Dr. Scott Diffrient
Professor of Film and Media Studies in the Department of Communication Studies, Scott Diffrient began planning the ACT Human Rights Film Festival after receiving the 2014-2016 William E. Morgan Endowed Chair of Liberal Arts. He has attended human rights film festivals around the world with the intention to write one of the first scholarly texts on human rights cinema as well as to establish Fort Collins and Colorado State University as a locus and leader in humanitarian outreach and scholarship. Dr. Diffrient directs festival programming, heading a committee of faculty volunteers that provide input on film selection and related events.
Dr. Greg Dickinson
Department chair and professor, Greg Dickinson heads festival leadership and fundraising, working closely with College of Liberal Arts Dean Dr. Ann Gill and her development staff. He has received the College of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award and the CSU Alumni Best Teacher Award. He has also received the National Communication Association’s Gerald R. Miller Dissertation Award and (with his co-authors Brian L. Ott and Eric Aoki) the NCA Golden Anniversary Monograph Award. He writes about ways the buildings and human landscapes engage viewers and users on questions values, beliefs, and action. His work advances critical and theoretical understanding of memory, place, materiality, and everyday life. He has published in numerous communication, cultural studies, and rhetoric journals on coffee shops, shopping malls, museums, and gentrified urban spaces. His book Suburban Dreams: Building and Imagining the Good Life was published by the University of Alabama Press in 2015, and he is completing a co-authored book on the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
Carol Busch was instrumental in the organization of ACT, taking Scott Diffrient’s vision from an idea to reality. She currently assists with festival marketing, ticketing, and outreach. She is the Department of Communication Studies alumni development and communications coordinator. She has extensive experience in nonprofit, higher ed, and small business communications and moonlights as a freelance writer and backcountry guide. Carol graduated with an M.A. in English from Colorado State University in 2002, was born and raised in Fort Collins, and loves being outside as much as possible.
Beth Seymour joined the Department of Communication Studies as the ACT Managing Director in October 2018. Beth earned a B.A. in Spanish from Whitman College, and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University. A Colorado native, Beth brings a love of film and film festivals and extensive experience working in nonprofit fundraising and event management. Beth formerly sat on the board of directors of the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Institute and chaired the board of Imagination Celebration, both located in Colorado Springs.
Program Advisory Committee
Niama Al-Nima is a current undergraduate student in CU boulder pursuing a BFA in Cinema Studies and Moving Image Arts, and a BA in philosophy. He was born in Iraq and is very interested in refugees and immigrants rights. He hopes to use film as a platform for positive change. Some of his hobbies include soccer, travelling and photography.
Usama Alshaibi was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and spent his formative years living between the United States and the Middle East. He’s an active filmmaker, with several short films, documentaries and feature films to his credit. His films have premiered on the Sundance Channel, PBS and other television stations across the globe. Feature articles have been written about his work in such places as the Chicago Tribune, Time Out, Punk Planet and Variety. His latest documentary, American Arab, had a world premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and has secured domestic and international distribution.
Aaunterria Bollinger-Deters teaches the department of Communication Studies. She holds a B.A. in Mass Communications and Media Arts as well as a graduate certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Southern Illinois University. She also holds an M.A. in Ethnic Studies from Colorado State University. Her thesis focused on the television series Game of Thrones with which she created a critical visual culture template that addresses the commonality of oppressive tactics such as colonization, enslavement, racialized expectations of motherhood and dismissive representations of women of color in popular culture. As a queer Black woman, wife and a mother of two, she has found that no matter her busy schedule, her dreams of giving a more diverse and critical educational experience to the next generation have only gotten stronger and pushed her further than she ever thought possible.
Rita Brown has lived in Fort Collins since 2000. In 2013, she retired as Conservation Education Coordinator at the US Forest Service. Since 2001 she has been an active board member of the ERACISM Film and Discussion Series (2001-2015), which presented four films each October that were facilitated by relevant professionals/activists. Before coming to Colorado, she was Special Events Coordinator at the Harry S Truman Presidential Library in Independence, MO, with responsibilities that included mounting Truman-Era related film and discussion series. She’s happy that the ERACISM Series folded so well into the ACT Human Rights Film Festival and is serving on its film selection committee.
Jeanetta Caligari earned her B.A. in Journalism before moving to Fort Collins from California in 2011. She currently works as the Donor Relations Coordinator in University Advancement, focusing on operations, recognition, stewardship, and donor engagement. A long-time fan of original film, Jeanetta visits Telluride each year for the annual Horror Film Festival, which celebrates her favorite genre. Also in her spare time, Jeanetta assists with her husband’s video production company, Ideas that Breathe. Together, they partner with a teacher prep advocacy group in Washington D.C. to visually highlight best practices for education around the nation.
Dr. Hye Seung Chung
Hye Seung Chung is Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies, specializing in race and ethnicity in American popular culture, East Asian cinema, feminist film theory, and global media. She is the co-author of Movie Migrations: Transnational Genre Flows and South Korean Cinema (Rutgers University Press, 2015). She is also the author of Hollywood Asian: Philip Ahn and the Politics of Cross-Ethnic Performance (Temple University Press, 2006) and Kim Ki-duk (University of Illinois Press, 2012). Before coming to CSU in the fall of 2011, Dr. Chung taught at the University of Michigan, Hamilton College, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Oakland University.
Dr. Evan Elkins
Dr. Evan Elkins is an assistant professor of Media and Visual Culture in the Department of Communication Studies. He researches and teaches in the areas of media and cultural studies, digital media industries and technologies, and cultural globalization. He is currently writing a book about geographic restrictions in digital platforms around the world, and he regularly teaches courses that examine transnational film and TV distribution, diasporic media cultures, and humanitarian media initiatives, among other issues. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The International Journal of Cultural Studies, Television and New Media, The Fibreculture Journal, The Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, and several edited anthologies.
Kevin Foskin is the director of the Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts Major at Colorado State University. He has a MFA in Creative Writing. Besides Literature and Creative Writing, his research interest spill over into the areas of Narrative Theory, Narrative Theory in Film, and Contemporary Film Studies (both Documentary and Fiction film). He currently teaches courses in Interdisciplinarity and courses that utilize film (both genres) as vehicles for interdisciplinary encounters within the Liberal Arts. He is currently working on a book that looks at the first decade of film—1895-1905—in Dublin, Ireland. His favorite filmmaker is the Portuguese Director, Miguel Gomes, and he urges everyone to see Our Beloved Month of August, a film that seamlessly mixes up the documentary and fictional into a single cinematic experience.
Shantel Hansen is a documentary filmmaker and training consultant. Her current documentary Her Turf: The Untold Story about Three Female Refs breaks down gender barriers on the line of scrimmage. She has a M.A. focusing on anthropology, sociology and psychology that serves as a strong foundation to her storytelling process. Hansen is fascinated with subcultures that unwittingly impact their larger community. When Hansen is not filming, she is overseeing her marketing and instructional design consulting company, traveling, and spending time with her kiddo.
Dr. Kit Hughes
Dr. Kit Hughes is Assistant Professor of Media and Visual Culture. She specializes in nontheatrical film, useful and orphan media, and histories of technology. Her manuscript project, Television at Work, explores how American business developed workplace television as a medium of industrial efficiency, ideological orientation, and corporate expansion. Prior to joining CSU, she taught at Miami University, worked as an archivist at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, and volunteered as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2012, she curated a screening of sponsored film shorts, Made in Wisconsin: Industrial Visions of the Badger State, for the Wisconsin Film Festival.
Dr. Julia Khrebtan-Hörhager
Dr. Julia Khrebtan-Hörhager is an Assistant Professor of Communication, Education Abroad Advisor, and Director of Summer Education Abroad programs in Europe. She is holder of 2016 & 2012 International Communication Association Top Paper Awards, and a number of communication studies Capstone Awards. She has published in venues such as Communication, Culture, & Critique; Journal of Multicultural Discourses; Journal of International and Intercultural Communication; Women’s Studies in Communication; Journal of Intercultural Communication Research; Journal of Language & Social Psychology; Studies in European Cinema; Crossings: Journal of Migration and Culture and Connections: European Studies Annual Review.
Andrea Jaques graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies and a minor in Film Studies. She came to CSU for the deliberative discourse specialization as well as the ACT Film Festival. Her undergrad research was in Rhetoric, but she is also interested in pursuing research in media. .
Dr. Sue Ellen Klein
Sue Ellen moved to Fort Collins from Philadelphia 7 years ago. Currently retired, she has had a varied career, which includes a PhD in biology, teaching, and 20 years in the non-profit sector. She is the co-founder of Neighborhood Bike Works, a youth development program, and served as Director of Community Programs at the iconic White Dog Café, whose not-for-profit affiliate which she chaired supported the formation of the Philadelphia Student Union, Fair Food, and the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia. A long-time advocate for peace and social justice, she continues to be active here in Fort Collins, while spending special time with her family.
Lucia Levis joins ACT as a programmer in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She holds a She holds a masters degree in documentary cinema and is a filmmaker. She has been a programmer for CineMigrante International Film and Human Rights Festival and Doc Buenos Aires Festival. She currently teaches filmmaking and anthropology in Argentina. Lucia speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Dr. Antonio Pedrós-Gascón
Antonio Pedrós-Gascón is an Associate Professor of Contemporary Spanish Literature and Culture al CSU. His current areas of research are related to aesthetics and ideology; representations of identity, queerness and alterity; historiographic revisionism; the cultural interactions between Latin America and Spain during the 20thcentury; and the uses and effect of pornographic/erotic imagery in literature and cinema.
Ben Pettis is a second year Communication Studies M.A. student at Colorado State University, with a specific focus on Media and Visual culture. Ben’s specific areas of interest include online communication, Internet communities, and memes. Ben earned B.A. degrees in Cinema Studies and Media Studies from the University of Oregon. He was raised in Arvada, Colorado.
Kayla Thomas is a 1st year M.A. student from Michigan, pursuing her graduate degree from Colorado State University due to the program’s excellence in guiding and helping students become successful educators. She hopes to eventually teach at the college level and is currently studying media, specifically the emotional effects it can have on consumers.
Dr. Mary Vogl
Mary Vogl is Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures. She teaches French and Francophone literatures and cultures. Her research focuses on North, Central and West Africa, relations between literature and the arts, photography and representation, and minority cultures in France. Her publications include a book, Picturing the Maghreb: Photography, Literature and (Re)presentation(Rowman & Littlefield), articles in journals including The French Review,La Revue fran̤aise, International Journal of Francophone Studies, Nouvelles etudes francophones, and CELAAN Review of the Center for the Studies of the Literatures and Arts of North Africa, and book chapters.
Taylor Weigel attended Drake University in Iowa for her undergraduate degree and double majored in International Relations and Rhetoric, Media, & Social Change, with a Spanish Minor. She studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which fueled her love for learning about other cultures and exploring new places. Her love for traveling and exploring, paired with her passion for rhetoric and media studies, led her to Colorado State University. Outside of school, She enjoys hiking, painting, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and spending time with her dog. Taylor coordinates ACT’s Call to ACT program.