About OTL

Meet the Staff

Contact specific members of the driving forces behind OTL's success.

Elisa Thomson, Executive Director

Elisa received her B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara and continued her education at Art Center Pasadena and The Brooks Institute of Photography. She traveled extensively as a photojournalist and worked as a photo editor for ABC-Clio/Exegy. Her teaching is also informed by her many years as a commercial photographer for clients such as Quiksilver, Roxy, Tea & Scones, and House. Before founding Outside the Lens, Elisa was the lead educator at the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego.

Lucy Eagleson, Program Director

Born and raised in Escondido, California, Lucy spent about 3 years living and volunteering at an orphanage in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was during that time that she found herself in the midst of unique stories as she came to know the wise individuals behind those journeys. That wisdom, paired with a deep appreciation for the power of the image, inspired Lucy to pursue a career in filmmaking. Lucy obtained her Master of Fine Arts in Film and TV Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, and she continues to produce and direct short documentary films. She is honored to bring her passions together by seeking to instill in young people the importance of telling their stories, while providing them the skills necessary to create digital content.

Brooke Newman, Program Manager

Brooke received her B.A., multiple subject teaching credential, and M.A. in Teaching and Learning from the University of California, San Diego. She has taught for sixteen years, and during that time collaborated with OTL for ten years with the Cameras in the Classroom program. Brooke is excited to mentor our OTL Media Educators and to empower youth across San Diego to use digital media. In her free time, Brooke enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, being outdoors, cooking and gardening.

Tim Lawrence, Operations Manager

Tim is an experienced operations & administrative professional, with extensive experience serving San Diego-based nonprofits. In his free time, "Timmy Too Fun" loves collecting tupperware and maintaining his record for the best Zoolander pose in the office.

Liliana Hueso, Media Educator

Liliana is a bi-national bilingual accomplished producer, filmmaker, and photographer. She has extensive experience in teaching media, facilitating workshops, and organizing community events on both sides of the border. Liliana is currently completing her masters in photography management at IBERO Universidad Iberoamericana de Tijuana to add to her degree in mass media communications from ITESO Universidad Jesuita Guadalajara, Jalisco, MX

Jana McBeath, Media Educator & Youth Council Coordinator

Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Jana graduated with her M.A. and B.A. in photography from the Manchester School of Art in the North of England. She has extensive experience as a freelance photographer and as a teaching artist for young people and is hugely passionate about both. When not taking photos you can find her dreaming about the ocean or watching sci-fi movies with her husband.

Kevin Tung, Media Educator, Program and Marketing Associate

Kevin was born and raised in New York City. He has a B.A. in Sociology from Syracuse University, and a B.A. in Photography from Brooks Institute of Photography. He has a passion for storytelling, and using photography to tell those stories. When not behind a camera you can find him on the golf course, the theater, or playing bar trivia.

Aaron Gilliam, Media Educator

Aaron was born and raised in America's Finest City. He received his B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and Photography from California State University, Fullerton. While studying abroad, Aaron realized his passion for learning about other cultures and has been a youth sports coach in his local community since 2012. Before Outside the Lens, Aaron worked in Public Relations for a startup in Orange County and as a Photographer for the Kansas City Chiefs and National Football League in Los Angeles before starting his own business, AG images. When he isn't behind a camera or computer, Aaron is with his wife, son, and two dogs, camping and hiking, gardening, or crafting DIY projects, all while listening to music.

Mizar Martin, Media Educator

Mizar Martin is a Mexican artist based in Victor Valley, CA. Her education as a Cultural Anthropologist reflects on her work as a photographer, painter and illustrator. From 2012 to 2016, she worked at a refugee shelter, where among other roles, she taught Arts to refugees and marginalized youth. She has worked for the National School Of Anthropology And History in Mexico City, and has published a book titled "A Medio Camino" featuring photographs of the life of Central-American refugees in Mexico. Since 2018 she has focused on teaching Media Arts and experimenting artistically with different media.

Meaghan Harrigan, Development & Operations Coordinator

Meaghan was born and raised in Los Angeles and is happy to be back in Southern California after ten years in Boston, MA where she earned a BFA in Graphic Design and an MEd in Community Arts and Multicultural Education. She is passionate about youth development through the intersections of art making, youth voice, and social justice work. Meaghan has a wide variety of experience in creative youth development with community, afterschool, and museum programs. Now through AmeriCorps VISTA she is excited to expand her skills and support building Outside the Lens’s capacity through development and operations.

Asia Peters, Marketing Coordinator

Asia is a multidisciplinary artist with a Bachelor of Environmental Design from the University of Colorado Boulder. Her passion for environmental justice and travel have fueled her love of photography as an expressive medium. Adamant that the fate of the world depends on youthful ideas and creativity, Asia is thrilled to be working with Outside the Lens as an AmeriCorps VISTA.

Michaela Lavelle, Program & Media Education Associate

Michaela is a recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin where she earned her B.A. in Psychology. Michaela's passion for encouraging youth to realize the power of their voices led her to San Diego for a VISTA position with Outside the Lens. So happy to beat the Texas heat, you can find Michaela enjoying the beach in her free time or taking her disposable camera around the city.

Kylie Joines, Media Education Associate

Kylie was born and raised in South Bend, IN, and is a recent graduate of Xavier University. After earning her B.S. in Environmental Science with minors in Spanish and Peace & Justice Studies, she joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corp to spend a year accompanying those who are marginalized. Kylie’s passions for environmental photography, working with youth, and social empowerment led her to Outside the Lens. Through digital media, she hopes to inspire youth to express themselves and to empower them on their journey of discovering their role within movements for social change. In her free time, you can find her cooking, hiking, or learning new ways to express herself artistically.

Natalie Devitt, Media Education Associate

Natalie received her B.S. in Television, Film and New Media from San Diego State University. Prior to coming to Outside the Lens, she spent three years working with youth, often in justice connected spaces. Natalie is happy to be combining her love of media with teaching. She is currently serving at Outside the Lens through the LISC AmeriCorps program. In Natalie's spare time, she enjoys collecting records, playing guitar and watching monster movies.

Luke Grigg, Youth Voice Platform Specialist

It all started on his family’s onion farm for Webby Award-Winning Director Luke Grigg. Luke discovered his passion for storytelling and cross-cultural understanding in high school when he lived as an ambassador for the U.S. in Lima, Peru through Rotary International. He graduated from UCLA Film School with a specialization in Interpretive Digital Media and social impact filmmaking. Luke is excited to join the OTL staff to help build our first 100% virtual youth media program - Youth Tellers!

Savanna Jackson, Media Education Associate

Savanna, originally from Michigan, recently received her degree in Communications: Digital Media from Cornerstone University. Before moving to California, she produced at a studio in Grand Rapids, Michigan, worked in customer service, and was a content creator for a local church. She is passionate about her spirituality, creative expression, all forms of media, and her community. Savanna is so excited to work with her community with Outside the Lens through the LISC AmeriCorps program and learn more from others everyday!

Lanae King, Program Specialist

Originally from San Diego, Lanae has spent the last decade traveling the world photographing and teaching. She earned a B.A. in Visual Communication from CSU Fullerton and an M.F.A. in Photography from Lesley University College of Art & Design. Besides photography, she loves reading, being outside, and finding new adventures.

Alec Ilinski, Media Education Associate

Alec was born and raised in Los Angeles where he gained extensive experience working in digital media production for two years. He believes that all youth- regardless of experience, financial situation, nor demographic- should have access to the resources necessary to foster their creativity. Alec is excited to work with AmeriCorps and the OTL team to help remind young people that they have the power to make a positive change for themselves and those around them. In his free time, Alec enjoys film photography, collecting records, and watching cooking videos.