Oakton associate professor of English receives prestigious fellowship


Last updated 12/16/2019 at 12:19pm

Oakton Community College Associate Professor of English Tina Fakhrid-Deen channeled her passion for creative writing to earn the 2020 winter/spring MacDowell Colony Fellowship. MacDowell is the oldest and one of the most prestigious artist residencies in the nation, having hosted a number of well-known writers, including James Baldwin and Alice Walker.

The fellowship will allow Fakhrid-Deen to attend the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, established in 1907, allowing her to further develop her literary vision through plays and other works among a dynamic community of her peers.

"I'm blessed and grateful to have been selected for this fellowship and can't wait to get started on new work while editing for two shows I have coming up in 2020," Fakhrid-Deen says. "Being selected for a MacDowell fellowship is a dream come true and I look forward to the privilege of having a singular focus – to produce great art. MacDowell feels like winning the lottery and I am ecstatic to cash in this ticket."

A published writer, Fakhrid-Deen has also been active at Oakton, having written and directed plays performed at the college. She directed "The Vagina Monologues" and wrote "Powerless Gods," an examination of urban education. "Powerless Gods" was performed as a staged reading at Oakton in 2017 and a full production in 2018. Fakhrid-Deen has also served on Oakton's Anti-Racism Team.

Most recently, her staged reading of "Dandelions," a searing drama about survival, loss and redemption, won a play commission with the Chicago Park District's Theater on the Lake: In the Works, a program that supports new playwrights in developing new work. Also, her play, "Pulled Punches," will be produced by Ma'at Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre (MPAACT) at Chicago's Greenhouse Theater in April. Fakhrid-Deen's upcoming work focuses on identity politics in the age of being well-intentioned.

Linda Korbel, dean of languages, humanities and the arts, says Fakhrid-Deen's accomplishments reflect the quality of professors at Oakton. "We are very proud of Tina as her success as a playwright continues to soar," Korbel says. "Her direct involvement in writing and producing theater brings a real-world dimension to her students and her interaction with colleagues."


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