People & Profiles
Northwestern Intersections is an award-winning podcast from the Northwestern Alumni Association featuring alumni who share the key experiences that have propelled them in their life’s work. The podcast, which has highlighted more than 120 alumni of all ages, degrees and backgrounds so far, is releasing new episodes this fall.
After watching the footage of George Floyd’s murder, digital artist Lo Harris drew a digital art piece to express her frustration with police killings of Black people. Her artwork took Instagram by storm — and now she’s encouraging others to raise their voices too.
Musician Charlie Williams, aka Larkhall, is a U.K.-based new media artist whose piano compositions are brought to life with musically reactive visual displays. These dancing algorithms are coded by Williams himself, a Bienen School of Music alum and self-taught coder who has found unique ways to combine his creative and technical talents.
As executive producer of ‘Ted Lasso,’ Liza Katzer ’08 is involved in nearly every aspect of making the hit AppleTV+ series. And while the success of 'Ted Lasso' has led to a lot of other opportunities, the senior vice president of Doozer Productions remains keenly aware of the challenges she faced in her early-career years and the lessons she’s learned along the way.
For six years, journalist and professor Thrasher followed the case of Michael Johnson, a gay Black man in St Louis who was sentenced in 2015 to more than 30 years in prison for not disclosing his HIV-positive status to his sexual partners. Thrasher has reported on policing, LGBTQ rights, racism and HIV/AIDS for more than a decade, pursuing controversial stories and even helping change the law.
In the summer, you can find Elsa Godtfredsen in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado scouting for bees and other pollinators, testing soil moisture levels, gathering seeds and carefully monitoring the health of local alpine wildflowers. A doctoral student in Northwestern’s plant biology and conservation program, she’s been running a multiyear experiment to see how early snowmelt (one sign of a warming planet) will affect wildflowers — and, by extension, the broader ecosystems upon which we all rely.
Video games are artistic at their core — and rapidly evolving as a medium. Northwestern alums have been in the industry since its very early days, creating new, immersive experiences that tell stories in innovative ways.
A self-taught filmmaker, Angelo Madsen Minax ’12 MFA says he “sort of tripped into filmmaking through activism.” Six years after earning his bachelor’s in fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Minax was keeping busy — editing videos full-time for Beyondmedia Education, a social justice organization that provides media tools to underserved youth; working odd jobs at coffee shops; and playing in a couple of bands. While on tour with a bluegrass band, “we made a feature documentary about 21 transgender musicians in the U.S.
David Ellis ’93 JD is not only the youngest-serving justice on the Illinois Appellate Court — he’s also a bestselling crime novelist. Inspired by the courtroom drama he’s observed throughout his career, Ellis has written a number of bestsellers and says he owes his legal and writing success to his law school experience.
In the tough-to-crack world of Hollywood, screenwriter Joe Hauler fosters creativity, connections and community with Northwestern University Entertainment Alliance-West, the Los Angeles–based club for alumni in the entertainment industry. He helps guide the club by blending educational programs with networking events and performance opportunities, such as the popular Storytellers live event series, which has empowered more than 60 alumni to craft and present over 150 stories on stage.