Aspiring Hollywood screenwriters, television and film producers, directors and actors at Hampton University will no longer find themselves “California dreaming.” Through Dean Julia Wilson’s strategic outreach and leadership prowess, Hampton students will now be able to access Hollywood.
Wilson recently returned from Los Angeles after being selected for an Alex Trebek Legacy Fellowship by the Television Academy Foundation, the producers of the Oscars and Emmy awards TV programs. She is one of only 12 professors from all U.S. colleges and universities, tapped for the fellowship program to participate in its annual Media Educators Conference.
Wilson said, “By way of Interstate 40, it’s 2,697 miles from Hampton University to Hollywood, Calif. And for thousands of aspiring journalists, actors, screenwriters, film directors and wanna-be producers who live miles from fabled Tinsel Town, that distance might as well be a million miles.” “But now, they can more directly connect with Hollywood’s top power brokers.”
“Dean Wilson continues to keep our students apprised of the latest emerging digital media trends and open doors to internships, mentorships, and scholarships,” said Hampton University Pres. Darrell K. Williams. “We congratulate her for being selected for the Alex Trebek fellowship and look forward to our students and Hampton University benefitting from the valuable information she’s gained.”
The fellowship bears the name of longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek and provides financial support to attendees to cover registration fees, travel and hotel accommodation for the conference. Preference was given to attendees from minority-serving institutions. Wilson also has received a complimentary one-year Television Academy academic membership and the opportunity to screen Emmy-nominated movies and other programs in advance of their public release.
“Meeting Emmy Award-winning producers and industry leaders was an extraordinary experience,” said Wilson, who has served as dean of the SHSJC since September 2021. “After networking with David Eilenberg, the head of content for Roku on opportunities to monetize streaming platforms, meeting Deborah Pratt, executive producer of “Quantum Leap” to discuss the art of pitching and the future of creative jobs and the critical nature of data research and visualization, I have much to share with my students and faculty.” Hollywood also has been a pioneer in using computer graphics, data analytics, robotics and artificial intelligence.
The Media Educators Conference was held at the Academy’s North Hollywood Saban Media Center campus Oct. 24-27. Its aim was to connect college classrooms with the television industry by giving media professors access to curriculum-enhancing seminars on the latest in the art, science and business of television with prominent leaders in show business.