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 HDR '17 – 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 '10 – 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)
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 Rapoport '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


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