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Emerge wins prestigious ACP Online Pacemaker Award

Emerge, the multidisciplinary, multiplatform project produced by University of Guelph-Humber’s Media Studies students, has won another prestigious international award.

The Associated College Press recently honoured Emerge with the ACP Online Pacemaker Award for best Online news and magazine site, placing UofGH’s online publication ahead of entries from institutions including UCLA, Pepperdine University and the University of Michigan.

Often referred to as the Pulitzer Prize of student journalism, the Pacemaker drew 105 overall entries from colleges and universities. The winners were announced at the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Dallas.

In addition to Emerge’s top ranking in the Online category, UofGH students thrived in individual award categories as well. Berkley Sara Martin was first overall in the feature photography category, while Kyle Phillips was second in environmental photography.

“I am so proud of the students, Assistant Program Head Kathy Ullyott, and the team of instructors who bring Emerge from concept to finished product each year,” said Media Studies Program Head Jerry Chomyn.

“UofGH stands tall among the best of the best.”

The Emerge project – which encompasses a print and online magazine, a one-day conference, three websites and a photography exhibition – brings together the diverse skillsets of students in the Media Studies program, spanning journalism, image arts, public relations, media business and digital communications.

Emerge has now won 98 awards total from competitions across the continent.

This past year, UofGH students worked with the theme “Media Rehab” to create a vibrant, informative and interactive web magazine. The students had only 15 weeks to assign, produce, illustrate and post stories, but with fluid communication and solid teamwork they managed to execute their vision.

“Emerge is an experience,” said Jenna Piunno, who served as Web Team Lead on Emerge’s Design and Development Team in her fourth year.

“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. It takes group work to the max – now I understand how important internal communications are.”

Emerge earned rave reviews for two video documentary series. Opportunity Knocking dealt with non-traditional post-graduate employment, while the moving Stopping the Sigma series – which received an honourable mention in the ACP’s Multimedia Feature category – probed how young people deal with mental health issues.

“The video/doc team did a remarkable job in their persistent and sensitive search for people willing to tell difficult stories on camera, and in the way their interviews, filming and editing all demonstrate skill and restraint,” said Kimberley Noble, one of the four faculty advisors who, along with a team of three resource instructors, oversee Emerge.

“I have seen many graduating classes approach the subject of mental health, but never with this level of cohesion and compassion.”