Comm student projects win Telly Awards

New Media, Journalism, and Communication Arts students at Northwestern State University earned Telly Awards for two video production projects they completed during the spring semester.  

The “Latino Living” podcast won a Bronze Telly in the category of Branded Content – General- Podcast. “Latino Living,” was a monthly podcast highlighting various aspects of Hispanic life, culture and issues facing Hispanic students who attend Northwestern State. “Latino Living” was produced in the NMJCA Podcast Studio by Lia Portillo Cantarero, producer; Laura Cabarcas Vargas, technical director, and Naydu Daza Maya, host.  

A video produced by students to accompany the university’s program to honor Distinguished Communications Professionals earned a Gold Telly, the highest honor awarded in the category of Non-Broadcast General-Public Relations & Non-Broadcast General-Educational Institution. The non-broadcast categories represents multimedia productions that did not air on a TV/radio/ or other commercial media outlet.   

“Each category we entered was at the professional level, not the student level, said Dr. Nick Taylor, assistant professor and advisor.  “The fact that Latino Living won a Bronze Telly is exceptional because the students were in competition with professional multimedia organizations. This includes broadcasters like NPR, Disney, etc.”  

Taylor said the Distinguished Communications Professionals video winning two Gold Tellys is also important. Contributors to that project were Department Head Jessica Zhang, executive producer; Taylor, producer, writer, editor; and students Kelsie Campbell, graphic designer; lead camera Jordan Johnson, camera/editing consultant Lia Portillo, camera Daviion Telsee, camera Haley Wiggins and announcer/host Colin Vedros.  Additional contributing faculty were Drone Operator J.D. Cox and contributing camera Melody Gilbert,  

“Telly Awards work like regional Emmys, so first, second, third place winners are not awarded,” he explained. “Instead, judges, who are multimedia professionals, award each entrant points. At a certain number of points entries can be awarded either Bronze, Silver or Gold Telly Awards. We won the highest-level award, judged against industry standards.” 

“Winning these awards means we compete with the biggest and the best and stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone out there. Our productions here at NSU are peer-reviewed to be as high quality as PR firms, other universities and multimedia orgs producing multimedia with production budgets in the $50,000 or higher range.  

Information on the Telly Awards is available at 

Information on NSU’s Department of New Media, Journalism and Communications Arts can be found at