Kamelia Massih arts prize winners announced for 2020
Author: Karen O'Donnell Stein
Posted: April 8, 2020

Portland State University College of the Arts has awarded the Kamelia Massih Outstanding Faculty and Student Prizes in the Arts to Mark Berrettini, professor of film studies and director of the School of Film, and Emma Josephson, film major.

Mark Berrettini, Ph.D., became the director of the School of Theater & Film in 2014 and oversaw its transition to the School of Film in 2017. A devoted leader and respected mentor, he has achieved a 44% increase in the number of film majors, and significant increases in students of color and women/nonbinary students in the program. His dedication to supporting film students led to the creation of the Koerner Camera Systems Scholarship for cinematography students, the first film scholarship at the university, and he supervised the establishment of a well-furnished equipment inventory for students to use in their projects. He has championed faculty as well, expanding the number of full-time faculty, and nurturing the development of faculty research including monographs, feature and short films, grants, peer-reviewed essays, and a textbook. The nominating committee applauded “his efforts to shoulder much of the hard work to create a department and to shepherd it to achieving such accolades and university-based success.”
Film student Emma Josephson has distinguished herself as a high-achieving student who “takes advantage of every resource available to enrich her education,” her nominating faculty said. An ambitious young filmmaker, she has involved herself in numerous career-building projects, which include producing her own short films, directing student-produced feature-length films as part of PSU-TV, the campus’s student filmmaking group, and internships and freelance work with groups such as Uncage the Soul Productions, NW Documentary Arts and Media, Koerner Camera and more. She was awarded the Koerner Camera Film Scholarship in 2017, and she won a best film award at a recent Pacific University film festival. “Emma Josephson has a great vision and a commitment to her career that supports her ambitions,” the nominating faculty said. “We recommend her without reservation.” Josephson will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Film in Spring 2020.

The Kamelia Massih Endowment for the Arts was established in memory of former PSU student Kamelia Massih. It was funded after her passing in 2010 with gifts from friends, family and colleagues, as well as by a donation from Massih’s brother, PSU alumnus Fariborz Maseeh, through the Massiah Foundation.

A beloved Portland optometrist, Kamelia Massih was a true American success story. Born and raised in Tehran, she came to the United States in 1978, initiating her studies in biology at Portland State University and subsequently graduating in 1981 from Oregon State University. After completing a doctorate in optometry at Pacific University, she opened her own practice, Beaverton Vision World, in 1989. She later opened a second clinic in downtown Portland near the Portland State University campus. She cared deeply about others and gave her time and resources to a wide range of national charities. She was a dedicated wife and mother who loved travel, the outdoors, and above all else, fine arts, music and dance. 

The Kamelia Massih Outstanding Faculty and Student Prizes in the Arts recognize those individuals who bring innovation to their discipline, demonstrate excellence in performing and/or fine arts and exemplify PSU’s commitment to community engagement.

For more information about giving to the College of the Arts, please contact:
Jaymee Jacoby
Senior Director of Development, PSU Arts | 503-725-3396