Big Year for College at Michigan Emmy Awards

Posted on: July 16, 2013

IMG_8046-copy-2CAS students took home more Emmy awards than any other university from the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Nine CAS students received crystal Emmy awards in six different categories in the student division at the 2013 Michigan Emmy Awards ceremony held June 15 at MotorCity Casino Sound Board Theater in Detroit, Mich. In the professional division, two MSU employees received EMMY awards, including a CAS faculty member and a CAS graduate.

Chloe Hill, who graduated in May with a journalism degree, earned three Emmy awards, the most of any student, in the following categories: News: General Assignment for her work on Students Vote Absentee, Writing for Proposed Library Millage and in the Newscast category for the work she did with fellow CAS students on the Dec. 1, 2012, Focal Point newscast, MSU's student-produced newscast that is executive produced by journalism faculty member Bob Gould.

"Standing up on that podium is a moment I never will forget. I loved that I had the chance to represent Michigan State and all of our hard work in front of many successful journalists, including the station I interned for and the station that hired me right out of college," said Hill, who now works as a TV news producer at WWMT-TV in Kalamazoo, Mich. "The MSU journalism school pushed me to achieve my goals as a young journalist. Never did I think coming in as a freshman that I would have ended up at the Emmy awards ceremony twice as a student, both times accepting awards that MSU helped me win. The faculty really helped me develop my skill set to send me off after graduation. I feel very lucky that I was able to find a job doing what I love right out of college."

The other students receiving Emmys for the Focal Point newscast include December 2012 journalism graduates Lauren Gentile and Joseph Khalil, May 2013 journalism graduate Josh Sidorowicz and journalism master's degree graduate Huiyi Zhou.

Sidorowicz also received an Emmy in the Talent category for his work anchoring Focal Point. He now works as a full-time reporter at WILX-TV in Lansing, Mich., while Khalil works as a full-time reporter for WLNS-TV in Lansing, Mich.

"It was in that instant of being up at the podium in front of a room filled with so many talented and successful people in this business that I felt like all of my hard work, long days and sleepless nights were starting to pay off," Sidorowicz said. "The journalism school at MSU gave me the tools and the connections to allow me to find success as a TV reporter straight out of college, which I feel so fortunate to have been able to do."

In the Sports category, Andrew Kelleher received an Emmy for Help A Willing Kid at Lansing's Crown Boxing Club, an inspiring story about the Help A Willing Kid Foundation, founded by Coach Ali Easley at the Crown Boxing Club in Lansing, Mich., which assists underprivileged youth by providing a variety of programs for kids in the greater Lansing area. Kelleher graduated in May with a journalism degree and just starting a marketing job with Ford Motor Company.

What an honor it was to represent Michigan State University. With that being said, as I stated on stage in front of the other Emmy nominee's and winners, the most important lesson I learned is that the stories aren't about the journalist, it is and always will be about the characters," Kelleher said. "Michigan State University's journalism school not only gave me the tools to become a multimedia journalist, but also expanded my professional reach to a broader spectrum. They gave me the skills and the confidence to begin multimedia marketing for various companies while in school. Now that I am graduated, I feel very lucky to say that because of my experience at MSU I have a marketing position at Ford Motor Company."

The team of Robert Smith, advertising and media arts and technology senior; Victoria Zou, advertising senior; and Ahreum Jung, a recent advertising alumna, received an Emmy in the Commercial category for their Welcome to Media Sandbox commercial, which was produced as part of MSU's Media Sandbox Creative Challenge, a competition to create a brand for the Media Sandbox academic program inside the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

In the professional competition, Geri Alumit Zeldes, associate professor of journalism, was awarded an Emmy in the Documentary - Cultural category for her film, "U.S. v. Narciso, Perez & the Press.

The documentary focuses on the story of two Filipina nurses convicted (and eventually released) for poisoning patients at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Zeldes said working on the film was a bit of a challenge, as the story she was telling was nearly 40 years old.

Some of those involved in the case were now deceased, in the early stages of dementia or refused to speak to me for reasons connected to the sensitivity of the subject matter, Zeldes said. Through social media and good old fashioned reporting skills, we tracked down sources for the film and found dozens of newspaper articles on the case. What results through great editing is a crazy story that is well told and will fill a gap in Asian American history.

Andrea Raby, a journalism junior who worked as Zeldes' research assistant, said It was amazing to be recognized at this level. Winning this award proves that this story is worth telling.

Two other CAS students, Alyssa Firth, who graduated in May with a journalism degree, and Alex Barhorst, a journalism senior, also worked on the documentary with Zeldes, along with professional writing student Simon Zagata.

CAS Media and Informationgraduate Anthony Siciliano, who works as the videotape producer/director for MSU's Communications and Brand Strategy (CABS) office, received an Emmy in the Sports – One-Time Special category for his work on Mayhem: The Seth Mitchell Story about professional boxer and MSU alumnus Seth Mitchell. Siciliano worked on the film with CABS colleague Jim Peck, Big Ten Network executive producer and director of university photography and videography.

The 35th annual Michigan Emmy Awards represents the most experienced and talented television professionals from all disciplines of the industry. The student awards recognize outstanding student achievements in production as an incentive for the continued pursuit of excellence by those studying media and journalism and to focus public attention on outstanding cultural, educational, technological, entertainment, news and informational achievements by undergraduate college and/or high school students.

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