Trek series; Michelle Paradise, executive producer and showrunner (Star Trek: Discovery); and Jenny Lumet, executive producer (Star Trek: Discovery) and co-executive producer (Star Trek: Picard). It concluded with special instruction on accessing and utilizing the rich content from the Foundation's irreplaceable online video archive The Interviews: an Oral History of Television in education courses.

"Every piece of information we get at these Faculty Seminar conferences is taken back to the classroom," said Dina Ibrahim, a professor at San Francisco State University. "I had a conversation with an unscripted-reality editor, and we're actually going to develop curriculum together. So, really, this is an opportunity for faculty to come and meet people but also to create new courses to give our students a return on investment on their education ... teaching skills that are relevant to the industry today."

About the Television Academy Foundation
Established in 1959 as the charitable arm of the Television Academy, the Television Academy Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of television while educating and inspiring those who will shape its future. Through renowned educational and outreach programs, such as the Interviews: an Oral History of Television, College Television Awards and Internship Program, the Foundation seeks to widen the circle of voices our industry represents and to create more opportunity for television to reflect all of society. for more information on the Foundation, visit

Media Contact:
Jane Sparango

breakwhitelight for the Television Academy

For the complete press release, click here.

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