Our Team

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Dr. Scott Diffrient

Associate professor of Film and Media 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.
scott@actfilmfest.org

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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.greg@actfilmfest.org

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Carol Busch

Carol Busch directs festival marketing and publicity, writes festival grants, and manages festival sponsorship. She is the Department of Communication Studies alumni development and communications coordinator and also manages scholarship administration in the College of Liberal Arts. She has extensive experience in nonprofit and small business communications, and moonlights as a freelance writer and guide. Carol graduated with an M.A. in English from Colorado State University in 2002, is a native of Fort Collins, and loves being outside whenever possible.carol@actfilmfest.org

Beth Seymour

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.

beth@actfilmfest.org

Programming Committee

Usama Alshaibi

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 TribuneTime OutPunk 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.

Rita Brown

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

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

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

Shantel Hansen is documentary producer. Her films document human interest stories that explore topics such as gender differences, representation, and identity through an ethnographic lens. Her projects including Redefining Waste and Women in Sports. She co-founded Reel Vision, a filmmaking program for at-risk teens. She is also the VP of Marketing and Communications at United Way of Larimer County. Shantel has an MA in Intercultural Relations and Media.

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. 

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.

Dr. Nick Marx

Nick Marx is Assistant Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Communication Studies at CSU, specializing in television studies, media industry studies, digital media culture, representations of race and ethnicity, and comedy studies. He is the author or co-editor of three books about American media culture.  Before entering academia, Nick worked as a production coordinator for the South By Southwest film festival in Austin, TX and for a language academy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Dr. Antonio Pedros-Gascon

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 20th century; and the uses and effect of pornographic/erotic imagery in literature and cinema.

Selena Palomino

Selena Palomino is a second-year Master’s student in the Communication Studies Department. Her research is focused on rhetoric at the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality. She earned her B.A. as a double major in Ethnic Studies and Communications Studies at CSU in 2016. Selena has been a member of the CSU community since 2013 and looks forward to continuing her service to CSU as she approaches the final year of her program.

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 fran̤aiseInternational Journal of Francophone StudiesNouvelles etudes francophones, and CELAAN Review of the Center for the Studies of the Literatures and Arts of North Africa, and book chapters.

Corey Wilson

Corey Wilson is Vice President of Strategic Brand Partnerships and Sponsorship at the Alamo Drafthouse where he develops and implements studio and entertainment brand partnerships with the company. Corey earned his B.A. in Film Production at Loyola Marymount University and has a 15+ year career working across various platforms of the film industry. Corey brings his lifelong passion for film along with festival and film business experience in maximizing film event opportunities for the community.

Advisors

Dr. Tony Frank

Tony Frank is the 14th president of Colorado State University, one of the nation’s leading public land-grant research universities with more than 29,000 students and more than $300 million in annual research activity. Since his appointment to the presidency in 2008, he has overseen a period of record fund-raising and enrollment, rising graduation rates, increasing diversity, and unprecedented research support. He was named Chancellor of the Colorado State University System on June 1, 2015.

Bruce MacCallum

Bruce MacCallum is an Emmy Award winning producer and journalist with more than 40 years experience in studio production and shooting on location. Before retiring in 2015 Bruce was a senior producer at Entertainment Tonight. He has extensive experience with broadcast news, working over ten years as a managing editor, producer, and news director. Bruce has won numerous awards for his work including Emmy Awards, Community Service Awards, and awards for excellence.