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L-R: Bandstra, Frantz, and Brunner

STORM LAKE, IA (11/13/2018) (readMedia)-- Last month, Buena Vista University (BVU) students Andrew Bandstra and Tyler Brunner traveled to Louisville, Ky. alongside Dr. Andrea Frantz, professor of digital media, where they attended back-to-back media conferences and took home several top awards on behalf of the BVU digital media department.

The group kicked off their trip on Oct. 25 by attending the Society for Collegiate Journalists' (SCJ) 2018 Biennium Conference, where Frantz led the meeting and was officially sworn in as the new executive director of SCJ.

According to Frantz, the meeting involved student delegate deliberation on national council initiatives. This allowed Bandstra, who is the president of BVU's SCJ chapter and is a senior digital media major from Des Moines; and Brunner, who is the vice president of BVU's SCJ chapter and is a junior digital media major from Arcadia, to actively participate with other students from around the nation to give shape to the organization's future.

"As student media leaders, we were able to vote on a new logo design, make changes to the organization's constitution and mission statement, and reevaluate the categories that make up the annual national contest," says Brunner.

Following the SCJ Biennium Conference, the group attended the College Media Association (CMA) Fall National College Media Convention, which also took place in Louisville. There, for the first time ever, BVU took home two first place Pinnacle Awards, CMA's top honors that are presented to the best college media organizations and individual work. The contest featured 408 organizational entries from 294 colleges and universities, and 2,608 individual category entries from 320 colleges and universities.

"It is always gratifying to see our BVU digital media students recognized nationally for their hard work and many hours in the studios," says Frantz, who led three First Amendment sessions at the convention. "Whenever we're recognized, it inspires all of us to push harder and reach further, and I suspect that these awards will absolutely do that."

In addition, the BVU digital media department took home three awards as part of the CMA Film Festival after opting to enter student work for the first time.

The award honors that BVU media organizations and students received include:

Best Television Sportscast (Pinnacle Award)

• First place – BVTV, "BVU v. Central Football" (BVTV production team, Andrew Bandstra and Tanner Hoops, Class of 2018)

Best Audio Slideshow (Pinnacle Award)

• First place – The Tack Online, "A Mother, Employee & Student" (Alyssa Donnelly, a senior strategic public relations major from Council Bluffs)

Best TV Promo/PSA (Pinnacle Award)

• Second place – BVTV, "BVTV: For Beavers By Beavers" (Morgan McGrew, Class of 2018)

Best Podcast (Pinnacle Award)

• Honorable Mention – KBVU 97.5 The Edge, "Mental State" (Tyler Brunner)

Animation (CMA Film Festival Award)

• First Place – "Lesson from a Buddy" (Morgan McGrew)

Audio Documentary (CMA Film Festival Award)

• First Place – "Under the Gun" (Sarah Nicholson, Class of 2018, Deidree Friesen, Class of 2018, and Kimberly Diaz, a senior music production & technology major from San Bernardino, Calif.)

Audio Creative (CMA Film Festival Award)

• Second Place – "Lanterns a Theory of Entanglement" (Sarah Nicholson)

"Coming into this major I never expected I would be going to places like Las Vegas or Louisville," adds Brunner. "Within the first three months as a student, I was creating a news program for KBVU, working a camera for BVTV, and learning how to create stories that matter. I certainly never thought that my work would be recognized on the national level, but here I am."

About Buena Vista University

Since 1891, Buena Vista University has prepared students for lifelong success and blends liberal arts with real-world applications. Our traditional campus on the shores of Storm Lake hosts students in a variety of majors and pre-professional programs, including elementary, secondary, and special education; business and accounting; and biological and chemical sciences. Our 16 degree-completion locations, online, and graduate programs expand student potential with a pace and academic rigor designed for working adults and a variety of class formats that make scheduling even more convenient. With an average scholarship of more than 50 percent off of tuition, BVU is an affordable option for all students. Visit