A weekly classroom project for Ferris State University Television and Digital Media Production students received an award of excellence from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Michigan 2021 College/University Student Production Awards, Public Affairs/Community Service Category.
The work of producer Vernard Norris, a Detroit native, and production specialist Lacie Stevens, from Bellevue, was part of “Big Rapids Life,” a segment developed in the TDMP 499 class, Advanced Producing and Directing/Capstone. Program Coordinator Glen Okonoski said faculty in the department review student work from multiple classes and enter them in various competitions.
“Big Rapids Life is an open opportunity for students to present stories about the community, which Vernard took to the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety’s Fire Division,” Okonoski said. “The firefighters and emergency medical technicians gave them many useful images and allowed our team to tell a great story.”
Okonoski said the program has had other successes over the years submitting work to NATAS.
“First off, receiving the award is a very good thing for students to include on their resumes,” Okonoski said. “It is also a feather in our program’s cap, as TDMP students strive to learn their craft, whether it is being part of a live sports production, a magazine show or some other video presentation.”
Norris said this particular segment merged with his approaching a pressure-packed life moment.
“This assignment came when I was working with my wife to have our marriage ceremony while taking some key classes required for my degree,” Norris said. “Glen said the Big Rapids Fire Division had been done as a segment previously, but that I should ‘knock it out,’ so that is what Lacie and I sought to do. We made a great team, and Glen was speechless when we reviewed our first cuts. I was so appreciative of all the support my classmates offered, and this award is a huge honor as I make the adjustment to my career.”
Click the full video feature link to view.