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Faculty Win Prestigious Fellowships


Photos: Jacob Boll (BA '12) and Jonathan Mathias (BFA '10)

Columbia College professors continue to shine in their fields, winning fellowships and bringing their expertise back to the classroom. Dominic Pacyga, professor in the Humanities, History, and Social Sciences Department, received a Fulbright Fellowship to teach at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, for the 2013-14 academic year, where he’s focusing on American and Chicago history. He joins the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora as a guest faculty member, bringing Windy City expertise that comes from working on five books about Chicago history.

Marcos Balter, director of composition studies in the Music Department, earned a Guggenheim Fellowship by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a program designed to support exceptional artists, scholars, writers, and scientists. Balter composes for a variety of instruments, and he plans to use this opportunity to take a year off from teaching to focus on his music.

2012 Annual Report Pays Tribute to Carter, Turner


Photos: Jacob Boll (BA '12) and Jonathan Mathias (BFA '10)

The 2012 Annual Report, Leading Change, celebrates the 13-year tenure of President Warrick L. Carter, who retired in June. The report recounts Columbia’s major achievements between 2000 and 2013, using an interactive timeline and videos starring faculty and staff produced by Columbia students, alumni, and staff. The report also recognizes Allen M. Turner’s eight years of service as chairman of the Board of Trustees. Features on Carter and Turner, as well as information on enrollment, stewardship, and donors, can be found on the report.

Open Doors Gala Set for November 9

The Open Doors Gala 2013 will take place on November 9 at Columbia College Chicago’s Media Production Center at 16th and State streets. Proceeds from the signature fall fundraising event will benefit the Chicago Open Doors Scholarship, which helps Chicago Public Schools’ graduates to attend Columbia. For more information, contact Brent Caburnay at bcaburnay@colum.edu or 312.369.8188.

Columbia Named a Top Film School

In its August 9 edition, The Hollywood Reporter named Columbia College Chicago one of the top 25 film schools in North America. This is Columbia College’s second consecutive year on the list, ranking in at number 14.

Howard Mendelsohn Gives Back to his Alma Mater


By Megan Kirby

In the course of his colorful career, Howard Mendelsohn (BA ’49) went from announcing the National Roller Derby to starting his own public relations consulting firm, Mendelsohn & Company. He’s stayed close with his alma mater, serving on the Columbia College Chicago Board of Trustees for more than 20 years. In 2007, he began the Howard Mendelsohn Scholar of Merit Award, which financially supports students concentrating in public relations.

Q: Why did you come to Columbia College?
Howard Mendelsohn: I went to Columbia because I knew I wanted to be in broadcasting. They got me a job in radio in Redwing, Minnesota. While I was up there, a [Columbia] friend called me and said he had joined the Roller Derby as an announcer. He said, “Why don’t you come with us when your gig is up at the station?”

Q: How did you become involved with charity work?
HM: I never took the time to get married. I was working all the time, and I really loved the work. I could have never done the things I did if I had a wife and family. I worked at night and weekends and holidays. I always worked when everyone else was playing. So I got into charity work and raising funds.

Q: How did you start the Howard Mendelsohn Scholar of Merit award?
HM: I made a few investments with a friend named Richard Melman, who runs Lettuce Entertain You restaurants. He was my client—I started with him in 1971 at his first restaurant. So the money that I was getting as a result of these investments, I turned over to Columbia and started my own scholarship fund in PR.

Q: What do you hope for students who receive your scholarship?
HM: I hope for those students what I hope for all our students: that they have a successful career doing what they want to do. I know how tough it is today, but if you hang in there, in the PR business, some good things are happening. We didn’t call it networking in my day, but that’s what it is. The more people you know, the easier it is to do your work.

Did You Know?


The Papermaker’s Garden, located at Wabash Ave. and 8th St., adds more than just a little color to the South Loop—it involves Center for Book & Paper Arts students in every step of the papermaking process. Papermaking plants need to be high in cellulose, so initial inhabitants include sunflowers, daffodils, decorative grasses, and even some common weeds. With the grand opening in September, the garden plans to keep growing.

Students Sing the Blues

From July 15-19, students from across the country, ages 12 to 18, gathered at Columbia College Chicago for Blues Camp, a free camp for teen and tween musicians that teaches about the origins of the blues and how to play blues music. Fernando Jones, faculty member in the Music Department, founded the camp in 2010.

Fashion Students Reinvent Retail

Over the summer, eight students from the Fashion Studies Department spent a week giving a local boutique in Northport, Michigan, a retail “facelift” for their Visual Merchandising Immersion Class. The students took the store owner’s vision, executed the plan, and learned how to work together. Said one student: “Because of this, we were able to get a unique experience that, in my case, will be discussed at all of my future job interviews.”

Columbia Chronicle Takes First Place

The Columbia Chronicle won first place in the 2012 Mark of Excellence Awards for Best All-Around Non Daily Student Newspaper by the Society of Professional Journalists. The Mark of Excellence Award is a national recognition available to first-place category winners from the Society of Professional Journalists’ 12 regions.