A Berry College communication student and Berry's student-run multimedia website, Viking Fusion, each recently won a College Media Association Pinnacle Award.
A promotional video made by Viking Fusion won the award for "Best TV Promo and PSA."
Mary Claire Stewart, a senior from Lilburn, Ga., received Best Audio Slideshow for "The Treves Family: An Uncommon Story." It was part of a larger "Jews of Florence" multimedia project produced during a summer study abroad trip to Florence, Italy. Her story and the project can be found on the Viking Fusion website at http://vikingfusion.berry.edu/index.php/news/jews-florence/.
"I am excited and honored to represent Berry with this award," said Stewart, who was one of seven communication students on the trip. "I have to give credit to the entire team of faculty and students, because this project was really a team effort, and I couldn't have done this without them. I never imagined the work we did would get such recognition. I'm so thankful that here at Berry we are given unique and meaningful opportunities for hands-on learning and experience."
Viking Fusion's promo won out over finalists from the University of Hawaii and the University of South Dakota. Stewart's audio slideshow faced competition from Louisiana State University and UCLA. Viking Fusion was also a finalist for "TV Station of the Year," but came in second.
"I'm honored to be recognized among our peers," said Michael Baldvins, executive director for Viking Fusion and a senior communication major from Grayson, Ga. "I'm glad to see the hard work of the staff and the Communication Department noticed."
The Pinnacle Awards were presented at a ceremony during the 92nd Annual National Student Media Convention, sponsored by College Media Association and the Associated Collegiate Press. More than 60 colleges and universities entered the awards.
"Five or six years ago when we converged our curriculum and switched from a TV studio to a multimedia website, naturally we wondered if we were doing the right thing," said Bob Frank, associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication at Berry. "Accolades like these from CMA continue to reassure us that we are in fact preparing our students for careers in communication, not just training them in the latest technological fad or passing fancy."