Go to Content
Columbia College Chicago
Meet the CAC Staff
group_header.jpg
Print this PageEmail this Page

Meet the College Advising Center Staff

Find your major, find your advisor. Simple. Want to know more? Read our bios.

Advertising Art Direction
Karen Smith, 312 369 7646, ksmith@colum.edu 

Art + Design -General (BA) & Art History
Brian Ritchard, 312 369 7734, britchard@colum.edu

Art & Materials Conservation
Keith Lusson, Associate Director, 312 369 7283, klusson@colum.edu

Arts Management concentrations listed below

Music Business Management, Performing Arts Management
Damýen Davis, 312 369 7762, ddavis@colum.edu

Arts Management, Advanced Management, International Management, Media Management, Visual Arts Management, Sports Management
Lauren Targ, Assistant Director, 312 369 8626, ltarg@colum.edu 

ASL - English Interpretation
Keith Lusson, Associate Director, 312 369 7283, klusson@colum.edu

Audio Arts & Acoustics
J. Wayne Tukes, 312 369 7648, wtukes@colum.edu

Cinema Art + Science concentrations listed below:

Film - General BA
Please check your Academic Record on OASIS to see which college advisor you have been assigned.

Alternative Forms, Cinematography, Directing
Ritch Barnes, 312 369 7932, rbarnes@colum.edu

Animation, Documentary, Post-Production, Sound-Cinema
Kamillah Ong, 312 369 3233, kong@colum.edu

Cinema Studies, Producing, Screenwriting
Please contact our Front Desk via phone: 312-369-7645 or email: collegeadvising@colum.edu

Creative Writing (Creative Nonfiction, Fiction Writing, and Poetry) 
Lauren Targ, Assistant Director, 312 369 8626, ltarg@colum.edu 

Cultural Studies
Keith Lusson, Associate Director, 312 369 7283, klusson@colum.edu

Dance
Kate Neiss, Coordinator of First Year Programs, 312 369 7554, kneiss@colum.edu

Early Childhood Education
Keith Lusson, Associate Director, 312 369 7283, klusson@colum.edu

Fashion Business/Fashion Design
Jessica Horwitz, 312 369 7801, jhorwitz@colum.edu

Fine Art
Brian Ritchard, 312 369 7734, britchard@colum.edu

Game Design
Scott Snider, 312 369 7372,  ssnider@colum.edu 

Graphic Design
Karen Smith, 312 369 7646, ksmith@colum.edu

Illustration
Brian Ritchard, 312 369 7734, britchard@colum.edu

Interactive Arts & Media
Scott Snider, 312 369 7372,  ssnider@colum.edu 

Interdisciplinary
Janet Talbot, Associate Director, 312 369 7649, jtalbot@colum.edu

Interior Architecture
Bob Blinn, 312 369 7929, bblinn@colum.edu
Visit Bob's College Advising site.

Journalism
Paula Brien, 312 369 7935, pbrien@colum.edu Visit Paula's Journalism Advising site.

Marketing Communication
Rachel Smith Horton, Coordinator of Campus Outreach, 312 369 7621, rhorton@colum.edu

Music
Bob Blinn, 312 369 7929, bblinn@colum.edu Visit Bob's College Advising site.

Playwriting
Lauren Targ, Assistant Director, 312 369 8626, ltarg@colum.edu

Photography
Mary Rachel Fanning, Coordinator of Online Communications, 312 369 7344, mfanning@colum.edu 

Product Design
Brian Ritchard, 312 369 7734, britchard@colum.edu

Radio
Kate Neiss, Coordinator of First Year Programs, 312 369 7554, kneiss@colum.edu

Television
Kate Neiss, Coordinator of First Year Programs, 312 369 7554, kneiss@colum.edu

Theatre (including Musical Theatre)
Will Casey, 312 369 8623, wcasey@colum.edu

Undeclared
Janet Talbot, Associate Director, 312 369 7649, jtalbot@colum.edu

Other Staff:

Brian Marth, Director of College Advising, 312 369 7933, bmarth@colum.edu

Josalyn Knapic, Administrative Assistant/Receptionist, 312 369 7645, collegeadvising@colum.edu

Bios:

Bob Blinn

Bob Blinn

Bob is a filmmaker, fine artist, songwriter, musician and music producer. Although Bob enjoys discussing academic issues with students, he equally enjoys sharing real-life information regarding careers (information that works).  Visit his office during your first semester to discuss your major in the arts and your plan for a successful career.

312 369 7929, bblinn@colum.edu Visit Bob's College Advising site.

Music 

 

brian ritchard

Brian Ritchard

As an Art + Design advisor, Brian can help you with academic planning, career outcomes and all kinds of specific trouble-shooting.  And because he has taught extensively in A+D, he can give students insight about course expectations and portfolio development as well.  Set up a meeting with Brian to plot your next move at Columbia and beyond.

312 369 7734, britchard@colum.edu

Art + Design: Art History, Fine Art, Illustration & Product Design

 

 

 

 

Damyen Davis

Damyen Davis

Damyen Davis, advisor to Arts Management students, can not only give you great advice but may also be willing to discuss a little astrology with you too. Damyen is here to help you gain a greater understanding of Columbia College while pursuing the unique talents and passions that brought you here. Tell him your passions and he will guide you on your way. And, hey, might as well let him in on your sign too. 

312 369 7762, ddavis@colum.edu

Arts Management: Music Business and Live & Performing Arts Management

 

 

Janet Talbot

Janet Talbot

For all you undeclared majors or anyone interested in going the interdisciplinary route, Janet Talbot is the lady to see. As a painter with an interest in various art forms, Janet will help you explore your interests, find where your passion lies, and ensure that you are doing what you love here at Columbia- and enjoying every minute of it. 

312 369 7649, jtalbot@colum.edu

Interdisciplinary & Undeclared, Associate Director


 

Jessica Horwitz

Jessica Horwitz

As the college advisor for Fashion Studies students, Jessica is continuously awed by the talent and commitment her students exhibit. She is passionate about helping her students reach their full potential while at Columbia. When not advising her students, Jessica likes to spend time reading, doing crossword puzzles, and trying new restaurants throughout the city. She is excited to welcome you to Columbia and looks forward to getting to know you.

312 369 7801, jhorwitz@colum.edu

Fashion Studies

 

 

Kamillah Ong

Kamillah Ong

Kamillah is one of the college advisors for Film & Video students.  After earning a bachelor’s degree in English from DePaul and a master’s degree in higher education from Loyola University, she’s spent years studying, working, dreaming and exploring in Chicago.  She strongly believes college is a catalyst, an opportunity to challenge yourself to discover what you love and what you do well, and define how you will use your creativity to impact your community.  Her favorite part of her job is helping students figure out how to do that and more.

312 369 3233, kong@colum.edu

Cinema Art + Science: Animation, Documentary, Post-Production, Sound-Cinema

 

 

Karen Smith

Karen Smith

Karen Smith, advisor to Advertising Art Direction and Graphic Design students, is sure she knows the best pizza places in Chicago. With a city known for its slice, that’s saying something. Karen is constantly involved in the city- whether it’s going to concerts and plays or cheering on the Bears win or lose (like a true Chicagoan does.) Karen is awed by the talent of her students and is quite confidant she’s seen some of the best art directors and graphic artists walk through her door. 

312 369 7646, ksmith@colum.edu

Art + Design: Advertising Art Direction, Graphic Design, Visual Design Studies

 

 

Kate Neiss

Kate Neiss

Kate Neiss hails from Seward, Nebraska and has lived in Chicago for 8 years. She feels equally at home in this concrete jungle as she does in the open land of the Husker state. Kate studied Radio and Television with a minor in Dance from Valparaiso University in Indiana and thinks it’s pretty awesome those are the majors she now advises at Columbia! It’s not a surprise that So You Think You Can Dance is one of her favorite TV shows. Kate has a passion for helping students navigate their college experience and take advantage of all the incredible opportunities around them to achieve their goals. She especially enjoys watching all the new freshmen make friends and get involved on campus. In her spare time, Kate’s busy with her growing family. She’s happy to show you pictures if you like cute kids.  

312 369 7554, kneiss@colum.edu 

Dance, Radio, & Television.

 

 

Keith Lusson

Keith Lusson

Liberal Arts & Sciences Advisor, Keith Lusson, reads U.S. History, and teaches it, too.  He also digs hoops, golf, and perhaps most ironically—a good musical.  Keith looks forward to helping you explore, find, and articulate your passion, and enjoying it along the way.

312 369 7283, klusson@colum.edu

Art and Materials Conservation, ASL - English Interpretation, Cultural Studies, & Early Childhood Education, Associate Director

 

 

Lauren Targ

Lauren Targ

Lauren is the quintessential collaborator. She has worked in theatre and film as an actor, director, and writer, and, most recently, has co-authored a book.  As an interdisciplinary artist whose passion is nurturing students, Lauren understands what her students are going through as they build good lives in the arts.  Stop in the College Advising Center to see her, and share your vision of your future. You can work with her on making it a reality.

312 369 8626, ltarg@colum.edu

Creative Nonfiction, Fiction Writing, Poetry, Arts Management, Advanced Management, International Management, Media Management, Visual Arts Management, & Sports ManagementAssistant Director

 

Mary Rachel Fanning

Mary Rachel Fanning

Mary Rachel Fanning understands what it is like to see life in pictures. The advisor to Photography students, Mary Rachel is constantly working on her own work and finding ways to aid students in theirs. A self-proclaimed “tech geek” Mary Rachel can navigate iTunes like a wizard and take a photo on her phone fit to rival your Canon’s.

312 369 7344, mfanning@colum.edu 

Photography

 

 

Paula Brien

Paula Brien

Paula has had two careers -- as a journalist and as a college advisor to journalism students. Both are rooted in a similar, and critical, set of skills: understanding the audience, asking the right questions, and finding the best answers. Paula is your source, from what classes to take to what connections to make.

312 369 7935, pbrien@colum.edu. Visit Paula's Journalism Advising site.

Journalism

 

 

Rachel Horton Smith

Rachel Horton Smith

Rachel Horton is the advisor for Marketing Communication students. When not giving you advice (and keeping you sane), she’s probably out writing poetry. Rachel describes her students as some of the most interesting, and well rounded people she knows. With compliments like that, why wouldn’t you want to see her? 

312 369 7621, rhorton@colum.edu

Marketing Communication

 

Ritch Barnes

Ritch Barnes

Ritch Barnes is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago in Film & Video.  He has worked on several Hollywood features, and he is a passionate poet and fiction writer.   Ritch enjoys meeting with his film students to share his knowledge and to hear their creative stories. According to Ritch, he lives in the best of both worlds because he can help young people find their dreams, while he pursues his own. Stop by the CAC and don’t hesitate to tell Ritch your story (or stories). 

312 369 7932, rbarnes@colum.edu

Cinema Art + Science: Alternative Forms, Cinematography, Directing

 

 

Wayne Tukes

Wayne Tukes

J. Wayne Tukes believes in the power of music to enhance one’s quality for life and provide fulfillment. When not advising his Audio Arts & Acoustics students, J. Wayne can be found peacefully fishing, reading, or writing. Stop by to see J. Wayne and he will gladly share his passion and expertise with you.

312 369 7648, wtukes@colum.edu

Audio Arts & Acoustics

 

 

Will Casey

Will Casey

Will Casey is a fellow lover of the theatre, and after many years as a professional actor, has the connections and insight that will guide you on your way to a life on stage. He’s also a wiz at the bbq (with a dry rub that will knock your socks off) and will be more than happy to help you find that killer monologue you’ve been looking for (and also give you a great toast, just in case.) 

312 369 8623, wcasey@colum.edu

Theatre

 

 


Other Staff:

Brian Marth

Brian Marth

Bio coming soon!

312 369 7933, bmarth@colum.edu

Director of College Advising

 

Josalyn Knapic

Bio coming soon!

312 369 7645 

collegeadvising@colum.edu

Administrative Assistant/Receptionist