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2017 College Student Production Awards

Congratulations to the college/university recipients in the 2017 NATAS-Upper Midwest Student Production Awards!  Recipients were announced at a ceremony on Friday March 31st, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza AiRE – MSP/MOA Hotel.

This year, the NATAS – Upper Midwest Chapter received more than 200 entries from 40 high schools and colleges/universities from across our region.

Sean Lewis – WGN TV (Chicago)
Carla Beaurline – Around Town Media, LLC Twin Cities

Sean Lewis from WGN-TV in Chicago and Carla Beaurline from Around Town Television in the Twin Cities hosted the award ceremony and presented Crystal Pillars to recipients.  The awards are presented to the schools for promotional purposes to encourage students to pursue the media arts.    Any student whose name is on the recipient entry form is eligible to purchase a duplicate Crystal Pillar Award.  We also offer nomination certificates and plaques for students listed on nominated entries.

College Student Crystal Pillar order form

Student Nomination certificate order form

Student Production Crystal Pillar Award
Student Production Crystal Pillar Award

OFFICIAL NATIONAL NATAS RULES FOR STUDENT AWARD PROMOTION: The Student Production Award Crystal Pillar awards are not Emmy® Awards and can not be promoted as such.   High school & college/university students may promoted they are recipients of a NATAS – Upper Midwest Student Production Award.  OR, may say they received a Student Production Crystal Pillar Award from the Upper Midwest Emmy® Chapter/Foundation.   Students are not considered peer professionals and as such, their regional student productions are not eligible for Emmy® award recognition. Schools/students may not use the Emmy® name or replica of the Emmy® figure in any form of school publications, commercial advertising and promotion.

The NATAS – Upper Midwest Chapter/Foundation

2017 College Student Production Award Recipients are… 

C-01: College – Newscast

UTVS News – St. Cloud State University

  • Sarah Rudlang, News Director
  • Lyanne Valdez, News Director
  • Piper Shaw, Producer
  • Derrick Silvestri, Advisor

C-02: College – News: General Assignment – Serious News

Terror Trials – St. Cloud State University

  • Ubah Ali, Writer/Editor
  • Derrick Silvestri, Advisor

C-03: College – News: General Assignment – Light News

Battleship H2O at MSUM – Minnesota State University – Moorhead

  • Sara Erickson, Reporter
  • Aaron Quanbeck, Advisor

C-04: College – Arts and Entertainment/Cultural Affairs

5 Second Rule – St. Cloud State University

  • Josie Spry, Executive Producer/Host
  • Ashley Terry, Host
  • Eric Jacobs-Andresen, Associate Producer/Camera Operator
  • AJ Larson, Editor/Camera Operator
  • Derrick Silvestri, Advisor 

C-05: College – Music Video

Faded – Hennepin Technical College

  • Kong Thao, Director
  • John McCaffrey, Advisor

C-06: College – Fiction

Seeing Violet – University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

  • Joe McNairy, Co-Director
  • Sebastian Swanson, Co-Director

C-07: College – Non-Fiction


Behind the Bump: A Birth Mother’s Story – Loras College

  • Melissa Link, Producer
  • Maddie Galloway, Producer
  • Craig Schaefer, Advisor

Ubumwe: Together We Grow – St. Benedicts – St. Johns University

  • Anna Cron, Producer/Director
  • Megan Towle, Producer/Director
  • Bao Khang, Videographer/Editor
  • George Dornbach, Videographer/Editor/Music
  • Jeff Johnson, Videographer/Editor
  • Diana Elhard, Production Assistant
  • Chayce Kenny, Script Researcher/Production Assistant
  • Emily Nagel, Production Assistant
  • Grace Lindquist, Production Assistant
  • Brennan Lafeber, Production Assistant
  • Malia Carson, Production Assistant
  • Paul Marsnik, Advisor

C-08: College – Sports


The Life of a Kicker – Minnesota State University – Moorhead

  • Haley Foster, Reporter
  • Aaron Quanbeck, Advisor

True Grit – St. Cloud State University

  • Megan Hedstrom, Writer/Editor/Producer
  • Derrick Silvestri, Advisor

C-09: College – Sports: Program/Series

Husky Mag – St. Cloud State University

  • Joe Scarrella, Producer
  • Alexis Pearson, Producer
  • Derrick Silvestri, Advisor

C-10: College – Sports: Live Event

Men’s Hockey SCSU vs UND – November 18/2016 – St. Cloud State University

  • Austin Tema, Producer
  • Josie Spry, Associate Producer
  • Neil Lommel, Director
  • Brian Stanley, Advisor

C-11: College – Public Service (PSAs)

Crash Dummy – Century College

  • Emily Pilacinski, Producer/Director
  • Patrick Frost, Photographer/Editor
  • Spencer Klover, Producer/Photographer
  • Bret Christiansen, Photographer
  • Mike Eddy, Advisor

C-12: College – Public Affairs/Community Service

#UNITEIOWA – Drake University

  • Anna Steenson, Producer/Director/Editor
  • Todd Evans, Advisor

C-13: College – Commercial

Inspire Cafe – Loras College

  • Kelly Kuboushek, Producer
  • Jack Sarcone, Producer
  • Craig Schaefer, Advisor

C-14: College – Animation/Graphics/Special Effects


Interface – Augsburg College

  • Jake Moore, Producer
  • Jenny Hanson, Advisor

Louis Pei Composite – Century College

  • Louis Pei, VFX Artist
  • Mike Edd, Advisor

C-15: College – Director

Kaimana – University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

  • Samuel Canniff, Director
  • Mark Neuman-Scott, Advisor

C-16: College – Editor


A Spectrum of Faith – Drake University

  • Anna Steenson, Editor
  • Todd Evans, Advisor

Laney Kraus-Taddeo Composite – University of Northern Iowa

  • Laney Kraus-Taddeo, Editor
  • Eric Braley, Advisor

C-17: College – Photographer

Dubuque Artist – Loras College

  • Charlie Grant, Photographer
  • Craig Schaefer, Advisor

C-18: College – Talent

Allie Krings Composite – University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

C-19: College – Video Essay (Single Camera Only)

No nominations or awards

C-20: College – Writing

Tyrel Filley Composite – Minnesota State University – Moorhead