Laura Vazquez is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, where she teaches media theory and production courses. She has taught at NIU since August 2000. Vazquez completed her Ph.D. in Radio/TV/Film at Northwestern University. At NIU she teaches the introduction to media production and various advanced courses including documentary production. She also teaches graduate seminars on feminist media theory.
Vazquez has produced several documentaries and has recently completed (Oct. 2010) a feature length project on homeless women and children entitled On the edge. Vazquez received the King Family Foundation "Best Faculty Documentary Award" from the Broadcast Education Association in 2010 for On the edge. Working with Diane Nilan, President of HEAR US who produced On the edge, Vazquez completed My Own Four Walls in 2007 which included interviews with homeless children and received the NAEHCY (National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth) Outstanding Media Award in 2007.
In 2009, Vazquez directed a group of graduate and undergraduate students in making a short documentary on homeless youth for the Illinois Board of Education entitled "On Their Own: Unaccompanied Youth."
In the summer of 2006, Vazquez arranged to take six students from NIU to Los Angeles to work on a film produced by alumnus, Robert Katz. The film entitled Slipstream was written and directed by Anthony Hopkins who also starred in it. The 5-week program was very successful and students were able to work alongside the crew in various positions as part of the course and internship experience.
Vazquez is also the Chair of the President's Commission on the Status of Women. The Commission is the primary channel by which advice is givento the president on issues and concerns related to the status of women at NIU.
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