LA&S Students Achieve Success in Communication and Media

Claudia GalloKaleigh Griffin

Claudia Gallo (left) and Kaleigh Griffin (right) wrote and produced a short film, “Unsung Hero,” that was accepted in the Woodstock Film Festival Documentary Shorts category.

2013 was a banner year for current students and alumni in the Department of Communication and Media.  Students presented at national conferences, had their films accepted in prestigious film festivals and earned awards for film production.

In October, four Communication and Media alumni had their Seminar in Digital Filmmaking projects accepted in the Woodstock Film Festival Documentary Shorts category.  Their work screened in two venues:  Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY and at the Woodstock Playhouse.  The film is not available online as it is currently being considered for screening at other film festivals.  They are Claudia Gallo (currently employed at the WWE in Ct. as an editor), Kaleigh Griffin (who is currently a production coordinator for an independent film), Lindsay Nimphius (Currently working for Microsoft) and Kerri Sheheen (who is currently freelancing in and around New York City).

The department also we had students cover the Woodstock Film Festival for their ‘Fiercely Independent’ YouTube channel:

An example of their work can be found here:

In August, student Sasha Ribowsky and recent graduate Eric Solwaskie (now working for Umbra Soundstage and Motorcycle Museum in Newburgh) won the first place prize for the National Association of Broadcasters for their PSA ‘Room for New Ideas’ They were flown to Anaheim, CA where they were awarded with plaques, and Sasha secured a scholarship.

This past April, the Broadcast Education Association recognized Kim Mas and Josh Rosman at their annual Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Kim and Josh’s PSA was peer-reviewed (3rd place in Spots) in the national competition.  (

Student Miriam Ward secured a scholarship for this year through the Broadcast Education Association (competitive scholarship).

Students also earned the Eli Jaffe Award (regional award) for their piece “Son Down after Sun Down.”  The students (all class of ’13) were Chris Sarmiento (currently a music video director), Katelyn Jones (currently employed at WDST and Umbra Sound Stage) and Ben Golden (currently freelancing in and around the Hudson Valley).  The film can be found here:

Finally, students earned a Bronze Telly for their documentary “From the Ground Up.” Those students were Eric Sowalski, Sam Lobo (who interned at CBS and is now a freelance video editor), and Clark Slater (who currently works for MTV) this past spring.

Student Presentations and Publications

Francesca Rogo (Class of 2013 – with Dr. Jason Wrench) “The Mysterious Case of Cosmo Sludge” In Wrench, Schuman, and Flayhan’s Casing Public Relations (Dubuque: IA: Kendall-Hunt)

Austin Schatz (Class of 2014 – with Dr. Jason Wrench) “Not in my Backyard!” In Wrench, Schuman, and Flayhan’s Casing Public Relations (Dubuque: IA: Kendall-Hunt)

Esi Efissima Yamoah (Class of 2013), Austin Schatz (Class of 2014), Robert Revello (Class of 2014), Francesca Rogo (Class of 2013), Jenna Harris (Class of 2014), Alexandra Sofen (Class of 2013), and Alexandra Harvazinski (Class of 2013) presented their research “Examining the Zombie Phenomenon and Perceptions of a Zombie Apocalypse” at the Eastern Communication Association in Pittsburgh, PA.


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