Notable achievements from the college community

Terri Hemmert (Radio)—pictured with the Ramones in the 1970s—celebrated 40 years as DJ at WXRT in 2013. Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared Dec. 18 “Terri Hemmert Day in Chicago.”

Michelle Barreras and Mary Quest (Education) presented “Enhancing Story-telling with Technology” in October 2013 at the National Progressive Education Network Conference in Los Angeles. Their presentation showed how storytelling builds developmental skills and provides room for creativity.

Molly Beestrum, Amy Wainwright (Library) and Kerri Willette won a People’s Choice Award for their presentation, “When Social Media Fails to Inspire: Transforming your Library’s Social Media Presence,” at the Association for College and Research Libraries 2013 Conference in Indianapolis. Awards were selected by conference attendees.

David W. Berner (Radio) won the 2013 Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year Award in the category of nontraditional nonfiction for his memoir, Any Road Will Take You There: A Journey of Fathers and Sons.

Kristy Bowen (MFA ’07, Library) released three books in 2013, including a short chapbook of prose, fragments, beautiful, sinister; a longer prose collection, the shared properties of water and stars; and a full-length book of poems, girl show.

Charles Cannon (Science + Mathematics) was named a 2013 fellow for the American Chemical Society. He joined a distinguished list of 96 scientists who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the chemistry field.

Jessica Cochran (Book + Paper Center) and Melissa Potter (Interdisciplinary Arts) received a 2013 Craft Research Fund grant for Social Paper, an exhibition and catalog charting the evolution of the art of hand papermaking with special attention to craft, labor, community and site specificity.

Peter Cook (ASL-English Interpretation) recently taught poetry workshops throughout Eastern Europe and completed a weeklong residency in the Department of Linguistics at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, Italy.

Kevin Cooper’s (Cinema Art + Science) film The Painter, which was shot by Columbia faculty members and students in the Media Production Center, won the Illinois Film Office Shortcuts competition.

Pamela Dittmer McKuen (Journalism, First-Year Seminar) co-authored a fashion guide for girls, Expressionista: How to Express Your True Self Through (and Despite) Fashion, with Jackie Walker (wife of Music chair Richard Dunscomb).

Laura Downey (Creative Arts Therapies) won an Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2013 American Dance Therapy Association conference.

David Flatley (Center for Community Arts Partnerships) was chosen to participate as one of 50 leaders in the National Arts Strategies’ Chief Executive Program.

Linda Fortunato (Theatre) received a 2013 Jefferson Award in choreography for the production of 42nd Street at Theatre at the Center in Munster, Ind.

Patrick Friel (Cinema Art + Science) programmed and presented the 25th Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival Sept. 6–7, 2013.

Craig Gore (BA ’99, Cinema Art + Science) is a writer for the NBC series Chicago P.D.

Deborah H. Holdstein’s (School of Liberal Arts + Sciences) book Who Says? The Writer’s Research was published in December 2013 by Oxford University Press.

Darrell Jones (Dance) won the juried Bessie Award for Choreography for his work “Hoo-Ha (for your eyes only).”

Megan Kirby (Institutional Marketing and Communications) won first place in the Luminarts Cultural Foundation’s fiction contest, sponsored by the Union League Club of Chicago. Her short story, “Your Very Flesh,” appeared in 2013’s Luminarts Review.

April Langworthy (Center for Community Arts Partnerships, Cinema Art + Science) was honored by the Federation for Community Schools in Illinois as a partner agency leader because of her demonstrated effectiveness in spearheading the CCAP’s Community Schools program for 11 years.

Laurie Lawlor’s (Creative Writing) biography, Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World, was one of 40 titles selected for Macy’s 2013-14 Multicultural Collection of Children’s Literature and will be distributed to thousands of students across the country.

Elio Leturia (Journalism) received the 2013 Dee Sarelas Service Award from the Fulbright Association.

Charles Matlock (Radio) was featured on “DJ Sessions: The Story Behind Chicago House” on 90.9 WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, todiscuss the evolution of the house music genre and its Chicago roots.

Vaun Monroe’s (Cinema Art + Science) production of Ceremonies in Dark Old Men won best actor, best supporting actress, bestsupporting actor, best director and best production at the Black Theater Alliance Awards in October 2013.

Nami Mun (Creative Writing) received National Runaway Safeline’s Spirit of Youth Award for her work to keep homeless youth off the streets.

Betsy Odom’s (Art + Design) exhibit Bulldog, which consists of three-dimensional objects made from a variety of materials using techniques like sewing and woodworking, was the debut exhibit for DEMO Project, a
contemporary and experimental art gallery in Springfield, Ill.

Pan Papacosta (Science + Mathematics) participated in the World Innovation Summit for Education in October 2013 in Doha, Qatar. The event hosted more than 1,200 international leaders in education, politics and the corporate sphere to discuss growth in education.

Samuel Park (Creative Writing, English) was named one of the Best Local Authors in Chicago by CBS Chicago, along with Audrey Niffenegger (Creative Writing). Park’s work This Burns My Heart was chosen as a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus Reviews, Amazon, and BookPage.

Nancy Rampson (Institutional Advancement) was elected president of the newly formed South Loop Toastmasters Club. She and Chris Skrundz also won third prize for the film How Many Stars in the Traverse City Film Festival Bumper Film Contest.

Christine Rice (Creative Writing) won first place in the In Print Professional Writers Organization Fiction Writing Contest for her piece “The Art of Breaking Away.”

Brendan Riley (English) was appointed executive director of operations for the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association. Riley will manage financial, communications and administrative efforts.

Michel Rodriguez (Dance) received a 3Arts award in October 2013. 3Arts promotes diversity in the arts by awarding $15,000 to notable female artists, artists of color and artists with disabilities.

Sheila Solomon (Journalism) was chosen as a recipient of the 2014 Ida B. Wells Award by the National Association of Black Journalists and the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University.

Cyn Vargas (MFA ’13, Alumni Relations) won the Guild Literary Complex Prose Award in Fiction for her short story “That Girl.” Vargas also was accepted into the Ragdale residency program for the 2014 Winter/Spring session.

John H. White (Photography) received the 2013 Lucie Award, one of photography’s highest honors, in an Oct. 27 event at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Etta Worthington (Television) produced the short film Hatboxes, which was screened at the We Like ’Em Short Film Festival in Oregon, and at the Chicago International REEL Shorts Film Festival, where it won an audience award and best director award. Hatboxes also screened at the Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

In Memoriam

Jane Ann Ganet-Sigel, founder of the Dance/Movement Therapy Department at Columbia College Chicago (now the Department of Creative Arts Therapies), passed away at age 87 on Jan. 27. Ganet-Sigel founded the only Midwest graduate program in dance/movement therapy, which began in 1982. She chaired the department until her retirement in 1998.

Ronn Pitts (Cinema Art + Science) passed away Sept. 22, 2013. Throughout his career, Pitts challenged and broke color barriers. He documented history with his camera, from the death of gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk to a behind-the-scenes look at Muhammad Ali preparing for a fight. Pitts’ legacy will live on through the Ronn Pitts Scholarship Fund.

Peter Radke, former head bursar, passed away on Dec. 20, 2013. Radke graduated from Columbia as class valedictorian in 1981 and started working at the college part time, eventually becoming the head bursar, helping students with their financial accounts.