Staff

Get to know your college advisors! Use the list below or skip ahead and read our bios.

 
Advisors listed by major
Art & Materials Conservation  Keith Lusson 312-369-7283 klusson@colum.edu 
Art and Art History  Brian Ritchard 312-369-7734 britchard@colum.edu
ASL & English Interpretation  Keith Lusson  312-369-7283 klusson@colum.edu 
Audio Arts & Acoustics Kamillah Ong  312-369-3233 kong@colum.edu
Business & Entrepreneurship (Music Business, Marketing, Live & Performing Arts)  Bess Fuentes  312.369-7929 efuentes@colum.edu
Business & Entrepreneurship (Arts Management, Advanced, Design, International, Media, Sports, Visual Arts) Brian Ritchard 312-369-7734 britchard@colum.edu
Cinema Art + Science Jill Sultz 312-369-7372 jsultz@colum.edu
Cinema Art + Science Gabby McCadd 312-369-7648 gmccadd@colum.edu
Cinema Art + Science (Animation) Kamillah Ong  312-369-3233 kong@colum.edu
CMI - Advertising  Jeff Howard  312-369-7762 jhoward@colum.edu
CMI - Multimedia Journalism  Jeff Howard  312-369-7762 jhoward@colum.edu
CMI - Public Relations  Jeff Howard  312-369-7762 jhoward@colum.edu
Creative Writing  Lauren Targ 312-369-8626 ltarg@colum.edu
Cultural Studies Keith Lusson  312-369-7283 klusson@colum.edu 
Dance  Sneha Reddy  312-369-7554 sreddy@colum.edu
Design (Graphic Design, Advertising Art Direction) Karen Smith 312-369-7646 ksmith@colum.edu
Design (Interior Architecture, Illustration) Erin Mallory  312-369-7649 emallory@colum.edu
Education  Keith Lusson  312-369-7283 klusson@colum.edu 
Fashion Studies  Jessica Horwitz 312-369-7801 jhorwitz@colum.edu
Harrington Students Erin Mallory  312-369-7649 emallory@colum.edu
Interactive Arts & Media  Lauren Targ 312-369-8626 ltarg@colum.edu
Interdisciplinary Major  Keith Lusson  312-369-7283 klusson@colum.edu 
Music Ritch Barnes  312-369-7932 rbarnes@colum.edu
Photography Sneha Reddy  312-369-7554 sreddy@colum.edu
Radio Paula Brien  312-369-7935 pbrien@colum.edu
Television  Paula Brien  312-369-7935 pbrien@colum.edu
Theatre Will Casey 312-369-8623 wcasey@colum.edu

Bios:

bess

Bess Fuertes


Bess Fuertes is thrilled to have recently joined the College Advising Center. Her background in art history is conducive to situating your artistic practice and scholastic inquiry within a wider, globalized context. As a first-generation college student, she is keenly aware of the challenges related to navigating higher education. Bess loves a good “dad” joke, so please stop by if you have one to share. In the meantime, what did the zero say to the eight? Nice belt!

College Advisor, 312-369-7929, efuertes@colum.edu

Business & Entrepreneurship (Music Business, Marketing, Live & Performing Arts

brian marth

Brian Marth

 

Brian Marth started at Columbia in 2000 and since that time he has worked in several positions in advising for the College. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and his Master of Arts in Student Development in Higher Education from The University of Iowa. After several years at Columbia, his favorite part of the position is still working one-on-one with students. When he is not at Columbia, he spends the majority of his time journaling, exercising, or dancing with his wife and two daughters. 

Assistant Provost of Academic Services, 312-369-7933, bmarth@colum.edu

brian r

Brian Ritchard

 

Brian is a painter, curator, advisor and educator with over twenty years of experience working in the art world and at Columbia.  He can help you to pick the best degree program at Columbia and to get it completed on time and on budget.  Portfolio development, career outcomes and academic planning are all a part of the discussion.  Set up a meeting with Brian to plot your next move at Columbia and beyond.

College Advisor, 312-369-7734, britchard@colum.edu

Art and Art History, Business & Entrepreneurship (Arts Management, Advanced, Design, International, Media, Sports, Visual Arts)

erin

Erin Mallory

 

Erin Mallory has been advising students at the college level in various design disciplines for over 7 years.  She recently joined Columbia as the College Advisor to Illustration and Interior Architecture students.  Prior to her career in higher education she worked as a Visual Merchandiser in Chicago arranging window displays and in-store displays.  She describes herself as a design enthusiast and enjoys being surrounded by creative people.  In her spare time she enjoys walking along the lake, going to the zoo and eating cookies.

College Advisor, 312-369-7649, emallory@colum.edu

Design (Interior Architecture, Illustration), Harrington transfers

gabby

Gabby McCadd

 

Gabby is the advisor to Cinema Art + Science students. She is a coffee connoisseur and loves all things art & entertainment. She is also an avid reader, writer and movie enthusiast. One of her favorite mantras is “Good things come to those who hustle.”  You’re here at Columbia because of your talent & passion, but a strong work ethic coupled with your education and training will make you go the distance. Gabby is looking forward to helping you build a successful road map to your academic and professional goals!

College Advisor, 312-369-7648, gmccadd@colum.edu

Cinema Art + Science

jeff

Jeff Howard

 

Jeff Howard joins Columbia with a background in advertising and diversity work. Jeff worked for over five years in advertising and communications for the Chicago Transit Authority and Loyola University Chicago. He most recently served as the founding director for the LGBTQ student life office at the University of Chicago. Jeff’s undergraduate studies included photography, communication, and history. He earned his undergraduate degree from Hope College and holds a master’s degree in higher education for Loyola University Chicago. In his spare time, Jeff loves urban exploration and is a public transit nerd with a particular love of subway systems.

College Advisor, 312-369-7762, jhoward@colum.edu 

Communication in Media & Innovation (Advertising, Multimedia Journalism, Public Relations)

jessica

Jessica Horwitz

 

As the college advisor for Fashion Studies students, Jessica is continuously awed by the talent and commitment her students exhibit. She is passionate about helping her students reach their full potential while at Columbia. When not advising her students, Jessica likes to spend time reading, doing crossword puzzles, and trying new restaurants throughout the city. She is excited to welcome you to Columbia and looks forward to getting to know you.

College Advisor, 312-369-7801, jhorwitz@colum.edu

Fashion Studies

jill

Jill Sultz

 


Jill works with Cinema Art + Science students. She has been teaching in CA+S for 15 years. She is a filmmaker and passionate cinephile. Jill’s other interests include military history, baking and fashion.

College Advisor, 312-369-7372 jsultz@colum.edu

Cinema Art + Science

kamillah

Kamillah Ong

 

Kamillah is one of the college advisors for Film & Video students. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English from DePaul and a master’s degree in higher education from Loyola University, she’s spent years studying, working, dreaming and exploring in Chicago. She strongly believes college is a catalyst, an opportunity to challenge yourself to discover what you love and what you do well, and define how you will use your creativity to impact your community. Her favorite part of her job is helping students figure out how to do that and more.

College Advisor, 312-369-3233, kong@colum.edu

Audio Arts & Acoustics, Cinema Art + Science (Animation)

karen

Karen Smith

 

Karen Smith, advisor to Advertising Art Direction and Graphic Design students, is sure she knows the best pizza places in Chicago. With a city known for its slice, that’s saying something. Karen is constantly involved in the city- whether it’s going to concerts and plays or cheering on the Bears win or lose (like a true Chicagoan does.) Karen is awed by the talent of her students and is quite confident she’s seen some of the best art directors and graphic artists walk through her door.

College Advisor, 312-369-7646, ksmith@colum.edu

Design (Advertising Art Direction, Graphic Design)

keith

Keith Lusson

 

Liberal Arts & Sciences Advisor, Keith Lusson, reads U.S. History, and teaches it, too. He also digs hoops, golf, and perhaps most ironically—a good musical. Keith looks forward to helping you explore, find, and articulate your passion, and enjoying it along the way.

Associate Director, 312-369-7283, klusson@colum.edu

Art and Materials Conservation, ASL - English Interpretation, Cultural Studies, & Education

lauren

Lauren Targ

 

Lauren is the quintessential collaborator. She has worked in theatre and film as an actor, director, and writer, and, most recently, has co-authored a book. As an interdisciplinary artist whose passion is nurturing students, Lauren understands what her students are going through as they build good lives in the arts. Stop in the College Advising Center to see her, and share your vision of your future. You can work with her on making it a reality.

Assistant Director, 312-369-8626, ltarg@colum.edu

Creative Writing, Interactive Arts & Media

lex

Lex Thompson

 

Alexis “Lex” Thompson is the Administrative Assistant in the College Advising Center where she helps College Advisors be awesome and flawless. Previously she worked as an Orientation Leader and a Resident Assistant before graduating from Columbia in May 2015 with a BA in Journalism. If she could have any super power, Lex would choose to control the weather so that the temperature in Chicago never drops below 30 degrees.

Administrative Assistant, 312-369-7986, athompson@colum.edu

maryrachel

Mary Rachel Fanning

 

Mary Rachel has worked all over the creative spectrum from photographing communities to digital storytelling in refugee camps. She channels her love of tech, stories, and advocacy into online advising and communications. A southern ex-pat residing in Chicago, Mary Rachel is a fan of slow bike rides and passionate about urban agriculture.

Coordinator of Online Communications, 312-369-7344, mfanning@colum.edu

Online and general advising

paula

Paula Brien

 

Paula has had two careers -- as a journalist and as a college advisor to media students. Both are rooted in a similar, and critical, set of skills: understanding the audience, asking the right questions, and finding the best answers. Paula is your source, from what classes to take to what connections to make.

College Advisor, 312-369-7935, pbrien@colum.edu 

Radio, Television

rachel

Rachel Horton Smith

 


When not giving you advice (and keeping you sane), Rachel is probably out writing poetry. Rachel describes her students as some of the most interesting, and well-rounded people she knows. With compliments like that, why wouldn’t you want to see her?

Associate Director, 312-369-7621, rhorton@colum.edu

ritch

Ritch Barnes

 

Ritch Barnes is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago in Film & Video. He has worked on several Hollywood features, he is a passionate poet, fiction writer and Jazz enthusiast. Ritch enjoys meeting with students to share his knowledge and to hear their creative stories. According to Ritch, he lives in the best of both worlds because he can help young people find their dreams, while he pursues his own. Stop by the CAC and don’t hesitate to tell Ritch your story (or stories).

College Advisor, 312-369-7932, rbarnes@colum.edu

Music

sneha

Sneha Reddy

 


Sneha Reddy advises Dance and Photography students. She is thrilled to work with such a creative and diverse student body. Aside from her interests in student development and work as an advisor, Sneha is a visual artist. She has illustrated published children’s books, paints, draws, sculpts, and simply enjoys making “stuff”! Sneha is a graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she completed her B.A. in Art & Design and M.A. in Higher Education. She looks forward to getting to know her students and working with them from orientation through graduation.

College, Advisor, 312-369-7554, sreddy@colum.edu

Dance, Photography

will

Will Casey

 

Will Casey is a fellow lover of the theatre, and after many years as a professional actor, has the connections and insight that will guide you on your way to a life on stage. He’s also a wiz at the bbq (with a dry rub that will knock your socks off) and will be more than happy to help you find that killer monologue you’ve been looking for (and also give you a great toast, just in case.)

College Advisor, 312-369-8623, wcasey@colum.edu

Theatre