Ds Scholarship

Philander Smith graduate reporting on life in Ukraine

REPORTING FROM UKRAINE A graduate of Philander Smith College in Little Rock is working as an independent journalist based in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Terrell Jermaine Starr, a Detroit native, has been bringing reports of life in Ukraine since the Feb. 24 start of the Russian invasion. In a Feb. 28 interview with him by Los Angeles TV station KTLA, Starr was embedded with an armed volunteer group of Ukrainian fighters.

An MSNBC interview from March 6 showed him with a family headed to western Ukraine. One of the family members had cancer and had to leave the hospital where she was being treated because room was needed for those wounded in the war, he says in the video.

Starr graduated from Philander Smith with a degree in English and has a master’s degree in Russian, East European and Eurasian studies and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois.

He hosts the Black Diplomats podcast; is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center; and is a senior reporter at The Root, where he writes about US-Russia politics and race in America. Starr spent four years in the former Soviet Union and, since 2016, has stayed at least three months a year in Ukraine, where he was a Fulbright fellow, according to his website, terrellstarr.com.

Check him out on Twitter — @terrelljstarr — where he has more than 365,000 followers.

“FIRST RIVER” FILM A documentary exploring the story behind the establishment of the Buffalo National River will debut this week.

“First River: How Arkansas Saved a National Treasure,” produced by the Ozark Society, will premiere with a free screening at 6 pm Thursday at Skylight Cinema in Bentonville.

The documentary tells of the river’s conservation history as well as contemporary issues facing the waterway, according to a news release. The Buffalo became America’s first national river in 1972 after 10 years of efforts to prevent the US Army Corps of Engineers from building two dams on the river.

“First River” also includes interviews with National Park Service staff members about conservation efforts and the challenges faced by the Buffalo River watershed from commercial development and recreational use.

Can’t make it to the premiere? No worries. The film will be available to stream for free at the Ozark Society’s website after Thursday’s debut.

GETTING THE (CENTER)POINT Last week we wrote about Shawn Newton and his nonprofit Newton Pens Scholarship program. Before getting into the custom fountain pen business and awarding scholarships annually to students, Newton was an art teacher at the Centerpoint School District in Rosboro. Naturally, we mentioned the wrong Centerpoint in the column. Sigh.

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