April 5 – Alumni Academia & Alternative Careers

This alumni panel brings together PhDs, Professors, Alternative Careers and Independents to discuss their experiences since graduating from Hench-DADA. Short presentations and then Q&A with seminar teams.



Adriana Jaroszewicz has been working in animation for over 17 years. Her experience ranges from Internet-based to feature-length animation and visual effects films.

Adriana holds an MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Before joining LMU, Adriana served as a Senior Digital Trainer for animators, compositors, hair, layout, character set-up and character pipeline crews at Sony Pictures Imageworks. She trained artists for feature films such as Monster House, Ghost Rider, Superman Returns, Surf’s Up, Open Season, Spiderman 3, I Am Legend, Beowulf, Watchmen, G-Force, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Alice in Wonderland and Cats and Dogs 2.

She has collaborated with composer Martin Jaroszewicz on a series of projects including “OSC Physics” and “OSC Physics Pro,” two audiovisual applications for the iPad, and “Chaos and Metamorphosis,” an audiovisual installation that was on view at the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts.

Adriana regularly teaches and presents at conferences and engagements around the world. She has been a Professor in Residence at SideFX software to continue her professional development in Houdini. She a is Certified Nuke Trainer for The Foundry’s compositing software Nuke through fxphd.com

She continues to research the application of movement analysis-based methods as pedagogy to improve 3D computer animation biomechanics and character development. She has completed her animated short El Botín (The Looting), a dark tragic comedy combining 3D computer animated characters and miniature environments, and currently she is working on another CG film about a dog.




Scott Bogoniewski 

Scott has 25 years of diversified production experience on projects in film and games ranging from script through final delivery including Sony Imageworks, Speedshape, Rhythm and Hues, House of Moves and others. He has assisted over 1,000 independent animated films, videos and games at SCAD and CCS as Chair of Animation as well as Chair of Entertainment Arts.

Scott is an alumnus of the University of Southern California where he completed his MFA in Digital Animation and Digital Art and holds a BFA in Graphic Design from State University of New York.


 Laura Cechanowicz

Laura Cechanowicz is an iMAP PhD student and Los Angeles-based artist focused on world building, play, film, production design and sound.

A researcher and a collector, her work explores identity, neuroscience, the embodied mind, and the ways people record and transcribe personal histories. Her passion is participatory art as social practice, and she views teaching as an integral part of this work. Her experience includes fieldwork in the US, Nepal, China, Colombia, and throughout Europe.




Deborah Allison

I’m a maker – a strategic thinker and product designer who specializes in creating innovative digital experiences (web, mobile, app, virtual reality, etc). I currently work for Disney’s Parks & Resorts Digital team, connecting guests with tools that enhance their vacation.





Tiffanie Mang

Tiffanie Mang is a traditional animation artist who graduated from Hench-DADA BA in 2014, Tiffanie has worked on numerous projects including most recently the fully oil painted feature ‘Loving Vincent’.

Tiffanie teaches plein air painting master classes and works as a freelance animator and concept designer for various studios and companies including Psyop inc. and Dreamworks Animation.


Shish Aikat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShish Aikat is the Head of Global Learning at Tau Films/John Hughes Institute (JHI). Prior to that, he was the Vice Principal of Exceptional Minds Studio, a vocational academy/studio in animation and VFX for young adults on the autism spectrum. In addition, he is the former Manager-Education and Head of Global Learning at Rhythm & Hues (R&H) Studios in Los Angeles. At R&H, he oversaw the knowledge management/dissemination and global learning for the studio’s operations in the U.S., Canada, India, Malaysia, and Taiwan. During that time, he also co-founded Rhythm & Hues University (RHU) to create and foster a global learning eco-system for R&H. Shish was also a technical communicator in both the Los Angeles area and in Silicon Valley and is a former President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (LASTC). He also taught as a Lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing (MPW) Program at USC and in the School of Film and Television (SFTV), Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

Originally trained as a mechanical engineer from Jadavpur University (JU), Calcutta, Shish received his M.F.A. from the Division of Animation and Digital Arts, School of Cinematic Arts (SCA), University of Southern California (USC) in 2002. He was also a Nickelodeon Fellow from 2001-2002 while at SCA. He also earned an M.A. in Communication Management from the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism in 1990.


3 thoughts on “April 5 – Alumni Academia & Alternative Careers

  1. It was interesting hearing about the alternative careers that exist in the bubble of animation. I think my favorite was hearing about Deborah Allison’s experience working there at the Park, and what she does. It did make me slightly nervous, as I’m someone who feels a little weird about being so connected via the internet and it knowing what I do or what I like. It was also awesome hearing about Tiffanie Mang’s path and her work on Vincent. I liked that she jumped in and applied for the job, not really knowing whether or not she was qualified for it. I think fear and underestimating one’s self in this industry is an easy trap to fall into, so I thought it was inspiring that she took that breath and applied. The movie looks gorgeous – I’m looking forward to seeing it!


  2. This was a really fantastic seminar. I haven’t really thought about a career in academia, but this seminar has made me think it might be something to consider. I definitely liked the suggestion that people should try teaching a little while they are working in the industry. If nothing else, it might provide a nice secondary source of income. And hey, maybe I’ll discover that I like academia more than I like actually working in a studio. It’s just good to know that there are multiple options out there.


  3. I consider myself as more a studio-worker than a researcher but hearing there is other career path is very refreshing. Being at school as a student always makes me somewhat nervous and busy at my projects, but I wonder teaching and research job would allow me more study in depth..?
    Maybe one day after few years of industry experience, I might want to go to teaching position – I want to be prepared as an instructor and a mature human being first.


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