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Celebrating Student Achievements in Media and Journalism: A Tapestry of Talent and Triumph at SOC

Celebrating Student Achievements in Media and Journalism: A Tapestry of Talent and Triumph at SOC

This year, the School of Communication (SOC) has been a vibrant showcase of talent, creativity, and hard work, culminating in prestigious awards that honor the exceptional achievements of its students. These accolades, notably the Crystal Pillar and Silver Dome awards, are not just symbols of individual accomplishment but also a testament to the collective spirit and perseverance of SOC students. Their stories, told through their own voices, highlight the gravity and importance of these awards. 

Lucas Kihmm, Crystal Pillar award winner for College Student Production    

Lucas Kihmm's Crystal Pillar award for College Student Production at the Chicago/Midwest regional Emmy Awards ceremony is a crowning achievement. This award, a beacon of excellence in media and journalism, recognizes outstanding talent and hard work. Kihmm’s award-winning composite was produced in Associate Professor Lee Hood’s Newscast and Producing class last spring. Maddie Franz, nominated for her insightful video story, “Chicago Culture: Chinatown”, produced in Jessica Brown's class, showcases the depth and diversity of storytelling nurtured at SOC. 


Chloe Morrissey's role as the social media host for the Red Carpet and Backstage shows at the Emmy Awards, along with her nomination in the on-air performance category, underscores her multifaceted skills and versatility.   

Amanda Vinicky (left) and Chloe Morrissey (right) interviewing two Emmy award winners backstage

The Silver Dome awards, presented by the Illinois Broadcasters Association, are a prestigious honor recognizing excellence in broadcasting and journalism. Winning these awards is a significant achievement, reflecting the high standards and creativity in media production. Students in the Digital Media and Storytelling master’s program, directed by Richelle Rogers, won two Silver Domes this fall. 

"Cocktail Classifieds" by Lee Sargent won the Silver Dome award for the Best TV Longform Entertainment Programming  

Lee Sargent won for "Cocktail Classifieds" in the Best TV Longform Entertainment Programming category. Marina Hart Donahue, Taylor Evans Ghosal, Lexie Garrett, Duncan Hoag, Christina Hoffman, and Keagan Hynes scored a group victory for "No Permit Necessary" in the Best TV Longform Journalism Programming category. "No Permit Necessary” is a documentary film about Washington Square Park, also known as “Bughouse Park,” in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. The film can be found on the group’s YouTube channel, which is named after their newly formed Production company, House of Bug Productions. 

"No Permit Necessary," by Marina Hart Donahue, Taylor Evans, Lexie Garrett, Duncan Hoag, Christina Hoffman, and Keagan Hynes earned the Silver Dome Award for Best TV Longform Journalism Programming

Donahue said, “We really wanted the opportunity to work together as a cohort!” This sentiment captures the essence of collaborative spirit at SOC. She added, “[Winning the Silver Dome] was such an honor! Not only is that a huge deal but it is really cool to know that others find the piece as meaningful as we do.”

Hynes, another team member, expressed his pride: “It’s quite an honor to be recognized by such an important and celebrated organization. It’s also exciting that the park is getting this much attention and that so many people now know its story.” 

Hoffman, also nominated for her story "Great Lakes Pigeon Rescue," shared her experience working on a solo project: “The great thing about working solo is that I was in charge of everything. The challenge was that I was in charge of everything.” 

Evans Ghosal emphasized the importance of passion in documentary filmmaking: “To create impactful documentaries, you have to have a passion for storytelling and you can’t be afraid to delve into what you’re interested in.” 

The students' future aspirations and ongoing projects highlight the lasting impact of their experiences at SOC. As they continue to explore new stories and collaborations, their journey remains a source of inspiration and a testament to the power of storytelling, creativity, and teamwork.