Jun. 19, 2021
Luke Aleckson is a Professor of Art at Biola University. He received his M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Sculpture and a B.S. in Art from the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, Summa Cum Laude. Past positions have included serving as Department Chair and Professor of Art and Design at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, Director of Denler Gallery in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Instructor of Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Past exhibitions of his artwork have been held nationally, at venues such as the Chicago Cultural Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Suburban in Oak Park, Ill. He maintains an active art practice out of Los Angeles, in which he explores disciplines such as sculpture, digital modeling, video art and installation art. Past honors include the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship Award, the SAIC MFA Fellowship Award and the Harvey Fellowship. Visit www.lukealeckson.coom to view more of his work.
“Art is created in infrastructure whether a frame, an altar, a chapel ceiling or a 90-minute feature.” Gerry has 35 years of experience in media education and is using that to expand CMA's infrastructure in equipment, faculty, facilities, courses, and funding since taking over the leadership role in 2016. The CMA program has since been endorsed by several industry publications, students are winning in film festivals, and classes and enrollment have been expanded. PhD UCI, MA Regent, BA FWBC.
Professor Fisher has over 35 years of experience in media as a faculty member, interim chair, production company owner and manager of media technology infrastructure.
He pursued a Ph.D. when film was still film, but his program included studies in artificial intelligence, human and technology interface, computer programming, decision making and statistics because he believed some day computers would play a role in media production.
At Biola he has been responsible for the department’s transition from analog to digital and now to cloud based media production. In his classes he has introduced mobile applications, compression and streaming science, digital cinema standards, augmented and virtual reality and many other topics.
As interim chair, Professor Fisher is charged with developing the five year plan to expand enrollment, develop new programs offered by Cinema and Media Arts and turn CMA into one of the top film schools.
Professor Fisher is a member of the Broadcast Educators Association and actively involved in the emerging technologies interest division.
Professor Fisher and his wife, Ellie, live in Irvine, California, have five children and seven treasured grandchildren.
Stew Oleson brings a diverse professional background to his position teaching broadcasting in the Journalism Department at Biola. He is an award-winning broadcast journalist and producer, former Assistant State's Attorney in Chicago, a travel show host, and a standup comedian.
Stew grew up in Moline, Illinois where he attended the Evangelical Free Church and graduated with a BS in Journalism from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. He received his Juris Doctor from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago and tried over 500 cases to verdict during his eight years as an Assistant State's Attorney for Cook County. Stew balanced his work as a prosecutor during the day with standup comedy at night in Chicago, making frequent stand up TV appearances on Evening at the Improv and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Stew left law for broadcasting and developed an innovative, interactive style hosting local TV morning shows that clicked with the viewers in various markets across the country. He went on to host and produce long-form national travel programming on various networks that were awarded 13 Telly Awards for Excellence in TV Production. Stew continues to explore the rapidly evolving broadcast and web frontier and is excited about bringing his experiences to campus to interact with Biola students.
"I love my students! My greatest desire is to see them excel not only in their chosen field, but in life." John has worked on over 40 films as director, writer, producer or editor. His feature credits include The Climb, Trade of Innocents, and Bobby Jones. In television: A Vow to Cherish, Road to Redemption and Something to Sing About. His feature screenplay, Mountain of Fire, is in pre-production. John teaches cinematography, editing, sound design and documentary. MA Fuller, BA UCLA.
John Schmidt has taught at Biola since 2002, and brings over 35 years of film industry experience into his teaching.
A graduate of the UCLA film school and Fuller Theological Seminary, John was founder and president of Dean River Productions and John Schmidt Productions, and has worked on over 40 films in various capacities: director, writer, producer and editor, having won numerous awards in the process.
“Each of us in the film industry have a limited amount of time on this earth, and a limited number of films on which to work," John says. “At the end of the day, I want the ones on my filmography to have told stories that matter, which are needed messages for our time, and which are a reflection of God's grace in the world.”
"The projects I've worked on which I consider the most significant never made a dime at the box office," he says. "One was a feature documentary about the needs of children living in the slums of Nairobi, another a short on the life of a deaf orphan boy who had surgery to allow him to hear. Projects like these were a privilege to work on."
A feature screenplay Schmidt wrote, Mountain of Fire, is based on a true story and currently in pre-production. John teaches cinematography, editing, documentary production, pre-production, production, post-production. “I love teaching, and finding that balance between theory and practice. I want to see my students excel in every aspect of life, and to work on projects which affect culture. I also desire to see their own lives of character affect others in the industry, or whatever walk of life on which they embark.”
“Game design is a powerful storytelling medium because players become part of a story and explore consequences of choices.” Michael is a narrative game designer prototyping his independent game, Telmahre, which explores using virtual space as a metaphor for a character’s mental state. In his first year at Biola, he has developed the new Game Design program for CMA. Michael has also taught game design, digital technology, digital art or computer science at several colleges. MFA USC, BA UCSD.
Camille Tucker is a Sundance alum who has sold scripts to major studios such as Sony, Universal, New Line, Fox TV and Disney. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from UCLA, an MFA in screenwriting from Loyola Marymount and an MA in theology and film from Fuller Seminary. Camille is the proud co-writer of Lifetime’s hit TV movie, The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel which debuted with 2.7 million viewers, is the highest-rated Lifetime movie since 2016, and has had over 13.4 million viewers to date.
With a B.A. in English literature and creative writing from UCLA and an M.F.A. in writing for the screen from Loyola Marymount University, Camille Tucker brings both academic and industry experience to her role at Biola. While an assistant at Walt Disney Studios, she first launched her filmmaking career with the short film Sweet Potato Ride, executive produced by Bill Duke (Predator, Deep Cover, Sister Act II). She has since sold seven screenplays and a TV pilot to major studios including Sony, Universal, New Line, Fox TV and Disney Studios and has worked with producers such as Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, Marc Platt, Todd Garner, Debra Chase and John Singleton.
A writer/director, Camille has completed seven short films. Her short film Cellular won Best Narrative Short at the 2013 Roxbury International Film Festival, and she has also been a semi-finalist in the Motion Picture Academy's Nicholl Screenwriting Competition and a two-time Sundance Writer's Lab semi-finalist.
In the fall of 2014, Camille came on board as full-time faculty as a professor of screenwriting at Biola, teaching beginning, intermediate and advanced screenwriting, as well as classes that help students to hone their skills in character development and screenplay coverage.
Recently, Camille directed a trailer for the TV series Sorority Sistaz, a project that utilized both Biola students and industry professionals as cast and crew. She is shopping this project, as well as crime thriller, Unseen, sci-fi, Launch and a host of other projects.
Camille is passionate about breaking barriers for women in front of and behind the camera. She writes and directs female characters in strong, imaginative and courageous roles. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America. In her spare time, she loves giving back by volunteering to help at-risk youth and women in crisis. If you’re a friend, she just might make you a pot of her dirty south gumbo.