School of the Arts Alumni

Cherien Dabis
('04SOA) - Named one of Variety’s “Ten Directors to Watch” in 2009, award-winning filmmaker Cherien Dabis made her feature film debut with Amreeka, which premiered to critical acclaim at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and won the prestigious FIPRESCI award at the 2009 Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight. Prior to that, she was an accomplished television writer and co-producer on Showtime Network’s original hit series The L Word.
('91SOA) - Actor and director Adam Davidson has directed some of television’s most popular and acclaimed shows. He made his directorial debut with “The Lunch Date,” which won the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at Cannes and the 1991 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. Since then, he has directed episodes of a number of TV shows, including Six Feet Under, Lost, Deadwood, Grey’s Anatomy, True Blood, Big Love, The United States of Tara, Friday Night Lights, and Entourage.
SOA Alumnus -  Alfredo de Villa is an award-winning writer-director who lives in Los Angeles but makes many of his films in New York. He grew up in Puebla, Mexico. His most recent film, Adrift in Manhattan, was nominated for Best Narrative Feature at the Sundance Film Festival, and it won Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at the Indianapolis International Film Festival, Best Director Prize at the San Diego Film Festival and Special Jury Ensemble Award at the Palm Beach International Film Festival.
('99SOA) - Kiran Desai’s first novel, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, was published in 1998 and received the Betty Trask award the same year. Her second book, The Inheritance of Loss, was released in 2006, and was awarded the Man Booker Prize, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award. In 2007 the novel was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Kiryiama Pacific Rim Book Prize.
Sabrina Dhawan
('02SOA) - Sabrina Dhawan was born in England, raised in Delhi and lives in New York. She graduated from Columbia University’s film program in 2001 with a Masters of Fine Arts in Film. Sabrina’s student short "Saanjh – As Night Falls" was cited as "Best of the Festival" at the Palm Springs Film Festival in 2000, won an award from New Line Cinema for "Most Original Film," won the "Audience Impact" Award at Angelus Awards and was nominated for a Student Academy Award.
('03SOA) - Bathsheba Doran’s play Parents’ Evening received its world premiere at The Flea Theater in April 2010, directed by Jim Simpson. Her play Ben and The Magic Paintbrush premiered at South Coast Repertory Theater in June 2010.
('97SOA) - Julie Dubiner is the associate director of American Revolutions at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. American Revolutions is a commissioning project with the goal of creating 37 new plays concerning moments of great change in US history.
Stephen Dubner
('94SOA) - Stephen J. Dubner is an award-winning author, journalist, TV and radio personality who lives in New York City. He is the co-author, with Steven D. Levitt, of Freakonomics (2005) and its sequel SuperFreakonomics (2009). He is also the author of Turbulent Souls (1998), Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper (2003), and a children’s book, The Boy With Two Belly Buttons (2007).
('00SOA) - Sian Edwards has produced a wide range of topical, factual, entertainment and investigative programming. For Food Network, Sian executive produced Everyday Italian with Giada De Laurentiis and Good Deal with Dave Lieberman. She also executive produced the Food Network's first original web series, Eat This with Dave Lieberman, which went on to become Dave Does.
('96SOA) - Liz Engelman is a freelance dramaturg who splits her time between Whidbey Island, WA, and Ely, MN. She has served as the literary director of the McCarter Theatre; the director of new play development at ACT Theatre in Seattle, Washington; literary manager/dramaturg at Seattle’s Intiman Theatre; and assistant literary manager at the Actors Theatre of Louisville.
('97SOA) - Shirley Fishman is the director of play development for the La Jolla Playhouse, where she has also served as dramaturg on Carmen, The Deception, Most Wanted, The Wiz, Culture Clash's Zorro in Hell, The Scottish Play, Palm Beach, Eden Lane, When Grace Comes In, Adoration of the Old Woman, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Diva, I Am My Own Wife (2004 Pulitzer Prize) and Dracula, The Musical.
Emily Fragos
'96, Adjunct Faculty - Emily Fragos's first book of poems, Little Savage, was published by Grove Press in 2004. Her newest collection, Hostage: New & Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow Press, 2011), was considered for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She has served as guest poetry editor for Guernica and has written articles on dance and music for Bomb, Pointe and Playbill.
Rivka Galchen
('06SOA) - Rivka Galchen's first novel, Atmospheric Disturbances was published in 2008 and named as a finalist for the Mercantile Library's John Sargent Sr.
('01SOA) - Meredith Garlick has produced the feature-length films The Secret of Moonacre, a children’s fantasy-adventure starring Dakota Blue Richards and Tim Curry, and The Underdog’s Tale, an Australian romantic-comedy. She has produced a number of shorts, as well, including “Scratch,” “Matrilineal” (as assistant producer), “Back Story,” and “The Rite.” She has also served as assistant to actor Russell Crowe on A Beautiful Mind and producer Richard Brick on Sweet and Lowdown. 
Philip Gourevitch
('92SOA) - Philip Gourevitch has been a regular contributor to The New Yorker since 1995 and a staff writer since 1997. From 2005 to 2010, he was editor of The Paris Review, succeeding the late George Plimpton. Gourevitch is the author of A Cold Case (2001), Standard Operating Procedure (with Erroll Morris, 2008) and We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda (1998), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the George K.
Anne Goursaud
('73SOA) - Anne Goursaud is an accomplished film director and editor. It was Francis Ford Coppola who first spotted Anne's talent, giving her the chance to edit One from the Heart. Since that time, she has directed and edited a wide range of projects, and she has worked with some of the most highly acclaimed professionals in the movie industry.
('91SOA) - Tala Hadid was born in 1974 in London to a Moroccan mother and an Iraqi father. She coproduced and directed her first full-length film while studying as an undergraduate at Brown University. In 2001, she directed Windsleepers, a film set in St. Petersburg. In 2005 Hadid completed her thesis film, Your Dark Hair Ihsan. The film, shot in Northern Morocco and in the Rif Mountains, was awarded the 2005 Cinecolor/Kodak Prize and in June 2005 received a Student Academy Award. In February 2006 the film won the Panorama Best short Film Award at the Berlin Film Festival.
('06SOA) - Ashlin Halfnight’s plays include Second Life (2012 O’Neill Playwright’s Conference Finalist), A Hard Wall at High Speed (Directed by May Adrales, APAC, Nominated for Outstanding Premiere Production of 2011, NYITA), Balaton (Nominated for Best Play of 2009, NYITA), Good Pictures (Outstanding New Play – 2008 Talkin’ Broadway), God’s Waiting Room (Best Play, 2005 NYFringe), Diving Normal (Plays and
Jon Haller
('09SOA) - Jon Haller is a writer and director from Carbondale, Ill. He earned his MFA in Screenwriting from Columbia University School of the Arts, where he received the inaugural Lewis Cole Memorial Screenwriting Award. As a playwright, he has received three fellowships from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Named by The Dramatist magazine as one of "50 to Watch," he has also written and directed award-winning online videos for companies such as Random House, AT&T and The Onion News Network.
('00SOA) - Tanya Hamilton is a Jamaica-born filmmaker who made her feature film debut with the award-winning Night Catches Us. The film won five Black Reel Awards, including Best Film and Best Screenplay. It was also nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, four Image Awards, a Gotham Award, a Chlotrudis Award, and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize. In the film, Anthony Mackie plays a young man who returns to the Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age and must confront his complicated past in the Black Panther movement.
© 2017 Columbia University School of the Arts | 305 Dodge Hall, Mail Code 1808 | 2960 Broadway | New York, NY 10027 | (212) 854-2875 | EMAIL
Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.