Fall 2010 / Spring 2011

Photo: Danielle Aquiline (MFA '06)
Photo: Danielle Aquiline (MFA '06)

"While it’s true Columbia is an innovator in the visual, performing, media, and communication arts, our college’s commitment to providing a broad and rigorous liberal education to our undergraduate students is, in many ways, the core of who we are as an institution."
-Dr. Holdstein, Dean, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

A Message From the Dean

The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) and its central importance to an education at Columbia College Chicago—with its host of LAS majors, minors, programs, concentrations, and the LAS Core Curriculum—are reasonably well known and appreciated. I use the word “reasonably” because not everyone knows who we are, what we do, and for whom.

While it’s true Columbia is an innovator in the visual, performing, media, and communication arts, our college’s commitment to providing a broad and rigorous liberal education to our undergraduate students is, in many ways, the core of who we are as an institution.

Indeed, every undergraduate student at Columbia College Chicago is a student of the School of LAS, and it’s our privilege to provide these budding artists and communicators with the intellectual and creative capacity to succeed in whichever field they choose to pursue, be it dance, cultural studies, education, photography, film, marketing, game design—any of the incredible degrees offered here. We take this responsibility very seriously.

And yet the School of LAS remains one of Columbia College Chicago’s best-kept secrets. Not many know that, in 1993, our Department of ASL-English Interpretation became the first in Illinois to offer a BA in American Sign Language. Not many know that, as of Fall 2011, our Department of Science and Mathematics is launching what will be the country’s third undergraduate Art and Materials Conservation program, and the first in the Midwest.

When you compile these facts with the numerous awards our faculty members win annually; the countless full- and part-time instructors in our School who are renowned in their respective fields; the students in our departments who have compelling life stories and create substantive, intellectually creative work; and the untold number of alumni who’ve become leaders in academe, in their communities, and in their fields, the School of LAS has much to showcase and much of which to be proud.

So, whether you know a lot about us or just a little, welcome to the first issue of @LAS (pronounced At L-A-S), an annual magazine of, from, and about the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Columbia College Chicago. In the pages that follow, you’ll read profiles of faculty, alumni, and students; you’ll read feature stories about our newly created Honors Program and the aforementioned—and forthcoming—major in Art and Materials Conservation; you’ll read news about our departments and accomplishments of our faculty; and you’ll see student work, photo essays, and more.

With each passing academic year, the School of LAS at Columbia grows in stature, numbers of students, programs, faculty, initiatives, and scholarships. It’s my intention to use @LAS to showcase these accomplishments and to tell stories that best illustrate our commitment to supporting Columbia’s students as they become engaged, successful, and educationally well-rounded citizens, for that’s who we are, and that’s what we do.

Deborah H. Holdstein, PhD
Dean, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences