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Columbia College Chicago

AA&A Students and Alumni continue to impact our community

We proudly follow the artistic and professional contributions of our students and alumni to Audio Arts & Acoustics fields and to the larger community and share here with you some representative examples.

Frank Waln, Audio Arts & Acoustics senior and citizen of the Sicangu Lakota of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, South Dakota, was recently featured in the Chicago Tribune for his storytelling talent, which imaginatively melds rap and traditional Native American music. The feature includes a video interview and is part of a larger wave of recognition for Frank that includes articles in USA News, the National Journal, and Columbia College’s Website.  Frank, who came to Chicago to attend Columbia College, was chosen as a student ambassador to Columbia College’s community with regard to multiculturalism, inclusion and social justice. He has used this platform to bring awareness of Native American student issues to the larger Columbia College community and to build bridges between Native Americans and underrepresented groups on campus. The College recently recognized him with the 2014 Mayor’s Award for Civic Engagement.

Frank will soon be joining a community of AA&A alumni that is having a consistent and significant impact on our community. For example:

David Cohen (B.A. 2012, Audio Design & Production), otherwise known as “Diode Milliampere”, was recently featured in the Chicago Reader as a rising star on the chiptune scene, a genre that’s built around obsolete sound modules.

Nicholas Smith (B.A. 2012, Acoustics) Field Service Engineer at Audiology Systems Inc., a full-service, U.S. distributor of Otometrics and other leading audiology and vestibular equipment.

Aaron Patkin (B.A. 2010, Live & Installed Sound) is Production Manager, Monitor Engineer, and acting Stage Manager for Chance The Rapper.  As a freelance FOH/Monitor engineer has also worked with artists such as Aretha Franklin, letlive, Jennifer Holliday, Memphis May Fire, Issues, Victorian Halls, Twin Shadow, As Cities Burn, Chinbat Batmunkh (Mongolia),and others.

Tim Nickless (B.A. 2010, Audio Design & Production) is at Shure Inc., a leading manufacturer of microphones and audio electronics.

Justin Runyon (B.A. 2009, Live & Installed Sound) is the Owner & Integration Lead at Valor Chicago INC working on audio, video, and lighting integration and events projects. He has also been the Owner, Consultant and Contractor for Justin Runyon Productions LLC, since 2006.

Aaron Davis (B.A. 2004, Live & Installed Sound) is Director of Audio at ECTO Productions Inc., a nationwide provider of technical production and equipment for special events.

Finally, several students have a full-time schedule, even before graduation. For example:

David Martinez (B.A. 2014, Live & Installed Sound) is an audio engineer at Chicago’s House of Blues, Lincoln Hall, and Schubas Tavern, and a freelance audio engineer with Technotrix Inc. and ECTO Productions Inc.

Michael Macdonald (B.A. 2014, Audio Design & Production) is a Recording Engineer at Gagen MacDonald, a strategy execution firm that specializes in employee engagement, culture change and leadership development.  He is also a member of Oshwa  (music group).

There is no bigger satisfaction for us teachers than the pride experienced in response to the accomplishments of you, our students. Thank you!