SAC students win national awards for KSYM radio, film productions

December 1, 2022

Office of Marketing & Strategic Communication

Students in the radio-TV-broadcast program (RTB) at San Antonio College won three awards for their work in a national competition, including the program’s first-ever first-place award.

CBI award eb.jpgThe SAC teams competed against more than 1,000 entries, mostly from students at four-year universities across the country. Students won first place in best feature news reporting and third place for best podcast for productions that aired on KSYM 90.1 FM, the SAC radio station. Film students took home the fourth-place prize for best short film fiction.

Six students attended the awards ceremony for the 2022 National Student Production Awards at the National Student Electronic Media Convention in Baltimore in October.

James “Hot Mustard” Velten, the academic program coordinator for KSYM, and Donnie Meals, SAC instructor and KSYM faculty advisor and general manager, also attended.

David Aleman, a sophomore and a producer on both KSYM winning entries, credits Velten with providing expert guidance to help the students create high-quality productions.

“I would say the common thread through all of those projects was definitely Mustard,” Aleman said. “He was there with us the whole way helping us out. He definitely gave us advice on what would sound better, how to phrase things, little editing tricks we didn’t know and any stuff we got hung up on.”

Aleman is a psychology major and works at KSYM in a work-study job as a production manager. In that role, he records and produces content for the station, including ads, public service announcements, and website updates.

The first-place feature news story aired in fall of 2021 and chronicled the return of live theater to SAC after pandemic lockdowns. Students staged a production of Looking for Normal, a play exploring the themes of marriage, family and acceptance. The story, which included an interview with former SAC President Dr. Robert Vela, stood apart for both its quality and subject matter, Velten said.

CBI Award 2 web.jpg SAC student Joshua Ermis, who now attends Texas Tech University, reported the story and student Nick Ortega handled audio. As producer of the news story, Aleman was responsible for behind-the-scenes production, including recording, editing, adding music and final touches.

SAC also won third place in Best Podcasting for a podcast titled “The Experience,” which ran on KSYM from April through July 2022 and profiled local non-profit organizations. The winning team included Aleman, hosts Cedrica Dean and Jackie Hopkins and co-producer Robert Rodriguez.

Aleman selected the guests, prepped the hosts with background information about each guest, worked with the hosts to prepare for the interviews, recorded the audio, edited the content and uploaded it onto Spotify and the KSYM website.

“It was a lot,” Aleman said. “Even though that was third place, I was almost prouder of that one.”

Film students Antonio Gonzales, Gabriel Gonzales, Sisto Bernal and Adrien Garrett won fourth place in Best Short Film Fiction for their film Tripp, which tells the story of a toy detective investigating a toy’s murder. The film was the students’ final project for RTVB 1421 – TV Field Production during the Spring 2022 semester.

Velten and RTB faculty members submitted student work in 11 categories. Of those submissions, judges nominated three entries to move on to the final rounds of competition, where each placed in their respective categories.

The National Student Production Awards is hosted annually by College Broadcasters Inc.