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Deborah Smith Pollard

Deborah Smith Pollard, Ph.D.


Dr. Deborah Smith Pollard enjoys an exciting dual career as Associate Professor of English Literature at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and host/producer of “Strong Inspirations,” a contemporary gospel music program that has been heard on FM 98 WJLB-Detroit since 1994.

Pollard, who has lectured internationally on gospel music, has published articles in both academic and popular journals. Her latest research is featured in her award-winning book, When the Church Becomes Your Party: Contemporary Gospel Music (Wayne State U. Press, 2008), which was named a “2009 Notable Book” by the Library of Michigan. She also has her work featured in the anthology: More than the Blues (University of Illinois Press) and Rhythms of the Atlantic (U of M Press, scheduled for 2009).


“Dr. Deb” was named “Gospel Announcer of the Year" during the 2005 Stellar Awards (called “The Grammys” of Gospel). An Emmy Award-winning producer (for “GodSounds” which aired on WDIV-TV Channel 4), Pollard has also produced events, including the McDonald's GospelFest and the Motor City Praisefest, since the 1980s.