Cronkite students top national broadcast competition

February 22, 2012

Arizona State University students won more awards at the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts competition than any other school in the country for the third consecutive year.

Students at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication earned 20 broadcast and multimedia journalism awards, more than twice as many as the second-place school. Download Full Image

“Being recognized nationally in so many categories is a testament to the depth and strength of our students and faculty here at Cronkite,” said Mark Lodato, Cronkite assistant dean and news director. “From documentary and radio to feature reporting and newscast production, our students strive to do their very best. We couldn’t be more proud of what they’ve accomplished.”

The school also won the most Best of Festival awards, the highest honor given in the competition’s individual categories. Cronkite NewsWatch won best student newscast, the second such honor in three years, while the documentary “Tipping the Scales,” about childhood obesity, earned best student documentary.

“Tipping the Scales” was produced by Lisa Blanco, Arielle Horsch, Samantha Lloyd and Angela Ortega for a documentary class. Professor John Craft, who teaches the class, praised the students for their dedication and professionalism.

“They really put a lot of effort into [the documentary],” he said. “They are incredibly professional.”

In addition, Cronkite students recorded two first-place finishes in the competition. Dan Neligh placed first in TV feature reporting, and Daryl Bjoraas received first-place honors in the TV weathercaster category. Other Cronkite students earned honors in the radio feature reporting, TV hard news, TV anchor, TV sports talent and radio hard news categories.

Cronkite students also dominated the Festival of Media Arts competition last year, earning 19 awards, including two Best of Festival and six first-place awards.

The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony in April at the BEA annual convention in Las Vegas.

The 2012 BEA award winners are:

Best of Festival: Student Newscast

Cronkite NewsWatch

Best of Festival: Documentary – Long-form

“Tipping the Scales,” Lisa Blanco, Arielle Horsch, Samantha Lloyd and Angela Ortega

First Place: TV Feature Reporting

“Phoenix Symphony Conductor,” Dan Neligh

First Place: TV Weathercaster

Daryl Bjoraas

Second Place: Radio Feature Reporting

“Golden Grannies,” Isaac Easle

Second Place: TV Hard News

“Obama Campaign in Arizona,” Lindsay Nadrich

Third Place: TV Anchor

Lindsay Nadrich

Third Place: TV Weathercaster

Taryn Hale

Third Place: TV Sports Talent

Brandon Kamerman

Honorable Mention: Radio Hard News

Lydia Camarillo, “Occupy Phoenix”

Honorable Mention: TV Feature Reporting

Taryn Hale, “For Rancher, Life on the Border…”

Honorable Mention: TV Feature Reporting

Gardenia Coleman, “From DOPE to HOPE”

Honorable Mention: TV Feature Reporting

Nathan O’Neal, “Underground Hotel”

Honorable Mention: TV Feature Reporting

Andrew Ellison, “Land Preserves”

Honorable Mention: TV Feature Reporting

Krystal Klei, “Homeless Sleeping Mats”

Honorable Mention: TV Hard News

Matt Trotter, “Superstition Crash”

Honorable Mention: TV Anchor

Dan Neligh

Honorable Mention: TV Anchor

Andrew Ellison

Honorable Mention: TV Sports

Siera Lambrecht, “Sun Devils 101,” Episode 6

Honorable Mention: Documentary – Long-form

Nathan O’Neal, “Stateless in the Dominican Republic”

ASU Police Department promotes Chris Speranza to commander

February 22, 2012

The ASU Police Department recently promoted Chris Speranza to commander. He will serve as commander at the Downtown Phoenix campus.

In his new assignment, Speranza joins the ranks of five commanders who serve the department. He joined the university police force in 1999 as a police officer.  Chris Speranza Download Full Image

“Chris has been an integral part of our operation since he joined the department,” said John Pickens, Chief of Police at the ASU Police Department. “This promotion recognizes his dedication and excellent work for the organization.”  

Speranza saved the life of an ASU student involved in an automobile fire in 2000. For this action, he was awarded the department’s Medal of Valor.

During his career at ASU, Speranza served in varying capacities from a field training officer in 2001 where he took on the responsibility of training new officers after they graduated from the police academy to his promotion to police officer senior in 2004, acting as a shift supervisor in the absence of a sergeant.

He was promoted to sergeant in 2006 and was given the responsibility of supervising a patrol shift. In 2007, he transferred to the Criminal Investigations Bureau where he has been instrumental in creating the department’s Canine program, the Drug Take Back program and the Crime Analysis program.  In 2009 and 2010, he acted as interim commander assigned to the West Campus.

He has numerous certifications and advanced training and is a member of the ASU Behavior Response Team, the Student Assistance Coordination Committee, the Arizona Threat Assessment Professionals and Arizona Homicide Investigators Association.