Purdue Calumet students excel in national scriptwriting competition
HAMMOND, Ind. — Claiming a first place tie, second place and honorable mention, Purdue University Calumet communication students added to the university’s growing list of honors earned at the annual Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Festival in Media Arts Student Scriptwriting competition.
During the recent 2014 competition, a team of five Purdue Calumet students shared first place in the TV Spec (Speculation) category. Three other students collaborated to earn a TV Spec second place, while a recent graduate took home an honorable mention in the Short Subject category.
The team of Sharon Bearss-Talley of Portage, Ashley Calarie of Highland, Jeff Scott of Schererville, and Jazsmin Kuhner and Bre’Shaunda Patikas of Merrillville shared first place for an episodic script they wrote for the USA network drama, Suits.
Christopher Spedus of Hammond, Tyler Walk of Gary and Lyneice Harris of Frankfort, Ill. earned second place for an episode they wrote for the Fox network drama, The Following.
Student-turned-alumnus Alex Srednoselac of Portage gained honorable mention in the Short Subject category for a character relationship portrayal he wrote while a student enrolled in independent study.
Since 2002 students from Purdue Calumet’s COM 43600 Script Writing class have earned 15 awards in BEA competition— five 1st places, three 2nds, five 3rds and two honorable mentions.
“This is a major resume hit for our students and a recruiting tool for our university,” Associate Professor of Communication and course instructor Mary Beth O’Connor said. “Our students continue to prove they are talented and have what it takes to make it in the entertainment industry.”
This year’s Purdue Calumet award winners will travel to Las Vegas in early April to accept their awards and attend the National Association of Broadcasters Convention.
Considered one of the most prestigious international student scriptwriting competitions, the 2014 Festival of Media Arts attracted more than 1,250 entries.
“I am exceedingly proud of our students’ hard work and effort,” O’Connor said. “They compete favorably against students from many universities that offer majors in script writing.”
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