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SUNY Plattsburgh Broadcast Students Garner National Notice

Werewolves, a gang of snowboarders, a cruise ship and SUNY Plattsburgh’s mascot Burghy. Not your average dinner party guests.

Yet these were the subjects of four SUNY Plattsburgh student video and audio segments that, after winning regional awards, were honored as finalists at the National Broadcasting Society Awards dinner in Washington, D.C.

Members of Alpha Epsilon Rho, the college’s NBS chapter, have been submitting work to regional and national NBS competitions for 25 years now, often emerging victorious.

National Finalists

  • The radio commercial “Wolf-Away” by digital media production junior Andrew Proft from Shelburne, Vt., and TV/video production junior Nick Lagoni from Chatham, N.Y.
  • The comedy skit “The Life of Burghy” by Lagoni and Kevin Pickering from Bellmore, N.Y.
  • Another comedy skit, “Almighty Shredders,” by Lagoni and Pickering.
  • And the half-hour television script titled “Cruise” by TV/video and digital media production junior Nick Gismondi from Oyster Bay, N.Y., and Kathryn Vanherp from Peru, N.Y.

The submissions began as classroom assignments. With “Wolf-Away,” for example, Proft and Lagoni were told they had to create a radio commercial..

“It had to be a specific length and include certain elements, such as music and a certain progression of information. Also, it had to be Halloween themed,” Proft said. “We all picked out the best sound effects and edited together.”

‘This One’s for Plattsburgh!’

NBS provides an opportunity for students to showcase their skills and have their work reviewed by industry professionals, said Peter Ensel, associate professor and a former chapter adviser. He said that students often come away from the experience having realized exactly how good their work really is.

Steven Gadecki ’00, director of digital media and visual marketing at SONY Pictures, remembers participating in the competition as a student.

“The creative outlet I was never allowed before was suddenly right there,” he said.

At his first conference, he didn’t tell anyone he had submitted anything, so his fellow NBS members were surprised when his music video won. Upon accepting his award, Gadecki said, “This one’s for Plattsburgh!”

There is nothing like having “working professionals watch and critique your work,” Gadecki said. The pieces may serve as a powerful visual resume, he added, but NBS experiences gave him something that he found even more valuable: “Confidence.”

Meanwhile, Gismondi, who attended this year’s conference, valued both seeing professionals working in the field through a conference tour of Sirius XM headquarters and having the chance to add “national scriptwriting finalist” to his resume. But, he said, the biggest benefit was “the ability to meet and talk to other students who are in the same field and see the way they do things and what their experiences are like.”


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