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    Southwestern Adventist University communication professors, from left, Glen Robinson, Kyle Portbury and Michael Agee stand with the Emmy Awards they won Saturday in Houston. BURLESON STAR/SOUTHWESTERN ADVENTIST UNIVERSITY

And the Emmy goes to...three professors from SWAU

Three communication professors at Southwestern Adventist University have won the highest honor in the television industry.

Professors Kyle Portbury, Michael Agee and Glen Robinson each received an Emmy Award for their work on “Truth,” a story of women’s rights activist and abolitionist Sojourner Truth.

The SWAU trio were honored in the category of Historic/Cultural - Program Feature/Segment at a televised awards ceremony Saturday in Houston.
In addition, Portbury, the film’s writer/director, received an Emmy nomination for outstanding achievement in directing.

Produced by Southwestern’s Institute of Christian Film, “Truth” tells the story of Sojourner Truth and the speech she delivered at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio, in 1851. “Truth” is a graphic novel style animation featuring the voices of a number of current communication students and staff members, along with professional actors. It is the first episode in the Institute of Christian Film series, True Heroes, with episode two, “Resistance,” currently in production.

The Emmy Award is the most recent and widely recognized of the many awards that the three professors have received during the course their professional careers.

Robinson, Ph.D, is known primarily as a writer, with more than 200 articles and stories as well as 22 books published. His awards over the years include two Angel Awards for writing and editing, two honorable mentions from the Society of Adventist Communicators for writing and web design, an American Fiction Awards finalist in 2018 and an official selection by New Apple book awards in 2018.

“It’s a joy to work on the Institute of Christian Film projects and an honor to collaborate with the two talented professors with whom I share my department,” Robinson says.

Agee, department chair and general manager of the University’s TV station KGSW, also has a long history as a successful radio station manager. He is a three-time Dove Award winner for Station of the Year from the Gospel Music Association, received a Station of the Year award from Radio and Records, was a finalist for a Marconi Award and received a Crystal Community Service Award from the National Association of Broadcasters.

“I’m very excited for what this means for our department,” says Agee. “I’m proud of the recognition for my colleagues and the hard work they’ve done.”
In his wide-ranging film career, Portbury has won multiple awards, including best documentary at The Mountain Film Festival in California for his film “The Mountain Within,” 15 international awards including the prestigious CINE Golden Eagle for his television series “Beyond the Search,” and a nomination for best direction in online drama at the 2017 Australian Directors Guild Awards for the six-part mini-series version of “Tell the World.”

“We are humbled to receive an Emmy Award for ‘Truth,’” Portbury said. “Sojourner’s courage to speak up against injustice 167 years ago still resonates today. It’s sacrifices by people like Sojourner Truth that encourage us today to keep trying to do what is right, regardless of the consequences.”

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