2021 Emeriti

Thomas Cooper

Thomas Cooper is the author or co-author of seven published books about media ethics and criticism including Media Fast/Fast Media, Television and Ethics: A Bibliography, Communications Ethics and Global Change, and An Ethics Trajectory. The co-publisher of Media Ethics, an independent academic and professional magazine (both online and in print), Cooper has written over 100 articles and reviews. Recently, he has served as an ethics expert for the United Nations, creating a new ethics curriculum for students and faculty worldwide.

From 1975 to 1980 at the University of Toronto, Cooper served as an assistant to Marshall McLuhan, the renowned communications theorist who originated the phrase "the medium is the message." Cooper co-produced some of the first audio-spacebridges (live satellite, two-way broadcasts) between the US, the Soviet Union, and other countries. During his most recent sabbaticals, Cooper has been a guest scholar at Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, the University of Hawaii, the East-West Center, the University of Edinburgh, and Yale.

A playwright with a doctorate in drama and communication, Cooper also attended Canada's Royal Conservatory of Music, and his musical compositions have been performed in multiple locations. He has received numerous fellowships, awards, and grants, and was a speechwriter for the former CEO of Puma, Inc. Cooper was founding director of the Association for Responsible Communication, which was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988. He has taught at Harvard University (his alma mater), the University of Hawaii, University of Maryland, Temple University, and at Emerson for 35 years.

Kathleen Donohue

Kathleen Donohue is a member of Actor's Equity and has worked professionally in both television and theatre. She has taught acting workshops for the International Association for the Study of Dreams in Delphi, Greece, and produced and performed in Living In Exile: A Retelling of the Iliad in Edinburgh, Scotland, after having toured the show at institutions including the Remis Theatre of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Donohue produced the Clauder Competition in Playwriting and has written and performed her own one-woman shows. From 1990 to 1996, she was artistic director for TheatreWorks of Boston, Inc.

Bill Gilligan

Bill Gilligan heads Information Technology (IT), which comprises several teams: User Services, Networking and Telecommunications, and Enterprise Systems. In addition to IT, he oversees Media Technologies and Production (MTP, formerly TRF) and WERS, the College’s acclaimed radio station. He has learned, during 30 years at Emerson as faculty and administrator, that things work best when he keeps himself and other obstacles out of the paths of the host of much-smarter colleagues that he is privileged to work with in IT, MTP, and WERS. Gilligan and his wife, Bev, live on the NH seacoast and enjoy skiing, golf, kayaking, and following the adventures of five grandchildren.

Hassan Ildari

Before joining Emerson College in 2009 to teach film and television writing, Hassan Ildari came from eight years of television work as a nonfiction writer-producer-director in New York City and nearly 20 years of studio feature film experience in Hollywood. Ildari is a graduate of the Directing Fellowship Program of the American Film Institute Conservatory for Advanced Film and Television Studies in Los Angeles, and a recipient of an AFI/Universal Studios directing fellowship. The fellowship led him to working on the movies of directors Walter Hill and John Landis, and at the story departments of Walt Disney Studios, Columbia, and Tri-Star Pictures. He then went on to became head of development and production at the bi-coastal, Universal Studios-based Golden Quill.

Ildari has written a dozen feature film screenplays, of note among them: Confessor: Assassins of Orlando Letelier and The Seamstress. He has directed three independent feature length movies: Come with Me (2014), Sharkskin (2011), and Face of the Enemy (1990). Face of the Enemy was noted for "provocative content" and "vigorous stylistic" direction by The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times.

His latest short movie, A Day Away (2017), which he directed and shot with an enhanced iPhone camera and edited on Avid, is a 35-minute narrative drama available on Vimeo. His most recent feature-length screenplay is Give Me to the Wind (2017–2018), about the real-life murder trial of a 26-year-old Iranian interior designer charged with killing her client. Food Cart Family (2018) is a 30-minute narrative short screenplay about a family of food cart vendors working in Manhattan.

Prior to joining Emerson, and while he was the head of development and production at Oscar-winning director Arthur Hiller's Golden Quill, Ildari also taught producing and editing seminars at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts for two years.

Diane Lake

Diane Lake, who previously taught screenwriting for UCLA's acclaimed Writer's Program, has been a working screenwriter since 1993, when she sold her first story idea. Since then, Lake has been commissioned to write screenplays for Columbia, Disney, Miramax, and Paramount, as well as numerous independent producers.

Lake co-wrote the screenplay of the acclaimed film Frida, a biography of the artist Frida Kahlo. The movie, starring Salma Hayek and directed by Julie Taymor, opened the Venice Film Festival in 2002 and was named one of the best films of the year by numerous Top 10 lists, including The National Board of Review and the American Film Institute. Frida also was nominated for six Academy Awards in 2003.

Lake's scripts in development have included Distance, the story of the French Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot, optioned by Columbia and subsequently by Blue Collar Films; A Thousand Cranes, an epic love story set against the backdrop of the bombing of Hiroshima in World War II, by Digital Domain Studios; and Vincent, a biopic of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, optioned by Showtime.

Her script Hemingway in Paris recently sold to French producer Phillippe Chausse. Current projects under option include Ada, a biopic of Lord Byron's only legitimate daughter, and Hard-Boiled, a film noir featuring Raymond Chandler. Her script Monet is in development as a French/Australian co-production. Her short fiction has appeared in the Grey Sparrow Review and she has recently been commissioned to adapt Thomas H. Cook's novel Instruments of Night for L.A. producer Tony Greenburg's Two Jacks Productions.

Lake won Boston's 2011 ProArts Consortium Award given for creating a course in Writing the Film Musical, judged to be "the most innovative course involving students from more than one institution" in the Consortium. She teaches the course in conjunction with Berklee College of Music.

Lake speaks around the world on the subject of screenwriting. She has served as keynote speaker at numerous events in the US and abroad, including at a recent international conference on American Studies, organized by the US State Department and held in Turkey. A longtime member of the Writers Guild of America, Lake serves as a Guild arbiter, determining writing credits for films.

David Luterman

Citation for 60 Years of Service

David Luterman is a well-known teacher, researcher, author, consultant, and lecturer. He is a specialist in the hearing-impaired and in counseling. His books include Counseling the Communicatively Disordered and Their Families, Deafness in Perspective, Deafness in the Family, When Your Child Is Deaf, In the Shadows: Living and Coping with a Loved One's Chronic Illness, The Young Deaf Child, and Early Childhood Deafness (with Ellen Kurtzer-White). 

Luterman has presented many lectures and symposia around the world. He is a fellow of the American Speech and Hearing Association and recipient of the Frank Kleffner Clinical Achievement Award (2011).