Ava Thompson Greenwell has taught journalism classes at Northwestern University since 1993 and has held several administrative posts, including associate dean for curriculum. In 2007 she received a Student Government Excellence in Teaching Award. In 2006 the Radio Television News Directors Association selected Greenwell for the Educator in the Newsroom Fellows program. In 2000 she was honored with the prestigious Charles Deering McCormick Distinguished Clinical Professor Award.
Greenwell is currently a doctoral candidate in African American Studies at Northwestern University. Her dissertation is titled: “Unseen, Yet Heard: Invisible Power and Gendered Racism Among Black Women Television News Managers in the U.S.” She is also the author of “I Never Felt Any Cold Feet” How Age Gender and Family Background Shaped the Sit-in Movement in Henderson, Kentucky, published in Souls, a critical journal of black politics, culture and society in July 2013 and “Twentieth-Century Ideology Meets Twenty-First Century Technology: Black News Websites and Racial Uplift” published in Fire, a publication of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.The Chicago native has been a freelance correspondent for the PBS station in Chicago and has worked as a reporter at WFLA-TV in Tampa, FL; WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, MN; and WEHT-TV, Evansville, IN.