Past Recipients Student Testimonials  

Monika, a native Californian, graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1997 with a degree in molecular biology and music. Shortly thereafter, she taught organic chemistry, saved her earnings, and traveled throughout Australia for several months. This journey strengthened her desire to document the beauty and rich diversity of the natural world.

Monika came to USC intent on blending her art and science backgrounds to make educational and inspirational films. In her second year she wrote a feature-length screenplay "Metamorphosis", for which she received a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Her most recent film, "Chasing Patterns", tells the story of Liam, an 11-year old boy who doesn't like math until he discovers the beauty of patterns in nature. Monika is truly honored to have the Caucus Foundation support this film.

Since graduating with her MFA, Monika shares time between Hawaii, where she writes and teaches, and Los Angeles. She is currently working on a natural history documentary slated to begin production next year.

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