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Monday, January 17, 2005

Three SU Alumni Earn Television Emmy Awards

SALISBURY, MD---Three Salisbury University alumni are among television’s elite this year, earning the industry’s most prestigious award: the Emmy.

The National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences recently presented communication and theatre arts majors Greg Jewell (B.A. 1994), James Williams (B.A. 1998) and Aaron Talasnik (B.A. 2000) with Sports Emmys for their work on the popular ESPN program SportsCenter. The show won the “Outstanding Studio Show—Daily” award. The academy received some 700 nominations for 27 awards given at the ceremony.

Jewell is a feature producer for SportsCenter. Williams and Talasnik are associate producers.

“This is a huge honor,” said Talasnik. “You’re behind the scenes. You’re not in front of the camera. A lot of [viewers] forget it takes a whole crew of people to put a show like this on the air.”

Jewell, originally from Kent Island, MD, joined ESPN as a production assistant in 1995. The SportsCenter Emmy was his second with the network. He received his first as a feature producer for ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown.

Talasnik, a native of Millville, NJ, earned a position with ESPN right after graduation from SU. Following a seven-month evaluation period, he went to work for the network’s NHL Tonight. For the past two years he has worked both for NFL Live and SportsCenter.

Williams, originally from Baltimore, began working for ESPN in 1999.

Their jobs have allowed the alumni to live the dreams of many sports enthusiasts and attend landmark events in the sporting arena. Jewell covered the 1997 Mike Tyson-Evanger Holifield fight during which Tyson infamously bit his opponent’s ear. He also has attended five Super Bowls and traveled the world to cover sports in other countries. Talasnik interviewed players from his favorite team, the Philadelphia Flyers, and attended the 2003 Super Bowl, where he had full access to Houston’s Reliant Stadium. This year, he will attend the NFL’s Pro Bowl in Honolulu. Williams covered the 2001 Final Four.

Talasnik said his experiences at SU, including an internship with local TV station WMDT, helped him succeed at ESPN. He credited Drs. Frances Kendall and Haven Simmons of the Communication and Theatre Arts Department with allowing him to develop the production skills that landed him at ESPN. Williams similarly credits Simmons and Robert Smith of the Communication and Theatre Arts Department, interdisciplinary studies coordinator Brian Horikami and Multiethnic Student Services director Vaughn White. Jewell attributed the success of his career to his work with Kendall and Television Services manager Cindy Cornish.

Working for the sports network was a goal all three worked hard to reach. They encourage current SU students to have similar aims.

“Start setting up your career path while you are still in school,” said Jewell. “Make use of the wonderful internship programs that exist at SU.”

“You’ve got to shoot for the stars,” Talasnik said. “Whatever you want to do, just go for it.” For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu. "


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