Students and faculty celebrate winning television award
FRONT ROW L-R: Emery Heck, Manna Philip, Sofia Marquez Cordero, Rachel Carman and Art Berger BACK ROW L-R: Michael Fortino, Domonic Macias, Chris McIntosh, Brianna Nicholas Kadija Dickens

Students bring home award for behind-the-scenes work at ballgames

It was a good night for several Augusta University students who received 2024 Southeast Student Production Awards, bringing home the top honor in the category of Live Sporting Events/Game.

The students that make up the production team include Manna Philip, Sofia Marquez, Rachel Carman, Michael Fortino, Domonic Macias and Brianna Nicholas, who all played roles in the broadcasts of Augusta University basketball games during the 2023-24 season.

The award banquet was held at Assembly Atlanta and hosted by Gray Television.

“Finding out we won was so rewarding,” said Philip, a junior psychology major. “Often our work goes unseen as we hide in press boxes, behind cameras and behind computer screens, so it is incredibly fulfilling to know our work is seen and worthy of recognition. I’m so proud of my team and honored to be a small part of the excellence we bring to the screens.”

“The student awards were such an amazing experience,” said Fortino, a fourth-year undergraduate communication major. “When they finally called our names, it was thrilling, and all our hard work is paying off in a big way.”

For Marquez, a second-year undergraduate computer science major, getting involved with the game-day production was something she was intrigued in when she went to basketball games and was able to join the production team. Since starting, she’s served in a lot of roles.

“I started just out of curiosity,” said Marquez. “I knew nothing about cameras, filming, livestreaming or anything. It’s been almost a year since I started and have learned so much. I now run the main camera, have done replays, programmed camera robots, switching and graphics. For sure it’s something I want to continue learning.”

Art Berger, the former director of the multimedia production team, relied heavily on students to help with the broadcasts, knowing it gave students valuable experience, and they delivered.

“It’s not easy to show up and have the discipline to set up all this equipment and focus for two to three hours nonstop and produce something of that quality,” Berger said. “It’s a testament to our students to be able to go through this. They took ownership and pride with this and other events, and it translates into the students achieving this type of accolade.”

Woman, men working with equipment
Augusta University video production student Rachel Carman sets up to broadcast at Christenberry Fieldhouse. [Michael Holahan/Augusta University]

Some of the students have expressed interest in continuing being a part of broadcasts in the future. Whether it’s full-time or part-time, they are grateful for the experience they’ve received.

“This is certainly a passion of mine and provided me with such cool opportunities. While I won’t be pursuing sports media as my primary career, I certainly want to maintain and grow these skills via freelance jobs and working freelance games,” Philip said.

“My major has no relation to this, but it’s so nice to know this opens a different and new door for the future,” added Marquez. “I’m actually considering taking other classes or even a minor to explore deeper my skills related to this field.”

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Written by
Kevin Faigle

Kevin Faigle is Media Relations Specialist at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at

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Avatar photo Written by Kevin Faigle

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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