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Emerge Media Awards honour the best in student media

On April 4, 2019, fourth-year University of Guelph-Humber Media Studies students majoring in Public Relations and Media Business, organized and hosted the fifth annual Emerge Media Awards.

The Emerge Media Awards (EMAs), which recognize excellence in student media, saw post-secondary students from across Canada attend the gala event at St. James Cathedral Centre in downtown Toronto.

“Having the EMAs in the heart of downtown Toronto created a distinct buzz around the event,” says UofGH Media Studies instructor James MacDonald. “The students added some nice finishing touches this year, including a live jazz band and some new electronic displays which showcased the work of the finalists. They set out to put their own stamp on the event, and they certainly succeeded.”

Although the gala was organized by UofGH students, submissions were judged by industry professionals independent of any post-secondary educational institution. The 54 judges evaluated more than 250 submissions in eight categories: Photography, Audio Storytelling, Written Word, Videography, Public Relations, Multimedia Production, Design: Print Magazine Cover or Spread, and Design: Online News Site or Magazine.

Emerge Magazine wins an EMA

UofGH won in the Design: Online News Site or Magazine category for the 2018 web magazine version of Emerge Magazine. Emerge is a multi-platform publication that includes the Emerge print magazine, web magazine, InstaZine, multimedia and newsletter projects.

Arienne Johnson, who is completing fourth-year Media Studies at UofGH, was the DC team lead for the Web Design team, and accepted the award on behalf of the team. “Our web magazine was nominated amongst a lot of talented finalists, as well as many awesome post-secondary news website teams that I really admired, so it was a bit nerve-racking,” she recalls. “However when we won the nerves turned into excitement, because I knew I had support from all the faculty and current students who attended the event from the University of Guelph-Humber. I also had great moral support from my team's group chat online. It was a nervous yet happy moment.”

“Winning the EMAs made me feel confident that I am going down the right path, that professional media judges believed that I belong in the field of digital media/design, and that the University of Guelph-Humber really recognizes hand work and extraordinary talent,” she says. “That night made me proud to be an alumna of UofGH, showing an example for current students that your talent will be recognized one day.”

The winners for the 2019 Emerge Media Awards are:

  • Photography: Casey Wiginton, Fanshawe College, “Bursting at the Seams”
  • Written Word: Zak Vescera, University of British Columbia, “The lonely Goddess: A lost memory of Tiananmen hides in plain sight on UBC Campus”
  • Audio Storytelling: Rayane Sabbagh, Curtis Larson and Robyn Welsh, Mount Royal University, “Breaking Expectations”
  • Videography: Caitlin Taylor, Janelle Blakley, Kyrsten Stringer, Kyle Griffin and Reza Golzadeh, University of Regina, “Alter”
  • Public Relations: Annette Hynes, Conestoga College, “Building Our Community, One Child at a Time”
  • Multimedia Production: Sophie Gray, Alexander Kim, Emma Loy, Holly McKenzie-Sutter, Alex Migdal, Sharon Nadeem, Andrew Seal, Aryn Strickland, University of British Columbia, “Stuck”
  • Design: Print Magazine Cover or Spread: Troy Lawrence, Angela Fu and Pearl Cao, University of Toronto, “The Weed Issue”
  • Design: Online News Site or Magazine: Emerge Magazine 2018, University of Guelph-Humber

“2019 is – unbelievably – the fifth year we’ve hosted the Emerge Media Awards, and it’s wonderful to see how they’ve grown since 2015,” says Kathy Ullyott, Program Head, Media Studies. "We have more schools participating every year and more students and faculty from those schools attending the gala, which is not only great to see, but a fantastic opportunity for students from literally coast to coast to share their work with each other.”

“It never ceases to amaze me how students continue to raise the bar every year in terms of the quality of the work. The winners this year submitted top notch, professional entries,” agrees MacDonald. “It was especially satisfying to see the University of Guelph-Humber represented among the winners, which offers an indication of the talent that exists within our own Media Studies program.  To see them honoured in a national awards program judged by an independent panel of industry experts is a testament to their skills and abilities.”

For more information on the Emerge Media Awards, visit the EMA website.

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