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Columbia College Chicago
Full-time Faculty
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Full-time Faculty


Beau Basel Beaudoin
Associate Professor
PhD, Interdisciplinary Studies in Media Literacy/Analysis, concentration in Multicultural Learning, Union Institute  University OF Ohio

Beaudoin is the Carnegie Foundation 2008 U.S. Professor of the Year for the State of Illinois, and the 2009-10 Distinguished Teaching Fellow of Columbia College Chicago. She has presented papers and workshops at scores of conferences in the United States and internationally on issues of race and gender equity, media analysis through a multicultural lens and pedagogical strategies for faculty, as well as publishing in both media education and diversity journals.

Dr. Beaudoin has received grants from AAC&U as part of a team project “American Commitments in a Diverse Democracy”, was awarded participation in the Development of Intercultural Coursework at Colleges and Universities Institute from the University of Hawaii, is trained in facilitation skills from the Intercultural Communications Institute, is an adjunct instructor in the Educational Studies Department and works in community outreach with minority populations.

Beaudoin is a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator for several other universities as well. At Columbia, she is the creator of the Culture, Race & Media course (www.cultureraceandmedia.com), upon which much of her research is based.

office: 600 S. Michigan, Rm. 1403D
phone: (312) 369-7448
email: bbeaudoin@colum.edu

Frank Bianco
Senior Lecturer
BS, State University of New York at Geneseo

Bianco is a full-time faculty member and coordinator in the Columbia College Chicago Television Department focusing on live news including producing, anchoring & reporting. Frank teaches both On-Camera Talent class and Producing News: Newsbeat, teaching students how to comfortably work in front of a camera.

In his spare time, Bianco freelances as a director for the ABC network, part of the Walt Disney Company. He’s a member of the Board of Governors for the Chicago/Midwest National Association of Television Arts & Sciences, an executive producer for the Local “Emmy” Awards Presentation as well as the owner and president of Bianco Construction, LLC.

office: 600 S. Michigan, Rm. 1403I
phone: (312) 369-7509
email: fbianco@colum.edu
Elissa Fineman

Fawn Ring


Fawn Ring is an award-winning executive producer, producer and program host.  She recently worked with PBS to bring a festival of arts programs to public television audiences nationwide. 

In 2011, Ring returned to Chicago after five years in San Francisco, where she headed up local production for KQED, the Bay Area’s largest public television station, and oversaw a staff of executive producers and producers who created five local series covering news and public affairs, the arts, science and the environment, a restaurant review series, and a showcase for independent film. Ring's list of accomplishments is quite long and impressive, working at Columbia is now another addition.


office: 600 S. Michigan, Rm. 1403E
phone: (312) 369-7413
email: fring@colum.edu

Michael G. Fry
Associate Professor
MFA, Dramatic Writing for Film, Television and Theater, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University

Michael is an associate professor at Columbia College Chicago, heading up the Television Department’s new Internet and Mobile TV concentration as well as the Writing Concentration. There he has created such classes as Directing the Webisode, Video for Internet and Mobile TV and Writing for Internet and Mobile TV which he also teaches. The pilot project of the IMM concentration, www.sexpertstheshow.com, became the #1 comedy channel on YouTube within its first 48 hours online. Michael also spearheaded the Transmedia program at CCC with TV, Film and Video Gaming.

Michael Fry is an Emmy nominated writer/producer who has worked on the NBC shows The Cosby Show and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as well as the WB’s The Parent’ Hood. He has sold two television pilots and optioned five feature films as well as having optioned reality show concepts.

Locally, Michael has expanded his talents to advertising and marketing as a copywriter and webisode creator/developer and writer, having worked on initiatives for Toyota, Verizon and HUD.

Michael now develops web-films and series for various brands, most recently the web series “The Omission,” (www.omissionthemovie.com) for www.getSTDtested.com. Michael is also currently creating shows for PHATHOM, a web channel of original niche interest material and writing a spec screenplay designed to have multiple lives as a movie, video game, TV series and webisode.

office: 600 S. Michigan, Rm. 1403H
phone: (312) 369-8628
email: mfry@colum.edu
Sara Livingston
Sara Livingston
Associate Professor
MA, Mass Media/Children’s Television, University of Illinois at Chicago

Sara Livingston is the director of the Learning Community, the Television Department’s first year program. Her specialty is writing and she teaches Aesthetics and Storytelling, Script Analysis, TV ARTS: Writing and Writing for Television.

Her television career began as a media activist at The Center For New Television. She was a writer/producer at Communications for Change, The Chicago Video Project, and Chicago Access where she created numerous social documentaries. Her commercial TV work includes writing/producing for two children’s series, Life Design and Elliot and Friends and freelance work with MTV, WTTW, and Cablevision. She was also video director for the celebrated multi-media dance work, Turn Her White With Stones, which has been performed nationally and internationally.

Sara is an award-winning teacher who received the title, Distinguished Teacher, 2007-2009. She was the recipient of the 2000 Teaching Excellence Award, and was an Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Faculty Fellow in 2006. She has received the Warrior Woman Award, The Chicago Artist Abroad Grant, the Chicago Women’s Foundation Production Grant and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Grant. Sara is also a guest blogger for the Idea Hive in San Francisco and is currently writing for Open Court’s Philosophy and Popular Culture series. Her chapters appear in Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy, Anime and Philosophy, and Manga and Philosophy.

office: 600. S. Michigan, Rm. 1403F
phone: (312) 369-7439
email: slivingston@colum.edu

Wojciech Lorenc
Assistant Professor
BA, Television Production, Columbia College

Born and raised in Poland, Wojciech Lorenc is a supporter of independent, entrepreneurial approach to creating television and an advocate of using emerging technologies in both distribution and visual storytelling. He has worked in the television industry as a producer, director, shooter, and editor and his teaching focuses on directing and producing as well as internet and mobile media.

He has screened his work in over 80 festivals in 15 countries and he won awards both in the US and internationally. Wojciech's work in the areas of online delivery and exploring social media for content distribution has allowed him to reach over 20 million viewers worldwide with various projects.

office: 600. S. Michigan, Rm. 1403J
phone: (312) 369-7457
email: wlorenc@colum.edu

Michael Niederman
Department Chair, Professor
MFA, Film & Video, Northwestern University, Chicago

Michael Niederman is an award-winning film and video maker as well as the chair of the Television Department of Columbia College Chicago. He has taught in all areas of the department but he now he focuses on writing, directing and Transmedia.

Niederman is a board member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and a founding board member of the International Digital Media and Arts Association. His award-winning projects include the dramatic film The Paled Man which was screened nationally, the documentaries Voices from Northern Ireland, shown on the PBS network, and "7 Day Wonder," "Presumed Guilty," and "Shades of Grey" which have all aired on WTTW in Chicago.

In 1996, he served as the host of Reel Time, a thirteen-part series focusing on student film/video makers and their works produced at and broadcast on WYCC/Channel 20, Chicago. He worked extensively in the corporate and educational media production, writing films and tapes for a wide variety of organizations. He has written and lectured extensively on television, popular culture and emerging narrative forms. He is currently conducting research in the area of Transmedia with a book on that topic expected in 2012

office: 600 S. Michigan, Rm. 1500
phone: (312) 369-7277
email: mniederman@colum.edu

Luke Palermo
Associate Professor
MA, Counseling & Therapy, Roosevelt University, Chicago

Luke Palermo has been a faculty member in the Television Department for more than 25 years, serving as chair and associate chair of the department during that time. Palermo is also the president of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Palermo helped develop Columbia’s television department Learning Community and has taught in that community since its inception. The idea of teaching courses together to produce the department "shows" was originated by Luke as well, and he was very involved with the production of the sitcom “Debbie’s Got Class.” He also works with the faculty group teaching the Out on a Limb directing class.

Palermo has been on the board of NATAS for more than 15 years, serving on the Emmy rules committee during his entire tenure. In 2007, the NATAS Chicago/Midwest Chapter Board of Governors bestowed its highest honor on Palermo at the 49th Chicago Emmy Awards with its Governors’ Award, awarded each year for outstanding contributions to Chicago broadcasting and to the Television Academy. For a decade, he served as Emmy co-chair, arranging Emmy judging trades with TV Academy chapters across the country. He has coordinated the processing of more than 6,000 regional Emmy entries, recruited countless local Emmy judges and led more than 50 Emmy judging panels.

Palermo has played a key role in NATAS Chicago/Midwest’s educational initiatives, including the National Student Television Awards and the Chicagoland High School Video Festival. These events partner NATAS Chicago/Midwest with the Chicagoland Television Educators Council (CTEC) – an organization Palermo helped found – to recognize the achievement of aspiring television professionals and videographers at the high school level.

office: 600 S. Michigan, Rm. 1403K
phone: (312) 369-7407
email: lpalermo@colum.edu

Kristin Pichaske
Assistant Professor
PhD, Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town

Kristin Pichaske teaches Production and Editing classes with a focus on Documentary in the Television Department at Columbia College. Kristin's work as a documentary cinematographer, producer and director has been honored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the National Federation of Press Women and numerous film festivals.

Prior to her arrival at Columbia, she directed several independent documentaries, and helped write and produce a 100-part series for Lucasfilm/Paramount Pictures. In 2004, she moved to Cape Town, South Africa, on a Fulbright fellowship and remained in Africa doing documentary work and teaching production courses at the University of Cape Town for four years. She is currently in post-production on the feature-length documentary Zuluhoops.

office: 600 S. Michigan, Rm. 1403C
phone: (312) 369-7945
email: kpichaske@colum.edu

Mat Rappaport
Associate Professor
MFA, Visual Art (New Genres), University of Notre Dame

Mat Rappaport coordinates the Motion Graphics curriculum shared by the Television Department and the Department of Film and Video.

Rappaport is a co-initiator of V1B3 (www.v1b3.com), which seeks to shape the experience of urban environments through media-based interventions. He has received fellowships from the Howard Foundation, the Mary L. Nohl Fund, the Montgomery County Ohio Cultural District and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Center for 21st Century Studies.

Mat Rappaport’s artwork has been exhibited in the United States and internationally in galleries, film festivals and public spaces. His current work utilizes mobile video, performance and photography to explore habitation, perception and power as related to built environments.

office: 600 S. Michigan, Rm. 1403B
phone: (312) 369-7203
email: mrappaport@colum.edu
url: www.meme01.com

Sharon Marie Ross
Associate Chair, Associate Professor
PhD, Radio-TV-Film, University of Texas in Austin

Sharon Ross teaches history and critical studies in the Television Department in classes such as the History of TV, 1980s TV, and Teen Television. Her research focuses on audience reception of TV; she is the author of “Beyond the Box: Television and the Internet” and co-editor of “Teen Television: Essays on Programming and Fandom.” She is also the associate editor for the International Digital Media Arts Association Journal, and on the editorial boards of Transformative Works and Cultures and Cinema Journal.

Dr. Ross always works to keep one eye on TV’s emerging trends. She is an active member of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, where she chairs the Television and New Media Interest Group, the International Digital Media Arts Association, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (where she is on the selection committee for the Archive of American Television interviews).

She has received fellowships from the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences, the International Radio and Television Society, and the National Association of Television Program Executives to support her research; in the summer of 2010 she received a prestigious invitation to attend the Television Critics Association summer press tour as part of her current research examining the development of modern teen television.

office: 600 S. Michigan, Rm. 1500
phone: (312) 369-7166
email: sross@colum.edu

Eric Scholl
Associate Professor
MFA, Film & Video, Northwestern University

Scholl teaches video production & editing, documentary, producing, and directing. He was the Critical Encounters Fellow for the year 2009/2010.

Eric is an independent documentary producer whose films and videos have won numerous awards and have been screened in festivals across the country and internationally. He has worked as a writer and producer on numerous arts and documentary television programs, for both local and national broadcast. His documentary (with co-producers Peter Kuttner & Cyndi Moran), The End of the Nightstick, about police brutality and torture in Chicago, was featured on POV, the national PBS independent showcase, in 1994. His latest documentary, It's In the Blood: Leo Abshire & the Cajun Tradition, has been screened in over 10 festivals in the United States & Canada.

office: 600 S. Michigan, Rm. 1403A
phone: (312) 369-7959
email: escholl@colum.edu
url: www.amalgamatedmediaworks.com