In Good Company

In Good Company

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Three LHSC students grab four national Gracie Awards for excellence in News Programming

Mindy Kaling, Selena Gomez and Betty White, meet Danielle Zulkosky ’19, Maria Santana ’18 and Emily Sauchelli ’19.

When you’re a Gracie Award winner, you’re in good company for life.

On June 27, three stellar student broadcasters in the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication will be recognized at the 43th Annual Gracie Awards for excellence in news programming for their work at WRHU 88.7 FM. The prestigious honor, given annually by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, recognizes work by, for or about women in television, radio and online media on the national, local and student level.

Zulkosky, a double major in journalism and political science, will be recognized in the category of best public affairs feature for “Empowering Women to Enter Careers in STEM.”

“I jumped at the chance to cover a topic I am so passionate about,” said Zulkosky, whose program showcased the Dean of the Fred Dematteis School of Engineering and Applied Science, two Hofstra computer science students and a professor of computer science, as well as a high school engineering teacher .

“We discussed the problems women specifically face in the STEM world, namely in their education, in entering the work force and being a part of the work force. We also discussed how we go forward and how we can change society through how we raise our children.”

Santana, meanwhile, earned two Gracie Awards for her work as a producer on shows “A League of Our Own,” “Morning Wake-Up Call,” and “Newsline,” and for best talk show for the episode, “Women Overcoming Adversity, Turning Disability into Capability,” on “A League of Our Own.”

“The show is about a woman who overcame her own adversity and now works with blind people to turn disability into capability,” said Santana, a video/TV major and world literature minor.

Sauchelli won for best interview feature, “I Am That Girl,” with activist Alexis Jones. She is a journalism major and fine arts minor from Garden City, New York.

“I interviewed Alexis Jones, founder of the non-profit organization I AM THAT GIRL, she also wrote a book of the same name,” Sauchelli said. “This feature showcases how she got her start in advocating for young girls and what job we have as a society to help foster inclusion and success for women and girls across the country.”

The LHSC Difference

Central to the growing body of LHSC’s award winners are the WRHU 88.7 FM production facilities at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and its award-winning staff.

The Director of Operations at WRHU, John Mullen, has been the best mentor I could have ever asked for,” said Santana. “He has provided me with guidance and advice along the way that has made all the difference to me. I know for a fact that I would not be where I am today without his leadership.”

Zulkosky agreed that Mullen was critical in the creation of her program, and urges Hofstra students and prospective college students interested in journalism to take advantage of WRHU.

“He has always been there as a support system,” said Sauchelli. Whether it be industry questions or career advice, his door is always open.”

“Journalists become better storytellers when they can only depend on the spoken word and natural sound, since there are no visuals in radio,” said Zulkosky. “I started doing radio in college because WRHU had such a great reputation, and I had so many recommendations from my professors. Every journalism student should be involved in radio because it is very important to be proficient in all forms of media.”

For students who will soon embark upon careers in media, the Gracie Award distinction is a tremendous honor to include on a future job application. It’s also high praise from a leading organization that celebrates professional women in media.

“I am extremely honored to have won a Gracie Award because it is a national award,” said Zulkosky, who hopes to work in television after graduation. “I think it’s important for women to be represented in the media, and I am honored that I was chosen as someone to represent the great work women do as members of the media.”

“I never imagined that I would be in the place I am today as an award-winning student leader,” said Santana, who hopes to gain a job in live production management. “And to receive these awards from such an amazing organization that recognizes women for their work in media is all the more wonderful.”

“It means a lot to me because it proves that I am a great storyteller— and I am my worst critic,” said Sauchelli, also planning to work in the media industry. “I am so grateful to be in the company of local newscasters and radio personalities. It has made me feel more confident in this industry knowing I have accomplished winning this award.

As closing words of advice for potential students interested in storytelling, Santana, who also serves as WRHU’s station manager, offers this advice:

“Create things you are passionate about. Don’t worry about finding the stories you think the media wants to hear, but the stories that matter to you. Those kinds of stories are the ones that will truly push you forward.”

“Don’t listen to others who don’t believe in your abilities,” Sauchelli said. “Focus your energy on those who praise your accomplishments and support you. This industry, like others, is full of competition so if you work hard to reach your goals, and stay positive, you will go far.”