Lecturer in Screenwriting
Christine Houston wrote Two Twenty Seven, a play about her childhood growing up at 227 E. 48th Street, located in what is now known as Bronzeville. She went on to win the ANTA West, the Lorraine Hansberry and the Norman Lear Playwriting contests. The latter took her to Los Angeles where she wrote a teleplay for the TV series The Jeffersons. Marla Gibbs, one of the stars of The Jeffersons, performed the play at her theater and received the NAACP Image award for best actress, while Mrs. Houston received the NAACP Image award for playwriting. Mrs. Houston went on to become a staff writer on the Punky Brewster TV series, and in 1985, Two Twenty-Seven was adapted to television and became NBC’S hit television series 227. Professor Houston continues to write for stage and screen. Most recently, she finished her first novel called Laughing Through the Tears and co-wrote a textbook with Christine List entitled, The Screenwriter's Guidebook: Learning from African American Film and Television Writers.
Lecturer and General Manager of WCSU Radio
Herb Kent is an urban radio pioneer. To many Chicagoans, Kent, known as ‘The Cool Gent”, the “King of the Dusties,” and the “Honorary Mayor of Bronzeville,” is one of the most important figures in radio history. He has informed and entertained radio listeners on his long running weekly radio show and opened many doors for African Americans in the radio industry. He is a Chicago treasure.
During his radio career, Kent worked at stations such as WVON, WJJD, and more, interviewing many of today’s music legends, including Duke Ellington, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Dianna Ross, and Marvin Gaye. Kent was active during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, hosting a program with Stevie Wonder for Dr. Martin Luther King’s last visit to Chicago. It was also Kent who took to the airwaves after King’s assassination to calm rioters on Chicago’s West Side.
The City of Chicago has memorialized Kent with a street named in his honor and by also naming him the Honorary Mayor of Bronzeville. Kent was inducted into the Museum of Broadcasting’s Radio Hall of Fame in 1995. Kent ventured into local television in the late 1990s as host of a popular dance show, “Steppin at Club Seven,” later to be renamed “The New Dance Club.” Today Kent hosts two highly rated shows on WVAZ-FM. He wrote an autobiography, The Cool Gent, and is a contributing writer for N’DIGO magazine.
Theatre and Communications,
Kamesha Khan isan Associate Professor of Theatre in the Communications, Media Arts and Theatre program. She also serves as the CSU Theatre Coordinator. Professor Khan holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Minnesota. She also actively works as a professional theatre director and dramaturg. She is a member of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.
Professor Khan specializes in African American theatre. She was the recipient of the 2007 Best Director Black Excellence Award from the African American Arts Alliance and the recipient of the 2007 Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best Direction of an Ensemble for her work on e.t.a. Creative Arts Foundation’s production of Crystal V. Rhodes’Stoops. She was also nominated for multiple directing and production awards through the 2010 Black Theatre Alliance and African American Arts Alliance Black Excellence Awards organizations for her work on ETA Creative Art Foundation's 2009 production of Gus Edwards' A Fool Such as I. Professor Khan is currently directing the professional premiere of Nicole Anderson Cobb’s Tangled as a part of e.t.a. Creative Arts Foundation’s 2011-2012 season.
Professor Khan has previously trained, directed, assistant directed, and dramaturged at such reputable companies as: Penumbra Theatre Company, LaMama ETC Umbria, ETA Creative Arts Foundation, the National Black Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis Playwrights’ Center, and Red Eye Theatre Company. She has previously taught at Knox College, the University of Saint Thomas, and the College of Saint Catherine.
Some of Professor Khan’s other directing credits outside of CSU include:Destination Freedom,Kingdom,Bedtime Story,Arcadia, In White America, Fires in the Mirror, Dutchman, Twilight: Los Angeles, The Maids, The Vagina Monologues, and the stage adaptation of the bookFingernails Across the Chalkboard. Professor Khan also served as the resident dramaturg for ETA Creative Art Foundation's 2008-2009 season. Professor Khan has a published entry in the Sage’s Encyclopedia of Identity. She was also nominated for an academic advisor of the year award in 2011 at Chicago State University.
Letitia Leonard, M.A.
Since graduating from Chicago State, Professor Leonard furthered her education, earning her M.A. in Communications from Governor’s State University and went on to work in television, radio, and print. In August of 2001, Professor Leonard began teaching Public Speaking courses at Chicago State while concurrently working as a Master Control and Traffic Coordinator at a television station in Chicago. In addition to her teaching duties, Professor Leonard presently is a freelance writer and a very active member of Toastmaster’s International.
Dr. Christine List
Professor and Program Coordinator
Television, Film, Screenwriting
Christine List holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, Department of Radio-TV-Film. She is an award-winning filmmaker whose work has been exhibited and broadcast both locally and internationally. In addition to receiving numerous production grants for her creative work, List has served as a media grant evaluator for various arts organizations, including the National Endowment for the Arts. She has been a jurist for international cinema competitions (Chicago International Film Festival, Women in the Director’s Chair, ABC New Talent Television Competition) and has published more than a dozen articles and book chapters on film, as well as a book on the history and theory of Chicano cinema, Chicano Images: Refiguring Ethnicity in Mainstream Cinema. Her forthcoming book Screenwriter’s Guidebook: Inspiring Lessons for Film and Television Writers was co-written with Christine Houston, the Creator of the NBC television series “227." Dr. List has also served as co-editor of the academic journal of the Union for Democratic Communication, The Democratic Communique.
Among her film projects, List has directed No Nos Tientes (Don't Tempt Us: The Students of Guatemala). Narrated by Edward James Olmos and winner of the Audience Choice Award for Best Video of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, No Nos Tientes tells the story of the student movement for social change during the during the brutal dirty war in Guatemala. . Most recently, her film Swimmin’ Lesson won the Best Short Film award for the Black Harvest International Film Festival from the Gene Siskel Film Center and the Artistic Director's Award from the Lady Filmmakers Film Festival at the WGA in Los Angeles. The same film was also an official selection of numerous festivals including Cannes International Film Festival, Portland Women Film Festival, Black Women of the Diaspora Festival in New York, Black Filmmakers Marketplace Festival in Los Angeles, Nashville Black Film Festival, Portland Women’s Film Festival and the San Diego Black Film Festival.
Dr. Karen Martiinson
Theatre and Communications
Karen Jean Martinson explores the intersection of contemporary US American performance, consumer culture, and the processes of identification through her scholarly and creative work. She focuses her scholarly research on El Vez, The Mexican Elvis/Robert Lopez, studying his use of performance and branding to complicate, confound, and ultimately cross lines of differences, such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality.
Creatively, she works as both a dramaturg and director, staging works of social import and engagement in theatres across the country. Dr. Martinson remains active in several professional organizations, including the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, the American Society for Theatre Research, and Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.
Prior to coming to Chicago State, Dr. Martinson taught at Bringham Young University and conducted workshops and lectures at such institutions as Arizona State University, Caltech, University of St. Thomas, and the University of Minnesota.
Dr. Fatimah Muhammad
Television, Film, Media Studies
As a mediamaker and media studies professional, Dr. Muhammad applies cultural studies approaches to teaching, creative work, and research. Activities include productions across TV studio, radio, and digital cinema formats. Her areas of special interest include documentary, youth development through media literacy, and TV talk shows. Starting with a position working in master control and production at WCIU-TV in 1992, she has 20 years of experience as crew and producer of television programs and series, including: Make the Herbal Connection-herbalist and cancer survivor Dr. Beverly Nicholson on uses of alternative health treatments and therapies TV series 1997-2003; Exhale-panel discussion on relationships, parenting and community issues TV series 1; On the Front Line-line dancing resurgence among Chicago’s African American community, documentary/performance TV show, 2009.
Dr. Muhammad has written, produced and edited video and radio documentaries. In summer 2008 and 2009, Dr. Muhammad was lead artist training youth from 14-19 years of age for the City of Chicago After School Matters summer apprenticeship programs at the Inner-City Muslim Action Network. She served as a production consultant on “The Breach: Bearing Witness”, a documentary video on hurricane Katrina survivors presented a Clergy and Lay Leadership Conference in 2010. In 2011, Dr. Muhammad co-produced “Letters from Prison”, a narrative short movie selected for screening at the San Diego Black Film Festival.
Muhammad has written “Theorizing Media Reception as Identity Narrative Encounters,” an article submitted and under consideration by the academic journal, Jump Cut. In 2007 she published: “How Not to be a 21st Century Venus Hottentots,” in Gwendolyn D. Pough, Elaine Richardson, Aisha Durham, and Rachel Raimist, eds., Home Girls Make Some Noise: Hip Hop Feminism Anthology, Mira Loma, CA; Sojurns/Parker Publishing, 2007.
Marilyn Olson brings 20 years’ experience as a newspaper journalist to her work at CSU. She has been a managing editor for several newspapers in the Chicago area. In addition, she has managed her own public relations practice for more than 20 years as well. Olson began the PR minor at CSU, responding to the need for PR practitioners in the workforce.
Olson has published six books. A series of four books, based on the theme Christianity and the Brain, was written with Dr. Ramsis Ghaly, world famous neurosurgeon. Olson also wrote an instructor’s manual for Pearson Education publishers for their Marketing Public Relations text, and, another text for Pearson, Study Edition of the Media of Mass Communication. During summers, Olson is also a freelance writer for the Chicago Sun Times media group, writing special sections and feature stories.
Television Studio Supervisor
Devin Washington, MA
Adjunct Professor and Director of CSU-TV
Devin Washington is an active member of numerous professional organizations, including National Association of Black Journalists, Chicago Association of Black Journalists, Broadcast Education Association, National Black Theatre Festival, and more. Washington is a professional sound and recording engineer, with several albums and audio singles to his credit. He also serves as the Assistant Producer of the Herb Kent Show. His first feature film was an official selection of the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles.
Donald Winter, MFA
Adjunct Professor of Television
Professor Donald Winter brings over 30 years of production experience in the film/video industry, and 14-plus years of previous teaching experience at the four-year college/university level. He holds a B.A. in Film from Columbia College and MFA in Independent Film and Digital Imaging from Governors State University. He is President of Winter Productions film and video company, with principal responsibility as Producer, Director, Editor, Cinematographer and Screenwriter. His clients have ranged from small start-up companies to Fortune 500 corporations, and his assignments have taken me on location throughout the U.S. and abroad to Costa Rica, Paris, France and South Africa.
Professor Winter has worked for local, national and international news organizations, including all the major U.S. networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX, and PBS, as well as the CBC, BBC and German, Japanese and Russian TV networks. In addition to news and documentaries, his sports coverage experience includes work for the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox. In the area of research, his most notable recent project is as Founder and Editor of www.WikiFilmVideo.com, an on-line text for the study and concentration of film video and HD.In the area of service, Professor Winter completed camera work for a PSA for NBC Hispanic Heritage Month and a PSA for Englewood film festival.
Radio Station General Manager
Director of Instructional Media Systems Engineering
Television Studio Supervisor
Norman Mason, Lecturer, CMAT, ext. 2884
Muriel Jackson, Lecturer in Communications, CMAT, ext. 2280
Tulani-Prince-Brackett, Lecturer, CMAT, ext. 4506
Craig Kois, Lecturer in Radio, CMAT, ext. 4506
Gennifer Jackson, Lecturer in Theatre, CMAT, ext. 2416
Janelle White, Lecturer, CMAT, ext. 4506