‘Stars’ to Shine at Media Summit
The 2012 Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit will prove that stardom can result from many different types of success in the media industry.
This year’s theme for the summit will be “A Star is Born.” It will include five panelists: Kevin Torres ’06, Joanna Shelmidine ’89, Jackie Robinson, Edward Wyckoff Williams and Denis Mueller, all discussing their rise to fame and how they got there. Broadcast journalism veteran Garrick Utley will moderate the panel slated for 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Waterman Theatre.
The panel will be webcast live.
Chelsey Gorczyca ’13, who has been working closely on the summit, said, “’A Star is Born’ was selected to give attention to the talent aspect of things.”
She thinks the summit will be very popular this year because of the theme and the panelists who will be attending.
“We have some very exciting panelists coming who have a lot of valuable information to share with us students. I expect it to be very popular.”
Torres is an Emmy Award-winning “backpack journalist” for KUSA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Denver that has been ranked as one of the best in the country. Torres was recognized as the “best live reporter” in the Heartland Region Emmy awards this year.
Before he became a KUSA-TV reporter, Torres worked for WSYR-TV NewsChannel 9 in Syracuse for three years where he used the skills he gathered while participating at WTOP-TV as a student.
Shelmidine is a professional stunt woman/coordinator. She’s performed stunts in more than 69 movies and TV shows. She is best known for her work in “Hanna’s Gold,” “The Sopranos” and “Six Feet Under.”
Shelmidine has stunt doubled for stars such as: Christina Ricci, Hilary Duff, Beverly Mitchell, Shannen Doherty, America Ferrera and many more actresses. Some of her skills include stunt/precision driving, fight scenes with martial arts, stair falls, rock climbing and many more.
Robinson recently retired from WSTM-TV in Syracuse, where she spent nearly 35 years as an anchor and reporter.
She is a recipient of the Syracuse University Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Journalist and the Governor’s Award for Outstanding African American of Distinction. She has been recognized numerous times by the Associated Press, United Press International and Syracuse Press Club.
Edward Wyckoff Williams is a columnist, political analyst and former investment banker he appears regularly on MSNBC, CBS and nationally syndicated radio.
Mueller makes award-winning documentary films. He directed a 2004 film biography on Howard Zinn titled “You Can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train.” The biography was a top 12 consideration for an Academy Award for best documentary feature.
Mueller was also a director/producer of several episodes of the MPI Home Video Series “Focus on the Twentieth Century,” which is being sold to educational institutions across the U.S.
Moderator Garrick Utley has had a very successful and unique broadcast journalism career. Currently a senior fellow and professor of broadcasting and journalism in the college's School of Communication, Media and the Arts, Utley has worked for NBC, ABC and CNN, as well as public radio and television, specializing in international affairs.
He started his career in 1963 with NBC News in Brussels. He covered the Vietnam War and then became NBC’s correspondent in Berlin, Paris and London. In the 1980s he was the network’s chief foreign correspondent working out of the headquarters in New York City. Utley also served as anchor of the weekend editions of “NBC Nightly News” and hosted several network magazine programs, the Sunday edition of “Today,” and was the moderator of “Meet the Press.”
Utley was chief foreign correspondent for ABC News based in London and was a contributor for CNN. He has received many prestigious awards and published a book titled You Should Have Been Here Yesterday.
Gorczyca thinks students will gain a lot from this year's summit.
“I hope the biggest thing that students will take away is that their goals are attainable. The panelists are here to share their experiences and shed a little light on how they got to where they are, and I hope we can all take advantage of the information they share with us,” she said.
Once again, the summit will feature a roster of "Career Connectors," Oswego graduates who will make themselves available to students interested in the communications field. WSYR-TV account executive Amy Kishpaugh '05, Clear Channel Radio general sales manager Rick Yacobush '77, CNY Central Media Group sales manager Jeffery Knauss '07 and WSYR-TV digital media director Phil Rankin '06 will participate in the Career Connector program following the panel discussion.
The Media Summit was founded in 2005 by Louis A. Borrelli Jr. ’77, a longtime TV executive. In 2007, popular “Today” show personality Al Roker ’76, provided additional funding for the summit and renamed it in honor of revered professor Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell.
⎯ Casey Croucher ’12
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