Jan. 23, 2019
Peggy Medberry has been a literary agent, manager and producer for the past 25 years and worked as the Vice President of one of Hollywood's premiere agencies, Shapiro-Lichtman. She has been a featured speaker at many forums including the WGA, DGA, Flash Forward and the Hollywood Screenwriting Conference, and a judge for the ACE Awards and the Humanitas Awards.
Before her work at Shapiro-Lichtman, Peggy had a variety of jobs in the entertainment industry which include teaching commercial acting classes, freelance reading for a number of production companies and temping at most of the major studios. She also found time to act in a few commercials and one Japanese music video.
Currently, she is a managing partner with award winning novelist Bill Myers of Amaris Media International, a media company that has multiple projects in various stages of development.
Peggy came to Biola in 2005 and teaches classes in storytelling, entertainment business and media management. Peggy has two daughters, Anna and Christina, and a beloved granddaughter, Jillian.
Stew Oleson brings a diverse professional background to his position teaching broadcasting in the Journalism Department at Biola. Stew 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.
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.”
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.
Nancy Wang Yuen is a scholar of race and ethnicity in film, television and new media. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English (creative writing) and a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. An associate professor of sociology at Biola University, Yuen enjoys helping her students view media through a critical lens. She teaches classes on research methods, race/gender in popular culture, Asian American studies and visual sociology.
Yuen's book, Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism (Rutgers University Press, 2016), examines the barriers African American, Asian American and Latina/o actors face in Hollywood and how they creatively challenge stereotypes.
Yuen pioneered the first policy report on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in primetime television, in collaboration with Asian Americans Advancing Justice. The Associated Press interviewed her for a feature on the report. She is currently conducting a 10-year follow up study evaluating not only the raw numbers but also the complexity of characters portrayed by Asian American and Pacific Islanders in network/cable television and digital streaming services.
Yuen is also co-curating an exhibit on Hollywood's Pioneering Asian American Actresses for the Japanese American National Museum.