COMM 360 Class Crew

IUP comm media students received their third Crystal Pillar Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in the Live Sporting Event for College/University Student Productions category.

The award was presented on October 14, 2023, as part of a ceremony for professionals in television production by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the academy.

This was for the live broadcast of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship – Fall 2022, which was live-streamed on November 12, 2022, by the COMM 360 Live Sports Football class.

Talking of the award, IUP President Michael Driscoll said, “This is an incredible honor for IUP. I continue to be impressed with both the creativity and the technical expertise of our students and with the hands-on experiences offered by the Communications Media program. The university is very proud to have our students recognized with this very competitive award.”

The student team responsible for the award-winning program includes Patrick Andrei, technical director; Donavin Carrington, audio; Regan Colatta-Rigney, replay operator; Sonya Demacek, producer; Alexander Donaldson, play-by-play announcer; Ariana Emigh-Perella, director; Torrey Roper, graphics; Peyton Trollinger, color analyst; Carson Zadroga, parabolic microphone; and camera operators Cadin Anlauf, Tyann Bell, Daniel Erb, James Gettys, Joshua Lewis, Jeremiah Williams, and Alize Woodard.

Speaking of her experience in the class, student program director Emigh-Perella said, “I have learned more useful skills in my live production classes than any other class I have taken because of the hands-on learning experience. From writing the scripts, setting up the equipment, and making our own packages, there is always something for communications students to learn. It’s just so fun to work as a team. Everyone is always helping each other because from the very beginning we are all learning skills we know will translate to jobs.”

Previous IUP student productions recognized by the NATAS with the Crystal Pillar Award are the 2022 award for Live Sporting Event for the production of IUP-TV Football – Coal Bowl 2021 and the 2020 award for Sports-Live Event for the 2019 production of IUP Football – Coal Bowl.

The students responsible for the award-winning production were enrolled in the Communications Media 360 Digital Sports Production class, under the direction of Communications Media faculty member Stephanie Keppich, with technical support from IUP broadcast systems specialist Chris Barber. Keppich received her master’s degree in communications media from IUP in 2009.

Emigh-Perella, Rigney, and Donaldson are continuing their work this semester while broadcasting the current season of IUP football under Keppich’s direction. These productions are live-streamed and viewed by fans all over the world on the PSAC digital network.