Donna Binns teaches courses in English education, technical communication, and composition and rhetoric. She has published articles in Indiana English, Kansas English, The Dangling Modifier and Illinois Association of Teachers of English Bulletin. Her research interests include the transition from high school to college writing, media studies, disability studies and composition pedagogy. She has served as a member of the Teacher Certification Assessment Committee at EIU and as co-director of the Eastern region for the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She is currently the director of English education in the Department of English.
Dann Gire is a graduate of Charleston High School and Eastern Illinois University, where he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in speech communications. He 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 has worked at the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago as a government reporter, crime reporter, metro reporter (assigned to the Cook County Criminal Courts) and film critic. Gire has won the prestigious Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism in Arts Criticism seven times. He has taught journalism classes at Aurora University, and classes in drama, mass com, film literature, novels and short stories, and journalism at William Rainey Harper College. Gire is married to the former Peggy Burke, also a graduate of Charleston High School and EIU. They have two daughters: Lauren Elaine Taylor, most recently seen playing the Ethel Merman role in the musical "Red, White and Blue" on 42nd Street in New York City; and Morgan Gire, a Chicago freelance stage manager currently employed at the Straw Dog Theater and Adventure Stage Theater.
Joseph K. Heumann is professor emeritus from the Department of Communication Studies, where he taught a variety of film classes for more than 30 years. He is the author of On the Edge: Ecology and Popular Film (with Robin L. Murray), Gunfight at the Eco-Corral: Western Cinema and the Environment (with Robin L. Murray), and That's All Folks?: Ecocritical Readings of American Animated Features (with Robin L. Murray).
Film critic Chuck Koplinski has been participating in the EVFF since its inception in 2004. Having studied cinema at Columbia College in Chicago, he's been reviewing films for 20 years for central Illinois publications, including the Champaign News-Gazette and Springfield's Illinois Times. A member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, he has a weekly film segment on WCIA-TV Channel 3 and MIX 94.5 FM.
Robin L. Murray (Co-Project Director/Program Chair) teaches in the Department of English at EIU, where she also serves as the coordinator for the College of Arts and Humanities' film studies minor. She is the author of On the Edge: Ecology and Popular Film (with Joseph K. Heumann), Gunfight at the Eco-Corral: Western Cinema and the Environment (with Joseph K. Heumann), and That's All Folks?: Ecocritical Readings of American Animated Features (with Joseph K. Heumann).
Gabe Przygoda (Stop Motion Workshop Instructor) is a graduate student in computer technology in ElU's School of Technology. Przygoda has led the stop motion workshop for the EVFF several times, as well as leading a weeklong summer filmmaking class for youths at the Tarble Arts Center.
Karen Reed is a local artist specializing in ceramics and metals. She has taught workshops for the Tarble Arts Center through an Artist-in-Residence Program and has taught for three years at ElU's Summer Art School. Reed has a bachelor's degree in art from EIU.
Jay Spoonhour, the new head men's basketball coach at EIU, is a self-described "movie junkie." He co-hosted the "Movie Show" on KFNS radio in St. Louis in the late 1990s with Bob Ramsey (another sports guy who thinks he's a movie critic). His list of all-time-favorite movies includes Casablanca, The Godfather, The Sting, The Great Escape, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and anything with John Wayne.