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Duquesne Professor to Accept Gibson Award for Education

Dr. Dennis Woytek, assistant professor in the Department of Journalism and Multimedia Arts at Duquesne University, will accept a Gibson Award on behalf of Duquesne at the Josh Gibson Centennial Negro League Gala on Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh.

The honor from the Gibson Foundation showcases the three-pronged educational outreach of Duquesne to the Josh Gibson Foundation. Woytek and his students produced the documentary Josh Gibson: The Legend Behind the Plate, which tells the story of the legendary African-American homerun slugger for whom the foundation is named. The award also recognizes the work of Duquesne students who tutored students and developed a curriculum for the organization.

“No one has done a documentary on Josh Gibson before,” Woytek said. “I traveled with four students to locations throughout the country, interviewing historians and family members to tell the story of who Josh Gibson was.”

Duquesne students who tutored as part of a learning community class in the Department of English also contributed to Duquesne earning this recognition.

“Many of my students went above and beyond what was required of them as part of their service-learning at the Josh Gibson Foundation,” said Josh Zelesnick, who taught the class that volunteered at the foundation. “In fact, three of my students continued tutoring kids through the spring semester after our class was over, and some even worked on a curriculum for students there.”

Gibson, who played for the storied Homestead Grays, lived at a time when African-Americans were regularly excluded from Major League Baseball. The foundation that bears his name provides academic and athletic opportunities to underserved communities in the Pittsburgh area. All proceeds from the Duquesne documentary, which is available through the foundation’s website, benefit the foundation.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.