December 11, 2019
Foundation News

40th College Television Awards Nominees Announced

Twenty-Five Productions from Colleges Nationwide Nominated for Television's Most Prestigious Student Competition; Winner of Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability Scholarship Announced

The Television Academy Foundation today announced nominees for the 40th College Television Awards, which recognizes and rewards excellence in student-produced programs annually as well as the recipient of the 2020 Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability Scholarship.

The 40th College Television Awards have been rescheduled and will now take place online Saturday, May 30, 2020.

Twenty-five nominees were chosen from over 374 student-produced productions submitted by 112 colleges and universities nationwide. Designed to emulate the Emmys, student entries are judged by Television Academy members. Three student-produced projects are nominated in each of eight categories: drama, comedy, animation, nonfiction, promotional, news, sports and variety. There will be one winner in each category.

In addition, the Foundation announced the awardee for the Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability Scholarship, which recognizes a student-produced project that best portrays disability topics and issues, or helps emerging artists with a disability gain recognition. The winning piece for 2020 is Fort Irwin, by American Film Institute students Quinn Else and Marc Tarczali, about an amputee veteran with PTSD.

This is the tenth year for this Focus on Disability Scholarship, provided by the Loreen Arbus Foundation, which has established and funds scholarships that both enhance and elevate social consciousness around key societal issues. Arbus is a two-time Emmy nominee, a former Television Academy Governor, a current Television Academy Foundation Board Member and leading advocate for people with disabilities.

Winners in the competition will be announced by television stars at the 40th College Television Awards online Saturday, May 30, 2020, at the Television Academy's Saban Media Center in North Hollywood, California. Each winning project in the eight categories will receive a $3,000 cash prize.

In addition to the red carpet awards show, the nominees will take part in a three-day Nominee Summit hosted by the Television Academy Foundation. The summit, designed to enhance professional development, will include set visits, panel discussions and networking opportunities with industry executives, Television Academy leadership, members and Foundation alumni.

"Congratulations to this year's nominees who have been recognized by the Television Academy for their exceptional student work," said Madeline Di Nonno, chair of the Television Academy Foundation. "The Foundation is focused on helping pave the way for students from all backgrounds who aspire to careers in media. By showcasing extraordinary young talent from across the country through the College Television Awards, we help jumpstart the careers of future content creators and industry leaders."

The nominees for the 40th College Television Awards, representing 18 colleges and universities, are listed below:

Animation Series:

Don't Croak (Ringling College of Art + Design)
Daun Kim, Producer/Director/Writer

Papito (School of Visual Arts)
Sarika Persaud, Producer/Director/Writer
Kenny Rosen, Producer/Director/Writer

why z? (School of Visual Arts)
Asher Horowitz, Producer/Director/Writer

Comedy Series:

Balk (Columbia University)
Ben Gottlieb, Writer
Jennifer Kaiser, Producer
Mary McCune, Producer
Gabriel Wilson, Director/Writer

Snowball (Chapman University)
Amber Okeh, Writer
Paul Rivet, Director
Brittany Roker, Producer

They Won't Last (American Film Institute)
Richard Bailey, Producer
Brandon Gale, Writer
Portlynn Tagavi, Director/Writer

Commercial, PSA or Promo:

Crocs – Rock Them Crocs (Brigham Young University)
Michael Hanks, Director/Writer
Peter Molnar, Producer
Derrick Trotman, Director

Miguel – Reebok (Brigham Young University)
Jake Knudsen, Writer
Paul Monk, Writer
Pablo Perez, Producer
Bentley Rawle, Director

No Shame (Savannah College of Art and Design)
Alice Aguiar, Writer/Director
Shayain Lakhani, Producer
Victoria Williams, Producer/Writer

Drama Series:

Balloon (American Film Institute)
Christina Cha, Producer
Jeremy Merrifield, Director/Writer
Dave Testa, Writer

Under Darkness (University of Southern California)
Nick Benjamin, Producer
Michael Orion Downing, Producer
Caroline Friend, Producer/Director/Writer
Merissa Jane Lee, Producer

Welcome Back (University of Southern California)
Roy Arwas, Producer
Tiffany Kontoyiannis, Producer/Director/Writer
Karly Perez-Arevalo, Producer


Al Día: A Border Emergency (California State University, Fullerton
Viviana Borroel, Producer/Writer
Jessica Cardenas, Producer/Writer
Xochilt Lagunas, Producer/Writer
Rita La Vau, Producer/Writer
Maricela Perez, Producer/Writer
Tania Thorne, Producer/Writer
Dominic Torres, Producer/Director/Writer
Regina Yurrita, Producer/Writer

Centre County Report in Puerto Rico (Pennsylvania State University)
Maddie Biertempfel, Writer
Danielle Dindak, Writer
Ally Lutter, Writer
Caroline Pimentel Santana, Writer
Tom Shively, Producer/Director

UMTV's NewsVision: MSD Massacre One Year Later (University of Miami)
Madison Brown, Writer
Rebekah Chung, Producer
Ben Ezzy, Director
Tommy Fletcher, Producer
Erika Orstad, Writer
Breana Ross, Writer
Justin Stevens, Producer
Jenna Weiss, Producer

Nonfiction or Reality Series:

Bags to Butterflies (Michigan State University)
Olivia Hoover, Producer
Kendall Westfield, Director/Writer

Dirty Business (University of California, Berkeley)
Yutao Chen, Producer/Director/Writer
Francesca Fenzi, Producer/Writer

One Nation Under Guns (Ithaca College)
William Adams, Writer
Olivia Forker, Producer/Writer
Josh Jacobius, Producer
McKinleigh Lair, Producer/Director
Meghan Mazzella, Writer
Danielle Schear, Producer/Writer


Husky Mag Top 50 (Saint Cloud State University)
Sam Goetzinger, Writer
Parker Kayser, Producer
Greg Spaeth, Director

SportsDesk (University of Miami)
Madison Brown, Writer
Valerie Ferrante, Producer
Amanda Fuentes, Producer
Luis Gonzalez, Producer
David Perez, Writer
Justin Stevens, Director

Sports Xtra (The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Adrian Walker, Producer/Director/Writer

The 38th Annual EVVY Awards (Emerson College)
Hayley Broderick, Director
Emma Giulianti, Producer
Madeleine Hoffman, Producer
Brennen Kellner, Writer
Grace Leuper, Producer
Kassiani Mamalakis, Producer
Samantha Yates, Writer

CUSS*: the Columbia University (Low Budget) Sketch Show (Columbia University)
Marco Balestri, Producer
Xander Browne, Director/Writer
Dallas Koelling, Producer
Amy Muller, Producer
Joey Rupcich, Writer
Maya Sibul, Director
Zoe Sottile, Producer

Thursday Nite Live (Hofstra University)
Robin Deering, Producer
Ben Fletcher, Director
Caroline Lea, Producer
Brittany McGowan, Producer
Sean McNally, Producer
Seann Morgan, Writer
Michael O'Rourke, Producer
Sydney Pastor Poe, Writer
Joe Reiter, Producer

Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability Scholarship Winner:

Fort Irwin (American Film Institute)
Quinn Else, Director/Writer
Marc Tarczali, Producer

About the Television Academy Foundation
Established in 1959 as the charitable arm of the Television Academy, the Television Academy Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of television while educating and inspiring those who will shape its future. Through renowned educational and outreach programs, such as The Interviews: An Oral History of Television project, College Television Awards, and Student Internship Program, the Foundation seeks to widen the circle of voices our industry represents and to create more opportunity for television to reflect all of society. For more information on the Foundation, please visit
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Media Contact:
Jane Sparango
breakwhitelight (For the Television Academy)

For the complete press release, click here.

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