Five Lipscomb University student producers have been awarded a national Gracie Award for Outstanding Public Service Announcement. The spot titled, “Guess Who?,” is one of five in a series of videos created by Lipscomb students on behalf of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in partnership with the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and ITVS’ Women and Girls Lead campaign.
Guess Who is an education program created by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media designed to teach children age 6-9 through the use of video and education curriculum how to challenge gender stereotypes. Lipscomb University was selected along with student producers at Boston University, the University of Southern California, Webster University, and Columbia College to each create a children’s educational program to be aired nationwide as part of ITVS’ Women and Girls Lead campaign, a public media campaign designed to celebrate, educate and activate women, girls and their allies across the globe to address the challenges of the 21st century.
The spot titled, “Guess Who? The Racecar Driver and the Pilot,” highlights two women in non-stereotypical careers usually associated with men: an airline pilot and a race car driver. The spot aired on Nashville Public Television (NPT) in October 2012 and is scheduled to be aired nationally in April.
The video, produced by students in the Department of Communication and Journalism, competed against professional local, online and public media nationwide to earn a Gracie, an award given annually by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWM). “In a year with a record-setting number of entries, your submission displayed superior quality in writing, production and programming,” wrote alliance officials in the congratulations letter.
For 60 years, AWM has served as the voice and resource for women in the media, and has been a leader in celebrating and honoring programming created for women, by women and about women for more than three decades. The Gracies work to encourage the realistic and faceted portrayal of women in entertainment, commercials, news, features and other programs.
The video was created under the advisement of NPT and was produced by Lipscomb communication students: Jason Michael Fox, junior from Nashville; Kathryn McKinley, senior from McMinnville; Kyrsten Turner, junior from Lawrenceville, Ga.; Marlee Vogel, junior from Kingsport; and Brynn Watkins, junior from Freeburg, Ill.
In addition to traveling to Atlanta and Bowling Green, Ky., to film their two role models, the students used stop-motion animation in the video and conducted in-studio interviews with second-graders. The kids’ comments and surprised reactions reinforced today’s conventional wisdom that pilots and race car drivers are all men.
“The Gracie Award is an overwhelming testament to the hard work and diligence these students displayed in creating the ‘Guess Who?’ video,” said Jimmy McCollum, interim chair of the Lipscomb communication and journalism department. “The project required hundreds of hours of shooting and editing and provided a rare, holistic experience for our communication students. They had a hand in everything from meeting with clients, developing the concept, shooting video in-studio and on-site, and editing.”
The “Guess Who?” video premiered in May 2012 for a local audience when Academy Award®-winning actor and Institute Founder Geena Davis, along with the Institute’s Executive Director Madeline Di Nonno, visited the Lipscomb campus as part of a fundraising luncheon held by the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership.
The video’s producers will be honored at the June 26 Gracie Awards Luncheon at the New York Hilton Hotel in New York City.