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Furman students honored by Broadcast Education Association for film projects

The title screen of "Race, Recognition and Reconciliation," a short documentary film by Luke Harvin '21.
The title screen of “Race, Recognition and Reconciliation,” a short documentary by Luke Harvin ’21.

Two Furman students have been honored as winners in the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) On-Location Creative Competition. The results were announced Oct. 7.

Luke Harvin ’21 won Best in Show in the Student Documentary competition for his film, “Race, Recognition and Reconciliation.”

Eliza Polich ’23 won an Award of Excellence in the Student Film and Video competition for “To-Go Bros.”

BEA is the professional association for professors, industry professionals and graduate students interested in teaching and research related to electronic media and multimedia enterprises. The On-Location Creative Competition is a limited version of the BEA Festival of Media Arts, according to the association. Submissions to each competition are blind, peer-reviewed and carefully ranked by recognized experts within both the academy and associated industries.

Due to the pandemic, the BEA’s On-Location event as well as its annual convention were held virtually this year.

“Race, Recognition and Reconciliation,” Harvin’s project, sprang from his attempt to understand the experiences of people of color in a primarily white university. He worked on the documentary during an independent study project with Mary Sturgill, media specialist and communication studies instructor.

Harvin says he wanted the thoughts, feelings and emotions of marginalized students on campus to be heard.

“I knew it was going to be hard, that some people might disapprove of the project, but I also knew that it was a story that needed to be told,” he says.

The conversations he filmed included students, professors, coaches and administrators, including Furman President Elizabeth Davis.

Polich’s project was shot as a promotional video for To-Go Bros, a project led by Brooke Dominiak ’23. Dominiak, who plans to launch the meal-delivery app in Spring 2022, won the Paladin Pitch competition this year.

Polich created the short film as part of Sturgill’s digital storytelling class last spring.

“I thought it was just such a cool story of a Furman student having an idea and really putting it into motion and creating a brand,” she says.

She relied partly on stock footage of unmasked students to make sure her video didn’t seem locked into one point in time.

“I wanted to make a video that didn’t look like it was made at the time of COVID,” she says. “I wanted the focus to be the ideal version of the brand – what it will be and not what it is right now.”

For Polich, “To-Go Bros” is a story of determination and hard work for a college student who was already juggling a great deal.

“I think it’s just a wonderful story of how hard work pays off and how even someone busy in college can put their mind to something and make it happen,” she says.

Awards and recognition are just icing on the cake for her talented students, says Sturgill.

“It’s truly impressive that Furman students won these awards at BEA as it’s the first time we’ve entered this national competition to my knowledge, and our work is going up against students from universities from all around the country and in this particular case, the U.K.,” she says. “So, I’m very proud of them.”

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