Laura Vazquez

Undergraduate Program Director
Media Studies


(Ph.D., Northwestern University)
Specialties: documentary video production, gender and media
Director of Reality Bytes Film Festival.

Director of the Social Justice and Diversity Pathway at NIU

Latest Films and Publications

  • Courtwatch: DeKalb County (2014) 30 min. This video is for promotion and training of the Courtwatch program.  Courtwatch is a silent witness program in the DeKalb County Courts whereby volunteers observe domestic violence court cases and offer feedback to the judiciary on these observations.
  • Think Globally: Eat Locally (2015) 35 min. Director. This the story of DeKalb County Illinois' community-led efforts to address the need to increase the production and distribution of locally grown foods to improve, health and nutrition, foster community building and promote reconnection with one of our most basic needs—the need to come together to provide food for ourselves and for our communities.
  • "Making Gendered Violence Visible in Kirby Dick’s The Invisible War." In Documenting Gendered Violence; Edited by Lisa M. Cuklanz, Ph.D. and Heather Macintosh; Bloomsbury Publishing, New York, NY, 2015. 
  • On the Edge: Family Homeless in America (2010) 63 min. Director, videographer, editor.  On the Edge chronicles the struggles of seven women trying to escape homelessness in small towns and resort communities across America.
  • My Own Four Walls (2009) 30 min. Editor and co-director with Diane Nilan. This series of short documentaries is composed of interviews with children who are experiencing homelessness.  It won the NAEHCY Outstanding Media award in 2007.
  • Mother Jones: America's Most Dangerous Woman (2007) co-directed with Rosemary Feurer. This short documentary covers the life of labor activist, Mother Jones.  It was named Official Selection of the 2007 Independent Filmmaker's Festival and won 1st Place in the Documentary Division at the Geneva Festival of the Arts in October 2007. 
  • Ruth Weisberg: On the Journey (2003), Director, cinematographer and editor (40 minutes) This is a documentary about contemporary artist, Ruth Weisberg and the beliefs and values reflected in her art.
  • Lockout 484: Meredosia, Illinois, Summer 2005, Director; Produced by Dr. Rosemary Feurer (26 minutes). This piece recounts a contemporary labor struggle with roots in the 19th century mining disputes in southern Illinois.
  • Lincoln and the Black Hawk War (2004) Pre-Production Consultant, Cinematographer, Graphics Designer and Editor. Written and Directed by Jeffrey Chown, (52 minutes). This documentary uses Lincoln's rather unimpressive participation in the Black Hawk War as a way to discuss Native/settler conflicts in Illinois in the early 19th century

Honors Faculty Fellow (2022-2024)

As an Honors Faculty Fellow, Professor Vazquez will teach a seminar on Innovation, Social Equity, and Entrepreneurship in Media with Professor Gur in fall 2022 in the University Honors Program. The Honors Faculty Fellowship program identifies faculty eager to teach innovative, exciting seminars of interest to highly-motivated students from across the university.

Watson Hall 213

Contact Us

Department of Communication
Watson Hall 210
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-753-7109 (Fax)

Mehdi Semati, Ph.D.
Department Chair

Laura Vazquez, Ph.D.
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Watson Hall 213