Columbia College Chicago

Alumni Profiles

For over 35 years, we've had the pleasure of working with an incredible diversity of energetic, risk-taking, creative students. Our alumni are multi-faceted individuals, enjoying careers as Artists, Writers, Teachers, Scholars and Entrepreneurs. We're very proud of our alumni - they're always amazing us.


ABKey, artist's book, 2010

Kelly Parsell

[Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA, 2010]

Kelly Parsell is a Chicago-based artist, writer, and educator. She received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College in 2010 and her BA in Psychology and Studio Art from Albion College in 2007. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and can be found in numerous libraries and collections, including those of Yale, Indiana, and Duke Universities. Her artist book, ABKey, will be included in two upcoming publications, 1000 Artists’ Books and 21/21/Chicago. Kelly currently works as a studio assistant for fiber artist Nick Cave. She is also a regular contributor to Make Space, a blog featuring emerging Chicago artists and art happenings. In addition, she will soon begin teaching book and poetry workshops and classes at Werkspace, a new gallery and community art space in the city.

Learn more about Parsell's work online at And 



Jack and Diane, 2009

Diane Derr

[Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA, 2007]
Diane Derr is an Assistant Professor and Media Technology Coordinator in the MFA Design Studies program at Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar. She is currently developing a series of courses and workshops that investigate time-based media within art and design practice and research. In addition to her teaching and administrative duties, Diane’s research focus is on media literacy in the Art and Design curriculum. Having recently presented a paper on media literacy at the International Perspectives in Art and Design Pedagogies conference hosted by the Leeds College of Art, Diane has upcoming paper presentations at the International Conference On the Image hosted by UCLA and Design Principles and Practices hosted by Sapienza University of Rome. Diane has exhibited work throughout the US and the UK including Artist Space in New York, Scope London, Scope Hamptons, the Projection Gallery, and was featured on a DVD documentary looking at emerging video artists, produced by NAB LAB in Chicago, Illinois.

Learn more about Derr's work online at

Elise Kermani

[MA in Interdisciplinary Arts, 1986]

Elise Kermani is a sound and multimedia artist based in New York City. She recently completed a PhD in Media Philosophy from the European Graduate School. Kermani has written, directed and designed sound for two large-scale collaborative film/theater pieces: Poe...and the museum of lost arts in 2010 and the award-winning Jocasta in 2008; her work has been presented at numerous venues including The Kitchen, P.S. 122, The Roulette, DiverseWorks, The Cleveland Performance Art Festival, Los Angeles Contemporary Arts Exhibitions, Randolph Street Gallery, Texas Gallery, and festivals throughout Europe. Additionally, Kermani’s book Sonic Soma: Sound, Body and the Origins of the Alphabet, was published in 2009 by Atropos Press.

Learn more about Kermani's work online at


Teaching papermaking as trauma therapy
at seton hill university

Drew Matott

[Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA, 2007]

Drew Matott received his MFA in Book & Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago and his BFA in Printmaking from the Buffalo State College. He co-founded the Green Door Studio, People's Republic of Paper, the Combat Paper Project, BluSeed Paper Mill, Free Your Mind Press, and Peace Paper. Drew divides his time between teaching at colleges, doing art residencies, and facilitating Peace Paper. He has taught Photography and Contemporary Printmaking at North Country Community College, and Papermaking courses at the Community College of Vermont and Massachusetts College of Art. Recently he completed an artist residency at BluSeed Studios in Saranac Lake, NY, followed by a seven-month international tour, where he taught at the Seagull Foundation for the Arts in Calcutta, India, completed an artist residency with SKAM in Hamburg, Germany, lectured at Camberwell College in London, England and toured book and paper studios throughout Europe.

Learn more about Matott's work online at


Still from performance of Mother Tongues, 2009

Erin Rehberg

[Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA, 2009]

Erin Rehberg is Founder and Artistic Director of Core Project Chicago, a movement-based, interdisciplinary performing arts collective. The company pushes the boundaries of storytelling through artistic collaboration with dramatic, sound, media and text artists. She is also a founding member and Associate Director of Kim Nofsinger’s Shelter Dance Repertoire. Her choreography has been featured at Beyond Boundaries, Dance Chicago, Breaking Bounds Dance Festival, Art Exposium, The American College Dance Festival, Boulder International Fringe Festival, and site-specific work throughout the Chicago area. Significantly, she was a 2010 recipient of a Chicago Cultural Center DanceBridge Residency. Currently, she is adjunct faculty of Dance and University Studies at Middle Tennessee State University.

Learn more about Rehberg's work online at


Claudette Roper

[Interdisciplinary Arts & Media MFA, 2007]
An interdisciplinary artist, educator and media maker, Roper combines familiar mediums with new methods of expression to focus on issues related to justice, family/history, loss of innocence and oppression. She often uses layers of compelling text, imaginative images and textiles in her work to create discourse. Roper’s work has been featured at a variety of venues including: Blanc Gallery, Oak Park International Film Festival, Glenn Poor, Elmhurst College, and Links Hall. In 2007, her multimedia installation on racism, other state, premiered as a documentary. Her current work in progress is The Man Project, a documentary, multimedia installation and web-based experience that explores an array of relationships from the perspective of Black men.

Learn more about Roper's work online at

Language Möbius, Artist's Book, 2011

Jana Sim

[Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts MFA, 2011]

Jana Sim is a book artist and painter born and raised in Korea, and came to the U.S. in 2002. She received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College in 2011 and her BFA in Painting from University of Illinois in 2007. Her works have been exhibited nationally and internationally and have been collected at universities, museums and including those of Yale, Carnegie Mellon, Temple, UIUC, Northwestern and San Francisco Museum of Modern Arts. Her work, Meter, is currently featured in exhibition BiblioTech at the San Francisco Public Library and three of her artist books, Meter, ESL, Language Möbius, will be in the upcoming publications, 1000 Artists' Books.

Learn more about sim's work online at




N. Eden Ünlüata

[Interdisciplinary Arts MA, 2010]

N. Eden Ünlüata is an interdisciplinary artist, an interdisciplinary designer and an educator based in Chicago, IL. He holds a BID from Middle East Technical University (Turkey), a MFA degree in  Graphic Design from Bilkent University (Turkey) and a MA from Department of Interdisciplinary Arts from Columbia College Chicago. He currently is adjunct faculty at Columbia College Chicago, Interactive Arts and Media Department and also works as a design consultant for design companies. In his art practice he investigates the formation of cultural identity and how a society draws conclusions from shared experiences.  He has exhibited in Chicago, IL., Ankara (Turkey), Adana (Turkey), Istanbul (Turkey), Paris (France), and Oberlin OH. He will be participating in Ragdale Foundation Residency, Summer 2012.