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University of Guelph-Humber Media Studies program wins prestigious student awards

University of Guelph-Humber Media Studies program wins prestigious student awards

Emerge Magazine, the capstone project for Media Studies students, claims collegiate journalism’s "Pulitzer Prize" Pacemaker Award

TORONTO, ON - Oct. 30, 2017 - Emerge Magazine, the award-winning project developed and executed by University of Guelph-Humber (UofGH) fourth-year Media Studies students, has added a coveted Pacemaker award to its growing number of accolades.

Every competition season, the Associated College Press (ACP) presents collegiate journalism's coveted award known as the Pacemaker. This year, Emerge Magazine has achieved the top rank in the Online category. UofGH was also well represented in the individual categories. Berkley Sara Martin achieved the top rank in the feature photography category, and Kyle Phillips placed second in the environmental photography category. UofGH also received honourable mentions in the Multimedia Feature category for the "Stopping the Stigma" series and in Design for the "Living for Likes" magazine spread.  

To date, the Emerge project has won a total of 98 awards from competitions across North America. For the students and faculty who oversee the production and execution of Emerge it represents not only a once in a lifetime experience, but a valuable asset they can add to their resumes and portfolios.

“I am so proud of the students, assistant program head Kathy Ullyott, and the team of instructors that bring Emerge from concept to finished product each year. UofGH stands tall among the best of the best,” says Jerry Chomyn, program head, Media Studies, UofGH.

Emerge encompasses the talents of students from the five areas of specialization offered within the Media Studies program: digital communications, image arts, journalism, public relations, and media business. It's a print and online magazine, a one-day conference, three websites, a photography exhibition, and a media strategy. Overall, it's a chance for students to display the knowledge they've gained throughout their time at UofGH.

"Emerge is an experience," says Jenna Piunno, who acted as a web team lead on Emerge. "In some senses, it's a taste of the real world. You have a real project you're working on that counts for more than grades." Students were only given 15 weeks to assign, produce, illustrate and post stories. With a big team and tight deadlines, a shared vision was crucial.

The theme for this year's magazine was “Media Rehab,” which students used as a way of recognizing and accepting the past and looking ahead to a brighter future. Following a year of fake news, sensationalism, job loss and a systematic fixation on 'likes' as a form of affirmation, the mission of “Media Rehab” was to recognize the state of the current media and work on rebuilding the trust of the public. Emerge addressed these issues by outlining how this generation can and will have a positive influence on the inevitable evolution of media. 

The video/documentary team took this year’s project a step further by developing a web series called “Opportunity Knocking,” about non-traditional post-graduate employment, as well as a term-long project that looked at mental health issues experienced by young people. In this series titled "Stopping the Stigma," the perspectives and stories of individuals impacted by depression are presented all with the overlying importance of talking about mental health. 

“As Emerge’s editorial advisor, I have seen many graduating classes approach the subject of mental health, but never with this level of cohesion and compassion,” says UofGH instructor Kimberley Noble. “I am proud of this work, which does fit with the Media Rehab theme in that it bodes well for the future that schools such as ours are graduating young story-tellers who bring such thoughtfulness and sensitivity to digital media production.”

This year, ACP's Pacemaker competition received 105 overall entries from renowned colleges and universities across North America. University of Guelph-Humber has proven that it can compete, and win, against some of the best media programs in North America. 

To learn more about the award-winning site click here.