Media Maker at the intersection of storytelling, digital design, and social change.


Clarissa Joan Middleton is a media maker at the intersection of storytelling, digital design, and social change. She received her B.S in Finance, Cum Laude, from The Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University in 2009, and her MFA in Interactive Media on May 10, 2019 from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. 

Her research “Cognitive Science, Belief, and Interactive Media as a Distribution Platform for Experiences that Enhance Human Development” has been published by the USC Digital Libraries for public viewing. Clarissa’s work in virtual reality, non-linear storytelling, applications, digital publishing, and massive open online courses has been supported by the USC Office of Religious Life, the USC Creative Media and Behavioral Health Center, The Max De Pree Center for Leadership, IntraVarsity Christian Fellowship, the 2019 USC Games Expo, and the Fall 2019 IndieCade Games Conference.

Prior to her career in media, Clarissa worked as a senior analyst in corporate finance and a business strategy consultant in venture capital and communications. 


In the Fall of 2019, Clarissa’s digital health and entertainment platform, The Being Academy, demoed at the 2019 Missiology Lectures conference: “Techno-Sapiens in a Networked Era: Becoming Digital Neighbors” hosted by Fuller Theological Seminary. The Being Academy's mission is to create digital wellness space where members can "master the joy of being yourself" and "maximize their God gifted potential." The academy offers interactive experiences for relaxation, meditation, self-reflection, behavioral health interventions, and personal transformation. 

As a Mellody Hobson Scholar, Clarissa's graduate studies were graciously supported by the George Lucas Family Foundation Endowed Student Support Fund for Diversity. From 2017 - 2018, Clarissa also served as a scholar-in-residence at the USC Media Institute for Social Change. Her student story from the world of finance to studying interactive media is featured on the University's admissions website.


She is also a talented writer whose work can be appreciated on Moguldom Media’s digital publication MadameNoire, a lifestyle publication catering to 9 million African American women monthly. Clarissa lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband, Theodore, and their three children Genesis, Viva, and Theo III. 




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