Department of Communication 2020 graduate receives Television Academy Foundation Internship in Directing

Brenna Noyes headshotBrenna Noyes, a 2020 Wayne State University College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts graduate who majored in film with a double minor in communication studies and design, was selected for the Television Academy Foundation Internship in Directing. The Television Academy Foundation's internship program provides 50 internships in over 20 different disciplines to college students nationwide.

The eight-week paid internship is the program’s only directing internship and is open only to graduating seniors and graduate students.

“Receiving the news that I was selected for the Television Academy Foundation Internship in Directing feels like a dream,” said Noyes. “Having the opportunity to network with professionals working in L.A. will open up so many doors for me. I would never have known about this opportunity if it wasn't for Professor Kelly Donnellan, who helped me through the whole application process.

Donnellan, an associate professor of media arts and studies, was selected for the Television Academy Foundation Faculty Seminar in 2016 and discovered the programs, resources and internships offered through the Television Academy Foundation.

“Brenna and I worked for a year on one film, Smile, in two classes that are offered in the communication department: COM 6680, Directed Projects, where she developed the script, produced, directed and started to edit the short film, and COM 3990, Directed Study, where she finished picture editing, sound editing, mixing and developed a Go Fund Me Campaign for film festival submission.”

Donnellan has written roughly two to three recommendation letters per year for the past four years for students in a variety of categories, but explained nobody has made it past the first round.

“When Brenna made it into the finals for the directing internship, I was tremendously happy for her as well as for the film/media arts and studies areas. We’d never had a student go that far before, and that in and of itself was tremendous. Typically, the directing category is dominated by the top film schools and grad students and smaller schools and programs don’t factor in,” said Donnellan.

“We have always known that we have outstanding students in both our media arts and studies and film programs,” said Katheryn Maguire, chair of the Department of Communication. “Many of our students have submitted their work to film festivals as well as screenwriting competitions, with some even winning awards.

“This honor shines a national spotlight not only on Brenna's talent as an aspiring filmmaker, but also the high-quality education that students receive in the Department of Communication.”

“As a director in my 2018 narrative capstone class (COM 5400), Brenna demonstrated the artistic vision, creative management skills, and fortitude that it takes to become a significant director,” said Juanita Anderson, senior lecturer and area head of the media arts and studies program. “This internship will not only provide her major insights and experience in industry practices, but will serve as an important next step in what I’m sure will be a stellar career.”

“The Television Academy Internships are among the most competitive in the industry,” notes Anderson, who was a 2008 Television Academy Faculty Fellow.

For more information about internships at the Television Academy Foundation, visit

Da’Stanza Murphy