Meet the Team
After winning CBS’s Amazing Race at 23 years old, Alex has gone on to have an amazing career both in front and behind the camera.
Above all else, Alex is an adventurer, traveler, and storyteller. He has filmed in nearly every state in America and over 60 countries around the world.
He hosted the #1 food series on PBS At The Chef’s Table and the #1 animal series on PBS Animal Attractions, was CBS’s ‘National Ambassador’ for two summers on the ‘CBS Buzz Tour’, hosted over 100 segments for Travel Channel, was Rachael Ray’s sidekick hosting ‘Rach to the Rescue’ for her syndicated talk show and circumnavigated the world without a penny in his pocket as the star of ‘Around The World For Free’…amongst many more.
Alex’s passion for producing brought him an Emmy-nomination for his work on The Steve Harvey Show, two Webby awards for Best Web Show on Around The World For Free, and an ADRIAN Award for his work on DreamJobbing.
Alex brings his passion to every project he embarks on and couldn’t be more excited to take on the role of producer and host for this series.
Lisa Hennessy is an Emmy nominated producer and one of the most accomplished non-scripted showrunners in Hollywood. For 14 years, she served as one of the driving forces behind Mark Burnett Productions (MBP). As an original member of the company, Hennessy played an integral role in the development and production of MBP television programs. Over the course of her tenure, Hennessy helped propel MBP from a small production company to global powerhouse. She has created and executive produced hundreds of hours of television including World’s Toughest Race (Amazon Prime), Rock Star INXS and Rock Star SuperNova (CBS), the Contender (NBC and ESPN), The Biggest Loser (NBC), Eco-Challenge (Discovery Channel and USA Network), Escape: A Digital Detox (Amazon Prime)…to name just a few.
Burton Roberts is an experienced producer, entrepreneur and startup executive and has run production companies for the last 15+ years. His extensive business background includes production, marketing and PR, social media, technology and human resources. He has also spent time in front of the camera as a contestant on CBS’ Survivor: Pearl Islands and has been a host and brand ambassador for shows including the CBS Buzz Tour, Yacht Channel, a “tech expert” and host on Outside TV’s “Outside Today,“ and hosted content for Travel Channel and Lonely Planet. He is an Eagle Scout and a passionate world traveler (60 countries and counting) and holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Business and dual degrees from Southern Methodist University.
Michael Murray is a seven-time, Prime Time Emmy nominated director of photography (DP), cinematographer, adventurer and businessman. He has a reputation for acquiring imagery under extreme conditions and brought his creative influence to the first season of Mark Burnett’s Survivor. Michael is one of the most sought after DPs in the world. His credit list includes: Survivor (CBS), The Contender (NBC and ESPN), The Great American Road Trip (NBC), World’s Toughest Race (Amazon Prime). Michael also has entrepreneurial and business experience that gives him a unique perspective on producing financially and artistically successful projects. Michael is the founder and President of Adrenaline Films (Orlando Florida). A short list of clients include: ABC, NBC, CBS, Universal Studios, Mark Burnett Productions, BBC, Discovery Channel, History Channel and HBO.
Beth Cohen has diverse leadership experience in the launch and production of television, feature film, and educational startups. Some highlights of her eclectic career include working in production, development, and product integration for NBC Universal. Beth has worked in feature film production for Wonderstar Productions and as an executive with national education organizations. Beth is passionate about risk taking, authentic storytelling and bringing people’s visions to life.
Dr. Desi Williams
Dr. Desi Williams, PT, DPT is a television host, actress, and reality television personality with a Doctorate degree in physical therapy and a past life as a college professor. Desi was most recently a contestant on CBS’s THE CHALLENGE: USA and was also a castaway on Season 35 of Survivor on CBS.
Desi grew up in Peachtree City, GA, a suburb south of Atlanta, but made the decision to attend college at Hampton University in Hampton, VA. A proud two-time HBCU graduate, Desi has a Doctorate degree in Physical therapy and a B.S. in Health & Physical Education with a minor in Leadership Studies. Early in her career, Desi became the Director of the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at her alma mater.
Robert Jury is an award-winning film and television producer, director, and writer. In addition to his video and commercial work, Robert has written feature film screenplays for Fox 2000 Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox,and HBO Films. He wrote, directed and produced the 2020 feature film Working Man, achieving Certified Fresh status on Rotten Tomatoes. He was awarded an ABC/Disney Studios Writers Fellowship and was also selected for the prestigious Film Independent Screenwriters and Directors Labs in Los Angeles. Earlier in his career, Robert worked in feature film story development for production companies with deals at Touchstone Pictures and Warner Brothers. Raised on a farm in Iowa, Robert graduated from the University of Florida and has worked on numerous television projects for ESPN, ABC, Nickelodeon, Disney, Universal Studios, and others.
With over twenty years of producing television Daren Woolsey is a passionate storyteller fueled by an innate curiosity that drives him to find the compelling story in any situation, no matter how big or small. Daren has worked on numerous productions over the years, including prime time Emmy-Award winning shows “Survivor” (CBS) and “Undercover Boss” (CBS) as well as the epic “World’s Toughest Race” (Amazon Prime) and many others. When not immersed in work, Daren enjoys spending time with his family and staying fit by working on his small farm in Southern Oregon and mountain biking when possible.
Zsolt Luka is an Emmy-nominated editor and director who started his 25-year media career in children’s non-scripted television in Canada before continuing on to documentary and travel-reality genres in the US and internationally. He was the directing/editing half of the two-person crew (along with producer/host Alex Boylan) traveling on the inaugural season of the pioneering, real-time travel reality show Around The World For Free.
For The College Tour, Zsolt handles the distribution of the show’s content to online platforms such as Amazon Prime, Tubi and YouTube, as well as to the TCT website and apps/OTT platforms.
Martin Olarte is an award-winning producer on a range of scripted and non-scripted productions. Throughout his career he has had the pleasure of producing content for Universal Studios, Warner Brothers, and The Tonight Show. His early career as an editor laid the groundwork to become a skilled and strategic producer, leading a team of uniquely talented cinematographers, editors, sound recordists and other craftspeople at Adrenaline Films in Orlando. His work has taken him all over the US and as far afield as Beijing, China, in search of the next great story.
Joan McCord is a two-time Emmy Award-winning director of Discovery Travel Channel’s daytime series, Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown and Great Hotels. Headquartered in Florida she’s held positions as Production Coordinator, Series Producer, Line Producer, and Director of Production on hundreds of series and specials for networks such as PBS, Discovery International, Travel Channel, HGTV, Food Network, and clients such as The Walt Disney Company. Specializing in travel and lifestyle programming, she has earned seven Emmy nominations. Prior to her programming days, she was a Producer for a top tier company specializing in marketing campaigns and TV promotions for networks and broadcast stations. She’s also held Production Coordinator titles on CBS Movie of the Week projects and feature films.
Rachel Miller is an award-winning content creator, travel writer, and executive producer and co-host of The Jet Sisters. Rachel graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations. Seven months into her career, she knew writing press releases wasn’t for her. She quit her job and began working as a freelance travel writer and content creator. Rachel has worked with DMOs, hotels, cruise lines and tour operators across the globe on customized, strategic campaigns that inspire others to travel. She has visited 18 countries, 4 continents, 7 national parks and 16 Texas Roadhouses. She is honored to be a part of The College Tour team and will always push for a locations-themed segment! When Rachel isn’t busy directing or coordinating, you can find her at a theme park, national park, or dog park.
Hannah Umpenhour is a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida with her B.A. in film. With a spirit for innovation and creativity, she has influenced films in multiple facets of the production process, including: producing, assistant directing, and set design. Many of the feature films and shorts that she’s assisted with have garnered award winning attention from CMF Orlando to Atlanta Shortsfest. Now through The College Tour, Hannah has built relationships with collegiate students and professionals while developing episodes across 15 states and counting.
Outside of working in film, Hannah has co-coordinated event productions across central Florida, most notably working as a chair member and creative director for an annual festival that brings in 5K+ guests each year. Above all, Hannah is passionate about using art and media to help people share their stories with the world, so she continues to seek experiences and opportunities that allow her to do so.
David Matthews is a passionate storyteller with diverse editorial experience ranging from scripted and non-scripted shows for broadcast and streaming, feature documentary content, and trailers for platforms such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, PBS, and The History Channel. He has crafted stories for clients such as Disney, ESPN, NBCUniversal, Warner Brothers, Nintendo, Microsoft, and much more. He currently enjoys working as Supervising Editor at Adrenaline Films where he leads a team of skilled editors, colorists, graphic artists, and audio mixers.
John Preston has a varied background holding multiple management positions in early stage and start-up companies. His current role as Associate Producer for The College Tour culminated from years in the education technology space where he created and implemented courses to help high schoolers find careers. He also worked with transitioning veterans to find civilian jobs and create their post military brand. John’s college career began at Louisiana State University where he majored in International Trade and Finance with an emphasis on Economics and Marketing during his studies at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Since graduating in 2015, John has developed a passion for helping others and making a difference in the world of education. His journey into television production is a testament to his eagerness to branch out and conquer his goals.
Guljan Shabasanova is an experienced marketing professional with a passion for education. Before joining The College Tour as a marketing manager, she held marketing positions in various music, tech, and education sectors. She earned her Bachelor’s in Business Management and MBA from Monroe College (NY), where she also worked in the office of international admissions, helping recruit international students worldwide. She currently serves on the advisory board of the University of California Design Thinking Executive Program at the Riverside campus.
Chandler Wallace is an International Marketer by degree, an Activity and Event Coordinator by chance, and a Social Media Enthusiast & Content Creator by passion. After receiving her second master’s from Hult International Business School, Chandler was able to travel the world working with people of different cultures, business backgrounds, and most importantly different mindsets.
With more than 6 years of Marketing experience, Chandler has worked in various industries including start-ups, tech, finance, non-profit as well as health and beauty. Now through The College Tour, Chandler has found inspiration from the impactful work of the production company to create amazing content for the world as their Social Media Coordinator.
Samantha Jonas-Hain is a seasoned writer, producer, content creator, and media strategist. She began her career at age 18 working for FOX News as a journalist, focusing on lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and entertainment. She has worked as a television writer and freelance writer for Good Housekeeping, AMC Networks, CEW, and WEtv, amongst other major media outlets across various mediums. Additionally, she is an in-house marketing strategist and content creator for BoomID and has served as a public relations consultant for various national companies. Samantha is a prolific ghostwriter regularly working with Hollywood casting directors, producers, and television personalities on a wide variety of projects on and off-screen.