Update: 8:30 a.m. Nov. 13: Proyecto U won an Emmy for community service. Texas A&M-San Antonio students Steffany Gutierrez, a 2012 A&M-San Antonio alumna, and communications-journalism junior Priscilla Leyva participated in the program.
By Jacob Beltran
Lone Star Emmy Chapter nominated Proyecto U, a joint educational partnership between Univision 41 San Antonio, Brackenridge High School and local universities, for an Emmy for community service.
The project’s four-month pilot program was launched in March and included four Saturday broadcasts on Univision. The first three episodes were pre-taped and the last one aired live in April.
The chapter named Univision 41 San Antonio producer Miguel Gaytan and news director Samuel Belilty for Community Service and editor Luis Flores for Education/Schools.
“This nomination demonstrates that with hard work and perseverance, such an undertaking can be successfully executed,” Belilty said.
Belilty said they were very pleased with the results of Proyecto U because it was something his newscast developed from “soup to nuts.”
The project was announced by Univision’s corporate office in New York City in April as a “groundbreaking scholastic initiative” that pairs high school and university students in San Antonio with broadcast mentors from KWEX Univision 41.
Proyecto U was launched as part of the multi-year, national education campaign “Es el momento” (The moment is now), which is aimed at improving academic achievement for U.S. Hispanics, according to a Univision press release.
“We brainstormed, strategized and implemented a community program that we hoped to continue executing for years to come,” he said.
The partnership allows media students at public and private universities in San Antonio to shoot, edit and produce news packages collaboratively, and gain professional newsroom experience by working alongside professional broadcast producers and journalists in the television studio.
Jenny Moore, Texas A&M-San Antonio assistant professional track instructor, said it was a good collaborative process with other universities and gave her students exposure to creating broadcast packages.
Moore said it was a “good way to show students how to create a finished product, on deadline.”
Belilty said that since 2010, the station has received more than 15 Emmys and that this year, the station was nominated 37 times in 10 separate categories.
“The students grew on a personal as well as a professional level beyond what any of us could imagine,” Belilty said.
Steffany Gutierrez, a 2012 A&M-San Antonio alumna, anchored several Spanish-language segments and said she used her portfolio to interview at a local TV station.
She said she was nervous at first to be in the studio, but gained confidence because the project was produced by students with guidance from Univision San Antonio.
“It was something new and we didn’t know how it was going to go,” she said, “but the fact that we worked so well together and that Univision was willing to help guide us through the process is why it turned out so well.”
Students chose their own topics and produced their own Spanish-language segments with technical direction from Univision. Students are exposed to a real-life work environment as they define their future career goals.
Moore has volunteered planning and recruiting effort for Proyecto U in the spring semester and is collaborating with Belilty and other professors to recruit Spanish-speaking media students.
“They’re still full-time professionals, so they don’t necessarily have the time and the resources to go visit classes,” Moore said.
Proyecto U will launch its second season in Spring 2013.
Gutierrez said, “I feel like proyecto U is an opportunity students should take advantage of because it’s a way to get your foot in the door.”
Emmy winners were announced Nov. 10.