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University News

The 39th College Television Award Winners Are…

Students Win Best In News and Bricker Humanitarian Award

Posted in: Communication and Media

Students accepting College Emmy Award cheering at podium
Photo credit: Thomas E. Franklin

A team of Montclair State University School of Communication and Media students were winners at the Television Academy Foundation 39th College Television Awards held in Los Angeles, California on March 16.

Nominees for the awards, which emulate the Television Academy Emmy ® Awards, were selected from more than 600 submissions from 174 colleges and universities.

“This was one of only eight Emmys awarded by the Academy, placing our students and their faculty mentors in elite company,” says School of Communication and Media Director Keith Strudler. “It was a wonderful evening for our students, family and friends and another step in growing a national reputation for the School.”

The student team, which included Mariano Arocho from Teaneck; Natalie De La Rosa from Guttenberg; Laura Galarza from North Bergen; Babee Garcia from Summit; Madison Glassman from Burlington; Genesis Obando from Elizabeth; and Madjiguene Traore from Newark, won the award for Best in News, as well as the prestigious Bricker Humanitarian Award, which recognizes work that highlights human issues in the world, for their entry, “Montclair News Lab: Hurricane Recovery Mission to Puerto Rico.”

The students, along with School faculty and staff members had traveled to Puerto Rico during their March 2018 spring break to document the island’s recovery from Hurricane Maria, which had laid waste to the island six months before. Little did they expect to receive national recognition for their work a year later.

“The hope of a new generation is right in this audience. When the moments of our collective story happen, whether they’re big or they’re small, we bear the mantle of truth,” said Emmy Award-winning television journalist Giselle Fernández before presenting the Best in News award to the Montclair State team.

Making a West Coast Footprint

On March 15, the team joined another group of 22 Montclair State filmmaking majors who had been spending their spring break planting a footprint for the School in Los Angeles with an exciting round of top agency, network and studio visits.

The group first met with University filmmaking alumni who shared their stories about working and living in Hollywood. They later gained insights on how to land a Hollywood job from University of Southern California Professor Krista Parkinson. A trip to Hollywood would be incomplete without a movie screening – the group enjoyed their screening of just-released film Gloria Bell.

During the week, the students met with 20 screenwriters, pages, executives and coordinators at NBC Universal, where they were encouraged to trust their voices. They toured E! News and Steve Harvey’s Steve show studios and Warner Brothers Entertainment sound stages for Animal Kingdom. They visited HBO and Hulu studios and the Chinese Theatre. 

They learned the tricks of the trade from Creative Artists Agency agents Jonas Brooks and Jacob Schiff. Montclair State alumnus and The Simpsons Emmy award-winning writer and producer Mike Price walked the students through a recording session for the Netflix series F is For Family, which he co-writes and co-produces.

They met at the Writers Guild of America West for a discussion with award-winning Ingrid Goes West and Adrift screenwriter David Branson Smith. They also enjoyed a discussion with former Viacom Music Entertainment Group president and current Quibi executive Doug Herzog on the future of entertainment media.

After their arrival, the student Emmy® nominees enjoyed two days of executive networking with top media executives and fellow nominees before the awards ceremony, building relationships with current and future media leaders.

Their awards recognize the students’ talent and point the way to future professional success. The College Television Awards not only showcase outstanding student productions, but also can serve as an entry point for television and media careers. Past winners have worked in various positions on such hit shows as Mad Men, 60 Minutes, Grey’s Anatomy and more.

“Montclair State has a long tradition of preparing graduates for the communication and media industries,” says College of the Arts Dean Daniel Gurskis. “These Emmy Award-winning students are already making their mark as the next generation of professionals in their field.”

Watch the team accept their Awards:

Watch the award-winning Hurricane Recovery in Puerto Rico:


  • Genesis Obando
  • Mariano Arocho
  • Babee García
  • Laura Galarza
  • Madjiguene Traore

Not pictured but awarded:

  • Madison Glassman
  • Natalie DeLaRosa