Meet the Creative Works Team

Joe Nicholson Monty Python Collage

Joseph Nicholson, MA

Associate Director

Joe Nicholson is a double Gator with a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism and a Master’s Degree in Digital Arts and Sciences. His career in production has ranged from concerts and festivals, to corporate events and feature films. With 28 years in the industry, he brings his real world experience as a Producer to every project. Away from the office, Joe can be found enjoying life with family and friends. From brewing to canoeing, he is always looking for the next adventure.

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”
– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching


Houder Pyramid of Greatness

John Houder

Technical Manager

John Houder earned a degree in journalism from the University of Colorado, and then someone told him print was dead. Since then, he’s been focusing on digital media, including web development, graphic design, and video production. At Lifelong Learning, he helps bring clients’ goals to fruition by finding artful solutions to complex problems. When he’s not sitting in front of a screen, he’s spending time outdoors, in his wood shop, or with his family.

“I am making this look easy, but it can be quite difficult.”
– Paul Sellers


Mary Beth Profile Picture

Mary Beth Head

Production Manager

Mary Beth is a producer and director with experience molded from a background of commercial, corporate, motion picture, documentary, educational, and nonprofit productions. A graduate of the University of Florida, she celebrates over 36 successful years in the video industry, creating videos alongside her husband, DJ. She loves working with the young, talented team of multimedia superstars at the Lifelong Learning and helping each person continue to learn, grow their skill sets and become the best in their field. By far her finest productions have been her four children, who grew up in Gainesville and attended the University of Florida.

“It’s not what you know that is most important, but what you don’t know.”
– Unknown


Nick Mendez

Nicholas Mendez

Production Coordinator

Nick Mendez graduated as part of the University of Florida’s Film and Media Studies program. Afterward, he immediately relocated to New York City, working for more than three years in documentary post-production and then television operations. But that’s over with.  He’s happily back in Gainesville for the immediate future, even though he misses the sound of the subway outside his apartment window. If he’s air guitarring while you’re chatting, don’t worry: he’s still listening to you.

“If you’ve got it, flaunt it!”
– Alice Smith Mendez, Nick’s mother


Karina Profile Picture

Karina Kolb

Project Lead

Karina Kolb holds a Master’s degree from the Technology, Innovation and Education tract at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is also a proud alumna of the University of Florida, with a BA in English, Film & Media. Her passion is creating educational content that not only informs, but engages and inspires learners. When not at work, you might find her reading books and comics, playing RPGs, and going to the movies.

“Simplify.”
– Henry David Thoreau


Tamara Profile Picture

Tamara Weber

Project Lead

Tamara is a film maker and video editor currently living in High Springs, Florida. She has a BAS in Multimedia and Video Production from Santa Fe College and a BAS in Animal Science from the University of Florida. Tamara enjoys creating educational and commercial videos for clients, and making horror films. She has a passion for animal advocacy, Gator sports, and zombies.

“It is our choices that show who we really are, far more than our abilities.”
– JK Rowling


Rachel PeacockRachel Profile Picture

Project Lead

Rachel has a degree in Telecommunication Production and a minor in Innovation from UF’s College of Journalism and Communication. She brings a diverse production skill-set to the team with her work experience in both live broadcast news and educational media production. Outside of work, you’ll find Rachel watching cooking shows, podcasting, and teaching dance.

“You do not have to be fearless. Just don’t let fear stop you.”
– Charlie Day


Jayson Profile Picture

Jayson Polvan

Studio Coordinator

Jayson is a graduate of Santa Fe College with a Bachelor’s degree in Digital Media Technology. He works to continually bring quality content to the table, along with holding the title of #1 punster. Jayson has made his home in sunny Gainesville, and when he is not working, he enjoys all forms of art and exploring nature.

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
– Robin Williams


Catesby Profile Picture

Catesby Willis

Project Coordinator

Catesby obtained her Bachelor of Arts in English, Film & Media studies from the University of Florida. She fills a unique and crucial role on the team and divides her time between filming on location, and in the studio, as well as overseeing the accuracy and archiving of scripts. A cat person at heart, she loves any and all animals and dreams of becoming a documentary filmmaker.

“The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.”
– Alfred Hitchcock


Sami Profile Picture

Sami Wax

Design & Animation Coordinator

Sami is a multimedia artist and designer with a passion for accessible and effective education. After receiving a BS in Telecommunication Production from UF, Sami worked on a range of projects including illustrating storyboards for a feature film and creating motion graphics for environmental documentary projects. If by some chance Sami isn’t working, you can find them cracking jokes and watching copious amounts of television.

“No one knows everything and no one knows nothing; no one educates anyone, no one educates himself alone; people educate each other, mediated by world and history.”
-Paulo Freire


John Stoltenborg

John Stoltenborg

Digital Support Specialist

John is a writer and video editor who has a passion for storytelling and capturing emotion. John is finishing his degree in Journalism and then will move on to pursue another degree in Video Production. A native to Miami, Florida, you’ll either see him at Disney World or see him wishing he was there.

“The greatest teacher, failure is.”
– Yoda


Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown

Web Content Specialist

Sarah graduated from the University of Florida with her BA in English. During her time at UF she got to do what she loves most: read novels, drink espresso, and write papers attempting to discuss not so new themes in a “new” and “eye-opening” way. She has written for two magazines and worked for a social media company. Catch Sarah supporting local Gainesville businesses when she’s not at home binge-watching her shows.

Uhhhhhhhhhh”
– Tina Belcher


Kane Profile Picture

Kane Pour

Graphics / Web Designer

Kane is a Gainesville-raised graphic designer with a BA in Digital Arts and Sciences from the University of Florida. He’s a digital wizard with fast fingers, and he’s passionate about experimentation. He’s an avid musician and runs a digital record label and media hub called Hatchery. He likes to go to shows, watch bad action movies, and has a power-walk like you’ve never seen.

“Come as you are”
– Crocs slogan


Monica Delorra

Monica Delaorra, M.S.

Enrollment Marketing Manager

Monica’s 15-year career has spanned writing, editing, teaching, recruiting and marketing. Higher education is a great fit as she is, above all, a lifelong student. Monica recently returned to Florida, her native state, after residing in Kansas City for more than half of her life. This resulted in, among other things, a B.S. and M.S. in journalism from the University of Kansas. She’s overseen marketing and recruitment efforts ranging from biomedical sciences to higher education administration and civil engineering. Career highlights include a Hallmark Cards writers tour, involvement with one of the largest TEDx events and teaching at her alma mater. She looks forward to learning more about your enrollment goals over a strong cup of coffee.

Make it simple, but significant.”
– Don Draper, Mad Men


Kelly Schmidt

Kelly Schmidt, MAMC

Marketing Specialist

Kelly holds a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s in English from the University of Akron. She began working at the University of Florida in 2011, and she joined the College of Pharmacy in 2019. She’s passionate about intentional communication and uses a balancing act of organization, creativity, and caffeine to effectively reach and track the right audiences. Outside of work, you can find her reading a good book in a coffee shop, picking up heavy things at the gym, avoiding fire ants outside, or trying to keep plants alive inside.

“I care. I care a lot. It’s kinda my thing.”
-Leslie Knope


Melissa Edwards Profile

Melissa Edwards

Lead Editor

Melissa graduated from the University of Florida earning her bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications with a minor in Theater. Although she currently works primarily as a video editor, she enjoys every part of the production process, especially working on set. After participating in the Disney College Program, Melissa has the goal of creating media content for Disney one day in the future. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, gardening, and working at the Hippodrome Theater.

“The biggest obstacle to creativity is breaking through the barrier of disbelief”
– Rodney Mullen


Emily profile picture

Emily Vance

Lead Editor

Emily is a multimedia artist from Southwest Florida. She earned a BS in Telecommunication Production with an outside concentration in Theatre Production from the University of Florida. She is passionate about TV and film production and loves collaborating with others on creative projects. Emily is a fan of Big Brother, 80s movies and all things horror and dreams of working on film sets.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
– Ferris Bueller


Matthew Profile Picture

Matthew Vonesh

Sr. Videographer / Editor

Matthew is a photographer and filmmaker native to Gainesville, Florida. He is currently finishing his BAS in Multimedia and Video Production at Santa Fe College. Matthew enjoys creating commercial work for clients and providing media support for non-profit organizations. He has a passion for photography, capturing images that evoke emotion and feeling, and loves telling stories through cinematography.

“Mornings are for coffee and contemplation.”
– Jim Hopper


Jess Peterson

Jessica Willis

Videographer / Editor

Jessica is a filmmaker and photographer born and raised in Gainesville, Florida. After watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy over 2,000 times and dreaming of being on film sets, she decided to pursue video production. She is currently finishing her BAS in Multimedia and Video Production from Santa Fe College. When Jess isn’t at work, she enjoys a wide range of activities including traveling, filmmaking, photography, making coffee, and being outdoors. When she is not creating, she loves spending time with animals.

“But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines, it’ll shine out the clearer.”
– Samwise Gamgee


Juliette Morgan Juliette Profile Picture

Animator

Juliette is a telecommunications production graduate from the University of Florida. During her time at UF, Juliette was able to work on five different student film sets where she realized her dream of becoming a first assistant director. She has always had a passion for filmmaking and knew she wanted to work in the industry from a very young age. When Juliette isn’t working, she enjoys watching tv shows, new movies, and swing dancing.

“And I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do”
– Michael Scott


Yong Qi Zheng

Yong Qi Zheng

Animator

Yong Qi Zheng graduated from the University of Florida, earning a BA in Digital Arts and Sciences, and Economics, with a Certificate in Graphic Design. As a motion graphics animator and editor, Yong loves to create and puzzle together different elements to tell a story. She also especially enjoys working on set. When not at the office, Yong is usually snuggled away binge-watching anime and Asian shows, also drinking boba and dancing with friends.

“Happiness is not something that you have to achieve, you can still feel happy during the process of achieving something.”
– RM


Evan Dolsak

Evan Dolsak

Production Assistant

Evan is a filmmaker and writer from Gainesville, FL currently attending Santa Fe majoring in film studies. He’s a “jack of all trades,” if you will, having commercial and freelance experience in videography and production. He’s also been known to make a “mean cup of joe.” In his free time, Evan loves to write scripts, binge movies, and nonchalantly quote It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. After he receives his degree, Evan plans on moving to the West Coast to pursue his aspiration of writing and directing feature films. His best quality is his adaptability.