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Haile Gerima
Gerima walked away with the Italian festival’s Special Jury Prize and Best Screenplay Prize for “Teza.”

Pictured: Haile Gerima

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Excellence at Howard

Haile Gerima, professor, John H. Johnson School of Communications' Department of Radio, Television and Film and award-winning independent filmmaker, has made a major splash in prestigious film festivals throughout the world with his latest film, “Teza.” In February, “Teza” won the Dioraphte Award for films held in the highest regard by festival audiences at the 38th International Film Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Gerima’s film also won four top awards at the 22nd Carthage International Film Festival in Tunisia in October 2008, including Best Screenplay, Best Music and Best Actor prizes and the Golden Prize for Cinematography. At the 65th Venice International Film Festival, the oldest film festival in the world, held in September 2008, Gerima walked away with the Italian festival’s Special Jury Prize and Best Screenplay Prize for “Teza.”

Sonja Williams File Photo
Sonja Williams, associate professor and chair of the John H. Johnson School of Communications’ Department of Radio, Television and Film, is the recipient of a 2009 Gracie Award from the American Women in Radio and Television. Williams served as an executive producer of "Uncrowned Queens: Voices of African American Women" a documentary series that aired on WNED public radio in Buffalo, New York. The series highlights the accomplishments and viewpoints of African-American women who have made an exceptional difference in their western New York communities. This is Williams’ second Gracie Award; the first was awarded in the mid-1990s for her production of "A Woman’s Touch," a documentary that examined the role of African-American women in radio. In addition, Williams has written and produced numerous award-winning documentaries for National Public Radio and the Smithsonian Institution.

Rochelle Ford, Ph.D. File Photo

Rochelle Ford, Ph.D., associate dean of Research and Academic Affairs in the John H. Johnson School of Communications, was tapped as the new host for the PRSA podcast series, “PRSA Diversity Today.” Ford is an award-winning scholar who also has published work on diversity and public relations pedagogy. She writes the column “Diversity Dimensions” for Public Relations Tactics and is the winner of the 2008 D. Parke Gibson Multiculturalism Award.

The Department of Theatre Arts received a grant from the Broadway League to take students majoring in Theatre Arts Administration to New York City. The students will engage in workshops and discussions and meet with executives from all aspects of production, gaining insights on how each area works individually as well as collectively to ensure a high-quality production from development to opening night and beyond.

Sandra G. Shannon, Ph.D., professor in the Department of English, will deliver the keynote address at the 70th anniversary conference of the College English Association, which will take place in Pittsburgh, Pa. from March 26 to 28. Given the conference location is the birthplace of the late playwright August Wilson, organizers see the conference as an opportunity to honor the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. The title of Shannon's address is “Wish You Were Here:  August Wilson in the Age of Obama.”

William Lawson, M.D., Ph.D. Photo by Ceasar

William Lawson, M.D., Ph.D., is president-elect of the Washington Psychiatric Society, which represents psychiatrists in D.C., suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia. It is one of the largest chapters in the American Psychiatric Association. In addition, Dr. Lawson’s abstract, “Bipolar Disorder Outside of Mental Health Settings,” was chosen for a workshop at the Office of Minority Health’s Third National Leadership Summit on Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health 2009.

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