Academic Advising

Meet Your Advisor


Connect with your advisor! Locate them by major or check out their bios below.


Acoustics Paula Brien 312-369-7935
Audio Arts (with concentration) Paula Brien 312-369-7935
Acting Will Casey 312-369-8623
Acting with International Study Will Casey 312-369-8623
Advanced Management Jessica Horwitz 312-369-7801
Advertising Art Direction Samantha Freeman 312-369-7503
Advertising Samantha Freeman 312-369-7503
Animation Kamillah Ong  312-369-3233
Art History  Meg Elliott 312-369-7113
ASL & English Interpretation  Stephanie Barnes 312-369-7648
Audio Design and Production Paula Brien 312-369-7935
Cinema & Television Arts Jill Sultz 312-369-7372
Cinema & Television Arts Yasmin Reynoso 312-369-3257
Cinema and Television Arts Madeline Kennedy 312-369-7557
Comedy Writing & Performance Gabriel Oladipo(effective June 26th, 2023) 312-369-7645
Communication Samantha Freeman 312-369-7503
Creative Writing  Ritch Barnes 312-369-7932
Cultural Studies Keith Lusson 312-369-7283
Dance  Stephanie Barnes 312-369-7648
Design Management Jessica Horwitz 312-369-7801
English Ritch Barnes 312-369-7932
Exploratory Ritch Barnes 312-369-7932
Fashion Design Chris Peak 312-369-7494
Fashion Studies Chris Peak 312-369-7494
Fiction Ritch Barnes 312-369-7932
Filmmaking/Film Jill Sultz 312-369-7372
Fine Arts Tinia Montford(effective June 19th, 2023) 312-369-7238
Game Art Ann Hodal 312-369-7858
Game Design Ann Hodal 312-369-7858
Graphic Design BFA Tinia Montford(effective June 19th, 2023) 312-369-7238
Graphic Design BA Hannah Jensvold 312-369-8353
Illustration BFA Meg Elliott 312-369-7113
Illustration BA Hannah Jensvold 312-369-8353
Interdisciplinary Keith Lusson  312-369-7283
Interdisciplinary Documentary Jill Sultz 312-369-7372
Interior Architecture Dave Sagehorn 312-369-7238
International Arts Management Jessica Horwitz 312-369-7801
Live and Installed Sound Paula Brien 312-369-7935
Live and Performing Arts Management Jessica Horwitz 312-369-7801
Marketing Jessica Horwitz 312-369-7801
Media Management Jessica Horwitz 312-369-7801
Journalism Samantha Freeman 312-369-7503
Photojournalism Samantha Freeman 312-369-7503
Music Business Lauren Targ 312-369-8626
Music (Composition, Performance, CUP) Kelci Kosin 312-369-7646
Music Technology Paula Brien 312-369-7935
Music Theatre Gabriel Oladipo(effective June 26th, 2023) 312 369 7645
Photography Meg Elliott 312-369-7113
Programming Annie Hodal 312-369-7858
Public Relations Samantha Freeman 312-369-7503
Radio Samantha Freeman 312-369-7503
Social Media and Digital Strategy Samantha Freeman 312-369-7503
Sports Management Jessica Horwitz 312-369-7935
Theatre Design Will Casey 312-369-8623
Theatre Technology Will Casey 312-369-8623
Theatre Will Casey 312-369-8623
Theatre Directing Will Casey 312-369-8623
Visual Arts Management Jessica Horwitz 312-369-7801
Writing for Performance Will Casey 312-369-8623



Ann Hodal

 Annie (she/her) is an Interactive Arts and Media advisor. She received her M.A. in Communication, with an emphasis in Rhetoric, from Northern Illinois University. As a former public speaking instructor, she worked with students across all majors to discover how to get comfortable utilizing their unique voices and perspectives to share their ideas, craft arguments, and strengthen their research. She is also passionate about international learning and study abroad programs. Annie enjoys swapping reading recommendations, watching live music, and hanging out with her beagle. She is excited to hear about your creative passions and help you achieve your goals.

Academic Advisor 312-369-7858 

chirsChris Peak


Chris Garcia Peak has an MFA in Directing from The Theatre School at DePaul University and a BA in Theatre/Fashion Design from Texas Christian University. He previously worked in Columbia’s Fashion Retail Management Department and has created a unique niche for himself as an educator, artist, and arts marketer. He also is the Artistic Director of the non-profit organization Cock and Bull Arts producing theatre, podcasts, and digital art. Previously, Chris was the Executive Director for Theatre for Young Audience USA and the Marketing & Development Director for The Illinois Shakespeare Festival/ISU School of theatre and dance. Before moving to Chicago over twenty years ago, Chris was an entertainment reporter for British Sky Broadcasting, covering red carpet events, fashion shows, press junkets, and interviewing an incredible amount of celebrities. His favorite was Sharon Stone. Ask him about his least favorite. He loves working with students and was an adjunct faculty at the Theatre School at DePaul for fifteen years. He has also taught at Columbia College and Illinois State University. Chris is also a writer, director, dog whisperer, and self-proclaimed gourmand. 

Academic Advisor 312-369-7494



Jessica Horwitz

As the academic advisor for Business 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.

Academic Advisor 312-369-7801


 Kelci Kosin

Kelci Kosin has been an academic advisor for over three years now, previously serving as the academic advisor for the School of Music at Ball State University where she also completed a Doctor of Arts in Music. When she is not advising, Kelci is also pursuing a career in performance and teaching voice. She loves many styles including classical, musical theater, jazz, and pop/contemporary. Kelci’s greatest joys in life are her family, including her husband and two sons. Kelci is beyond thrilled to advise here at Columbia College Chicago and her mission in advising is to help each student realize their potential, articulate their dreams and visions for the future, and to remind them that they belong here at Columbia.

Academic Advisor 312-369-7646

Sam Freeman

Samantha Freeman

 Samantha is the academic advisor for the Communication Department. She studied film, television and media in both undergrad and graduate school, receiving her B.A. from the University of California Berkeley and her M.A. from Northwestern University. Before becoming an academic advisor, Samantha taught courses on media and cultural representation, all while receiving dual certificates in Teaching and Gender & Sexuality Studies. When not advising Columbia students, Samantha is an avid crafter, reader, and DIY enthusiast. Samantha is eager to help students meet their educational goals and make the most out of their time here at Columbia.

Academic Advisor 312-369-7503


Jill Sultz

Jill works with Cinema and Television Arts students. She has taught in Cinema and Television for 15 years. She is a filmmaker and passionate cinephile. Jill’s other interests include military history, baking and fashion.

Assistant Director 312-369-7372


Kamillah Ong

Kamillah is one of the academic advisors for Animation 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.

Academic Advisor 312-369-3233



Madeline Kennedy

Madeline holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from North Central College, and a master’s degree in American studies from the University of Alabama. She enjoys working with creative students, and is happy to assist you in identifying resources and opportunities that can help you make the most of your time at Columbia. In her life outside of work, she is a writer and artist with interests in women’s history, horror, language, and ritual. 

Academic Advisor 312-369-7557


Keith Lusson

Director, and Interdisciplinary Advisor, Keith Lusson reads U.S. History and taught it, too. He also digs, hoops, golf, good movies, musicals, and being a dad. As the Director of Academic Advising, I encourage all Columbia undergraduates to work with their advisor to maximize their educational experience and create a clear and timely path to graduation.

Director 312-369-7283


Lauren Targ

Lauren is a certified Life Coach and an interdisciplinary artist whose passion is nurturing students. Lauren understands what her students are going through as they build good lives in the arts.  She is the quintessential collaborator. She has worked in theatre and film as an actor, director, and writer, and has co-authored a book called The Ever Loving Essence of You. 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

ncNicole Campisano

Nicole has a master’s degree in Italian from Middlebury College. After living in Italy for a year, she was an Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall University, and has worked in higher education for the last 2 years in New Jersey.  Nicole is new to Chicago and is very excited to be at Columbia working as an Academic Advisor! Nicole’s interests include astrology, scary movies, and baking. 

 Academic Advisor: 312-369-7734


Meg Elliott  

Meg is the advisor for Illustration and Photography students. She’s delighted to have the privilege of working with students pursuing their creative passions. She comes to advising as an experienced museum educator and holds an MAT in Museum Education from The George Washington University. She’s also a working actor and has an MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul. When she’s not teaming up with other artists to pursue world domination through art, she reads voraciously, plays guitar terribly, and is stealthily perfecting her rock-skipping skills

Academic Advisor 312-369-7113


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: listening closely, understanding the issues, asking the right questions, and discussing the best answers. Paula welcomes you as a collaborator, determining what classes to take to what connections to make during your time at Columbia. Paula's educational background includes a Master of Science degree in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Policies & Public Issues (an interdisciplinary major) from Mills College, Oakland, CA.


Academic Advisor 312-369-7935


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).

Academic Advisor 312-369-7932



Stephanie Barnes


Stephanie (she/they) arrived in Chicago by way of Maryland, Massachusetts, and New York. She sang opera until realizing she didn’t want to audition for a living, and now she loves to help students figure out what they want (or don’t want) to do with their lives and academic careers. A musician, writer, improviser, and educator, Stephanie earned their Masters of Music in Music Theory, which in many ways is the math of music, which they promise is super fun once you get through all the boring and hard stuff. Stephanie is passionate about curriculum, comedy, and composting, and is thrilled to help you navigate your Columbia journey.

Academic Advisor 312-369-7648


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.)

Academic Advisor 312-369-8623

Yasmin Reynoso

Yasmin Reynoso (She/Her/Ella) is a Cinema and Television Arts advisor. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Roosevelt University, where she was able to get involved, voice her passion for student support services, and seize all opportunities for academic enrichment. She then received her M.Ed. in Urban Higher Education, with an emphasis in Leadership, Governance, Organization and Policy, from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Here, she worked to welcome new students in all areas of orientation, and she was continuously inspired by their stories. As a proud first-generation Mexican American college graduate, she is excited to be a part of the community and help empower students throughout their journey at Columbia and beyond. When not advising, Yasmin is an enthusiast for photography, reading, and listening to live music!

Academic Advisor 312-369-8353


Hannah Jensvold

Hannah (she/her) is the academic advisor for Graphic Design & Illustration B.A. students. She holds an M.S.Ed. in Counseling from Fordham University, as well as a B.A. in Art History from the University of California Berkeley. After working with students as a high school counselor throughout the pandemic, Hannah is excited to make the leap to higher education and support visual art students at Columbia. While she is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she has lived and worked in Chicago, New York, Portland, and Seattle and loves getting to know students from all walks of life. In her free time, Hannah enjoys journaling in coffee shops, taking long walks along the lake, and filling up sketchbooks with colorful, abstract drawings. Don't hesitate to reach out and say hello!  

Academic Advisor 312-369-8353