MCCC TV Students Win Telly Award
for Mercer St. Friends Video


Nick Donnoli and Sam Kanig, two Dean's List students majoring in Television/Radio, are the recipients of a 2008 Telly Award in the documentary video category. The Telly Awards honor outstanding achievement in local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, film and video productions, and groundbreaking web commercials, videos and films. A total of 13,500 entries from all 50 states and around the world were submitted, making this year's competition one of the largest in its 29-year history.

The award comes as no surprise to staff members at Mercer Street Friends (MSF), a Mercer County nonprofit organization that was the subject of the students' 20-minute video for their Applied Field Production class. According to the organization's Executive Director, Dr. Barry Cole, the finished product was "terrific and very professional." Cole says that his organization has found myriad uses for the video since its completion last December - to orient new employees and board and foundation members, to educate potential donors, and even to improve internal communication among the organization's four divisions.

MCCC TV/Radio students, front row from left,
Nick Donnoli and Sam Kanig display
their Telly Award. They are pictured with,
back row from left, MCCC Program Coordinator
Barry Levy and Assistant Professor Steve Voorhees,
MSF Communications Director Janina Akins and Executive Director, Dr. Barry Cole.

Janina Akins, MSF's communications director, is equally enthusiastic. After working with the students during the three months of filming, she had no idea what to expect when it came time to screen the video. "We are a difficult organization to define because of the many services we provide. The students did a great job of succinctly dividing up and explaining what we do. I've worked with a lot of professionals in the advertising and public relations business. I can't say enough about how professional these students were - talented, enthusiastic and compliant. They far exceeded our expectations."

MSF serves more than 30,000 needy Mercer County residents each year through its four divisions: Food Bank, Children and Youth Services, Parenting and Adult Services, and Home Health Care. The video captures the essence of the MSF mission through interviews with multiple staff members and footage of them in action. The students used voice-over to relay key facts and provide transitions from one division to the next.

Donnoli and Kanig recall the demands of the project, estimating that they spent at least 120 hours from start to finish. "It was a lot of work, but well worth it," Kanig said. "Mercer Street Friends inspired us." Added Donnoli, "It's great to know they are going to use it to help people." They acknowledge that being recognized with a prestigious award certainly doesn't hurt. Both students plan to transfer to The College of New Jersey after graduating from Mercer in December.

The DVD is being distributed in both full and "mini" sizes. "We keep finding new ways to use it," Cole said. Created without reference to specific dates, the agency expects to be able to utilize the video for years to come.

According to Professor Steve Voorhees, this marks the seventh national award for the TV Program since 2006. Each year, upper level students enrolled in Applied Field Production get a taste of the real world by working on a professional video project for a non-profit, education, or government client. The course prepares students for the demands and deadlines of the industry while operating in a team atmosphere.

Graduates of Mercer's AAS degree program in Radio/Television pursue careers as directors, producers, editors, camera operators, compositors, audio engineers, and writers in the TV and video production industries. They benefit from hands-on training, utilizing cutting-edge technology. Television majors have the opportunity to create television programming that is cablecast throughout Mercer County on MCTV, channel 26.

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