About Forge


Forge is Emspace’s collaborative program for college students within the communications field. Selected students will grasp the expectations of today’s creative professionals to help jump-start their future careers.

Selected students will explore the creative process, how teams collaborate and deliver the best work. Qualified applicants must be in the second half of their degree program or have recently graduated from a college or university. Creative professionals from the Omaha area will join Emspace to share perspectives from a variety of disciplines.

For a first hand look at Forge, read this blog from 2016 alum, Dawaune Hayes.


Session 1


January 18

Welcome to Forge 2017!

This session will cover: introductions; why Forge?; effective collaboration; and leveraging multiple disciplines, roles and priorities.

Session 2


February 1

This session will explore: goals; research and exploration; SWOT; building your team; and clients.

Featuring a panel of:
Amanda Kohler, KOVUS
Sarah Lake, Emspace
Amy Markham, Kiewit
Allison Schorr, ICAN

Session 3


February 15

This session will explore: setting objectives; communications planning: timelines and deliverables; creative thinking; strategy and problem solving; and planning for DO phase later.

Featuring a panel of:
Michael Johnson, Bailey Lauerman
Katie Kemerling, Ervin & Smith
Zach Mckenzie, Agape Red

Isabel Taule, Agape Red & Forge Alumni 16′



March 1

This session will explore: content vs. copy; where to begin; personal creative processes; job hacks; time-tracking; job juggling; task managing & organization; and integrating development & production early in the process.

Featuring a panel of:
The Emspace Design Team
Dylan Baumann, Flywheel
Will Riley, Flywheel
Luke Bolin, Edison Creative
Shawn Gourley, Edison Creative
Kristin Neemann, Emspace
Liz Renner, The Copy Lab


Session 5


March 15

This session will explore: delivery, implementation and sustainability; failure to launch; redefining roles; tasks and management; social media; outreach; community engagement; events & partnerships; and how to collect, archive and MEASURE.

Featuring a panel of:
Kelly Bast, Emspace
Mark Elman, Elman Print
Kellie Wostrel, Swanson Russell

Measure — Prepare for What’s Next

March 29

This is a celebration of this year’s Forge class! We will send off our 2017 graduates by talking about opportunities in Omaha; young professional hacks: job search advice; interview tips; and creating your own opportunities.

This session will also be an opportunity for the 2017 class to network with area professionals and have their portfolios and resumes reviewed. 



Oliver Alonzo

Design and Web Development, Creighton University

Kristina Beiermann

Graphic Design, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Connor Brandt

Graphic Design, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Sydney Davidson

Event Planning, Creighton University

Evynne Doue

Web and Graphic Design, Metropolitan Community College

Kerrigan Flynn

Journalism & Media Communication, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Kylie Holman

PR/Advertising, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Holly Johnson

Web and Graphic Design, Southeast Community College

Mackenzie Millard

Branding, Social Media & Event Planning, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Ingrid Najera

Media, Design & Photography, University of Nebraska at Omaha


Brittany Bengtson

Marketing Communications Specialist, LovelySkin.com

Brick Demique

Student, Creighton University

Cody Fenske

Freelance Designer, Cody Fenske Design Co. & Designer, Eleven19

Dawaune Hayes

Communications Manager, The Union for Contemporary Art

Danielle Kosalka

Creighton University Graduate

Marilynn Martinez

College of Saint Mary Graduate

Teresa Patten

Metropolitan Community College Graduate

Sebastian Rodriguez

New Media Team Leader, Creative Suite, DSL, Creighton University

Michael Stevens

Graphic Designer, Bozell

Isabel Taule

Community Liaison, Agape Red


Jake Anderson

University of Nebraska at Omaha Graduate

Palwasha Azimi

Animation Student, Rochester Institute of Technology

Sarah Bergeron

Graphic Designer, Emspace

Angela Eastep

Marketing Manager, Reinhart Foodservice

Ellesandra Meyer

Sales and Marketing Manager, Vahallan

Molly Misek

Graphic Designer, Emspace

Catherine Norris

Graphic Designer, Godfather's Pizza

Danielle Palafox

University of Nebraska at Omaha Graduate

Maria Watson

Transition Support Specialist, Portland OIC/Rosemary Anderson High School

Tiffany Wieser

Marketing & Promotions Graduate Assistant, UNL Campus Recreation


Alyssa Brunswick

Web Designer, Oriental Trading Company

Kyle Christensen

Graphic Design Team Lead, Red Branch Media

Josh Collinsworth

Happiness Engineer, Flywheel and WordPress Instructor

Monica Ghali

MSN Candidate 2017, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

Samantha Hegge

Graphic Designer, HDR

Emily Hoffman

University of Nebraska at Omaha Graduate

Billy Sobczyk

Executive Director, Omaha Jitterbugs

Shelly Xiong

Web Developer/Designer, United States Air Force


Devin Bertelsen

Recruitment Event Coordinator, UNO

Michael Bruening

University of Nebraska at Omaha Graduate

Nick Chickinelli

Product Designer, Flywheel

Kristi Doran

Creative Design Specialist, Professional Research Consultants, Inc.

Christine Dunn

Event Project Coordinator, Vic Gutman and Associates

Nicolas Fredrickson

Hand Letterer, Nicolas Fredrickson | Design & Lettering

Kathy Jurek

Freelance Artist/Illustrator, Kathy Jurek Art & Illustration

Elisa Lau

University of Nebraska at Omaha Graduate

Christian Peterson

Metropolitan Community College Graduate