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‘First-class work’ by Interactive Media students recognized in BEA competition

Elon University graduate students received first- and third-place awards in this year's Broadcast Education Association's Festival of Media Arts.

Students from Elon University’s Interactive Media master’s program were recently honored with first- and third-place awards in the Broadcast Education Association's 2017 Festival of Media Arts, which featured nearly 1,500 student and faculty entries from universities across the country.

During a January 2016 presentation, Taylor Smith introduces his student group and its work with Alegría Gri Grí, a nonprofit organization in Río San Juan, Dominican Republic.

A group of eight students enrolled in the 2016 iMedia program were awarded a tie for first place in the festival’s Student Interactive Multimedia Competition, Large Team Category. The students were recognized for the new website they created for Alegría Gri Grí, a nonprofit organization that improves the lives of people in Río San Juan, Dominican Republic.

In January 2016, the students traveled to Río San Juan for 10 days to collect media, then develop a new website that promotes awareness of the organization’s mission and facilitates online donations. The student group included 2016 iMedia graduates Tim Babiasz, Haley Burton, Richard Clegg, Caranita Harrelson, Jordynn McKnight, Taylor Smith, Kaitlyn Stahl and Lexi Veara.

Another 2016 iMedia group tied for third place in the Student Interactive Multimedia Competition. The seven-person team traveled to Belize to gather media content for Cornerstone Foundation, a community development organization dedicated to improving the lives of youth and adults in San Ignacio and Santa Elena, Belize.

Kelly Foran (left) and Tarah Holland highlight their student group’s work with Cornerstone Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Belize that runs a variety of outreach programs.

Once back stateside, the team developed an interactive website to help support the foundation's mission and improve its online presence. iMedia graduates involved in the project included Kelly Foran, Michael Garland, Erin Turner, Carolyn Crenshaw, Tarah Holland, Tereza Novotna and Sayantan Purkayastha.

David Copeland, A.J. Fletcher Professor and director of the graduate program, commended the 2016 iMedia students for creating “first-class work” in a relatively short timeframe.

“What I think is significant about these websites is that our students collected content over the course of seven to 10 days and prepared these sites in just two weeks,” he explained. “A lot of their competition probably spent an entire semester working on their projects. I think these awards really speak to the quality of the work of our students and the quality of the instruction from our instructors.

“This is a perfect example of the benefits of the fly-in projects, where students are immersed in a project over the course of a few weeks,” Copeland added.

Here’s a look at the program's most recent fly-in projects.

In addition to the two iMedia awards, Elon undergraduate students were also recognized in the Festival of Media Arts, capturing one of just 17 BEA “Best of Festival” King Foundation Awards.

The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international exhibition of award-winning faculty and student works chosen in the audio, documentary, interactive multimedia, news, scriptwriting and video categories.

Festival winners will receive recognition and exhibition of their works during BEA’s annual convention in Las Vegas, April 22-25.

Tommy Kopetskie,
2/13/2017 2:40 PM