Faculty member Qween Wicks passes away

By Tessa Brubaker, News Editor

Actress and long-time faculty member at the college A. Qween Wicks passed away Oct. 25.

In a Nov. 2 email statement sent to faculty and staff, Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences Steven Corey and Dean of the School of Media Arts Eric Freedman said Wicks joined the college in 2009 and taught classes such as “Culture, Race and Media” and “Oral Communications.”

“Students described her as highly inspirational and fun, with an ability to make complex and serious material accessible,” the email stated. “Known for fostering an inclusive environment in the classroom where students felt comfortable expressing their opinions, Qween treated students with respect and valued their individual voices.”

Wicks was founder of the Urban Storytellers Ensemble and a well-known Chicago performer in music and theater productions. She also held an M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia.

Mark Withrow, associate professor in the English and Creative Writing Department, said in the email that the program and students are better off because of Wicks’ dedication.

“The example she set is an inspiration,” Withrow said. “Her good works as a teacher live on in her former students and her in colleagues who mourn her passing. She will be missed.”

The email said a celebration of Wicks’ life will be held Nov. 4 at the Black Ensemble Theater, 4450 N. Clark St.