Graduate Students

Graduate Students

Current Graduate Students


Amanda Alfonso (Screenwriting) formed her filmic consciousness as a lonely teen, borrowing screwball comedy movies at the library and watching TCM marathons to keep the blues away. While she aims to experiment more with genre and style, she primarily writes dark comedies about people living on the periphery and their attempts to articulate their relationships, identities, and desires within that space.

When not creating characters, she’s probably listening to her favorite song on repeat (“Bad Decisions” by The Strokes) or watching something she will equally love and scoff at (French films).

She received her BFA in Motion Pictures and Television from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. 


Noah Amir Arjomand (Screenwriting) is an Iranian-American filmmaker and author. His first (co-directed, co-produced) feature-length documentary, Eat Your Catfish, is about his mother’s last years with the motor-neuron disease ALS. The film premiered in 2021 at the International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam and won Best Documentary at Istanbul Film Festival.

Cambridge University Press published Noah’s first book, Fixing Stories: Local Newsmaking and International Media in Turkey and Syria, in 2022. Fixing Stories explores the worlds of the “fixers” who act as brokers between foreign reporters and local sources from behind the scenes. He has also written about politics, culture, and media in Middle East and Central Asia for Dissent, Public Culture, Tehran Bureau, The Afghanistan Analysts Network, Profil, American Anthropologist, The New Arab, and others.

Noah earned a PhD in sociology from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University. Before coming to Riverside, Noah lived in Bloomington, Indiana, where he taught at Indiana University. He likes cats and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Ava Fojtik
Ava Fojtik (Playwriting) is a writer and actress from Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She is a co-founder of AKA Productions alongside Aaron Higareda and Karly Thomas. Ava's comedy plays have been produced at Augsburg University and the Minnesota Fringe Festival. In addition to teaching Acting at Camp Highlander, Ava has worked with Puppets a la Carte as well as the Gluck Foundation to give kids in the Inland Empire opportunities to learn puppetry. Ava's recent film and theater scripts follow girls and women who subvert societal expectations, whether that be through artistic, domestic, or violent means. Besides theater, Ava is passionate about thrifting, reading, and eating raspberries.
Paul Ingoldsby Paul Ingoldsby (Screenwriting) was born and raised in Wicklow, Ireland. He studied at University College Dublin and University of Toronto, earning a First Class BA in English and Film in 2018. He has worked in script development and as a talent agency reader. When not reading or writing, he enjoys hiking, playing football (“soccer,” if you must), and baking the perfect loaf of soda bread.