July 28, 2017  

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Mass Communication and Journalism to induct McDowell, Mims in Hall of Fame

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The School of Mass Communication and Journalism at The University of Southern Mississippi will honor film director and producer Steve Mims and former faculty member Dixon McDowell at its Hall of Fame induction Thursday, April 20 at the Hardy Hall University Club on the Gulf Park Campus of The University of Southern Mississippi.

The event will begin at 4 p.m. with a question and answer session facilitated by Dr. Phillip Gentile and highlighting Mims and McDowell’s illustrious careers, followed at 5:15 p.m. by the awards presentation and a reception.

“Hosting this event on the Gulf Park Campus allows us to showcase the School’s film program as well as Steve and Dixon, who have both achieved great success in the film industry,” said Dr. David R. Davies, director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism. “Steve and Dixon’s success and willingness to give back to the School make it our honor to induct them into the MCJ Hall of Fame.”

Mims earned his bachelor’s degree from Southern Miss and his master’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin. As a writer and director, he has had an award-winning career creating commercials, music videos, short films and documentaries, and many of his works have received high praise from noted publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Variety, and Hollywood Reporter.  His latest project “Starving the Beast” is a documentary that focuses on the extreme financial and political shifts in higher education. He currently teaches at UT-Austin and will teach a course this summer for the USM film program.

McDowell joined the Southern Miss faculty of the former Department of Radio, Television and Film in 1989 as an assistant professor, teaching screenwriting and film production, and eventually served as chair of the department from 1996 to 2001. McDowell maintained an active creative and research life, and wrote several original screenplays including “In Morning Calm,” which won the MGM/UA Screenplay Competition. He produced a number of film projects including “Living with Disabilities,” a six-part series for the Mississippi Developmental Disabilities Council. He also was a successful grant writer, receiving more than $375,000 in funding for various media projects and to support indigenous filmmaking in Mississippi.

For more information about the 2017 School of Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame induction, or to contribute to a scholarship fund supporting current and future students, contact the School of Mass Communication and Journalism at 601.266.4258. Learn more about the school at www.usm.edu/mcj.