Alumni Filmmakers in Oscar Contention

Stay Close, a short documentary created by MFA Documentary Media graduates, was shortlisted for an Oscar—the announcement for which came on December 17. The film was directed by Shuhan Fan (G16) and Luther Clement (GC17), produced by Nevo Shinaar (GC17) and co-produced by Ashley Brandon (GC17), and featured music and sound mixing by MA in Sound Arts and Industries graduates Xiameng Summer Lin (GC17) and Lianna Squillance (GC19), respectively. Nominations will be selected from the shortlist and will be announced on January 13. The 92nd Annual Academy Awards will take place on February 9 and air live on ABC.

Contractor Named AAAS Fellow

Noshir Contractor, the Jane S. and William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Communication, the McCormick School of Engineering, and in the Kellogg School of Management, was elected in November a 2019 fellow to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest multidisciplinary science society.

"Fun Home" Brings Alumna Home

Acclaimed Broadway actress and president of the Actors Equity union, Kate Shindle (C99), will be joining us on campus for a performance of Fun Home followed by a talk-back on Friday, November 22. Shindle is the School of Communication’s 2019-20 Hope Abelson Artist-in-Residence.

Spooky Studies

The School of Communication’s innovative writing curriculum has taken a scary-good turn. The genre of horror is much more than just slasher gore—it’s an exercise in social commentary, personal reflection, and artistic expression. Students, faculty, and alumni alike thrive in the creepy, crawly, creative work.

“Aesthetic Emergency” Series

A dozen distinguished artists and scholars will be presenting their work on campus this academic year as part of a new initiative that Northwestern launches this month called Humanities on the MAP (Media, Arts, Performance). The theme for the inaugural humanities series is “Aesthetic Emergency,” and the initiative aims to examine issues of urgency and importance in our world today. School of Communication faculty have curated events for each quarter of the 2019/2020 academic year and expect to present a new theme yearly.

Meet the New Class of MFA Actors

The School of Communication welcomes this academic year our first-ever cohort of MFA in Acting students, signaling an exciting expansion of graduate curriculum. Eight talented actors from across the country comprise the brand-new class that began coursework on September 24. The actors join graduate artists in a suite of complementary MFA programs, which includes design, directing, writing, and documentary media. These programs will be housed in a forthcoming performing and media arts center in Abbott Hall on Northwestern’s campus in downtown Chicago.

Northwestern Theatre Honored

School of Communication faculty and alumni were big winners this year at the American Alliance for Theatre and Education annual conference and awards ceremony in New York City in August. AATE is the premier professional network for theatre educators.

NHSI and Neuroscience

School of Communication’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders launched this summer its first collaboration with the National High School Institute (NHSI), which brought seven Chicago-area high schoolers to campus for a free, weeklong deep dive into Neuroscience and Communication. The program aims to diversify the fields of audiology and speech-language pathology through early exposure and recruitment.

2019 Emmy Nominees

School of Communication alumni once again paint the town purple with a spate of 2019 Emmy Award nominations. Notable among them is Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has the chance to make Emmy history (again) with a win for her role as Selina Meyer in HBO’s Veep, which she also executive produces.

OTV Grant Funding

Aymar Jean Christian, associate professor in the Departments of Communication Studies and Radio/Television/Film, was awarded in June a Field Foundation of Illinois grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, honoring him as one of the 14 inaugural Leaders for a New Chicago. Christian is the founder of OTV | Open Television, a Chicago-based distribution platform for web series made by emerging intersectional artists.

2019 Convocation

During a boisterous, heartfelt, and often funny speech, producer, director, and writer Greg Berlanti (C94) addressed the School of Communication’s 2019 graduates during a historic convocation in the Welsh-Ryan Arena at Northwestern University on June 22. For the first time in recent memory, the Theatre, Radio/Television/Film, Performance Studies, Communication Studies, and Communication Sciences and Disorders students shared a joint convocation rather than being split into two smaller back-to-back ceremonies.

MSC Crisis Communication Seminar

Twenty-eight professionals from businesses and organizations across the Chicago area immersed themselves into navigating negative public relations in the Master of Science in Communication’s (MSC) inaugural Crisis Communication Seminar and Simulation on May 17 in the Frances Searle Building on the Evanston campus. The Crisis Seminar is an executive education hybrid program that culminates with a live-action simulation—a full-day exercise that gives its participants the experience of riding through an organizational crisis that is playing out on multiple public and private platforms.


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