The School of Cinema was shocked and saddened to learn that one of our former students, Donna Kellogg, died in the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland last weekend. We want to extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends, that they may know their grief is shared by our community.
Donna Kellogg received her B.A. in Cinema at SFSU in 2010. She was an excellent student, and took many different classes in our Department. Her interests outside Cinema included Humanism and Mysticism, Peace Law and Human Rights, Ethical Issues in Journalism, Political and Social Philosophy. She was a talented, vibrant young artist who was recently embarking on a culinary career.
Professor Jason Jakaitis, who taught Donna in a filmmaking class in 2007, remembers her vividly. He recalls her as delightful student whose emails were full of playful non-sequiturs, and who signed off “Donna, Party of One.” She was a confident, generous creative collaborator in class and seemed very comfortable in her skin. Professor Steven Kovacs taught her in three classes. He remembers her as “a luminous presence, with eyes and soul that engaged everyone.”
The School is looking into the possibility of raising funds in order to create an award in Donna’s name to be given to a student whose work reflects the avant-garde, experimental sensibility she seems to have embraced in her work and life. Cinema is also coordinating an opportunity for students to come together to discuss the tragedy, with Counseling staff available to those in need. The date and time for this will be announced shortly. In the meantime, we urge any student who is in emotional duress to seek support at Student Psychological Services.
Our hearts go out to all those whose loved ones’ lives were cut short in this catastrophe. As filmmakers and scholars devoted to cinema, aesthetics, and the importance of creative culture, our faculty mourn the terrible loss of so many brilliant, talented young artists.