The School of Theatre, Film & Television is proud to announce that Film & Television Professor Beverly Seckinger will be honored today with a University Distinguished Outreach Faculty Award at the 2023 University of Arizona Faculty Awards. The award recognizes outstanding faculty whose scholarship-based outreach to the state, nation and the world has demonstrated sustained excellence in the University’s outreach mission.
For thirty years as a documentary filmmaker, an educator, the programmer of two long-running independent film series and innumerable community screening events, and an active member/owner of the social issue film distribution co-op New Day Films, Professor Seckinger has worked to connect students, faculty and community members with artists and activists to ignite ideas and strengthen networks for social change.
Seckinger’s outreach integrates her research methods and her teaching. As a social justice documentarian (Laramie Inside Out, Hippie Family Values), her research focuses on unique communities and provides a platform for the voices in those communities.
As an educator, her innovative courses encourage students to find their own voices as filmmakers and make films on topics they’re passionate about. She was integral to the founding of the online interdisciplinary Human Rights Practice graduate program, which grew in large part out of the success of her course Advancing Human Rights through Documentary Media. The program has featured over 250 guest lectures from 40 countries since its inception in 2018.
She launched Lesbian Looks, which has become one of the longest-running lesbian-focused film series in the United States. Her DocScapes film series, launched in 2015, bridges campus and community through screening events designed to inform, inspire and spur dialogue and action. Partnering with the Hanson FilmTV Institute, the Human Rights Practice Program, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Center for Latin American Studies, the Schools of Journalism and Anthropology, and numerous community organizations, DocScapes has brought filmmakers to present films on border and immigration issues, the refugee crisis, homeless youth, urban redevelopment and gentrification, criminal justice, and international human rights struggles. She also was a founder of the University of Arizona’s Institute for LGBT Studies, now an internationally respected center for LGBTQ-related research.
Most recently, Seckinger was part of a team awarded a production seed grant from the University of Arizona Office for Research, Innovation and Impact for Las Mujeres de Manzo, an upcoming film profiling the work of four long-time Chicana feminist activists at the forefront of immigration rights organizing in Southern Arizona: public defense attorneys Isabel Garcia and Margo Cowan, and professors/historians Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith and Guadalupe Castillo.
“For three decades I have been committed to outreach in every aspect of my life as a university professor, documentary filmmaker and community member,” said Seckinger. “Working with dozens of campus and community collaborators, I have had the great pleasure of planting the seeds that have grown into substantial programs that reach across university disciplines and include outreach in their mission and goals. As I reflect on these efforts, I hope that my career has helped to establish the University of Arizona as a transformative presence in the local community, as well as nationally and now globally.”
“On behalf of the many students, alumni, faculty, fellow filmmakers and community members who have been inspired over the years by Beverly Seckinger, we thank her for her artistic excellence, her innovative teaching, and her immeasurable contributions to the University’s public mission throughout her career,” said TFTV Interim Director Brant Pope. “Bev is an exceptional presence and an inspirational leader in the School of Theatre, Film & Television, and we couldn’t be more proud of her today and every day on receiving this well-deserved award.”