Actor Karan Kendrick joins FVSU as Visiting Professor

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

Karan Kendrick, an actor with roles in blockbuster movies including Just Mercy, Hidden Figures, The Hate U Give and The Hunger Games, has joined Fort Valley State University (FVSU) as a visiting professor. The Fort Valley native and co-founder of The Kendrick Academy currently instructs media studies courses where students learn about documentary filmmaking and screenwriting.

The university’s College of Arts and Sciences welcomed Kendrick at the start of the Spring 2021 semester. As a successful working and teaching artist who has starred opposite Academy Award winner, Jamie Foxx and the critically acclaimed actor, Michael B. Jordan, she brings both experience and knowledge of the film industry expected to greatly benefit FVSU students with career aspirations in arts and entertainment. As a native of Fort Valley, Kendrick has a well-established relationship with FVSU including having served as the university’s commencement speaker in 2017.

“We are thrilled to welcome to campus such a talented artist,” said. Dr. Gregory Ford, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fort Valley State University. “Ms. Kendrick’s track record of nuanced film performances, experience with artistic elites and passion for teaching students has already enriched our curriculum and inspired our students.”

In addition to her work as an actor, Kendrick has for the past decade provided students with an opportunity to build character, discipline, and passion for the arts. Founded in 2010, The Kendrick Academy teaches students drama, dance and music. It is now a fully virtual academy offering weekly online classes in acting and screenwriting to students across the country. Building on her role in the feature film Hidden Figures, she also created a Girls Empowerment Tour that focused on encouraging students to choose excellence at every step on their journey.

“Giving back is a part of who I am and that is why I choose to share what I have learned and experienced with students who have similar interests,” said Kendrick. “I am excited to be a part of the FVSU family where I can continue to share with students here. I want them to see what a working artist looks like, so they will know that it is an attainable goal and a sustainable career.”

As a part of her visiting professorship at FVSU, Kendrick is teaching two courses in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and Media Studies. Students will learn the fundamentals of screenwriting with a focus on short form scripted narrative for digital platforms.  Additionally, a documentary film class will allow students to explore the fundamentals of filmmaking in a virtual environment with an emphasis on research.

Some additional notable acting credits for Kendrick include roles on Grey’s Anatomy, Drop Dead Diva, Army Wives, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Madea Goes to Jail, (Tyler Perry Studios).