Several members of the Plattsburgh State chapter of the National Broadcasting Society won national awards for their work in communications and broadcasting at the National Electronic Media Competition and Convention in Atlanta, Georgia.
This convention, held from March 24-29, hosted multiple schools, ranging from PSUC to the University of Florida, University of Oklahoma, West Texas A&M University and everywhere in between. It hosted members of the National Broadcasting Society and Alpha Epsilon Rho, an honor society for communication students, with specific academic requirements.
“I knew our students were producing good work,” PSUC Assistant Professor of Communications Jeffrey Bullins said, “and it was competitive work, and certainly, we were nominated in quite a few categories, which is always a good sign that they’re recognizing the breadth of quality work that the students are doing.”
Bullins mentioned a time when PSUC students were called up, one after another, for three awards in a row.
“I don’t think I quite expected that,” he said.
Upon receiving their awards, the students gave speeches, recognizing those who helped them along the way.
“It’s kind of an Academy Award-style, you know,” Bullins said, stating that they play a clip of the media that helped each student win the award, and then students have the opportunity to give an acceptance speech.
“Any time you’re producing a television show (or) a news program, it’s a very large collaborative effort,” he said. “It’s good to recognize everybody when you’re talking about a product that takes input from a lot of different people.”
Matt Auten, a senior TV/video production and audio-radio production double major at PSUC, said it felt great to win. He won three awards for Best Program Opener, Best Video Comedy Segment and Best Video Comedy Program. The opener and the program were co-directed and produced with his friend, Adam Heverly, who won those awards with Auten as well.
He produced and directed a television program on PSTV titled, “The Weekly Burghy,” a late-night show that was in its fifth season when he was the producer. However, he no longer holds that title, as leadership roles change semesterly, but PSTV still broadcasts “The Weekly Burghy.”
His award for Best Video Comedy Segment was in recognition of his work on “Fact Investigator,” a short spoof of HBO’s “True Detective.”
The eighth episode of “The Weekly Burghy,” titled “Cinco de Mayo,” won Best Video Comedy Program.
“It’s proof that what you made was good,” Auten said. “You can always do better, but it was cool to represent Plattsburgh on such a national level against schools with more money.”
Auten said PSUC sets itself apart by being more detailed, and that his teachers train him and his peers in the basic fundamentals of television and audio production.
Michael Meere, a PSUC sophomore and audio-radio production and TV/video production double major as well, won Best Video PSA for a public service announcement about verbal abuse.
Meere said that while others went the digital route, he recorded this work on film. He also said that while others decided to go the comedy route, he went for a more serious approach.
“I was elated,” he said. “It’s not what you use, it’s how you use it.”
Meere said that seeing PSUC take home six out of a nominated 10 awards “was pretty crazy” and made him feel proud.
Natalie Gramegna, a sophomore with a triple major in audio-radio production, digital media and broadcast management, won Best Video News Package with a video compilation she completed in only a few days.
Gramegna described the experience as powerful and eye-opening.
“It’s an honor,” she said. “Even though it was in a short span, I feel confident in the work that we did.”
Any interested students who wish to join the PSUC chapter of the National Broadcasting Society can attend their meetings, held every Thursday at 8 p.m. in Yokum 206. NBS welcomes students of all majors.