Five WCC Digital Media Arts (DMA) students walked away with first place honors at the 36th Annual Michigan Emmy Gala, the most awarded to a single college or university.
“We have been the only two-year institution competing against four-years,” said Matt Zacharias, WCC DMA faculty member. “To receive the most wins speaks volumes about our students and the program at WCC.”
The DMA program, spearheaded by Dan Kier, was founded in 2001 with an active approach towards learning. Kier, a former University of Michigan faculty member, has never waivered in his desire to create and craft an award-winning department.
“People wondered why I wanted to leave the University of Michigan to come to WCC,” stated Kier. “I knew if we developed a curriculum where the emphasis was on doing things hands-on it would turn out well. We have had excellent support over the years from our faculty and staff, all of whom have experience in the professional world of production.”
It’s the combination of faculty experience, student enthusiasm and support from the college that has led WCC to Michigan Emmy success. Student projects, which are handpicked for submission by Zacharias and Kier, are submitted directly to the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for judging.
This year’s WCC student winners, who took home top honors in each of their categories, were Jeremy Liesen (music video), James Militzer (non-fiction long form), Mike Kelly (PSA), Shane Law (animation/graphics/special effects) and Mike Chu (director).
“I think we all knew our students could compete with anyone in Michigan,” said Kier. “This year in particular, when you consider our competition was the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the College for Creative Studies, Madonna University and Central Michigan University, the fact that we won five Emmys proves our point.”
This was the third consecutive year WCC students have returned to campus with Emmys in-hand, bringing the grand total of wins for the college and its students to 10. The achievement was made possible by the support of the entire Digital and Media Arts department.
“The college has been very supportive of our program,” said Zacharias. “I’m grateful to be able to watch our students have this success and to be part of it.”