Sunday, May 1, 2016 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Pollock Theater, UCSB

Women in Media: Leading Ladies is a high profile panel looking at some of today's leading women writers, directors, and producers. Panelists include: Starshine Roshell (moderator), Jane Espenson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Once Upon a Time, Warehouse 13), and Anne Cofell Saunders (Battlestar Galactica, Smallville, Chuck, The Small Ship, Revolution).

There will be a reception to follow in the Michael Douglas Lobby.

This event is sponsored by Women in Media, UCSB Film and Media Studies, The Carsey-Wolf Center, and UCSB Associated Students.

Women in Media is a weekend conference focusing on women's career paths in the entertainment field. Strategies for entering the industry, networking, negotiating and thriving in your career will be discussed. Panels and workshops will be held throughout the day. Registration for these events is open to current UCSB students. The evening keynote presentations are open to the public. This is a student-organized conference cosponsored by the women who head: The Studio (Vivian Vuong), The Writers’ Room (Quinnolyn Benson-Yates), The Reel Loud Film Festival (Kirsten “Cookie” Pierre), and The Limitless Coalition (Danielle Hakimi).

The events in the Pollock Theater were made possible by the generous support of The UCSB Film and Media Studies Department, the Carsey-Wolf Center, and UCSB Associated Students.


Karen Horne

Karen Horne is Senior Vice President, Programming Talent Development and Inclusion for NBC Entertainment and Universal Television Studios. Horne, who reports to Jennifer Salke, President, Primetime Entertainment, is responsible for overseeing in-front-of and behind-the-camera primetime diversity efforts for NBC and Universal Television. NBC’s Writers on the Verge Program, the Emerging Directors Program, StandUp NBC, a nationwide talent search, NBC’s Late Night Writers Workshop and the NBCUniversal Short Film Festival are among the many programs she heads while also overseeing NBC's Diversity Staffing Initiative and working with the creative programming team to identify diverse development. Horne’s lengthy resume includes a variety of disciplines and contacts. She served as Director, Creative Affairs, at IDT Animation in Burbank. She designed, implemented and oversaw Nickelodeon’s Writer Fellowship Program. Horne also was a Director, Writer Development & Special Projects (as well as Studio Liaison) for the Walt Disney Studios Fellowship Program at Walt Disney Network Television. Previously, she served as Director, West Coast, for the Black Filmmaker Foundation in Los Angeles. Horne also worked at HBO in Los Angeles as a Co-producer for the Emmy Award-winning animated series “Spawn.”  Her early career includes stints at ABC, Inc., in Los Angeles as an Executive Assistant to the President, ABC Entertainment, as well as positions at ABC Television Network Group and ABC Sports. Ms. Horne also serves on the West Coast Board for the School of Communication and Media – Montclair State University and on the National Black Programming Consortium board.

Jane Espenson

Jane Espenson is a writer for ABC's Once Upon A Time. She is also known for her work on series including Dinosaurs, Ellen, Buffy the Vampire SlayerAngelFirefly, The O.C., Gilmore Girls, Tru Calling, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Game of Thrones and Husbands among others. She also writes comic books, short stories, and has edited several books of essays. 

Anne Cofell Saunders

Anne Cofell Saunders first broke into television as an assistant and lead researcher on the ground-breaking series "24," where she earned her first writing credit. From there she staffed on the critically acclaimed re-imagining of "BATTLESTAR GALACTICA," where she shared a Peabody Award and was nominated for a Hugo award for the fan-favorite episode "Pegasus." She earned her first producer credit on two seasons of "CHUCK," followed by the final two seasons of "SMALLVILLE." She won two Saturn awards for her work as Co-Executive Producer on NBC's "REVOLUTION." As a Consulting Producer she wrote the 2nd season finale of "THE LAST SHIP."

This year Anne sold a pilot to 20th Century Fox/FOX network and currently has a deal with Sony Television, where she is developing a show with Josephson Entertainment.

Anne has a BA from Northwestern University and earned an MFA in playwriting from Ohio University. She has taught tv writing at the USC School of Film and Television, and has been a guest speaker at USC, UC Santa Barbara, Writer's Boot Camp and San Diego Comic Con.  She was also a panelist and judge at this year's Austin Film Festival.

Starshine Roshell - Moderator

Starshine Roshell is an award-winning journalist and author whose work has appeared in publications from the Hollywood Reporter to the New York Post. Santa Barbarans know her as an entertainment reporter and popular columnist with the Independent. She also teaches writing here at UCSB and at, and has done content marketing for eBay, LinkedIn and more.