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EDWARDSVILLE – Candace N. Hall, EdD, assistant professor of educational leadership at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, has won a prestigious Award of Recognition from the IndieFEST Film Awards. The award was given to Hall, film executive producer, and Cami Thomas, film director and CEO of My Friends and I (MFAI), for the documentary short “clusterluck”.

Candace N. Hall, EdD assistant professor of educational leadership.“To have this documentary recognized with this award feels amazing,” said Hall. “I set out to create something that felt good for me, to document the moment, and to show the possibility of community. I had not anticipated how far this project would reach.”

The documentary is a digital visualization of Hall’s research on Black faculty experiences in academe, featuring Black faculty in SIUE's Department of Educational Leadership in the Higher Education and Student Affairs Program, and encourages higher education leaders to reimagine recruitment and hiring practices necessary for diversification of the professoriate.

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“I am excited for people get to see a glimpse of our community and hope they will be inspired to consider how they can cultivate community in their own workspaces,” Hall added.

The IndieFEST Film Awards recognizes film, television, videography, and new media professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film and television industry. Information about the IndieFEST and a list of recent winners can be found at

Hall’s work was also recognized at the Indie Short Fest, a Los Angeles International Film Festival, as a semi-finalist in September 2022.

There will be an upcoming screening and panel presentation of the documentary from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2 at Dunham Theatre. For more information about the documentary and upcoming screening, visit

The School of Education, Health and Human Behavior prepares students in a wide range of fields, including public health, exercise science, nutrition, instructional technology, psychology, speech-language pathology and audiology, educational administration, and teaching and learning. Faculty members engage in leading-edge research, which enhances teaching and enriches the educational experience. The School supports the community through on-campus clinics, outreach to children and families, and a focused commitment to enhancing individual lives across the region.

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