Indira Somani & Leena Jayaswal
Indira S. Somani, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Journalism with Washington and Lee University. She brings ten years of broadcast journalism experience as a news producer to the classroom. She has been a writer and producer of financial broadcasts for CNBC, and a senior producer for "Early Today," an NBC network newscast. She has also been a show and field producer for WJLA-TV, the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C., where she won the prestigious Gracie Allen Award for the "Working Woman" portrait series. She has been a leader of the South Asian Journalists Association, where she has also won several "Outstanding" awards on her coverage of South Asians in North America. Somani has also produced content for dot com sites and documentaries. In an academia, Somani was an Assistant Professor of Broadcast Journalism with American University's School of Communication. Somani earned her Master of Science in Journalism from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. She earned her doctorate from the Phillip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park, where she also taught Broadcast News Producing, and was a teaching assistant for Media Literacy. Her dissertation studied the effect of satellite television on the Asian Indian community in the United States. At Washington and Lee she teaches Broadcast Producing, Broadcast Reporting, Media, Race and Gender and Cross-cultural Documentary Filmmaking.
Leena Jayaswal is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication at American University in Washington DC. She is head of the Photography Concentration. Her films have been screened in various film festivals around the country. “An Impression: Dischord Records” was honored as the Best Selected Juror Film at the 2nd Annual Small International Film Festival at the Berkeley Art Center, in California and has screened in other juried film festivals, including the Electric City Film Fest, Miami Independent Film and Music, Delray Beach Film Festival, DC Meets Delhi Film Festival, National Museum of Women in the Arts Film Festival and DC Independent Film Festival just to name a few. Her photography has been nationally recognized in galleries around the country, including the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, The Washington Project for the Arts/ Corcoran Gallery of Art and the International Visions Gallery.
A film by Indira Somani & Leena Jayaswal
"Crossing Lines" is about an Indian American woman's struggle to stay connected to India after the loss of her father. Like most second-generation ethnic Americans, Indira Somani has struggled with identity issues, since her parents migrated to the U.S.