U journalism students fare well at first Minnesota Emmy Awards

Brianne Rasmussen

Students from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications spruced up and mingled with some of Minnesota’s biggest names in broadcast journalism Saturday, October 21 at the first Minnesota Emmy Awards Ceremony held at the Gateway alumni center.
Besides rubbing elbows with some of the broadcasters they emulate, the students walked away with two Emmy awards of their own in the News/Informational Programming and Non-News/Entertainment Programming categories.
By wrapping up both nominations for each category, students from the University were assured they would win the two Emmys set aside for college level productions.
“It was a clean sweep for the U,” said Melody Gilbert, who teaches the documentary production and broadcast journalism class that produced three of the four nominated films.
Gilbert submitted the two longer documentaries made by her classes from spring 1999 and spring 2000 in the News category. She also submitted one of the shorter films from the spring 2000 class in the Non-News category.
The documentary winning the Emmy for News, “Our Bodies/Ourselves?” explored the challenges faced by a teenager with anorexia, a bodybuilder who used steroids and three people who changed their genders.
Elvira Carrizal, one of the students who produced the documentary, said she was surprised when they won.
“I did not expect to win,” said Carrizal, who graduated with degrees in journalism and chicano studies last spring. “I thought it was just an honor to be there.”
Her sentiments are shared by journalism graduate student Jamason Chen, whose film, “Life is …” won the Emmy in the Non-News category.
“When I stood on the stage and looked at the screen showing my video piece, tears were in my eyes,” he said.
Chen’s documentary was about his memories of growing up in China and his life since he moved to the United States.
“When Jamason won the award, everyone at the University table gave him their cell phones so he could call his family in Asia,” said Suzanne Scholten, a senior in journalism whose film was nominated in the same category.
Emmy Coordinator Teresa Vickery explained the entries were judged by a panel of peers throughout the nation.
“They were judged against a standard of excellence,” Vickery said. “These films met that standard.”
Although the Emmys will stay in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Gilbert said the students are carrying the real award with them.
“These students learned what it felt like to get an award for something they worked on and are proud of,” Gilbert said. “I am proud of my kids.”