UMTV wins Communicator Awards

February 10, 2000

ANN ARBOR—UMTV, the campus cable system and part of the University of Michigan’s on-campus television production resources, has received three 1999 Communicator Awards for programs produced over the past year for cable television and special audiences.

The awards include the Crystal Award of Excellence, the highest honor given to a communicator in the competition.

The Communicator Awards is a national awards program that honors excellence in the communication field. Competitions are held annually for the categories of video, audio and print media. UMTV’s nominations were included in the national video competition that honors excellence in visual communication.

Entries were “judged against a high standard of excellence with emphasis on creativity, resourcefulness and quality.” The Crystal Award of Excellence is the highest honor given to “entries whose ability to communicate puts them among the best in the field.” The Award of Distinction “is presented for projects that exceed industry standards in quality and excellence.”

“Being honored by one’s peers is always a special event,” says Al McCord, director of operations management in the Information Technology Division . “That UMTV received three Communicator Awards highlights the creativity and professionalism of the UMTV staff who are fortunate to be able to draw on the vast talent of the University community for content. The U-M is the real winner here.” The awards UMTV received are:

— Crystal Award of Excellence”UMTV Time Capsule,” Cable TV/Anthology Program Open category. Recipient: Erik Olsen, Information Technology Division (ITD).

This award represented acknowledgment of a newly created graphic introduction for “UMTV Time Capsule,” a retrospective series of programming produced by the U-M over the past 30 years. These programs were distributed nationally during the era of early educational broadcasting, which was the forerunner to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). The programs are both timeless and reflective of the times in which they were produced.

— Award of Distinction”Putting It Together: Orientation 1999,” Student Orientation category.

Recipients: Information Technology Division (Susan P. Harris, Mary Mayer, Nancy Firestone, Greg Marsh, Paul Millis, Terri Saarinen, Karen Dymond, Erik Olsen, Eric Bassey), Office of New Student Programs (Ann Hower, Pamela Vachon), University Library (Laurie Alexander, Linda Ter Haar, Deborah Tenofsky).

The Orientation video provides an introduction to computing services at the U-M for new students and their parents. The video follows a student who travels to various locations on campus to learn about uniqnames and passwords, e-mail, computing sites, residence hall Ethernet, library resources, purchasing computer hardware and software, and virtual reality. While entertaining, the video stresses the importance of being an informed and responsible computer user.

— Honorable Mention”Technology: Possibilities in the Hands of People,” Visionary Concept category.

Recipients: Office of the Chief Information Officer and ITD (Eric Bassey, Michael Berger, José-Marie Griffiths, Kathleen McClatchey, Erik Olsen), Biomedical Communications (Christy Carr, Scott Mann).

An exposition of leading edge technology applications at the U-M, the video highlights medical research, community outreach, and education using an impressive graphic representation.

Other winners of the 1999 Crystal Award of Excellence for Video represent several organizations including: ABC News, AT&T Cable Services, Kennedy Space Center, Media One, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Time Warner Communications.(A complete list can be viewed at:

University of Michigan Television (UMTV), the campus cable system, includes participation by 23 departments and colleges which use the service for a variety of informational and innovative activities. UMTV offers 13 cable and over air programming channels that provide students in residence halls, faculty and staff with local, national and international news and information. It also extends students, departments and schools the opportunity to promote activities and events to the on-campus community using an electronic Bulletin Board Service.

On MediaOne, the commercial cable operator in the Ann Arbor area, UMTV Channel 22 offers a portal into the residential community surrounding the campus. Numerous live cablecasts of University activities have been covered. Taped playbacks of programs include replays of live events plus historical rebroadcasts from University of Michigan Television and Athletic Department archives.

Multiple Distance Learning efforts have utilized UMTV including the School of Nursing and Microscopy for providing unique educational services to off-campus recipients. These initiatives were accomplished using a hybrid solution of broadband and ISDN connections. Webcasting connectivity is also included in the multi-delivery strength of UMTV.

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