Emmy Award-winning students cite persistence, support for strong segment

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Two students in the College of Communications at Penn State who produced a television segment focusing on “The Future of Boxing in America” earned individual recognition as Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award recipients.

Fernando Calderon and Pete Floyd were honored in the College/University-Sports division for producing the segment that aired on “In the Game,” a sports magazine program that airs during the academic year at Penn State.

“In the Game” itself earned an Emmy Award as Best Long Form: Non-Fiction in the higher education division. Likewise, “Centre County Report,” a half-hour newscast that airs weekly during the academic year, was honored as well. It was selected as the Best College/University Newscast.

For the boxing segment, Calderon and Floyd addressed the topic with a range of sources, from the Penn State boxing club to a world championship-caliber boxer. The finished product provided a testament to their reporting and storytelling skills. 

“Once we had (former cruiserweight champion) Steve Cunningham on tape, I felt pretty good about the piece,” said Floyd. “He just had such a good personality, and that really came through. There was a lot of work to do, but it seemed like we were in good shape.”

Calderon, who pitched the initial idea for the segment, said the time put into the piece made it strong. Along with work on campus, their research led them to Philadelphia for interviews and, repeatedly, to the editing suite to fine tune the piece.

“There was so much that went into it. We had a beginning, middle and end to the story, so that was good,” he said. “Beyond that, it helped so much to have the College of Communications lab open 24/7. There were so many nights spent working on it, making little technical things in terms of the audio, color and cuts better. All that really helped things flow.”

Because the regional Emmys were announced on Twitter, Calderon and Floyd found out about their honor by social media. Floyd noticed a Facebook post and Calderon received several texts while he was working. “I was logging a college football game, Texas-BYU, and my phone was just blowing up,” Calderon said. “At first, it was annoying but when I realized why it was happening it was pretty cool.”

Along with the editing and storytelling, the pair also battled some technical problems for the segment. That included a battery that needed to be re-charged while they were in a gym in Philadelphia. “It was quite an adventure,” said Floyd, who graduated in May and hopes to find a job as a board operator or technician in sports radio. “At first, finding out we won was kind of surreal. But it’s nice to know all our hard work paid off.”

Calderon also graduated in May. He’s been working several freelance assignments for CBS Sports Network. Along with logging college and NFL games, he has operated the TelePrompter for shows such as “Inside College Football” and “SEC Tonight.”

Last Updated October 02, 2013