Watch the full length documentary below.
Department of Communications earns Accolade Award of Merit in Disability Issues for 'Vote' documentary 04-3-13
The Accolade Film, Television, New Media & Videography Awards has awarded a prestigious 2013 Award of Merit in Disability Issues to two Misericordia University communications professors who produced the 15-minute documentary, “Vote,’’ which chronicled how accessibility issues can disenfranchise some voters by inhibiting their entrance to polling places. The on-campus screening was covered by regional print and broadcast media in January, and later aired on SSPTV-13 in Hazleton, Pa, in March.
The documentary, undertaken by Melissa Sgroi, Ed.D., assistant professor and chair of the Misericordia University Department of Communications, and Dan Kimbrough, M.S., assistant professor, takes viewers to random polling places in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties in northeastern Pennsylvania during November’s presidential election. The independently-produced documentary chronicles the difficulties some people face in casting their ballot due to the built environment.
For the groundbreaking documentary, Dr. Sgroi acted as the narrator and reporter, while Kimbrough was the videographer and editor. Together, they visited polling sites for the Nov. 6 general election to gauge whether or not polling places met Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and did not inhibit any members of the nation’s electorate from casting their ballots in the presidential election.
The Misericordia University professors also accompanied a physically challenged college student who lost the use of his legs after a snowboarding accident, and his mother to a polling place to cast their ballots. They also talked to various election officials, a state official and others to see why these obstacles from the built environment have not been corrected at polling places.
“We hope this documentary shed light on barriers to voting for people with disabilities because this is a form of disenfranchisement that has not been widely reported or, to my knowledge, reported at all,’’ said Dr. Sgroi. “We hope this story provided education so people will notice barriers and take action to resolve them and enable all citizens to participate in the democratic process, which is a right not a privilege.’’
“This documentary was not produced for a ‘gotcha’ moment on film,’’ said Kimbrough. “Our goal in producing it was to start some dialogue among people who are in the position to eliminate these barriers and to make it easier for people with physical challenges to cast their ballots in elections and to gain entry to public buildings.’’
The Accolade recognizes film television, videography and new media professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film and television industry. Information about the Accolade and a list of recent winners can be found at www.theaccolade.net.
In winning an Accolade, Misericordia University’s Department of Communications joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this internationally-respected award. The Accolade has recognized productions from around the world, including Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Israel, Italy, Qatar, Switzerland and many more countries.
“The Accolade is not an easy award to win,’’ said Thomas Baker, Ph.D., who chaired The Accolade awards contest. “Entries are received from around the world. The Accolade helps set the standard for craft and creativity. The judges were pleased with the exceptionally high quality of entries. The goal of The Accolade is to help winners achieve the recognition they deserve.’’
For more information about the Misericordia University Department of Communications, please log in to www.misericordia.edu/com or call (570) 674-6400. Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County’s first four-year college and offers 37 degree programs in three colleges in full- and part-time formats.
Future Photojournalist Wins Prestigious Honors
First semester freshman Mary Bove’s nature photo of Northeastern Pennsylvania was selected by The Pennsylvania Newspaper Association for the cover of its annual calendar. “The contest asked for pictures that depict life in Pennsylvania, so I immediately thought of the Susquehanna,” said Bove. “This picture stood out the most to me because of its colors and how vibrant it is.”
The thrill of her first professional publication left her unsuspecting of news of her next achievement—one few photojournalists ever experience.
Her photo of campus life was published in The New York Times.
Bove’s passion for photography began when she was only five years old and received what
she describes as “this super cute pink Barbie” Polaroid camera. She would sit at
her little pink play desk in her mother’s office and view the images she had taken.
Bove quickly outgrew the super-cute pink Barbie camera. Soon her mother bought her
disposable cameras so she could create her art, and Bove received her first digital camera
when she was in eighth grade. She took “a ‘bajillion’ photos all of the time.”
She was especially drawn to nature. “There was a selective color tool on the camera, and I took a picture of a dandelion and just yellow popped out of the photo. It stands out to
me because then I started taking tons of flower photos, and I began to really love
photography” said Bove.
Later, she received a Fujifilm camera, which she described as her “baby,” but it was stolen during a Christmas robbery at her home. “My heart was absolutely broken,” said Bove. Now her favorite possession is her Canon Rebel XSI. “I value it so much because things can be taken from you so quickly.”
Bove instantly decided to become a photographer when she attended a Drug Abuse Resistance Education meeting with her mother and viewed a senior photo book, which a woman at the meeting had shared with her. “They were not like typical studio portraits with the person’s hand on their chin staring creepily off into the distance. These photos were different. They were outside, and I said to myself that I was going to take photos just as good as that someday.”
Her achievements have encouraged her to create big dreams. “I’d love to either work for a fashion magazine, such as Vogue, or take photos at fashion shows and such. National Geographic is another option for me,” said Bove. “It may sound silly, but sometimes I sit and daydream about being next to one of my favorite photographers Markus Klinko and David LaChapelle, and learning from them.”
Regardless of which corners of the world her passion leads, she knows photography
is her path. “Photography is important to me because it is just a huge part of my life. Actually, it is my life,” said Bove. “I take photos of so many things. A photo captures a moment lost in time.”
"In Their Own Words" Documentary
Graduates Mike Terlesky of Shavertown, Pa., and John Peruso of Warwick, N.Y., received a 2010 Award of Distinction from The Videographer Awards for “In Their Own Words: Veterans of the Back Mountain,” a documentary highlighting veterans from World War II who offer reflections on war time and what it means to serve their country.
The video premiered during a Veterans Appreciation Ceremony hosted by state Rep. Karen Boback and state Sen. Lisa Baker at the Lemmond Theater in Walsh Hall on Nov. 7, 2009, and it was viewed by veteran's groups throughout the U.S.
Both communications majors, Terlesky and Peruso graduated with bachelor’s degrees in May 2010. The project was filmed and produced as part of an on-campus media internship during their senior year.
Peruso participated in student-produced television newscasts on campus. Since graduating, he has started his own company, Next Level Video, a video production company that specializes in sports video and creating highlight reels and recruiting videos for high school athletes with an online link for college recruiting. Terlesky was also involved with student television productions, and he now works as a director at Sam-Son Productions SSPTV Channel 13 in Hazleton, Pa.