Dr. Tonea Stewart received a Bachelors Degree from Jackson State University and a Masters Degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She completed doctoral studies at Florida State University in 1989. She was the first African American female to receive a doctorate from the FSU School of Theatre and the first McKnight Doctoral Fellow in Theatre Arts. During her study at FSU, she also received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. Stewart is, perhaps, better known for her recurring role in In the Heat of the Night. She earned a NAACP Image Award nomination for her role as Gwen Hailey in the film adaptation of John Grishams’ A Time to Kill and the New York World Fest Award as Best Narrator Internationally for her work on the radio drama series, Remembering Slavery. Dr. Stewart serves as an international motivational speaker, university professor, and mentor to many students at Alabama State University.