Watch Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship – Fall 2022 

Watch A Life-Changing Experience – Connections

Brian Henry holding the Emmy Award

Indiana University of Pennsylvania can add a third Crystal Pillar Award and its first Emmy award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to its list of accolades.

The two awards were presented on October 14 as part of a ceremony for professionals in television production by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Industry professionals in radio and television who win the NATAS competitions in various categories receive Emmy awards; student productions are honored with the Crystal Pillar Award.

COMM 360 Live Sports Football – Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship – Fall 2022 won the award in the category Live Sporting Event for College/University Student Productions. The broadcast was live-streamed on November 12, 2022.

The video, A Life-Changing Experience – Connections, produced by members of the Office of Marketing and Communications in the Division of Student Affairs, won an Emmy award in the Education/Schools – Short Form Content (Single Report) category.

The video tells the story of Luke Faust, associate professor in IUP’s Department of Undergraduate Studies and Student Success in the University College, and the impact he had on IUP student Imani Jefferson, providing her with the tools she needed to be successful at IUP and to graduate. The video also shows how he continues to meet students “where they are” and provide the unique support that they need.

“Many of our students come to college with baggage or barriers,” Faust said. “I understand them, because when I was an undergraduate student, I was struggling and in need of a guide—someone to understand my situation. Now, in my role with the University College, I have the opportunity to show students that the world has something better for them, that we believe in them, and that we are here to help them to achieve their goals,” he said.

The video is available on the IUP website and the IUP YouTube channel, @iupedu.

“This is an incredible honor for IUP,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said.

“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 team in the Office of Marketing and Communications does an excellent job of sharing the IUP story across all platforms, but this award is especially noteworthy because it highlights our student-centered focus, and how our faculty and staff truly change lives,” he said.

Front row, left to right: Sonya Demacek, Tyann Bell, Jeremiah Williams, Carson Zadroga
Middle row: Joshua Lewis, Cadin Anlauf, Chris Barber, Alize Woodard, Patrick Andrei, Ariana Emigh-Perella, Daniel Erb, James Gettys
Back row: Stephanie Keppich, Regan Colatta-Rigney, Torrey Roper, Donavin Carrington, Alexander Donaldson, Peyton Trollinger

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.

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,” said Emigh-Perella. “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.”

Bill Hamilton

Emily Smith

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 class, Digital Sports Production, 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. 

A Life-Changing Experience, released during the spring 2022 semester, was created by Bill Hamilton, director of video services; Brian Henry, multimedia producer; and Emily Smith, assistant director of video services from the Office of Marketing and Communications. Henry served as the project director for the video.  

“I met Dr. Faust in fall 2021 when I sat in on one of his classes,” Henry said. “His unique approach and raw energy stayed with me. I knew that this guy had to be full of inspirational stories. His connection with Imani is just one of many.

“I'm proud to have the opportunity to share this success story with others through this video. In addition to the team in Marketing and Communications, this Emmy recognition belongs to Luke and Imani,” Henry said.

Jefferson’s connection to Faust as an advisor and “mentor turned family for sure” helped her to gain faith and confidence in herself and to graduate from IUP in 2016.

In addition to the first Emmy award for IUP, this is the first time that a video produced by university staff has been accepted for an Emmy nomination.

Hamilton, a 1992 communications media graduate of IUP, has been at IUP for 30 years. Smith, who has both her bachelor’s degree in communications media and her master’s degree in adult education and communications technology from IUP, has worked at IUP for the past 17 years. Henry, who has a bachelor’s degree in applied media arts from Edinboro University, has worked at IUP since 2019.