Professors receive full-time appointments

March 20, 2021

Northwestern Qatar has announced the full-time appointments of faculty in journalism and communication. Dana Atrach and João Queiroga have been named assistant professors in the Communication Program, and Marcela Pizarro will be an assistant professor in the Journalism and Strategic Communication Program.

Atrach graduated from Northwestern Qatar in 2013 and earned her MFA in screenwriting from the University of California, Los Angeles. At NU-Q she teaches courses focused on comedy and screenplay writing, including effective storytelling techniques, comedy feature writing, and elements of characterization.

In announcing the appointment, Kathleen Hewett-Smith, chief academic officer and senior associate dean said that Atrach is “an exciting creative scholar and an inspiring teacher. We have already benefited enormously from her dedication and commitment to the Communications Program, to her students, and NU-Q.” 

An award-winning screenwriter, Atrach has written and co-written several short films and animations that have premiered in Doha and Los Angeles and received recognition in major international film festivals. In 2014, her feature, Heeya Howa, won an award for Best Unproduced Script Based on a Family Drama at the St. Tropez International Film Festival.

Queiroga is a director, performer, and award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on the intersection of race and gender. He was a visiting professor at Northwestern Qatar in 2017.

“We have all already benefited from Joao's enormous talent, energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to the Communication Program and we are so fortunate to have him as a colleague,” Hewett-Smith said. 

Queiroga, who teaches courses in world cinema, documentary, media production, and cinematography has had his films screened at a number of international film festivals and has worked at the Chicago International Film Festival and several Fortune 500 companies as an editor and cinematographer. Most recently, he served as the chair of the Post-Production Department at the New York Film Academy.

Queiroga holds an MFA in documentary media from Northwestern University's School of Communication and is a Calouste Gulbenkian scholar, a Hoffman scholar, a Davis UWC scholar, and a Fulbright recipient.

An award-winning international journalist whose work focuses on the Global South, Pizarro brings more than 20 years of experience in the field of international news and broadcast journalism. Hewett Smith said that “Professor Pizarro is an inspiring colleague whose creative scholarship and work with students have already contributed enormously to the positive growth of NU-Q. We have been fortunate to benefit from her commitment to the Journalism Program, to our students, and the institution.”

Prior to her appointment at NU-Q, she worked as a producer and reporter investigating the politics of representation in media and examining the history of media around the world at Al Jazeera English and the Associated Press.

Pizarro teaches courses on the theories and practices of journalism, digital and broadcast journalism, online storytelling, and media production. Her research projects have examined various topics related to the culture, politics, and economics of media around the world, including on issues such as news culture, race, and identity in the Global South.

Pizarro is the recipient of a British Academy award for a full doctoral scholarship. She holds a BA in Spanish and French from the University of Nottingham and an MA in Hispanics from UCL, and a PhD from the University of London.