A Trunk of Love Wins Telly Award for WVU

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Award-winning videos feature WVU’s true story on YouTube

Six WVU University Relations-produced videos honored with prestigious Telly Award.

Yes, substantive content does exist on YouTube.

Beyond the guitar-shredding cats, personal pleas to Justin Bieber and brouhahas in fast food parking lots, the true stories of West Virginia University’s academic heart and soul can be seen, heard and experienced on the world’s most popular video-sharing website.

This month, a New York-based awards institution has sifted through the cyber debris to celebrate six tales of academic achievement and graduate student life at WVU.

The Telly Awards honor the finest film and video productions by top advertising agencies, TV stations, cable companies, interactive agencies and corporations around the world. The 33rd Annual Telly awards honored WVU’s video stories for excellence – from a field of nearly 11,000 – and entries from all 50 states and five continents.

WVU University Relations, which tells the story of West Virginia’s flagship, land-grant university, earned six Telly Awards:

Each of the videos offers a solid snapshot of WVU’s academic and student life. Three of the award-winning videos specifically showcase academics and student success.

Running Man follows the footpath and the philosphy of Jason Staples, a doctoral candidate in educational leadership and a training and development specialist at the Division of Human Resources. Staples’ motto, “Sign up now and worry later,” drives this Mountaineer to dream big, run hard and push his professional, personal and academic aspirations to marathon levels.

An avid runner, Staples demonstrates that life is much like running. When crossing a finish line, it’s never over. It’s just time to keep moving on.

In the Dance Master Class video, WVU dance students push the limits of personal best under the tutelage of their professors and professionals from “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars.” These performers held a 90-minute master class for students last October. The master class – captured in a moment of grace under pressure – is an emblem of wvu teaching /learning experience.

A love story about a girl and an elephant (or two) uncovers the devotion and passion at the heart of research. Trunk of Love highlights Tina Dow, a doctoral student in reproductive physiology who followed her childhood dream to study elephants and their physical and biological lives.

The winning videos focus on the breadth of WVU’s programs and services, from healthcare to the arts to athletics.

“It’s gratifying to have a great team tell the stories at the heart of WVU – and have them recognized in this way,” said Chris Martin, vice president of University Relations. “What’s more gratifying, though, is the privlege of telling the stories of the University’s academic excellence, its brilliant students and its welcoming community.”

A judging panel of more than 500 industry professionals, each a past winner of a Silver Telly and a member of The Silver Telly Council, judged the competition, upholding the historical standard of excellence that Telly represents.

The Silver Council evaluated entries to recognize distinction in creative work. Entries do not compete against each other. Rather, entries are judged against a high standard of merit.

“YouTube is populated with a lot of silly memes and cultural debris,” Martin said. “But it’s also one of the world’s largest search engines ? and a gateway to a vast collection of amazing stories and testaments.

“It’s a joy to know that the beating heart of the university’s academic story is captured and shared across YouTube,” she said. “The characters in our videos are emblems of the University. The elephant researcher, the marathon man, the dancers, the professors and the performers – they are the University.”

-WVU-

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