Michael Sorrell: The Prez

Categories: People 2012

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In this week's Dallas Observer we profile 30 of the metro area's most interesting characters, with new portraits of each from local photographer Mark Graham. See the entire Dallas Observer People Issue here.

Paul Quinn College in South Dallas is empty, most of its students home for the summer, but its president, Michael Sorrell, is here. Tomorrow he has to convince graduating high school juniors, seniors and college transfers that Paul Quinn is the place for them, the place to start their lives.

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Amira Matsuda: The Ambassador

Categories: People 2012

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In this week's Dallas Observer we profile 30 of the metro area's most interesting characters, with new portraits of each from local photographer Mark Graham. See the entire Dallas Observer People Issue here.

Amira Matsuda lives with her husband and children in a Plano manse decorated with ornate vases and rugs, plants and gilded glassware. In her free time, she teaches classes in ikebana, a Japanese art of floral arrangement. She has a comfortable life. But she didn't always. So she spends most of her time trying to extend some of that comfort to people going through what she did.

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Robert Groden: The Plaza Man

Categories: People 2012

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In this week's Dallas Observer, we profile 30 of the metro area's most interesting characters, with new portraits of each from local photographer Mark Graham. See the entire Dallas Observer People Issue here

On November 22, 1963, the day President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot in Dealey Plaza, Robert Groden was an 18-year-old kid at home playing hooky from Forest Hills High School in the nice part of Queens, New York. He sat glued to the television watching a grim but unreal saga unfold -- something out of a cheap detective novel set in some distant banana republic -- all of it in living black and white, all of it coming from some strange city 1,400 miles away called Dallas.

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The Dallas People Issue: An Introduction

Categories: People 2012

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Skip the throat-clearing and jump right to the People Issue.

If you hang around in the Observer's orbit in the coming days, or if you happen to glance at the newsstand in your favorite bar, you'll notice we're offering something a little different this week: our first-annual People Issue.

Given the modern media's lust for labels, you'll be forgiven for seeking out some sort of theme in the profiles, a thread stringing page to page. But what kind of people? you might ask, if you were especially inquisitive and bored. Are they 30 under 30? Forty over 40? The hottest singles? The most powerful power brokers? Maybe they're all dentists. Are they all dentists?

They are not. At least that we know of.

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Teresa Hawthorne: The Decider

Categories: People 2012

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In this week's Dallas Observer we profile 30 of the metro area's most interesting characters, with new portraits of each from local photographer Mark Graham. See the entire Dallas Observer People Issue here.

State District Judge Teresa Hawthorne had been on the bench for less than a year when she received her first case in which District Attorney Craig Watkins' office was seeking the death penalty. The judge disagreed, and the dispute quickly went public.

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Monika Korra: The Survivor

Categories: People 2012

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In this week's Dallas Observer we profile 30 of the metro area's most interesting characters, with new portraits of each from local photographer Mark Graham. See the entire Dallas Observer People Issue here.

On a cold night in 2009, SMU freshman Monika Korra was kidnapped at gunpoint by three men in a van. They beat and raped her for more than an hour before shoving her out of the van at an intersection, throwing her dress after her.

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Nastia Liukin: The Veteran

Categories: People 2012

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In this week's Dallas Observer we profile 30 of the metro area's most interesting characters, with new portraits of each from local photographer Mark Graham. See the entire Dallas Observer People Issue here.

Her likeness graces the giant mural on the front glass of her father's World Olympic Gymnastics Academy in Plano, but it's still different somehow, walking through the lobby and seeing Nastia Liukin posing on a four-inch wide beam as the photographer balances perilously on an adjacent ladder, snapping pictures of the 22-year-old in her trademark pink leotard.

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Lea Velez: The Pace-Setter

Categories: People 2012

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In this week's Dallas Observer we profile 30 of the metro area's most interesting characters, with new portraits of each from local photographer Mark Graham. See the entire Dallas Observer People Issue here.

At 5:45 a.m. on many weekdays, Lea Velez can be found in the parking lot of one of the local homeless shelters, gathered in a huddle with residents and volunteers, all wearing sneakers.

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Yasmin Bhatia and April Allen: The Alternatives

Categories: People 2012

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In this week's Dallas Observer, we profile 30 of the metro area's most interesting characters, with new portraits of each from local photographer Mark Graham. See the entire Dallas Observer People Issue here.

You guys are competitive, I say to Yasmin Bhatia and April Allen, and I watch the muscles in their thin, bright faces dance like I just fed them tequila. And I immediately wish there was some tequila handy, because maybe then they would admit that, yes, they are competitive. But they're too smart, and too sober, for that.

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Daniel Cates and C.d. Kirven: The Equalizers

Categories: People 2012

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In this week's Dallas Observer we profile 30 of the metro area's most interesting characters, with new portraits of each from local photographer Mark Graham. See the entire Dallas Observer People Issue.

In January, Mayor Mike Rawlings held a closed-door meeting with 25 LGBT leaders. It was his way of trying to quell a huge outcry from the gay community after he declined to sign a pledge supporting gay marriage, a symbolic gesture most other big-city mayors easily got behind.

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