2020 Skidmore Fellows

Skidmore Student Fellows

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the 2020 Storytellers’ Institute will happen virtually this June.

Olivia Arthen ‘21 transferred to Skidmore in the spring of 2019 and is a self-determined Film major. She’s been working in theater and film since high school with a passion for both going back longer than she can remember. This past spring, she was given the opportunity to photograph inside of the ritual spaces of the Pagan community she was raised in, which was both challenging and exciting in ways she hadn’t expected. She’s interested in further exploring how different people’s creativity interacts in storytelling. 

Mickey Baroody ‘21 is a rising senior and Studio Art major. His primary disciplines are drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture. His work focuses on the figure, ranging from portraits of friends and family, to abstract representations of the body. Drawing from philosophy, history, and personal experience, his work aims to consider the complexities of recognition and the ways in which identity is revealed. 


Kadijatou Diallo ‘20 is a filmmaker interested in the role of storytelling within social justice work. She spent her entire junior year studying abroad and conducting field research across six cities. While studying at the University of the Arts London, she assisted on a number of post-graduate narrative shorts, along with directing two of her own, Invisible and On the Surface. Her most recent work is a short film, Sanctuary, she created with Khenya Bridgewater, a multimedia artist based in New York. Sanctuary follows a conversation between activists, artists, and community organizers in the NYC and LA areas; who are involved with the physical spaces that queer people gather and the mental space one uses to heal. 

Ben Hayes ‘20 is an American Studies major currently working on a thesis about privacy and domestic space. His artistic background is in writing, photography, and videography, with increasing engagement in documentary work. He is interested in documentary as a vehicle for participating in and gaining an experiential understanding of a situation firsthand and sharing that with others. His favorite documentarians include Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, and Joshua Oppenheimer. 

Shana Kleiner ’20 is a Social Work major and a Sociology minor. She has interned at multiple community organizations, and started doing work surrounding motherhood and mother activism while studying abroad in Durban, South Africa. This past summer, she helped conduct research on elder self-neglect policy and response, and she is dedicated to dialogue and storytelling as activism. Shana is interested in exploring motherhood, grief, healing, and restoration.  

Simone Teague ‘20 is an English major and a Media and Film Studies minor. Growing up, Simone did not see people that resembled herself or her loved ones in commercials, on tv, or in magazines; with her degree she hopes to tell the stories of those underrepresented in mainstream media. She has experience writing for Saratoga Living and working with archival material from literary magazine Salmagundi. Simone’s first experience with video making was in tenth grade at a Vassar program, Digital Storytelling. There she and a friend wrote, directed, stared in and edited an alien talk show, and her love of video production has been apparent ever since. Her documentary work includes the 2018 short film Look at Me, which celebrates trans women of color in the entertainment industry, and more recently A Skateboarding Story which explores the passion skateboarders, like herself, have for their sport. 

Keshawn Truesdale ‘21 is an English major and Media and Film Studies minor. His interests include mentoring children to develop their passion for reading and communicating with others. In Spring of ‘19, Keshawn worked at Lake View Elementary School in Saratoga Springs, New York where he rekindled his love for storytelling by witnessing the children’s enjoyment of story time. This past Summer, his curiosity and understanding for film, particularly documentary, was grew through his attendance of Rooftops Film events in New York City. Through his participation in Storytellers, Keshawn hopes to provide a vehicle to lift up the voices of everyday people from his community. 

Tianyu Shi ‘21 is a self-determined Film major, with a minor in Dance. She loves making videos and short films of things happening around her, and she was inspired greatly by the diversity of Shanghai where she grew up. This mix of urban and intimate environment shaped her into who she is today.