GUEST SPEAKERS

Dann Gire, a graduate of both Charleston High School and Eastern Illinois University, serves as the president and founding director of the Chicago Film Critics Association and sits on the board of directors for the Chicago Headline Club. He was named the 2011 Journalism Alumnus of the Year at EIU. In 2013, Gire was honored as a Friend to Scholastic Journalism by the Illinois Journalism Education Association and the National Journalism Education Association. He has won Chicago's prestigious Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism in Arts Criticism eight times.

Gire taught journalism classes at Aurora University 2008-2010, and classes in drama, mass com, film literature, novels & short stories, feature writing and intro to journalism at William Rainey Harper College (1984-2006). Gire is married to the former Peggy Burke, also a graduate of Charleston High School and EIU. They have two daughters: actress Lauren Elaine Taylor, most recently seen as Marlene Dietrich in Barry Manilow's new musical "Harmony," and Morgan Gire, a freelance Chicago theater stage manager and interim executive assistant at the Kohl Children's Museum in Glenview.

Film critic Chuck Koplinski has been participating in the EVFF since it inception in 2004.  Having studied cinema at Columbia College in Chicago, he's been reviewing films for over 20 years for Central Illinois publications including the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette and Springfield’s Illinois Times.  A member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and Chicago Film Critic's Association, he has a weekly film segment on WCIA-TV Channel and MIX 94.5 FM.

Dr. Robin L. Murray (please see committee biographies)