Notable Alumni

Columbia College Chicago is proud of the alumni who have helped shape the culture of our time. Here are some of our notable alumni.


Scott Adsit – Actor (30 Rock, Big Hero 6, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Person of Interest, Veep)
Susan Alexandra '07 - Owner, Susan Alexandra Jewelry
Len Amato '75 – President, HBO Films
Ted Ansani '90 – Founding member and bassist for the band Material Issue. Also performs with Diving for Dynamite, Legendary Rockstars, Ted Ansani Project
Dan Asma '92 – Partner/Producer/Editor at Buddha Jones Trailers


Hettie Barnhill '06 – Actor, dancer, singer, choreographer. Broadway production of Fela!Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, Leap of Faith, Law and Order 
Art Baltazar '92 – Artist, writer, cartoonist (Tiny Titans, Patrick the Wolf Boy)
Orion Barnes '97 – Agent / owner, Rogers Orion Talent Agency
Peter Berkos '51 – Sound effects editor, 1976 Academy-award winner for The Hindenburg
Mark Biello '83 – Senior photojournalist, CNN, Emmy and Peabody award-winner
Jay Boersma '74 –  Columbia faculty, former Creative Director at
Andrew Bolhuis '94 – Emmy-nominated editor, Mark Burnett Productions
Jay Bonansinga MA '88 – Best-selling author (Walking Dead book series, Frozen, The Killer’s Game)
Michael Bonomo '99 - Director of Corporate Interior Design at Francis Cauffman
Karyn Bosnak '96 - Author and screenwriter (What's Your Number, 20 Times a Lady, Save Karyn)
Paul Broucek '74 – President, Music, Warner Brothers Pictures
Lana Bramlette '97 – Jewelry designer
Aidy Bryant '09 – Actress (Saturday Night Live, Girls, Broad City)
Linsey Burritt '05 – Designer and co-founder, The Indo Projects


Charles Robert Carner '78 – Director/screenwriter (Who Killed Atlanta's Children, Witless Protection)
Evrod Cassimy '06 – Reporter / Anchor, NBC Detroit
Sean Chercover '91 – Author (The Trinity GameBig City Bad Blood and Trigger City)
Hank Chilton MFA '98 – Writer / Producer (Covert Affairs, Nip/Tuck, Ringer)
Vandell Cobb '75 – Photographer, Ebony/JET Magazine
Stacey Cohen '96 - Interior architect, designer and principal of Stacey Cohen Interiors
Margi Cole '90 – Founder, The Dance COLEctive
Thomas Conradi '90 - Director of National Sales and Development at Tribune Publishing/Chicago Magazine. General Manager of Sales & Operations at Tribune Company 
Chet Coppock '71 - Veteran sports commentator, WLS Radio
Maura Corey MFA '97 – Emmy-nominated editor (Key and Peele, America's Got Talent,Teachers, Couples Therapy)
David Cromer – Theatre director, four Jeff Awards for his direction, three Lortel Awards, two Obies, two After Darks, and was named a 2010 MacArthur Fellow
Ed Curran '77 – A nine-time Emmy award winning meteorologist, CBS 2 Chicago’s Morning News


Collin Daniel '94 – Casting director (Hot In Cleveland, Superstore, The Odd Couple [TV])
Aaron Davis '04 – Director of Audio, ECTO Productions Inc. 
Cece DeStefano '94 – Production designer (Empire, Melrose Place, Alias)
Andy Dick – Actor/comedian (Road Trip, NewsRadio)
Don't Fret – Street artist, named Chicago Reader's "Street Artist of the Year"
Everett Downing – Story artist for DreamWorks Animation
Julia Dye '89 – CFO and VP of Production at Warriors, Inc.


Nick Eipers ’94 – President / Producer / Engineer at Chicago Sessions. Voting Member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (The Grammy Awards) since 1993
Jim Ellison '90 – Founding member and lead singer of Material Issue
Len Ellis '52 – Founder of Radio One Communications, member of the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame, Columbia's 2013 Alumnus of the Year


Jennifer Farrington '93 - President and CEO at Chicago Children's Museum
Mauro Fiore ’87 – Academy Award-winning cinematographer (Avatar)
Jessie Ann Foley MFA '12 - Author of The Carnival at Bray, winner of six awards including the Kirkus Review's Best Teen Books of 2014
Anna Fong '01 – Fashion Designer, The Anna Fong Collection


David Garcia-Vlasits – Emmy-nominated camera operator (Project Runway, America's Next Top Model,Top Chef, Survivor)
Paul Garnes '96 – Executive Producer, Selma. Producer at BET. Owner of Rated PG Productions
Lenny Gilmore '10 - Senior photo editor at Red Eye Chicago, art director, fine art photographer
Michael Goi '80 – Cinematographer (American Horror Story, Glee, The Mentalist). Board member, former president of American Society of Cinematographers
Andrew Gorton '00 – Senior Engineer in vibration for General Electric. Voted in the 40-under-40 list in Consulting-Specifying Engineer Magazine
Shecky Greene '47 – Comedian   
Chester Gregory '95 – Singer, Actor (Broadway productions of Tarzan, Cry Baby, Dreamgirls, Sister Act,Hairspray, Motown: The Musical), 2015 Columbia College Chicago Honorary Degree Recipient


Hal Haenel '81 – Executive Vice President and General Manager of Studio Operations, 20th Century Fox
Agnes Hamerlik '12 - Fashion designer, graduate of Macy's on State Street's Chicago Fashion Incubator
Aaron Hartline – Animator for the 2010 Academy Award-winner for Best Animated Feature Up. (Brave, Toy Story 3, Inside Out, Finding Dory)
Christopher Harvengt '85- Emmy award-winning sound editor for Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Nominated for two Motion Picture Sound Editor awards for Terra Nova. Other notable projects include Twin Peaks and Beverly Hills, 90210
Larry Heinemann '71 – Author (Close Quarters, Paco’s Story - Winner of the 1987 National Book Award for Fiction)
Kyle Heller '08 - Founder of Cinematique, a video advertising mobile app; co-founder of production company Varient
Bill Hillman MFA '13 - Author of Mozos: A Decade Running with the Bulls of Spain and The Old Neighborhood
Crystal Hodges '06 – Designer and co-founder, The Indo Projects
Isabella Hofmann '81 – Actress (Dear John [TV], Burlesque, The Flash, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend)
Erica Hubbard '99 – Actor (Let's Stay TogetherLincoln Heights, Akeelah and the Bee, The Replacements)
Brooke Hunter – On-air personality, 93.9 MY FM
Stacey Hurst MA '96 – Former Board Member of the American Dance Therapy Association


Sara Isaacson – Casting director (Scream: The TV Series, The Mentalist, Bates Motel)
Richard Izui '95 – Photographer


Pete Janos '82 – West/Midwest Region Bureau Chief, CNN
Christopher Jobson '04 - Founder, editor-in-chief of Webby-nominated blog Colossal
Dean Johnson MA '01 - Co-founder of Crossroads Academy, a tuition-free K-8 charter school in Kansas City, Mo.
Rashid Johnson '00– Photographer
Jay Johnston –Two-time Emmy-nominated actor, writer (Bob's Burgers, Sarah Silverman Program, Moral Orel, Modern Family)
Marti Jones – On-Air Talent, 94.7 WLS-FM
Jeffrey Jur '76 –  Emmy award-winning cinematographer (Bessie, Dirty Dancing, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Colony, Masters of Sex, The Mentalist, Dexter)
Eric Justen '98 - Two-time Emmy-nominated re-recording mixer (Breaking Bad, The Good Wife, The Fast and the Furious)


Janusz Kaminski '87 – Two-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,The BFG) 
Parisa Khosravi '87 – Former Senior VP of international newsgathering and global relations, CNN Worldwide
John Kilgour '92 - Emmy-nominated sound and picture editor (The World Wars, The Men Who Built America)
Steve Kmetko '08– Reporter, former host of E! News
Hilmar Koch '93 – Visual and digital effects artist (Avatar, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Chronicles of Narnia, Poseidon, Transformers, Star Trek, Star Wars the Force Awakens); 2010 Technical Achievement Award for advancing the technique of ambient occlusion rendering
Stephanie Kuehnert '03, MFA '06 – Author (Ballads of Suburbia, I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone)


Eric Lange '97 – Emmy-nominated cinematographer, former executive producer of National Geographic Channel
Frank E. Lee '78 – On-air radio personality at WXRT FM 93.1 for 35 years
Marty Lennartz '82 – Creative Assistant to Programming, on-air personality, and close, personal friend of The Regular Guy, WXRT
Josh Liss '95 – Sports director, morning sports anchor at WBBM Radio
Tod Lending '83 – Documentarian, Academy Award-nominee (Legacy)
Josefina Lopez '93 – Writer (Real Women Have Curves), 2015 Columbia College Chicago Honorary Degree Recipient


Daniel Lopez Munoz '96 – Art Director for the 2010 Academy Award-winner for Best Animated Feature: Up. Other animated films include (Robots, Ice Age:The Meltdown, Ratatouille)  
Curtis Mann MFA '11 – Photographer, 2010 Whitney Biennial
Johnny Mars – On-air radio personality, WXRT
Pablo Martinez Monsivais '94 – Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, Associated Press
Drew Matott MFA '08 – Co-director, Peace Paper Project
Kym Mazelle '12 – Dance-pop, Hi-NRG, soul, and house singer
Erin McElroy '99 – Traffic reporter, WGN Morning News
Navid McIlhargey MFA '00 – President of FilmEngine Entertainment, former Senior VP of Development at New Regency
Chris McKay '91 – Emmy-nominated producer/director/editor (Robot Chicken, The Lego Movie, Morel Orel)
Michele McMinn MFA '06 - Senior Interior Designer at Gresham, Smith and Partners
Bob McNamara '66 – Retired senior news correspondent (CBS News)
Joe Meno '97, MA '00 – Author (Office Girl, The Great Perhaps, Hairstyles of the Damned)
Sharon Mesmer '83 – Poet, author, educator (Annoying Diabetic Bitch, The Virgin Formica)
Steve Meyer '88 – Emmy-nominated senior compositor and visual effects supervisor (Spider-Man 2, Van Helsing, Blade)
Rich Mikan '88 – Daytime Emmy Award-winning editor (The Oprah Winfrey Show, American Idol)
Mary Mitchell '91 – Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times
Michelle Monaghan – Actress (True Detective, Due Date, Made of Honor)
Beth Morgan '02 – Emmy-nominated costume designer (Key and Peele, The Help, Prayers for Bobby)
Ozier Muhammad '72 – Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist


Keith Neubert '01 – Division Manager for Central and Eastern US at FBP Systems Inc.


Jimmy Odom – Founder and CEO of Chicago delivery service WeDeliver
Tom O’Keefe '86  – Founder, CEO of O'Keefe Reinhard & Paul advertising agency
Patrick O’Neill – Screenwriter, producer 
Michael Orlove MA '98 – Director of Artist Communities, Presenting & Multidisciplinary Works and International Activities Coordinator for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
Carlos Javier Ortiz – Photojournalist
Nobuko Oyabu '95 – Photojournalist, Project STAND


Anita Padilla '91 – Reporter, FOX Chicago  
Alen Petkovic '97 – Emmy-nominated producer/creative director
Joe Peyronnin '70 – Founder, former executive VP of Telemundo Network News. Former VP at CBS News
Bill Phillips '72 – VP of Original Productions, Turner Broadcasting
Steve Pink – Director, writer, producer (Hot Tub Time Machine, co-producer, Grosse Pointe Blank, High Fidelity)
Tonya Pinkins '96 – Tony Award-winning actress (Jelly's Last Jam, All My Children, Army Wives, Enchanted, Gotham [TV])
Melissa Pinney '77 – Photographer, Guggenheim-award winner
Fred Pienkos '96 – Visual effects supervisor (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, NCIS, Spider-Man 3)
Brian Posen '90 - Actor, director, artistic director at Stage 773, adjunct faculty member in Theatre at Columbia College Chicago
Mark Protosevich '83 – Screenwriter (ThorI Am Legend, Thor, Poseidon, The Cell)


Aidan Quinn – Emmy-nominated actor (Elementary, Weeds, Legends of the Fall)
Declan Quinn '79 – Cinematographer (Rachel Getting Married, Leaving Las Vegas, In America, Pride and Glory, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Get Rich or Die Tryin)


Fred Rapport '87 - Composer (Nickelodeon, NBC, CBS, ABC, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros.) 
Iliana Regan
- James Beard Award-winning owner and head chef at Michelin-starred restaurant Elizabeth
Rob Renzetti – Emmy-winning executive producer/director/writer (Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Dexter's Labratory)
Dean Richards '76 – Entertainment reporter, WGN-TV, WGN-Radio, Chicago Tribune
Andy Richter – Writer, actor, announcer (Conan)


Pat Sajak – Host (Wheel of Fortune)
Peter Schlesinger '59 – Producer and former governor, Television Academy of Arts and Sciences; 18-time Emmy award-winner
Earl Sewell '12 – Best-selling author (Kimani Tru series)
Anna D. Shapiro '90 - Incoming artistic director for Steppenwolf Theatre, associate artist at Northwestern University
Therese Sherman '90 – Emmy-nominated cinematographer (Wipeout, Fear Factor, Little Man)
Nana Shineflug MA '86 – Owner, The Chicago Moving Company
J.D. Sievertson '93 – Emmy-nominated editor (Survivor, Swamp People)
Bob Sirott '71 – Radio host, WGN-AM Chicago
Dino Stamatopoulos – Writer/creator (Morel Orel, Mary Shelley's Frankenhole)
Mark Stegemann '96 – Emmy-nominated writer/producer (Community, Raising Hope, Scrubs)
Shannon Lengerich Suffoletto MA '02, GLCMA '07, MPAC '13 – Director of Health Promotion and Wellness at DePaul University


Genndy Tartakovsky – Creator, animator (Samurai Jack, Powerpuff Girls, Dexter's Laboratory)
Bob Teitel '90 – Producer (Men of Honor, Barbershop, Notorious)
Chris L. Terry MFA '12 - Author, Zero Fade
Peter Teschner – Editor (Borat, Dodgeball, Charlie's Angels)
Ruth Thorne-Thomsen '74 – Photographer
Kirkland Tibbels '05 – Founder, Funny Boy Films; producer (Adam & Steve, Cloud 9)
Annie Tighe MFA '02 – Emmy-winning editor (Top Chef, Project Runway)
George Tillman Jr. '91 – Director, producer (Men of Honor, Barbershop, Notorious,The Longest Ride, Faster, Roll Bounce, Beauty Shop, Soul Food [TV], Barbershop: The Next Cut)
David Tuber '05 – Storyboard artist (Robot Chicken, BoJack Horseman)


Pepe Vargas '85 – Founder and executive director at International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, presenter of the Chicago Latino Film Festival
Roz Varon '80 – Emmy award-winning Traffic Anchor, ABC 7
Nadine Velazquez '01 – Actress (The League, My Name is Earl, Flight)
Eduardo Vilaro MA '99 – Artistic Director, Ballet Hispanico; Founder, Luna Negra Dance Company


Lena Waithe '06 - Writer/actress/producer/creator (Dear White People, Bones, The Comeback, Master of None)
Frank Waln '14 - Rapper and activist
Ron Walters, Jr. '97 – Emmy-nominated music director
Nan Warshaw MA '93 – Founder and co-owner, Bloodshot Records
Erica Watson '98, MA '05 – Actress (Dirty Laundry, Precious, Empire, Top Five, Chi-Raq), comedienne, writer (Fat Bitch!)
Ron Weiner '52 – Three-time Emmy award-winning director of The Phil Donahue Show
Marlon West '85 – Effects supervisor and animator, Walt Disney Animation Studios (The Lion King, Pocahontas, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, The Princess and the Frog, Frozen)
Sam Weller '90, MA '01 – Author/biographer, The Bradbury Chronicles
Diane Weyermann MFA '92 -  Oscar-winning Executive Vice President of Documentary Film, Participant Media (An Inconvenient Truth, Waiting for Superman)
Jim Williams '86 - Anchor/Reporter, CBS WBBM-TV Chicago
Annick Wolkan ’05 – Associate Producer (Game of Thrones)


GeLing Yan MFA '99 – Author (The Banquet Bug, 13 Flowers of Nanjing)
Melisa Young a.k.a. “Kid Sister” '04 – Recording artist

Fred Rapoport ’87, Composer (Nickelodeon, NBC, Disney)

My ColumAlum

Hey, Colum Alums! Log in to gain access to exclusive content and functionality, like Class Notes, subscription management and plenty more.

Claim Your Account