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Bryan M. Jenkins, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher for Project REFOCUS at Howard University, has been named the recipient of the 2023 Kenneth Harwood Outstanding Dissertation Award.  

Dr. Jenkins graduated with a Ph.D. in Communication, Culture, & Media Studies from Howard University in July 2022. He was recognized as an Ernest E. Just and Percy L. Julian Research Fellow through Howard University’s Graduate School. During his studies, he served as the president of the Culture, Communication, & Media Studies (CCMS) Graduate Student Organization, a teaching assistant, and the inaugural Doctoral Fellow for the Traditional Arts DC program where he worked on projects that documented the importance of Black Washington, D.C. natives’ culture and art. His dissertation research, Doing Black Podcast Studies: Exploring the Black Oral Tradition and Critical Media Literacy in Alternative Media, investigates Black podcasts as a critical educational tool for Black communities that continues the tradition of Black orality. 

Dr. Jenkins is a 2022 inductee into the Yale University Bouchet Graduate Honor Society and has been recognized as a 2022 Rising Graduate Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. His research, which explores how marginalized groups utilize the digital space as a tool to educate and empower one another, has been published in the Popular Culture Studies Journal, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and the Howard Journal of Communications. Currently, Dr. Jenkins engages with communities about the importance of art as a coping and healing mechanism through his role as a Post-Doctoral researcher for Project REFOCUS at Howard University.  

Established by Kenneth Harwood, Professor at the University of Houston and a former President of BEA, the award has been offering $1,000 for the outstanding Ph.D. dissertation in broadcasting and electronic media for over 25 years. The award was established through gifts started by Professor Harwood and a donation from a friend of BEA.  Each year the recipient is selected by BEA’s Research Committee.  The Harwood Dissertation Award will be presented to Dr. Jenkins at BEA’s annual convention in Las Vegas during a ceremony and reception on the evening of Saturday, April 15th at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Dr. Jenkins and the 2023 nominees will be honored in a virtual panel on Tuesday, March 28th. Visit the Harwood Dissertation page for more information on the award. 

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