41 students selected for new Carson Center cohort

· 3 min read

41 students selected for new Carson Center cohort

A metal sign reads "Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts."
Justin Mohling | University Communication and Marketing
Forty-one students have been selected to join the latest cohort of the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts.

Forty-one students — 28 first-year students and 13 transfer students — have been selected to join the latest cohort of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts.

This is the fifth cohort for the center, which opened in fall 2019. There will be 136 emerging media arts majors this fall.

While 32 of the 41 students hail from Nebraska, this year’s cohort also includes students from Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, New York and South Dakota.

“Each year, our cohort of students gets better and better as our reputation grows,” said Megan Elliott, Johnny Carson Endowed Director in Emerging Media Arts. “We have a very highly competitive application process to find the right students who will thrive in our program, and this year’s incoming class is strong. I’m excited for our year ahead.”

In May, 18 students received their Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in emerging media arts. They were the first graduates to complete four years in the Carson Center.

“I was immensely proud of our first four-year graduates from our program,” Elliott said. “They took a chance on a program that was being built as they arrived on campus, and I could not be more thrilled with what they accomplished. Our alumni will be ones to watch as they begin their careers.”

The Carson Center is part of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts. A key part of its curriculum is preparing students for hugely disruptive forces in artificial intelligence and virtual production that have changed the face of several industries, including film.

Applications for the fall 2024 cohort are open now and due by Jan. 15, 2024. Details are available here.

Following is a list of students selected to the 2023-24 emerging media arts cohort by hometown with their high school listed in parentheses. If the student is either a transfer or readmitted student, then “transfer” is listed instead of a high school.


  • Beaver City: Kolby Hunt (Southern Valley)
  • Bennington: Mason Pfister (Bennington)
  • Bridgeport: Anna Garner (transfer)
  • Grand Island: Isaac Cortes (Grand Island) and Michael Erives (Grand Island Central Catholic)
  • Gretna: Liang Endacott (Gretna) and Cade Suing (transfer)
  • Hastings: Jacie Boelhower (Adams Central)
  • Kearney: Mason Schwarting (Kearney) and Paige Wright (Kearney)
  • Lincoln: Ari Ahmed (Lincoln High), Riek Bol (Lincoln High), Ansley Brown (transfer), Hannah Canaday (Lincoln Southwest), Calvin Doerr (transfer), Rosemary Mae Goracke (Lincoln High), Ashley Kim (Lincoln High), Joseph Lacey (transfer), Vivian Ostrander (Lincoln High), Geneva Rawlings (Lincoln Southwest) and Kole Rowan (transfer)
  • McCook: Asher Long (McCook)
  • Minden: Lily Bloomfield (Minden)
  • Omaha: Jakaya Bedford (Omaha Northwest), John Horwath (transfer), Lindsey Kenkel (transfer), Robert Smith (transfer) and Cooper Watkins (transfer).
  • Papillion: Meredith Koehler (Papillion-La Vista)
  • Seward: Rachel Runyan (Seward) and Abigail Wignall (transfer)
  • Sidney: Aspen Gurr (Sidney)

Elsewhere in the U.S.

  • Cumming, Georgia: Dakota Schweitzer (Alliance Academy for Innovation)
  • Zionsville, Indiana: Sophia Winters (Zionsville Community School)
  • Ogden, Kansas: Charlotte Bradfield (Manhattan)
  • Lansing, Michigan: Jillian Rodgers (Grand Ledge)
  • Columbia, Missouri: Ethan Magee (Muriel Williams Battle)
  • Rogersville, Missouri: Marley Svoboda (Logan-Rogersville)
  • Westboro, Missouri: Gordon Tuomikoski (transfer)
  • New York, New York: Jaden Merced (transfer)
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Aaron Burchill (Brandon Valley)

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