Ryan KoehnNational President
Ryan grew up in Modesto, California. The large expanses of farmland and little access to exciting things to do encouraged him to rely on his own imagination as an outlet. After all, it was the same hometown that forced DeKA George Lucas to dream up STAR WARS. Consequently Ryan knew he wanted to be a writer from a very early age.
Ryan attended UC Berkeley for Film Studies, where he became the founding President of Eta Chapter. He would next attend USC for his MFA in Writing for Screen and Television. While there, he transferred into Alpha Chapter and discovered a whole new branch of the DKA family.
Ryan’s first feature AS NIGHT COMES was produced and distributed internationally. Since then he has worked on many other projects, including co-writing THE MAD WHALE, starring Camilla Belle and James Franco in 2016.
Ryan currently balances his time between working at United Talent Agency, writing, and volunteering with DKA. He is passionate about storytelling and education. He believes that DKA is the perfect environment for members to learn from one another, take chances, and find their unique creative voice. He feels enormously lucky to be an alumnus of two DKA chapters and always tries to bring a multi-chapter perspective to his work at the national level.
Raul CarvajalNational Vice President
Raul has different names, all ‘official’ in their own right. His birth certificate reads ‘Raul René Carvajal’, but his social security card reads ‘Raul Carvajal Junior’ (Dad’s mistake). However, preferring the traditional Spanish naming convention, a young Raul often took to signing his full name as ‘Raul René Carvajal Barroso the IV’. It just had a nice ring to it.
Raul grew up in three of America’s largest metropolitan areas: Born in Chicago, he completed both middle and high school in Miami and currently lives in New York City. After graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in Film & Television Production, he immediately dove into working with the National Council as National Vice President and chapter advisor for Gamma and Mu chapter, as well as Sigma colony.
At the age of five he decided he would work for NASA and become an astronaut. For years, it was a given that he would go to MIT and become an aerospace engineer. It wasn’t until his 9th grade pre-calculus teacher Mrs. Ruffin gently suggested having some sort of backup plan that he considered filmmaking as a profession, and thus began an unlikely career in the arts.
As a founder of Gamma chapter at NYU, Raul’s proudest achievement was helping a bunch of fellow misfits find a home in Delta Kappa Alpha. He is excited to help bring the organization to new heights and share the DKA experience with more cinematic artists of character nationwide.
Michael De La TorreNational Councilor
Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Michael first fell in love with films as a child with the Star Wars Trilogy. Committing to a career in the entertainment industry, Michael moved to Los Angeles to attend Loyola Marymount University and to begin his career in filmmaking. While at LMU, Michael was a founding member of the Theta Chapter and served as the Chapter Treasurer. Michael has produced a variety of films that have been to film festivals both domestically and overseas. He currently works at a talent agency and aspires to be a producer of feature films and later in his career, a studio executive.
Michael would love to see DKA grow into an international organization that is recognized industry-wide as the best place to find new talent in entertainment. Additionally, he would like to see more public events in the future that cater to industry professionals. By holding events for the public, Michael hopes the additional exposure will help DKA earn the reputation mentioned among the top companies in entertainment.
For Michael, the most rewarding part of DKA is collaborating with similarly interested individuals. In particular, being on the National Council has provided him with the opportunity to work with young people and help them reach their aspirations. In helping others grow as individuals and professionals, Michael has learned about himself and has grown as a filmmaker.
Ryan BartleyNational Councilor
Born in Fort Worth (Cowtown) Texas, Ryan Bartley started her acting career when she was six years old. She attended the prestigious magnet arts high school, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, located in Dallas, Texas. While in high school, Ryan began working in voice-over, first performing for Radio Disney, recording dozens of radio spots, and later voicing the lead character, Emi Ito, for the New Horizon English Textbook used throughout the country of Japan to teach school-aged children English.
Ryan co-stars in the Lifetime movie Queen Sized and has also lent her voice to multiple radio campaigns and television promos for top clients including McDonald's, Build-A-Bear Workshop, and Disney Channel. Ryan was nominated for Best Actress in a Thriller at the 2015 Rome Web Awards for her portrayal of Jamie Holbrook in the critically acclaimed and award-winning digital series L.A. Macabre. Most recently Ryan joined the English dub cast of the anime series Yuki Yuna is a Hero "“ to be released Summer 2015. Ryan is also set to appear in the 2015 horror-comedy feature film Halloweed.
While pursuing her acting career in Los Angeles, Ryan earned a Bachelor's Degree in Cinema-Television Critical Studies and a minor in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, graduating Magna Cum Laude in May of 2012 and a Phi Beta Kappa. Ryan is especially passionate about the philanthropic efforts of Delta Kappa Alpha and she is dedicated to exploring ways in which members can give back to their community at large.
Carol AlexanderNational Councilor
Carol Alexander was born and raised in Southern California, and is an alumna of the University of California-Berkeley. While at Cal, she found inspiration working amongst fellow DeKAs and peers to help develop new film and performing arts communities. With roots in the arts and student advocacy, she has worn several hats-from UC Berkeley campus ambassador, to traveling singer in Europe, occasional production designer, and published poet. Above all, she is constantly exploring the world around her, seeking to discover new experiences and shed light on previously unheard voices.
Currently, she works for Ambulante California--a rogue, pop up documentary film festival in LA, where she helps with promotions, event production, and screens the upcoming shorts program. Carol strives to write for television and produce documentaries.
DKA was a guiding light in Carol's undergrad career, and she strives to assist its growth as a national organization, while preserving the strong spirit of fellowship, trust, and collaboration that initially drew her to join. With a growing base of alumni, she believes that it is vital to build a strong, lasting national (and international) network. At the same time, she also wants to help improve communication with chapters and the National organization, for stronger bonds and greater understanding at all levels.
Stephanie GarzaNational Councilor
Originally from San Antonio, Texas (Go Spurs Go), Stephanie fell in love with entertainment at a young age. Throughout her childhood she danced, sang and acted, but it wasn’t until she found herself in a media production class on accident her freshman year of high school that she discovered a new passion. This lead her to study Radio-TV-Film at the University of Texas at Austin and later to move out to LA to pursue a career in the TV industry working as a Page in the NBCUniversal Page Program.
The Page Program was such a valuable and fun, but also, eye-opening experience. This eventually lead her back to her music roots and on a move to Nashville, TN where she currently lives and works in Music Central (like the mailroom) for WME’s Nashville office.
Her experience in DKA has proven to be valuable in all aspects of her college and professional career even in the shift to music. The friends and connections made her move to LA easy, but ultimately the leadership and networking experience she gained helped her move to a brand new city and thrive. DKA is still a huge part of her life. She’s passionate about growing and expanding the alumni experience. She’s also excited to have the opportunities to work with DeKAs across the country to continue to grow and build DKA through expansion efforts.
Alessandra EchevarriaNational Councilor
Alessandra Echevarria was born and raised in Southern California's South Bay. At an early age she discovered she had a passion for the Arts. From elementary through high school Alessandra had been apart of various drama productions. But in high school TV shows and movies became her thing. (Don't ask her friends how many times she made them watch She's the Man to point out continuity errors or The O.C. to talk about how great the soundtrack was.)
As a Cinema major at San Francisco State Alessandra was introduced to DKA. Since then, Delta Kappa Alpha has had such a hand in shaping who Alessandra has become not only as a filmmaker, but also as a person. Thanks to her brothers and sisters she is surrounded by a group of talented and inspiring people who push her to be the very best person and cinematic artist she can be.
The Delta Kappa Alpha community is one that continues to amaze her and she cannot wait to see what the future holds for the organization and its members.
Sarah GrabmanNational Councilor
Sarah grew up in Arlington, VA and Escazu, Costa Rica. Starting as a way to avoid presentations in school, her passion for filmmaking has evolved into a full-fledged life's purpose. She believes film allows us to eliminate the censors in our heads and embrace our nonjudgmental childlike creativity to cultivate empathy and inspire social change. So, she started Etc. Pictures, a youth empowerment film production company with fellow DeKA, Iara Rogers Benchoam, in Syracuse, NY to inspire future leaders to trust their voice.
She loves writing, producing, directing, teaching and comedy. She also has a new found love for commercial food styling, especially of the dog food variety.
Sarah attended Syracuse University to study TV-Radio-Film with a minor in Music History. She dipped her toes and dove into many activities including hosting TV shows & radio shows, sketch comedy production, film sets, and building DKA. It's been incredible to watch the Omicron chapter of DKA evolve as Founding VP to President and now Chapter Advisor.
Sarah is grateful to have intersected paths with DKA and is psyched to grow alongside an organization whose core character and purpose will never change. She hopes the paths she helps pave remain in use and improve for all of eternity because the world will never not need cinematic artists of character. There's too many stories that need to be told - go tell yours!
Find her on a mountain top or in a coffee shop.