Communications Students Feted with Regional Media Awards

Nine students and faculty holding award certificates

SUNY Old Westbury students and recent graduates in the American Studies/Media and Communications Department recently earned 2024 Folio Awards for their work in varied forms of media. The awards, run by the Fair Media Council, recognize the best in news and social media coverage, and were presented during an awards luncheon in June 2024.   

In the Political News - Student category, OWTV won for "Robin Rue Simmons - How the Next Generation Can Lead on the Road to Reparations." The report centered around a spring 2023 visit to campus by Robin Rue Simmons, founder and executive director of FirstRepair and a Pritzker Fellow at the Institute of Politics of The University of Chicago, who discussed the nationwide discussion regarding more and greater compensation for Black Americans for the lasting legacy of slavery, racism and discrimination in the nation continues to grow.  Renee DeLorenzo served as reporter and editor for the project, with filming and support conducted by Julianne Sucre, Casim Jewsbury, Christopher Zepeda, and Nasir Fanfan.  

In the War & Protest - Student category, OWTV took home a second honor for "OW Speaks: Israel-Palestine Conflict." Having first aired on November 19, 2023, the program featured interviews with Old Westbury faculty members discussing the heightened conflict in Middle East that arose in October 2024. The honor was given to Tim Coventry, who served as director and host of the program. Also earning honors were the production crew comprised of Derell Smith, Marcus Ennette, Bethany Wilson, Sanique Sutherland, and Julianne Sucre. 

In addition to the student honorees, a member of the Media & Communications faculty was selected to serve as a judge for the Folio Awards.  Dr. Özgür Akgün, an assistant professor in the American Studies/Media and Communications department, served as a FOLIO judge for the third consecutive year in the 2024 awards program.  

Developed in the 1980s as a way to encourage and reward Long Island news, the Folio Awards have grown over the years. Expansion of news categories to include New York regional and National news as well as social media categories for campaigns that seek to inform, educate or inspire are qualified for entry. Today, a Folio Award is regarded as the gold standard for news that matters 

The Fair Media Council is a nonprofit organization that is recognized as one of the oldest, most successful media watchdogs in the country today. 

Nine men and women of varied races pose before a FOLIO awards banner
Students and faculty of SUNY Old Westbury celebrate their 2024 FOLIO Awards (from left to right): Renee Delorenzo, Gabrielle Gambuzza, Dr. Özgür Akgün, Professor Lisa Payton, Tim Coventry, Derell Smith, Julianne Sucre, Christopher Zepeda, and Professor Joseph Manfredi.
School of Arts and Sciences
Media & Communication
American Studies