While you were out

By Ivana Hester

Columbia College doesn’t stop getting recognized while students are away on summer vacation. Here’s what you missed while you were out.

Hair Trigger

Hair Trigger, the Fiction Writing Department’s literary magazine, received a gold medal for its 34th issue from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. Since its third issue in 1979, which also received first prize from the CSPA, the magazine has received a total of 30 awards. This is the seventh gold medal the publication has received.

During the prioritization process, President Warrick L. Carter recommended the Fiction Writing Department be combined with English in a new Creative Writing Department. The Academic Team that evaluated all educational facets of the college, slated Hair Trigger and other publications in the English and Fiction Writing departments to combine and restructure resources with reduced funding.

However, Christine Maul-Rice, Hair Trigger’s co-editor and adjunct faculty member in the Fiction Writing Department, said she believes this award showcases the success of the publication.

“These are the most astounding amazing pieces out of our department,” Maul-Rice said. “[People] see that we are really kicking butt.”


The Journalism Department’s Echo magazine also was recognized this the summer, receiving three awards for both its winter and spring semester issues. The magazine is published twice per year and has won multiple awards.

“I think what it does say about our department is that our students are capable of competing very well with students who are interested in magazine journalism around the country,” said Sharon Bloyd-Peshkin, associate journalism professor and Echo’s editorial adviser.

Film & Video

Columbia’ Film & Video Department was ranked 21st on the Hollywood Reporter’s July 25 list of Top 25 Film Schools worldwide. Department Chairman Bruce Sheridan said he was very pleased with the recognition, and that although the department has long been recognized by other film schools, but the acknowledgement from Los Angeles is rare.

“It helps when our students go out there,” Sheridan said. “Employers or potential people that can employ them to internships can see that they come from one of those colleges that are in that group.”

Fashion Department

Fashion Columbia 2012, the college’s main spring fundraiser that took place Jun. 8, was listed as one of the Top 100 events in Chicago this year by BizBash, an event planning trade publication.

Eric Winston, vice president of Institutional Advancement, said Fashion Columbia is one the college’s largest fundraisers. This year’s event raised $131,000 and netted $71,000. No college money was used to stage the event.

Desiree Rogers, the CEO of Johnson Publishing Company and former White House social secretary, was the event chairwoman. The event raised scholarship money and featured the work of graduating students. Lana Bramlette of Lana Jewelry received the Alumni Achievement in Fashion award, as previously reported by The Chronicle in June.

According to Melissa Gamble, director of external affairs for the Fashion Department, Fashion Columbia began as a fashion show showcasing the designs of graduating seniors. When the Department of Institutional Advancement became involved in 2008, the event started raising scholarship money for fashion studies students. Gamble said the Fashion Studies Department was thrilled with making the list, as this is the first year it has received the recognition.

“I think [Fashion Columbia] has really set a great stage for growing even more in the years to come,” Gamble said. “This year was really a successful year both in terms of scholarship funds and the great response from the community.”