Faculty and Staff

Email information is followed by @css.edu unless otherwise noted.

Position: Professor/Dean, SAL
Department: SAL Admin
Phone: (218) 723-6173
E-Mail: Tostrand@css.edu

Tammy Ostrander is currently the Dean of the School of Arts and Letters. She accepted this position after serving as Honors Program Director 10 years. She holds a PhD in Communication from The University of Missouri-Columbia specializing in persuasion, argumentation, and theatre. She also holds a BA and MA in English from Northeast Missouri State University (currently known as Truman State University) where she focused on dramatic literature and medieval literature.
For the CTA Department, Tammy teaches Persuasion, Argumentation, Directing, Film and Literature, and directs one play every academic year. Tammy is also a member of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
Before working at The College of St. Scholastica, she worked at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.  
In her free time, Tammy is dedicated to the arts: a musician (both a singer and a pianist), a director, and an actor. She also enjoys exercising, quilting, reading, cooking, and movies.

Position: Asst Prof/Dir, Art
Department: Art
Phone: (218) 723-6723
E-Mail: SBrokke@css.edu
Website: View

Sarah Brokke Erickson received her BFA in Pre-Graduate Studio Art with an emphasis in Painting from the University of Minnesota Duluth. During her time there, she studied abroad in Birmingham, England and participated in an Art History Intensive in France. She received her MFA through a joint program between SACI in Florence, Italy and BGSU in Ohio.

Brokke Erickson has taught Studio Art, Art History, Art Theory, Honors and Dignitas courses at CSS since the fall of 2005, and has been the Art Program Director since 2015. She also directs the Mural Initiative Project, which is in its third year. This project has created collaborative community murals with local schools and non-profits, each of which have been supported by Arrowhead Regional Arts Council Grants, and has brought visiting Artists to the college.

She is also a visual Artist. Thematically, her work explores gender roles and traditions, relationships, and identity. She exhibits her work locally, as well as nationally and internationally.   Brokke Erickson is a 2015 and 2018 recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Award, as well as a 2017 Arrowhead Regional Arts Council Fellowship. Her published work Portrait of an Artist received an Honorable Mention by the NEMBA, and a documentary of the same name was produced in 2017 by SHOOK productions.

Position: Assoc Professor, CTA
Department: Communication, Theater and Art
Phone: (218) 723-6144
E-Mail: NCarroll@css.edu
Website: View

Dr. Nathan Carroll

Associate Professor, Film Studies Communication, Theatre and Art

Dr. Carroll has taught Film Studies in the Dept. of Communication, Theatre and Art since arriving at CSS in 2006. He grew up near Fargo, ND before graduating Gustavus Adolphus College in 1995 with a double major in Philosophy and Political Science. He did graduate coursework in Philosophy and Cultural Analysis at the Univ. of Amsterdam (1996-7) before transferring into an MA program in Aesthetics at the Univ. of York, UK. In 1999, his thesis comparing Postmodern theory to the Kantian sublime received a distinction. Changing disciplinary focus to Film Studies, he graduated from Indiana Univ. in 2006 with a combined Ph.D. in Communication and Culture and American Studies. His dissertation investigated the impact of digital archiving on film history.

Since 2006, Dr. Carroll has designed a diverse Film Studies Concentration curriculum within the Communication Major. He has served as Chair of Faculty Assembly, taught two semesters in Ireland (2011, 2016), created the SAL Colloquium in 2007, supervises CTA internships and has co-organized eight CSS film festivals with Brad Snelling (CSS Library), including this year’s WWI-themed event: ‘Cinema in the Trenches.’

Dr. Carroll has published in several academic journals including Velvet Light Trap, The Moving Image, Quarterly Review of Film and Video and Movement (online). Recently, he received sabbatical for fall 2018 to edit a peer-reviewed reader contracted with Intellect Press (UK) titled: Negative Pleasures: The Cinematic Sublime. It will feature chapter essays by Dr. Carroll and 11 other authors to be published in fall 2019. He regularly presents at conferences and was an invited presenter for the UMD Zombie Fest (2013) and the Duluth Art Institute’s ‘Saturday Morning Art Films’ series in 2017. Married in January 2017 on the island of Kauai, he and his partner Laurie are owned by two beautiful Siamese cats.



Negative Pleasures: The Cinematic Sublime (Forthcoming Anthology from Intellect Press (UK), 2019) (Editor and Contributor)

Oscar predictions featured in Duluth News Tribune article by Christa Lawler, Feb. 26, 2016 http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/lifestyle/3956250-locals-share-their-oscar-predictions

Chimes at Midnight.”  Quarterly Review of Film and Video 29.5

“Double Exposure:  Framing the Athletes of Marx & Coca-Cola at the Beijing Opening Ceremony.”   Movement 1.1 – http://movementjournal.com

“Mitchell and Kenyon, Archival Contingency, and the Cultural Production of Historical License.” The Moving Image 6.2 (Fall 2006)

“Unwrapping Archives:  DVD Restoration Demonstrations and the Marketing of Authenticity.” Velvet Light Trap 56 (Fall 2005)


Conference Presentations and Guest Lectures

"Street Hassles: Revolution and Authorship in Street Scenes 1970" (‘Wounded Galaxies 1968’ conference at Indiana University, Feb 2018.)

“Introduction to American Cinema” Russian-American Language Camp, College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, July 2017.

“One Shot in Real Time: Digitally Staging Sublime Cinema” (Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Chicago, IL, March 2017.)

“Abstracting Pollock” (‘Saturday Morning Art Films’, Duluth, MN sponsored by the Duluth Art Institute and Zeitgeist, March 4, 2017.

Chimes at Midnight” Intro. for ‘Shakespeare on Film: Great Adaptations’ Film Fest, CSS, Duluth, MN, Dec 2, 2016. 

“A Short History of the Long Take: Digital Cinema & the Infinite Cut” (School of Arts & Letters Colloquium, Sept 18, 2015)

“Clint Eastwood, Toxic Masculinity & American Sniper” (following campus-wide screening, April 2015.

"Conspicuous Consumption: Zombies, Labor Exploitation & the Return of the Repressed" (‘UMD Zombie Fest’ Oct 18, 2013, Duluth, MN.)

“Relocating Metropolis” (Intro. for ‘Lost Shadows: Silent German Expressionist Cinema’ Film Fest, CSS, Duluth, MN, April, 2012)

“Alien Body Panic: On the Identity Politics of Body-Switch Movies” (Society for Cinema and Media Studies, L.A., CA, March 2010.)

Daddy Longlegs: The Long Way Home” (Sound Unseen Film Festival, Zinema 2, Duluth, MN, June 2010)

“Obsessing About Cinema” (Video interview and introduction for Obsessed Cinema Film Festival, CSS, Duluth, MN, Feb 2010.)

“Introduction to American Cinema: The Studio System and Censorship; American Film Genres; Outside Hollywood/Independent Film” (Three-part lecture series for Russian-American Language Camp, CSS, Duluth, MN, July 2009.)

 “Sublime Frames: The Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony Redefines the Cinematic” (Invited lecture for “Media, Sport, & Culture,” CSS, Duluth, MN, April 2009.)

 “Kant and Sublime Enlightenment” (Invited lectures for “Composition,” CSS, Duluth, MN, Nov 2008 & April 2009.)

 “Recycling De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves:  60th Anniversary” (Intro. for Italian Film Festival, CSS, Duluth, MN, Oct 2008.)

 “The Auteur & the Opera: Herzog, Nietzsche, and the Wagnerian Sublime” (Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Philadelphia, PA, March 2008.)

“Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Decalogue Series” (Intro.  for The Decalogue Film Festival, CSS, Duluth, MN, Feb 2008.))

Autumn Sonata as Chamber Drama” (Intro. for Ingmar Bergman Film Festival, CSS, Duluth, MN, Dec 2007.)

Wild Strawberries as a Road Trip Movie” (Intro. for Ingmar Bergman Film Festival, CSS, Duluth, MN, Dec 2007.)

“The French New Wave” (Invited lecture: “French Culture Through Film,” CSS, Duluth, MN, March 2007.)

“Digital Disruptions: DVD and Cultural Archives” (Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Vancouver, Canada, March 2006.)

“Lost: Digital Contingency and the Archival Production of Cultural Context” (Archival Bodies Conference (Milwaukee Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, WI, Feb 2006.)

“Waiting for Godard: Archiving H/histories du Histoire(s) du Cinema” (‘Back to Zero: Jean-Luc Godard Film Festival and Symposium, IN Univ, Bloomington, Dec 2005.)

“Unwrapping Archives:  DVD Restoration Demonstrations and the Marketing of Authenticity” (Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, University of London, UK, April 2005.)

“There’s No Place Like Home:  The American Gothic Prairie and Contemporary Film” (Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference, New Orleans, LA, April 2003.)

“Analyzing a Scene and Writing about Film” (Invited lecture for “Homeland and Emigration in the Sagas of Icelanders,” University of California, Berkeley, CA, Oct 2002.)

“Pop Will Eat Itself:  Self-Cannibalism and the Politics of Absence in Todd Haynes’ Superstar:  The Karen Carpenter Story”          (Outside(r) Hollywood Conference, Dept. of Comparative Literature Cinema Studies Colloquium, University of WA, Seattle, May 2000.


Honors and Awards

Sabbatical awarded for fall 2018 to edit forthcoming reader: Negative Plesures: The Cinematic Sublime.

Small Grant Award from College of St. Scholastica to attend Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Chicago, IL, 2017.

Equal Access Award, College of St. Scholastica. Per description, “This award recognizes faculty who exhibit exemplary effort to engage students with disabilities in academic and interpersonal growth and development.” 2015.

Film Concentration in the Department of Communication, Theatre, and Art approved fall 2011

Promoted to Associate Professor Fall 2011

Received tenure beginning fall 2012

Small Grant Award from College of St. Scholastica to attend the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, L.A., CA, 2010.

Small Grant Award from College of St. Scholastica to attend Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Philadelphia, PA, 2008.

Faculty Development Research Grant from College of St. Scholastica for developing the research project “The Auteur & the Opera:  Cinema’s Pet Project,” 2007.     

Small Grant Award from College of St. Scholastica to attend the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, Chicago, IL, 2007.

Communication and Culture Pedagogy Certificate at Indiana University, 2006.

Department of Communication and Culture Travel Grant from Indiana University for attendance at the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, London, UK, 2005.  

Distinction on M.A. Thesis at the University of York, UK, 1999.


Position: Asst Professor, Art
Department: Art
Phone: (218) 723-6170
E-Mail: plajeunesse@css.edu
Position: Asst. Professor, CTA
Department: Communication, Theater and Art
Phone: (218) 723-6719
E-Mail: RLarson4@css.edu
Website: View

Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies

Department of Communication, Theatre, and Art

The College of St. Scholastica



Phone: 218 723 6719

Office: Tower Hall, Room 4407

Position: Lecturer, CTA/SAL
Department: Communication, Theater and Art
Phone: (218) 723-6701
E-Mail: KMullan@css.edu

Kelly holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin - Superior,  and a Masters Degree in Advocacy and Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota - Duluth. Over the last 20 years, she has directed theatre productions at UW-Superior, Renegade, The Duluth Playhouse, Marshall and Denfeld High Schools, Tugboat Children's Theatre, The Underground, Twin Ports Stage, and most recently, The College of St. Scholastica. Additionally she coached the high school speech team at Marshall. Kelly has also been very involved in the local community through Mentor Duluth, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation (Young Leaders Fund), PAVSA, and formerly co-chaired the Board of Directors for the Women's Community Development Organization. Her passions include advocacy and service, particularly related to issues of gender and violence in our community.

Position: Lecturer, CTA/SAL
Department: Communication, Theater and Art
Phone: (218) 625-4885
E-Mail: sobst@css.edu
Position: Asst Professor, CTA
Department: Communication, Theater and Art
Phone: (218) 723-6171
E-Mail: ESmith@css.edu
Website: View

Ed is the coordinator for the Photography Minor, has a BA from the University of Minnesota–Duluth in Speech Communication with a minor in Journalism and a MA in Communicating Arts from the University of Wisconsin–Superior.

One of Ed’s areas of expertise is photography, as he is a photographer himself. He is also very knowledgeable and passionate about news media ethics and media law, which is why Mass Media Law and Ethics is his favorite class to teach.

After graduating from UMD, Ed worked at Channel 10 news, starting as a part-time newscaster and becoming News Director. After making it to the top at Channel 10, Ed decided to come to CSS because of the great opportunities the College had to offer.

In his free time, Ed likes to travel: to Ireland (which he loves because of its great photo opportunities), Germany (he has friends there and speaks the language), the Caribbean, and San Francisco (his two sons live there). Ed also enjoys reading (fiction and non-fiction), boating, riding his motorcycle, and visiting his cabin in Douglas County, WI.

Ed enjoys spending time with his three kids. His sons, Stuart and Ian, graduated from CSS and live in San Francisco; his daughter, Shannon, graduated from CSS in 2008 and was highly active in the theatre program, appearing in many plays including Antigone and Three Sisters. Ed’s wife, Debra Smith, is a 1977 graduate of the CSS Nursing Program.

Position: Assoc Professor/Chair, CTA
Department: Communication, Theater and Art
Phone: 733-2278
E-Mail: MVaughan@css.edu

Dr. Merry Renn Vaughan is the director of the CSS Theatre program and the CTA department chair. She has a BFA in Theatre with an emphasis on directing and producing, a self-designed MA in Theatre Arts, and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies (her dissertation is titled There's More to Seuss Than Meets the Eye: The Social and Political Vision of an American Icon). Dr. Vaughan teaches Human Communication, Acting for the Stage, Introduction to Theatre and directs a production each year for the CSS Theatre. She is also active in the CSS First-year Program, Dignitas, serving on the Advisory Board and teaching in the program.

Adjunct Faculty