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Columbia College Chicago


David Cromer ('86) is a freelance theatre director currently based in New York City. He attended Columbia College Chicago in the 1980s and subsequently taught acting and directing here until 2008.

On Broadway he directed the 2009 revival of Brighton Beach Memoirs. Off-Broadway he directed When the Rain Stops Falling at Lincoln Center Theatre, Our Town, and Orson's Shadow at the Barrow Street Theatre, and Adding Machine at the Minnetta Lane.

In Chicago, where he spent most of his career, his credits include: A Streetcar Named Desire, Picnic, The Price, and Oscar Remembered at Writers Theatre; Cherrywood, Mojo, and The Hot L Baltimore at Mary-Arrchie Theatre; A Perfect Mendacity, The Dazzle, Orson's Shadow, and Golden Boy at Steppenwolf; The Cider House Rules (co-directed with Marc Grapey) at Famous Door, among many others.

He has received 4 Jeff Awards for his direction, 3 Lortel Awards, 2 Obies, 2 After Darks, and was named a 2010 MacArthur Fellow.

He is currently directing Broadway revivals of The House of Blue Leaves with Ben Stiller, Edie Falco, and Jennifer Jason Leigh; and The Sweet Bird of Youth with Nicole Kidman.

John Hellerman (B.A. '95) is a partner and co-founder of Hellerman Baretz Communications, a strategic communications agency representing many of the world’s leading law firms, consulting firms, and financial services companies.

Named 2008 Agency Executive of the Year by PR News, Hellerman is a well-respected thought-leader, and he helps his clients own their markets by consistently providing new ideas and superior strategic advice. Dubbed a “PR whiz” and “top media relations pro” by both Law
Practice Management and PR Week magazines, Hellerman has placed stories in nearly every major media outlet including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, 60 Minutes, and Nightline, as well as dozens of key business trade publications.

Hellerman has consulted numerous professional service firms during mergers, and he has advised attorneys and executives on effective ways to manage their high-profile, high-stakes, litigation public relations needs. He has planned communications strategies for clients embroiled in Congressional investigations, shareholder suits, numerous intellectual property and product liability cases, international trade disputes, high-profile election contests, international RICO suits, government and NGO scandals, and several landmark United States Supreme Court cases, as well as many other matters in which there was significant corporate involvement and corporate reputations were at stake.

Nobuko Oyabu (B.A. '95) is a freelance photographer living in Arlington, VA. After working for daily newspapers for 7 years, Oyabu has been dedicated to her personal project called "STAND: Faces of Rape & Sexual Abuse Survivors," her freelance work, and being a mom.
Through her highly personal photos of rape survivors, Oyabu captures the pain and trauma that sexual assault survivors endure, gives voice to voiceless, and takes back their dignity that had been taken away by the violence. After appearing on the Lifetime Television network’s original documentary, “Fear No More: End Violence Against Women” in 2002, project STAND has become a traveling exhibition. She has exhibited her work and spoke at colleges and conferences all over the U.S since 2002, and in Japan since 2006.

In 2002, Oyabu testified at the Congressional Caucus of Women's issues, exhibited her 'Face Project' at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, DC.  She has served as an Honorary Board Member for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. She was appointed as a visiting faculty member, and one of 10 journalists to participate in discussions of “how the media covers rape" at Poynter Institute of Florida.
She was a featured speaker at the Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime National Public Awareness Project conference in Washington, D.C. in 2005, and participated in the Project’s national broadcast public service announcement campaign. In 2008, she received the Yayori Journalism Award in Tokyo which honors work for human rights.

Lately, she writes and photographs for Japanese publications. Her book STAND was published in Japan in Fall, 2007, and made a topseller list in Tokyo that same year.