We are a team of project managers and student workers who support the at the Civic Media Fellowship, hosted by the Annenberg Innovation Lab, through content development in a diverse array of media. Meet the team for this project below!


Sangita Shresthova

Project Manager
Sangita Shresthova PhD is the Director of Research of Civic Paths Group based at the University of Southern California and the co-author of Popular Culture and the Civic Imagination: Case Studies of Creative Change (NYU Press, 2020) and of Practicing Futures: A Civic Imagination Action Handbook (Peter Lang, 2020). She is also one of the creators of the Digital Civics Toolkit (digitalcivicstoolkit.org), a resource for educators, teachers and community leaders. Her creative work has been presented in venues around the world including Schaubuehne (Berlin), Other Festival (Chennai), EBS International Documentary Festival (Seoul), and American Dance Festival (Durham, NC).

Michelle Zenarosa

Project Manager
Michelle Zenarosa is the Community Lead at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab. Michelle has almost 20 years experience in journalism and media-making through a social justice lens, having worked at various news outlets like Fusion, Everyday Feminism, New America Media and LA Weekly. She has been a facilitator for storytelling by youth in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Palestine and was awarded the 2017 fellowship for the Society of Features Journalism and the 2008 Howard Simons Fellowship at the Washington Post. She is also a trained macrobiotic and raw vegan chef and a parent of a preschooler.

Alexandria Arrieta


Alexandria Arrieta is a doctoral student at USC Annenberg who studies issues related to popular music, the internet, and race. Her research is particularly focused on the relationship between music and Internet memes and the impact that social media has on pop songwriting practices, listening cultures and youth fandom. She is also an independent music artist.

Tia Kemp


Tia Kemp, digital producer and filmmaker, uses her platform to bring light trailblazers, activists, and game-changers in the growing world of media. In her most recent project, It Starts with a Shade, Tia explores the intersection of self and civic media, drawn from her interest in unscripted content and visual remix. Her work is rooted in innovative techniques that explore cross-sections in media: video, audio, collage, and graphic design.

Lawon Exum

Lawon Exum is a USC Annenberg graduate student. Studying Communication Management with a Specialized Journalism (The Arts) minor. He graduates this Spring with the mission of continuing to use his personality to change the world. He has been in the entertainment industry for over 25 years from legal to hosting red carpets. He is also known as being a fan favorite on the reality television show CBS Big Brother season 13. He was known for his style with socks and a kind soul. Lawon aspires to be the best that he can be with his work experience in the entertainment field and his education from USC. It is known that Lawon has not left a footprint at USC and will continue to be inspiring the world.

Mahira Raihan

Podcast Editor

Mahira Raihan is a creative technologist and media artist based in New York City. She is a graduate of USC School of Cinematic Arts where she studied Media Arts + Practice and Computer Programming. Mahira has worked been deeply engaged in community organizing for over 8 years on gender, education,  immigration, and climate justice and is interested in using creative technology, new media, and design to collaboratively envision and build just futures.

Esha Chekuri

Web Designer

Esha Chekuri is a multimedia creator and digital artist who specializes in creative direction for design and web based projects. She is currently studying Media Arts + Practice at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. As a student, activist, and artist she always feels challenged to push boundaries with her work and aims to shed light on topics relating to race, class, and gender intersectionality and more specifically the empowerment of womxn. Her work encompasses a variety of semiotic registers, ranging from video and graphic design to image collage, experimental sound design, and motion graphics.

Katie Chan

Web Designer

Katie Chan is a  multidisciplinary designer and creative technologist. She is currently a senior at the University of Southern California studying Media Arts + Practice where she explores a range of digital mediums. Outside of school she enjoys learning new languages and napping.