"From Suarez's Basement," a video podcast hosted by communication studies faculty member Francisco Suarez, is receiving the 2021 Communicator Award of Excellence in the educational video category from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. 

The Communicator Awards is the leading international creative awards program honoring creative excellence for communication professionals. Founded over 25 years ago, the annual competition honors the best in advertising, corporate communications, public relations and identity work for print, video, interactive and audio.

Suarez believes the podcast earned this recognition for multiple reasons.
"First, it is a program made with a genuine interest in educating and informing our audience, primarily students and faculty interested in the communication, media, and the arts fields," Suarez said.

"Second, I think it has to do with the quality of the guests that we have had so far. Guests are experts in their job areas, such as Deborah Riley, production designer for 'Game of Thrones,' or the recent winner of the Academic Awards for best editing in a motion picture, Mikkel E.G. Nilsen, to mention a few. But it is also because these guests bring a sense of hope. Students are in so much need of listening and seeing the faces of those in leadership positions who can inspire and encourage them in these difficult times."

In addition, anybody who has ever watched an episode can see that Suarez's passion comes through loud and clear, as "they can sense my love for visual storytelling and education," he said. "I have been completely myself, and people can perceive that."

Suarez said that his students are among the main people he would want to share the recognition with.

"As cheesy as it can sound, the truth is that my students are the force behind what I do," Suarez said. "'From Suarez's Basement' was born to inspire them. There is a great deal of gratitude to some of my colleagues who believe and support my crazy ideas. And last but not least, my incredible family who always are there for me. They know and live the everyday struggles and excitements of producing the show."

Creating connections

The show is an example of how Suarez believes "you should practice what you preach," and that it benefits students and their futures as much as anybody.

"I want to be sure that when I talk to my students about the importance of professional values, about the enormous impact that perseverance has on your own professional success, about the value of genuine human connection to build your networking, they can see themself reflected in what I do," Suarez said.

"What is also of great benefit to our students and the SUNY Oswego's name is to have our students and faculty co-hosting the different episodes with me and then hearing from the guests' experts who impressed they were with our students and faculty," Suarez said. "That makes me so proud of our students and our institution."

The video podcast also has allowed an opportunity to build bridges between everybody -- from students to top experts in the field. 

"Those bridges have allowed some of my student co-hosts to land amazing internship opportunities with some of the show guests," Suarez said. "How cool is that? 'From Suarez's Basement' is an extension of SUNY Oswego, representing the students under the School of Communication, Media and the Arts and students also from many other schools and academic institutions."

The 27th Annual Communicator Awards received over 5,000 entries from ad agencies, interactive agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms and public relations firms. 

The Communicator Awards are judged and overseen by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA). The AIVA is an invitation-only member-based organization of leading professionals from various visual arts disciplines dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media.

Current membership represents a "Who's Who" of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms, including GE Digital, Republica, Spotify, PureMatter, Accenture Interactive, Fast Company, Territory Studios and many others, Suarez said. 

To enjoy episodes of "From Suarez's Basement," visit the show's YouTube channel.