Two to Receive Honorary Degrees at 2022 Commencement

Amy Goodman, founder of Democracy Now!, and Academy Award–winning visual effects supervisor Jeff White ’98 will be awarded honorary Doctor of Letters degrees at Ithaca College’s 127th Commencement ceremony. Based on nominations by Ithaca College’s Honorary Degree Committee and Faculty Governance Council, Goodman and White are being recognized as leaders who use their talents, expertise, and platforms to give voice to important issues and demonstrate the values that the college seeks to exemplify.  

Amy Goodman

Amy Goodman

photo by Democracy Now! Productions, Inc.

Amy Goodman founded Democracy Now! in 1996 after serving for more than a decade as news director of radio station WBAI in New York City. As host and executive producer, she brings the progressive daily news program to over 1,400 public television and radio stations worldwide.

Goodman has co-authored six New York Times bestsellers, with her latest, “Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America,” looking back over the past two decades of the show and the powerful movements and charismatic leaders who are re-shaping our world.

In 2009, Goodman was an inaugural winner of the Izzy Award, presented by the Park Center for Independent Mediaat Ithaca College. She was later inducted into the center’s I. F. Stone Hall of Fame, open to journalists who regularly produce groundbreaking stories on the most important issues of the day, especially stories ignored or downplayed in mainstream news media.

Goodman has also been honored with the I. F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University and is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the “alternative Nobel Prize.” Her reporting on East Timor and Nigeria won numerous awards, including the George Polk Award, Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award.

Jeff White ’98

Jeff White '98

A cinema and photography graduate of Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communications, Jeff White is visual effects supervisor and creative director for the Vancouver studio of Industrial Light and Magic, the motion picture visual effects company founded by George Lucas.

In 2018, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored White with a Technical Achievement Award for his original design of ILM’s procedural rigging system, Block Party.

White joined ILM in 2002 as a creature technical director, working on such films as “Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith” and “War of the Worlds.”  He has subsequently supervised visual effects for some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, including “The Avengers” and “Kong: Skull Island”—receiving Oscar nominations for each—as well as films in the “Transformers” franchise. On the smaller screen, he has served as visual effects supervisor for episodes of Amazon Prime’s “The Underground Railroad,” Netflix’s “The Witcher,” and “WandaVision” on Disney+.

While a student at IC, White participated in the Connectivity Club and volunteered for a project in a local rural school district, teaching middle school students how to use computers and do PowerPoint presentations.