Fords on Friday
Fords on Friday is an opportunity for students to chat with alumni about their career path and industry trends. Alumni offer career advice and field questions from students.
All sessions in Fall 2021 will be on Zoom. Register in Handshake to receive the Zoom link!
Recorded sessions will be available the following week and accessible through Google Drive.
September 10, 2021
12 p.m. EDT
Sarah-Soonling Blackburn ‘09
Professional Development Manager, Learning for Justice, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center
Co-sponsored by the Department of English; Department of Political Science; Center for Peace and Global Citizenship; Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies; the Education Program; Office of Multicultural Affairs; African and Africana Studies
Dr. Sarah-SoonLing Blackburn is an educator and speaker and is the current Professional Development Manager at Learning for Justice, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Sarah has experience teaching at both the secondary and elementary levels and in 2011 was named Teacher of the Year at Lakeside Upper Elementary School in Lake Village, Arkansas. As a teacher educator, Sarah’s areas of focus have included classroom culture, learning environments and diversity, equity and inclusiveness. She has designed and facilitated learning experiences with schools and districts across the country and with organizations including Learning for Justice, Microsoft and LinkedIn. Sarah is known for creating and developing learning experiences that are engaging, meaningful and oriented towards action.
Sarah has a B.A. in English from Haverford College, a M.A. in Social Justice and Education from University College London’s Institute of Education and an Ed.D. from Johns Hopkins University. Her M.A. dissertation focused on the experiences of “insider” and “outsider” teachers in the rural Deep South. Her doctoral research at Johns Hopkins University explored e-mentoring for rural educators, and her Ed.D. specialization was Instructional Design in Online Teaching and Learning. You can find her at sarahsoonling.com, and she is based out of Oxford, Mississippi.
September 17, 2021
12 p.m. EDT
Norman Liang ‘98
Director of Business and Corporate Development, GoPro
Co-sponsored by the Department of Economics; Microfinance and Impact Investing Initiative (Mi3)
Norman Liang is currently Director of Business and Corporate Development at GoPro, the maker of the world's most popular action camera. At GoPro he overseas the partnerships for the company's award winning Hero cameras and the Quik mobile app. Prior to joining GoPro, he was a venture capital investor at WI Harper where he oversaw the cross border consumer and mobile startup investment portfolio. Earlier in his career, he held Business Development roles at Sungy Mobile, a leading venture-backed Android developer, and Photobucket, an online photo sharing platform. He also worked at IBM and Nokia in business development and strategy. Norman lives with his wife Jennifer and their son Jaden in Silicon Valley. He is also the co-President of AAMA, the Asia America Multitechnology Association, and the oldest cross-border community of Silicon Valley and Asia startup and technology executives with chapters in the Bay Area, Hong Kong, Beijing, Japan, and Taiwan.
September 24, 2021
12 p.m. EDT
Tobias Iaconis '93
Co-sponsored by the Department of English; Visual Studies; Writing Center; Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities
Tobias Iaconis '93, with his writing partner Mikki Daughtry, is a screenwriter. Their first produced films were released theatrically in 2019: CBS Film’s “Five Feet Apart,” and Warner Bros.’ “The Curse of La Llorona.” Collectively, the two movies have earned over $215M in worldwide box office. Their screenplay for “Five Feet Apart” was adapted into a novel, which became a number-one New York Times Bestseller.
In September of 2021, Netflix will release their third film, “Nightbooks.” Mikki and Tobias are currently writing a sequel to “Dirty Dancing” for Lionsgate Entertainment, and are adapting Mikki’s bestselling novel, “All This Time,” also for Lionsgate.
October 1, 2021
12 p.m. EDT
Allison Jones ‘07
Vice President of Brand & Storytelling, Common Future
Co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology; Department of Economics; Microfinance and Impact Investing Initiative (Mi3); Writing Center; Center for Peace and Global Citizenship; Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities; Office of Multicultural Affairs
Allison Jones is a Brooklyn-girl living in the Bay Area who is passionate about creating a world where people of color thrive and shine. In a time when many people want to keep their heads down, Allison’s job as Common Future’s Vice President of Brand and Storytelling is to inspire them to stand up. She does this by creating story-driven actionable content and campaigns to paint a vibrant, equitable future that can only come to fruition if everyone takes collective responsibility towards creating it.
Her passion for change has allowed her to spend over 10 years leading successful communications initiatives—from launching a new multimedia publication to overseeing the development of a mobile app—at innovative, high-impact nonprofits. She’s thrilled to work at the intersection of the economy, storytelling, and justice. When not working, you can find her sharing celebrity gossip with friends, making a mess in her kitchen, or exploring her Berkeley community by foot.