Alumna Mahalia Jackson, who earned her B.A. in film production in 2023, and Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema M.F.A. candidate Sarah Rhye were among the recent winners of York Women in Film & Television Scholarships.

Through her father, Jackson is Ghanaian and a first-generation American. She was born in Newark, New Jersey, and a large portion of her life was spent in South Carolina, where her late mother was from. Like her mother, Jackson is a Southern woman, specifically a Carolina gal. In 2018, she moved to New York and has been living in the Bronx. She has a diverse career background that ranges from emergency medical service to commercial truck driving throughout the United States and into Canada. She had some decisions to make when the pandemic forced her from the road. Jackson chose to follow a deferred dream and went back to school to learn about filmmaking. In winter 2022, she graduated with an associate degree in video arts and technology from Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY). She immediately transferred to Brooklyn College to further her education. In 2023, she graduated with a B.A. in film production. She is currently working on post-production on her thesis film, a comedy called Rose.

Rhye is a filmmaker, writer, and photographer based in Brooklyn. A sustained focus on the natural world and the individual in tension with broader human-generated systems of justice, Rhye earned her B.A. from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University, concentrating in aesthetic history and design. After graduating, she worked in the field of experiential event production and creative brand strategy where she developed a deep interest in applying design thinking to solve creative challenges. She is as passionate about beautiful storytelling as she is about healthy work environments and building equitable, collaborative leadership models. Rhye is currently an M.F.A. in Cinema Arts at Feirstein.