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03-26-2013

Clarkson University Students Named Finalists in National Electronic Media Competition

A video produced by a team of Clarkson University students was named one of five finalists in the Best Video Feature Segment category of the 2013 National Undergraduate Student Electronic Media Competition sponsored by the National Broadcasting Society.

Chris Merrill, Zach Durocher, Ellen Heenan, and their professor, Stephen Farina.The students researched, wrote, directed, shot, and edited "North Country Robotics: Building Leaders in Technology," a three-minute video feature about the FIRST Robotics Competition sponsored by Clarkson in fall 2012.

Zachary Durocher, a senior communication major from Ballston Spa, N.Y.; Ellen Heenan, a senior engineering & management major from Bridgeport, N.Y.; Chris Merrill, a junior communication and digital arts & sciences double major from Hannawa Falls, N.Y.; Caitlin Walsh, a senior digital arts & sciences major from Rochester, N.Y.; and John Warzala, a senior communication and digital arts & sciences double major from Schenectady, N.Y., created the video for an assignment in the COMM 330 Science Journalism course, taught by Communication & Media Professor Stephen Farina.



“The students really captured the significance and excitement of FIRST Robotics at Clarkson,” said Farina, “The video team followed the work of robotics groups through to the climactic final event last December in Clarkson’s Student Center.”

The Clarkson team entered one of the two video feature categories in the NSB competition. Other teams nominated in those categories came from institutions such as the University of Florida, the University of Miami, Southern Cal, and UNC Chapel Hill.

“The announcement of our spot in the finals was a great surprise,” said Warzala. “Looking back on developing the project, we spent a lot of time envisioning our final product and breaking it down into achievable steps to get there in time.”

“It feels pretty good to have your hard work recognized like this,” said Heenan. “Being finalists in a competition against some of these top schools is a reward in itself.”

“I’m particularly happy about the award because this was the first time we offered the course and entered this competition,” said Farina. “The outstanding work of this team sets the bar high for future students who will take this course and follow this path. I can’t wait to teach the course again!”

Clarkson's communication program is one of the most open and flexible on campus, integrating communication, design and technology. It offers a framework of core communication skills with in-depth specializations in allied fields, like digital arts, computer science, business, biology and psychology.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: A video produced by a team of Clarkson University students was named one of five finalists in the Best Video Feature Segment category of the National Undergraduate Student Electronic Media Competition. Back row: Caitlin Walsh and John Warzala. Front row: Chris Merrill, Zach Durocher, Ellen Heenan, and their professor, Stephen Farina.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/comm-330-nbs-2013.jpg.]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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