Broadcast and Cinema Arts
Interim Director, Broadcast and Cinema Arts Program
B.A., Michigan State University
Masters Candidate, Arizona State University
734-432-5578, Room S138
Adjunct Instructor/Engineer, BCA Program Operations
734-432-5575, Room S123
TV Operations & Production Manager/Adjunct Instructor
B.A., Madonna University
734-432-5576, Room S121
Suzanne is a seasoned veteran of the business with broadcast and movie-making connections nationwide. She has been at Madonna since 1981 and has led the student productions of more than 1,000 TV shows that have aired weekly on WYMD TV20 Detroit. Suzanne remains an instrumental leader in Madonna’s Capstone Film Class that in 2017 is working on its fourth consecutive full-length feature film.
Her work in the industry led to an MTV Community of the Future award and a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for a festival she pioneered – PAHfest Motown (Project Access Hollywood) – alongside Christopher Coppola, the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola and older brother to actor Nicolas Cage. The festival also won a Bugsy Kahn Award.
Suzanne co-founded Clued in Video along with instructor Dan Boyd in the mid-1980s, which specializes in music video production, industrial videos and long-form documentary production. Suzanne has also created too-many-to-count advertising commercials from concept to distribution for radio and TV. She also served as writer and director on Michigan’s Contribution to the Underground Railroad broadcast TV program aired on TV20 Detroit for African American History month.
Hear from Suzanne: “We feel the only way for students to be prepared to move into a job in the industry is to have real life experience so we are committed to the hands-on approach,” Suzanne said. “Our students are ready to step into positions in the industry when they graduate. While taking a ‘theory only’ approach in the classroom might be easier, it has never been our way. We want our students to feel prepared when they graduate. Our students’ successes are certainly a testament to that.
“Madonna is my second family,” she added. “Lots of the students call me ‘Mom’ and each Mother’s Day my phone is filled with texts from past and current students. It touches my heart to know I have that kind of an impact on our students.”
Dan is a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and has worked on hundreds of feature films for Technicolor and CBS Fox Video including the Disney film catalog.
With skills ranging from cinematography to post production he has contributed to the growth of Madonna’s BCA program and its evolution from a broadcast focused discipline to now include digital multimedia rich in cinema style production.
Dan has produced and contributed to theatrically released and broadcast DVD titles such as "Stranger in the Woods: The Movie", winner of 16 national and international awards, "Gimme Danger" Story of The Stooges, Stan Ridgway “Raw Feed”, Dick Wagner: “Remember the Child” Memorial Concert, Kevin K “Successful Loser” Europe and New York Story DVDs, “Michigan’s Contribution to the Underground Railroad”, and numerous music video and documentary productions.
Hear from Dan: His love of music producing, live performance archiving and thirst for knowledge of emerging technologies helps keep our students up on the latest developments. “We are fortunate to explore the world with youth-like awe as our students put it all together,” he said. “Our task is to lead them on a lifelong journey to find their voice and leave their mark on others as they succeed in life.
“Technology is important and having a command of your tools is essential but the most important tool is your mind and the way you interpret the task at hand needs to be done with a creative mindset. Our goal is to teach students to solve problems and tell stories using creative solutions.”
Chris teaches the Capstone Film Class, a 12-month course in which students create, write, develop, cast, produce, shoot, edit and then hold a red carpet premier for their full-length feature film in local movie theaters before embarking on the film festival circuit.
Chris graduated from Madonna with high honors in the same program he now teaches; Broadcast and Cinema Arts. After graduating from Detroit Catholic Central, Chris became the quintessential model student in that he worked on feature films while also studying at Madonna – exactly what many current Madonna BCA students do today.
He completed roles such as producer, director, associate producer, production coordinator, key production assistant and gaffer across a wide variety of movies (such as Sand Castles, Mary’s Buttons, Win by Fall, Deadly Karma, Fraternity House, Elder Island), TV series (Spunky Airlines) and TV commercials (Fireball Whiskey). He won a total of 9 national and international film festival awards from work on Sand Castles, plus a 10th award for A Lab Rat Tale.
Hear from Chris: “I love bringing my work life experiences and mentor connections into the TV production studio and onto the sets of our feature films at Madonna. To see how it influences the great work our students produce week after week, month after month and year after year in the Madonna Broadcast and Cinema Arts program is exhilarating. It’s one of the most dynamic and creative environments I’ve seen across the country available to undergraduates. It’s easy to say that but so many professionals in the film and television industry agree.”
Christopher has always had a love for film. With such film favorites as Stand By Me (1986), Red Dawn (1984), Breakfast Club (1985), Footloose (1984) and Dead Poets Society (1989), Christopher recognizes that "Filmmaking is about the characters, the relationships, the emotion, the stories – that’s where the movie magic is. Anyone can blow things up on screen, not everyone can make you connect to characters," and that's where Christopher's passion lies – connecting the characters to the audience.
Paula is a Madonna graduate who teaches Television Directing/Producing and Radio Production. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Family & Consumer Science in 2009 which eventually led her to production and on-air talent for Animal Talk, an internationally syndicated radio show.
Paula got involved in film making in 2010 and has been very active ever since. She has held roles such as production manager, casting director, assistant director, producer, production manager and preproduction supervisor for films such as God Bless the Broken Road, Crowning Jules, Elder Island, Rodeo Girl, Holiday Miracle, Sand Castles, A Dog For Christmas and Mary’s Buttons. She has won a total of 10 national and international film festival awards, as well as received an Emmy Nomination for her work as a writer/producer on the internationally-syndicated talk show, Ask Dr. Nandi.
Paula also has experience working on multiple music videos, including the role as Assistant Locations Manager for My Life with 50 Cent/Eminem/Adam Levine in 2013.
Hear from Paula: “I took a non-traditional path for getting into the world of film and radio, but it’s all helped me along the way. My background and education led me to radio which in turn led to my career in film and television. Having a background in Family & Consumer Science gave me a leg up writing and producing for the Ask Dr. Nandi show. I want to pass along to the BCA students, that no matter where you come from in life you can use that background to create thought-provoking material for the world to see and soak in.”
Cheryl is a Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame member who brings a bright, sensible, fun and professional approach to working with students studying broadcast journalism at Madonna. She spent 25 years at Channel 7 ABC in Detroit, and is best known as a breaking news reporter. Cheryl covered stories ranging from Pope and Presidential visits to Nelson Mandela, to the breaking news murders and negative side of life, to reporting about the achievers and Good Samaritans that make Michigan great.
Cheryl, a graduate of Wayne State University, has seen all sides of journalism. She worked as a newspaper reporter and TV news writer before giving news radio a try, at WCXI and then WWJ News radio. That was before Channel 7 asked her to return for the next quarter of a century. In addition to mentoring young journalism students, Cheryl advises law enforcement and corporations on how to best work with the media.
Hear from Cheryl: “I feel that communication skills, journalism skills are life skills. I always tell my students that being able to communicate in a clear, concise, and conversational way will help them in anything they choose to do. It will help them in getting a job, even getting a date, talking to each other, talking to family members."
“I think the BCA Department is a treasure that many outsiders don't even know about. We have young people who can write and edit and shoot video almost like seasoned professionals, yet they are still learning and growing. I share a lot of my experiences with my students so they know kind of firsthand what it is like to be on a breaking story, what it's like to interview a famous person, and then what it's like to witness a tragedy. We learn a lot about proper demeanor and about being factual and fair and respectful. I think Madonna students have a great relationship with their teachers because they know we're here to help them on their amazing journey into their futures.”