This year, three of twelve lighting design students selected for ETC’s Fred Foster Student Mentorship Program are from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama. The selected students were Hannah Kerman, Mitchell Jakubka, and Qiaoyu Zhang. 

Ms. Kerman is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree, while Jakubka and Zhang are in the master’s program.

Pictured left to right: Hannah Kerman, Mitchell Jakubka, and Qiaoyu Zhang.

Though an undergrad, Kerman has amassed quite the experience. Her design credits include Wild, What \\Washed Ashore// Astray, Compensation, and more here at the university. She has interned for Full Flood, Inc., and 4Wall, and has assisted with live televised productions such as “America’s Got Talent,” the “Golden Globes,” and the “DGA Awards.”  

Kerman attributed her preparation for those opportunities to CMU. 

“The School of Drama has taught me so much valuable information over the years. From cabling to design concepts to advanced programming skills, all of these things have made me a versatile, well-rounded designer and have prepared me for just about every industry that has specialty lighting. CMU has also taught me about professionalism and what is to be expected of me as a designer so that I can walk into any room and be prepared to play any role,” said Kerman. 

For more than 20 years, ETC, an international leader in events lighting technology, has provided student mentorship to the next generation of lighting professionals. The program was born from the late founder, Fred Foster’s passion for facilitating connections between students and industry professionals each year. 

This year, the program will be entirely virtual and will feature a series of online sessions and discussions to introduce students to the industry’s brightest talent. Students will then be paired with a mentor to provide academic and career guidance for the next year and beyond.


Pictured above: Dance/Light 2020, lighting design by Hannah Kerman. Photo by Louis Stein.