K-State senior wins international digital media award

Maile Widman, senior in mass communications, stands in front of the Channel 8 News desk in Dole Hall where she worked on her piece, "Wildcat Watch PSA." Widman won a Bronze Telly Award from the Silver Telly Council for her 30-second public service announcement. (Evert Nelson | The Collegian)

For over a quarter of a century, the Telly Awards have been honoring the best of the best in digital programming, from film and video productions to groundbreaking web commercials, to outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs.

Maile Widman, senior in mass communications, can now add that honor to her resume, as she was the recent winner of the Bronze Telly Award for her public service announcement entitled, “Wildcat Watch PSA.” The announcement promotes K-State’s student-run video production organization on campus.

Widman first submitted her announcement to K-State’s student newscast, Channel 8 News. Widman said she wanted to advocate “for the different benefits (students) can receive by becoming part of ‘Wildcat Watch;’ hands-on professional experience, coverage of local events, hosting for ‘Manhattan Tonight’ show, creative film, filming live events at K-State.”

To be eligible for the award, the piece must be broadcast professionally. Channel 8 is broadcast across the Manhattan area, making Widman’s work eligible.

To make it an all-encompassing public service anouncement for “Wildcat Watch,” Widman said she “had to pull footage and edit it for each ‘branch’ of ‘Wildcat Watch,’ so I had to pick and choose what I thought best represented each area and showcased all the variety of things we cover and create.”

Widman is the head of the board of directors for “Wildcat Watch,” and spends her time making sure “’Wildcat Watch’ is running smoothly, organizing different aspects of our organization, assist in payment paperwork, meet with other entities on campus … and help teach new students … how to become better videographers themselves.”

Her talents haven’t gone unnoticed. Steve Harvey, “Wildcat Watch” faculty adviser and journalism instructor and news director, has worked with her both as a student and as a professional, attested to her talent and hard work.

“She has worked incredibly hard on her skills to become a good video production person,” Harvey said. “She and others have put together some extremely high quality projects. I’m extremely proud.”

Harvey said he stresses what a big honor Widman has received. The Telly Award is the industry’s “version of the Emmy’s,” he said. Harvey also said Widman’s entry competed against entries from all over the world. The fact that she was recognized both internationally and professionally sets her apart.

“In the industry, it’s a big deal,” Harvey said.

Samuel Mwangi, associate professor in journalism and mass communications, teaches Widman in his convergence reporting class.

“Maile Widman exemplifies the best qualities in our students: she is hard working, driven, focused and friendly,” Mwangi said. “They could not have picked a better person. We are truly proud of Maile.”

Widman is filming a wedding in the summer before she heads down to Arkansas to spend some time working as a videographer for Camp War Eagle. Widman said her dream job “would be to work in feature film or high-end television production … while doing freelance work on the side to keep a variety in my life.”

After all of the work Widman has put into “Wildcat Watch,” she said she is excited for the next phase of her career.

“I love this field because every day is different and I never know where my talents could take me next,” Widman said. “So if I woke up every day with a camera in my hands and experiencing something new, I’d never have a dull day.”