New associate chair in visual and media arts department

by Katherine Burns / Beacon Staff • September 10, 2015

Cristina Kotz Cornejo, a professor in the department of visual and media arts, took over for Robert Todd as associate chair of production for the visual and media arts department on Aug. 31.

According to Kotz Cornejo, Todd stepped down in preparation for his leave of absence this spring and sabbatical next fall.

Todd said he will be working on an eight-part series of experimental films regarding different elements of nature. According to Todd, the project will potentially take him across the United States, as well as to Scandinavia.

Todd said he chose to step down because he believes the position functions better when it is rotated every two years.

“I really don’t like it when [a professor] becomes a long-term administrator. Our best work is done teaching, and someone in that job for two years is off a certain workload,” Todd said. “You can feel better having them back on the teaching workload.”

Kotz Cornejo was approached to take the position and accepted, saying she wanted to learn more about the production side of visual and media arts.

As associate chair, Kotz Cornejo will be working with Brooke Knight, chair of the visual and media arts department, with scheduling VMA classes and making sure there is enough faculty to fill the demand for certain classes. The position also includes working with the department of Television, Radio, and Film Production, supervising the Equipment Distribution Center, and overseeing equipment acquisition, Kotz Cornejo said.

Todd said it is difficult to add the associate chair position on top of being a professor, but is still essential to the department.

“You need people who are really sharp and on top of stuff, so I’m really glad she’s doing it.” Todd said.