Meet Our Team 2023

Pearl Gluck, Co-Founder, Artistic Director
Gluck’s work has been part of the Sundance Lab, Cannes, PBS, and won prizes such as Best Actor, Best Film, Best Debut Feature and Best LGBT Short at festivals worldwide. Her first documentary feature, Divan (2004) opened theatrically at the Film Forum in NYC and premiered on the Sundance Channel. Her award-winning fiction feature, “The Turn Out,” as well as her short films, “Summer” and “Write Me” are currently screening at festivals. She continues to make both doc and narrative films that explore themes of faith, class, and gender. She teaches Screenwriting and Directing at Penn State University.

Aida Shaduck, Operations Manager
Aida is from Erie, PA, where her love of art, nature, and community were first instilled. She recently earned her BA in Film Production from Penn State, where she was also a Rock Ethics Fellow. Still living State College, she is happily working to make film more accessible for her new community. Aida loves to cook, crochet and go on long bike trips. So far, she has ridden the Pine Creek Trail, Presque Isle State Park, Eliza Furnace Trail, Three Rivers Heritage Trail, The Ohio & Erie Canal Tow Path, and many times to Boal City Brewery! 

Bri Wiegand, Operations Manager
Bri Wiegand is a composer, sound designer, percussionist, dancer, and filmmaker. She uses her wide interests to create multi-media music and soundscapes through technology and movement.

Wiegand presented at the Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention in Indianapolis, IN, in November, where she shared original music and demonstrated an instrument of her own creation that uses a simple circuit utilizing the material of a Musser Century vibraphone to trigger speakers and lights while performing.

Recently, she composed the score for feature film Spooky Action directed by Rod Bingaman. Wiegand spends her time performing in State College and around the United States with local new music group, Open Music, the Williamsport Orchestra, and as a soloist. Her recent commissions include Matchstick Percussion and loadbang.

Outside of music, Wiegand works as a freelance audio engineer and videographer in State College. She lives with her partner and three black and white pets.

Wiegand holds two Bachelors of Arts in Music Technology and Film Production as well as a Professional Performance Certificate in Music Composition and Technology, Sound Design, and Percussion Performance from Penn State University. Her teachers include Dr. Lee Hinkle, Dr. Baljinder Sekhon, Curtis Craig, Dr. Sarah Gen Burghart Rice, and Dan Armstrong.

Sam Rudy, Public Relations
Meet our PR pro Sam Rudy! A Native of Centre County, Sam fell in love with the arts while attending Penn State. After 40 years on Broadway in public relations, he is happy to be back for more of the same. 

Adrienne Waterston, Director of Art & Design
Adrienne is an artist, graphic designer, web guru, mom, nature-lover, and entrepreneur, among other things. She enjoys listening to music, creating things, hanging with her friends, dancing and making (and eating) yummy food. She has lived in State College for the past 13 years, which ties the record for longest place to date. Adrienne joined the festival in 2021 and has been helping ever since. She is just as comfortable designing a logo as she is coding a webpage, taking a photograph or quilting a collage. You can find her reluctantly @adriennewaterston.

Student Design Team

Julie Ammon, 3rd year PSU student @ Penn State University Park
Julie Ammon is an artist, designer, and aspiring filmmaker from State College, PA. She is a 3rd-year student at Penn State University where she is studying Digital Arts & Media Design and Film Production. 

Emma Ballerini, 3rd year PSU student @ Penn State University Park
Born and raised in Massachusetts. Emma is a Junior at Pennsylvania State University, University Park studying Digital Arts and Media Design. Emma is studying digital painting, 3D modeling, and animation in her major. With a passion for creating merchandise and advertisements she is honored to work and collaborate with others in the production of this festival. 

Alivia Cross, 2nd year MFA PSU student @ Penn State University Park
Alivia Cross is a Second year MFA in scenic design candidate at the Pennsylvania State University. She plans to focus her studies on scenic design, as well as the intersect between art, education, and safety. This semester she is the scenic charge art for PSU’s Fall Semester. During the summer of ’23 she traveled to Prague, Czech Republic to study sustainability practices within theatre arts. Alivia looks forward to designing Urinetown in the upcoming the PSU Centre Stage season. Lastly, as a Philipsburg resident, Alivia is glad to be a part of the Centre County Film Festival and bring people to the beautiful downtown Rowland Theatre.

Eve Ergler, 4th year PSU student @ Penn State Altoona
I am a Senior at Penn State Altoona pursuing a degree in communications

Lamisse Hamouda, 3rd year PSU student @ Penn State University Park
Lamisse Hamouda is an Egyptian American attending the Pennsylvania State University as a third-year student pursuing a bachelor’s of fine arts in New Media with a minor in Information Sciences & Technology and a certificate in Diversity Studies. She was born and raised in State College, Pennsylvania where Lamisse has always been passionate about the arts from a young age.

Shalini Prasath, 2nd year PSU student @ Penn State University Park
Shalini Prasath is a sophomore studying Graphic Design at Penn State University. She was born and raised on the Philadelphia Main Line to an Indian-Tamil family. Her Tamil culture fostered her love for cinema, as she grew up celebrating Tamil actors and their movie releases. This appreciation led her to the arts, where she now has hobbies in photography, video editing, design, dance, and music. Shalini is interested in filmmaking, with a dream of one day working in film production herself. She is thrilled to be a part of the design team for this year’s Centre Film Festival.

Marissa Scheller, 3rd year PSU student @ Penn State University Park

Marissa, a junior from Pittsburgh, PA, is currently at Penn State University, pursuing a Fine Arts degree with a New Media concentration. Her passion is to embark on a creative journey as a concept artist or storyboard artist for movies, games, or shows.

Driven by a profound love for visual storytelling, Marissa has dedicated herself to mastering the intricacies of digital artistry, animation, and multimedia design. At Penn State, she’s actively participated in the Digital Media Group, where she’s connected with like-minded peers who share her artistic aspirations. You’ll often find Marissa with headphones on, as music is her constant source of inspiration. Her artistic creations are a testament to her love for fantasy and feminine aesthetics, influenced by her cherished childhood memories of Barbie and Disney Princess movies. Her work predominantly features enchanting beings like fairies and mermaids, often bathed in soft, soothing color palettes. Marissa’s artistic vision promises to captivate audiences and transport them into dreamlike realms.

Student Intern Team

Allison Long, Hospitality Intern, 3rd year PSU student
Allison Long is from San Francisco, California and she is a junior at Penn State studying RPTM (recreation, parks, tourism, management). She hopes to one day work backstage with the entertainment industry- either on tour with a band or at the arena- or with the San Jose Sharks, which is her favorite hockey team. She is interning with us to get the feel of what it is like to work in a fast-paced environment and get the experience she needs for her future. Allison hopes that the experience from her internship will help her decide which industry she wants to join as well as allowing her to make connections with a varying amount of people. Her experience in this internship will help her be more prepared to join her career and she hopes to join the team again next year and do it all over again. Allison is ready to join the team and work to the best of her ability, and beyond, to help with the film festival. 

Catharine Aboulhouda, Hospitality Intern, 3rd year PSU student
Catherine a junior studying recreation, park, and tourism management. She is involved with Penn State’s Oriana Choir, and is planning on joining Oriana’s THON organization. She is also planning on joining Movin’ On – Penn State’s student run music festival.Catherine loves live music and going to concerts, traveling, skiing, kayaking, hanging out with her friends and family and of course her dog, baking, and reading. She is excited to be involved in the festival and can’t wait to see all the filmmakers and the students come and enjoy State College!

Centre Film Festival Club

Annabelle Preciado Higgins, co-founder, 2nd year PSU student
Anabelle Preciado Higgins is second-year Film Production major as well as a Spanish and Entrepreneurship Minor. As an aspiring director and the co-founder of the Centre Film Festival Club at Penn State, she is passionate about all aspects of film-making and having made wonderful memories at last year’s festival, she can’t wait to once again get involved and share her love with other students. As a State College local she hopes to build the film community on campus and in Happy Valley. 

Happy Valley Communications

Paige Balliet , Account Executive
Paige Balliet is an Account Executive for Happy Valley Communications. Her and her team are thrilled to be working with the Centre Film Festival this semester. She loves watching films and being in the environment of film festivals, so she was immediately drawn to this organization.

Paige is originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and attended Solanco High School. Now, she attends Penn State University and lives in State College during the school year. She is a junior, double majoring in public relations and communication arts and sciences and earning a minor in digital media trends and analytics. Some of her interests include photography, videography, and writing. 

Isabell Flores , 2nd year PSU student
Isabelle, originally from South Plainfield, New Jersey, is a second year student at the Pennsylvania State University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising with a minor in Digital Media Trends and Analytics and a certificate in Business Fundamentals. Post graduation, she aspires to work for an advertising firm and accomplish what she will be doing for Centre Film Festival for a living. She hopes to use her skills from prior internship opportunities in social media management and digital communications to advertise the week-long Centre Film Festival event to those who may not know about it. She is thrilled to be collaborating with all the people that make this event possible.

Owen Joachim, Account Associate
Owen Joachim is from Alexandria VA and is currently a sophomore at Penn State University. Growing up, Owen moved around because his father was in the military. Some notable places Owen lived were Senegal and Uganda. Living in different parts of the world has made him self- reliant and resourceful, along with being able to adapt to situations easily. Ever since Owen was in 8th grade Penn State has been his dream school. Owen is currently majoring in strategic Comm with a minor in business. He would like to work in sales and marketing after school. This is currently Owen’s first year in HVC and he is very excited to be working with the Centre Film Festival. He believes that film plays an important role in strengthening and inspiring the local community. Some other organizations Owen is involved with are THON and Greeks care. 

Olivia Kutlow, 3rd year PSU student
Hi, I’m Olivia Kutlow! I am a Junior at Penn State majoring in Advertising with a minor in DMTA and a Smeal Business Fundamentals certificate. Professionally, I aspire to work within the Pharmaceutical industry. I’m incredibly passionate about digital marketing and advertising strategies, as well as helping others! I grew up in Branchburg, New Jersey, and love spending my summers at the Jersey shore. Some of my hobbies include trying new restaurants, exercising, spending time with friends and family, and skiing. I’m very active and enjoy maintaining a busy schedule. I go to the movies very often, and grew up around film! My oldest cousin is a very successful film editor, currently in Los Angeles! My favorite movie is The Blind Side, and my go-to movie snack is popcorn with M&Ms!

Naya Shah, 2nd year PSU student
Naya is a Second Year student at Penn State University in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, studying Enterprise Technology Integration with a Digital Media Trends & Analytics minor. She has a passion for the arts uses her creativity and drive to ensure that she am producing high-quality work!

Ty Tkacik, 2nd year PSU student
A central Pennsylvania native, Ty Tkacik graduated from Curwensville, a small town just outside of Centre County, before pursuing a degree in public relations at Penn State. Ty’s appreciation towards film started at a young age, and movie nights have become a bi-weekly ritual over the last few years. Filmmaking has always interested Ty, but the lessons he learned from the scripts and screenplays of his favorite movies have inspired him to not only work hard to improve his creative writing skills, but also interject his own creative flair into his professional work. Ty’s interests outside of film include his nearly decade old passion for drumming, as well as his love for rock climbing, where he currently works as a climbing wall instructor for Penn State. Although Ty doesn’t live in State College full-time (yet), his love for the local music and climbing scenes have kept him wanting to involve himself with organizations like the Centre County Film Festival which bring talented creative people from across Pennsylvania to the heart of the state in Happy Valley.

Alex Wiersberg , 3rd year PSU student
Alex Wiersberg is from Arlington, Virginia, and is a junior at Penn State studying telecommunications with a minor in entrepreneurship and innovation. Aside from Happy Valley Comm, Alex has been writing for The Daily Collegian for almost a year and a half, and recently joined The Telecommunications Club as secretary on its executive board. He has also been on the executive board of his fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi for the past two semesters. Aside from campus involvement, Alex has been a film buff his entire life, which is a big reason as to why he wanted to work with Centre Film Fest. His other hobbies include listening to music, hanging out with friends, and lifting.

First Year Student Team

Annelise Hanson, 1st year PSU student
Annelise is a Freshman at Penn State University. She is majoring in Journalism and Theatre. She is from Pittsburgh, PA. Annelise is super excited to be involved with Centre Film this year, as a member of the seminar class, and intern.

Isabel Isenhower, 1st year PSU student
Isabel is currently a freshman at Penn State University where she is studying film production. During her four years at Penn State, she is hoping to learn how to pursue her dream of becoming an actor and director. She has been studying film acting for seven years, and is very excited to get to learn all aspects of film. She has been involved in musical theater and straight acting starting at the age of 5. She has been involved in 5 years of competition at The Junior Theatre Festival where she received the Freddie G award for best student choreography. She was also in The A Cappella Group for two years, where she received a solo on the song Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which can be found on Spotify, Apple Music, and Youtube. This song received the award of Best of A Capella 2023, and is currently at 40,370 streams on Spotify. She is planning on joining many clubs that provide involvement with film, as well as singing and dancing. Isabel is so excited to get this amazing opportunity to be on the student team for this year’s Centre Film Festival.

John Lopez, 1st year PSU student
My name is John Lopez. I am from Sharon Hill Pennsylvania. I graduated high school from Saint Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia and I am currently at Penn State University Park with my major being Film Production. The reason I chose my major in film production is because movies and TV shows provided me an outlet to communicate and interact with my family from a young age in a way that couldn’t be achieved through anything else. I love film and television and want to give back, in some way, to an industry that helped me build lifelong relationships. I am a sports fan, a Philly sports fan exclusively. Go Birds! I am also the stereotypical “nerd”, if presented with some type of nerdy pop culture, I’ve more than likely seen and or heard about it. I have a very special tight-knit group of friends I’ve carried all the way from grade school who I absolutely cherish but I hope to forge new lifelong friends while at Penn State! I am honored and excited to be able to work at the Centre Film Festival for the 2023 showings!

Colin Nappi, 1st year PSU student
Colin Nappi is a first year student at Penn State. Colin is from New York and wanted to come to Penn State because of how many opportunities there were. He is especially interested in film over all other forms of media. Colin admires how the ability to send messages through film always fascinated him, considering how difficult the entire process is. However, when a film is able to take advantage of its budget to make something that cannot be scaled by cost, it’s truly beautiful. Some films more than others. Colin is looking forward to gaining more insight into independent films through the Centre Film Festival, as he has always had a soft spot for lesser known, obscurer films. He would like to thank his parents for making it possible to go to the school, and his Professor, Pearl Gluck, for the opportunity to take the class. 

Kaitlyn Pfeifer, 1st year PSU student
Kaitlyn Pfeifer is a current first-year Broadcast Journalism major at Penn State University. She is thrilled to be apart of the Centre Film Festival Team working on Organization and Management! At Penn State she is involved with PSN News, Shades of Blue A Cappella Group and is an Assistant Choreographer for the Penn State Thespian Society. 

Juno Seidel, 1st year PSU student
Juno is an aspiring film director and is currently attending Penn State University majoring in Film Production. Juno’s dream job would be to work on a documentary series centered around crime, religion, politics, or psychology. In their free time, Juno enjoys painting, reading, writing, and sculpting. They were born and raised in Reading, PA and graduated from Conrad Weiser Area School District. Juno has taken multiple photography and film classes during their high school career and has always taken an interest in creating short films as a young child. Although Hollywood sounds nice, Juno is more interested in bringing awareness to some topics and issues people don’t usually talk about, or have little information on, through the use of cinema. Fictional movies are something Juno likes to watch when they can, but when it comes to producing, they prefer real people’s stories and experiences.