Communications Media Students Nominated for Prestigious Award

Posted on 8/7/2020 1:34:04 PM

Seventeen IUP communications media students are adding a new line to their resume: regional award nominee.

IUP President Michael Driscoll visits COMM 360 students in their temporary production facility, under Miller stadium, during a live broadcast of IUP football.

IUP President Michael Driscoll visits COMM 360 students in their temporary production facility, under Miller stadium, during a live broadcast of IUP football.

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) recently nominated the IUP students for a College Production Award in the category of student production, live sports.

The live production, streamed by IUP-TV Sports, is part of the COMM 360 - Digital Sports Production course taught by faculty and department chair Gail Wilson. The live production nominated for the College Production Awards was the 2019 IUP Coal Bowl game where the Crimson Hawks defeated California University of Pennsylvania on October 5, 2019.

“The students said, from the start of the semester, they wanted to win production awards,” Wilson said reflecting on the student’s commitment. “Being nominated for this award is an honor and demonstrates how hard these students worked to reach their goal.”

Students enrolled in COMM 360 – Digital Sports Production write, produce, and set up a pre-game production on the field during warm-ups of an IUP football game.

Students enrolled in COMM 360 – Digital Sports Production write, produce, and set up a pre-game production on the field during warm-ups of an IUP football game.

COMM 360 is an in-the-field course where the students in the class take on typical sports production jobs: operating cameras, directing, producing, running audio and slow motion replay, designing and implementing graphics into the show and on-air positions; play-by-play announcer, color commentator and sideline reporter. 

Wilson teaches the course, Chris Barber serves as broadcast engineer and communications major Sean Seaman, a junior from Bethel Park, directed the crew.

“COMM 360 provided me hands-on experience essential in the live sports production field,” Seaman said. “I was able to learn so many skills and be exposed to positions behind the scenes which helped me visualize how we wanted the show to look. I’m using my experience from the class, this summer, in video production with the Washington Wild Things baseball team.”

IUP-TV Sports has been producing video coverage for IUP sports teams for almost 20 years. In the early years, the productions were done by student volunteers and were recorded, edited and broadcast on WIUP-TV as a tape delay program. In 2007, the communications media department created a course for students to be formally trained in skills needed to produce live sports. At that time, the student produced productions of football and basketball games began being live streamed and can be viewed, as they are happening, on the PSAC Network.

UP-TV Sports students Josh Nixon (left) working as technical director and Sean Seaman, as director, focus on producing a live production of IUP football.

IUP-TV Sports students Josh Nixon (left) working as technical director and Sean Seaman, as director, focus on producing a live production of IUP football.

IUP students with sports productions skills are employed across the industry in places like ESPN, AT&T SportsNet, and Altoona Curve. Before the jobs offers, COMM 360 students have interned with teams in the NFL, MLB and NHL.

The mid-Atlantic region includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. This is the first submitted and first nomination for the College Production Awards for the IUP-TV live production team.

Student nominees – enrolled in COMM 360 in fall 2019 or who volunteered to work on the production – include:

  • Braeden Appleman
  • Mackenzie Aucker
  • India Bey
  • Tristen Borland
  • Jordan Brasile
  • Colton Brooks
  • Tyler Como
  • Katie Dotts
  • Jackie Gillis
  • Elliot Hicks
  • Johnny LaVan, volunteer
  • Vania Mason
  • Josh Nixon
  • Josh Rupeka
  • Sean Seaman
  • Jake Slebodnick, volunteer
  • Kaylee Wenderoth

The College Production Awards focus on outstanding culture, educational, technological, entertainment, news and information achievements by undergraduate college students. A crystal pillar is awarded to the school for each winning entry. The chapter received 71 entries in seven categories for the College Production Awards, of which, 33 received nominations.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is the governing body that awards regional and national winners of the Emmy Award, which is given to employed professionals in the field.

A previous version of this story had incorrect information about the name of the award nomination.

Department of Communications Media