Loyola University Chicago

School of Communication


Students win pair of Crystal Pillar Awards

Students win pair of Crystal Pillar Awards

Elise Haas was one of a dozen journalism students who took home a Crystal Pillar Award at the Chicago/Midwest Regional Emmys for their work on Loyola News Chicago. Graduate student Alex Sharon also won for his video “Unsung Hero,” which highlights the life of Loyola groundskeeper Michael Arnold.

Loyola’s School of Communication took home two Crystal Pillar Awards for student-produced work at the Chicago/Midwest Regional Emmys held in December at the Marriott Hotel on Michigan Avenue.

Students in professor Lee Hood’s Newscasting and Producing class shared top honors in the Best Newscast category with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Graduate student Alex Sharon, who is getting a master’s degree in digital storytelling, won first place in the Arts and Entertainment/Cultural Affairs category.

Hood’s class won for its work on the April 28, 2016, segment of Loyola News Chicago. (You can see more segments on the Loyola News Chicago YouTube Channel.) The class produced 10 newscasts during the spring 2016 semester, staffing all the on-air and off-air positions in the studio.

The winning students were: Larissa Castillo (producer); Javier Llorente (director); Elise Haas and Patrick Rybarczyk (anchors); Blake Keller, Erin Kelly, Macy Krupiczewicz, and Katrina Lim, Taylor Utzig (reporters); Marissa Divine, Tom Hush, and Jake Mazanke (reporters/photographers); Jose Garcia-Nieto (photographer).

“The students did a great job all semester,” Hood said. “It was truly an effort that reflects all of the journalism major.” The newscast contained work from different School of Communication classes including video packages from Television Reporting and Broadcast News.

The headlining story of the winning episode was about Loyola’s investigation of former women’s basketball coach Sheryl Swoopes. Other top stories in the show included the NFL Draft in Grant Park and the rise in ranking of the Quinlan School of Business.

Sharon won first place for his video “Unsung Hero.” The 4-minute piece highlights the life of Michael Arnold, a Loyola groundskeeper at the Lake Shore Campus, and tracks his journey from when he first moved to Rogers Park in 1971. Sharon produced the video in a class taught by professor John Goheen.

Loyola Phoenix editor Grace Runkel also was honored during the night with a $4,000 scholarship from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Chicago Foundation.