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Standing in the ballroom at the Marriott Boston Copley Place Hotel on the evening of June 2, 2018, where the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), Boston/New England Chapter was holding its 41st annual awards, Chris Cavalieri couldn’t help but notice all the ties to BU.

“I’m looking around the room, and see Jake Kassen, John Baynard, and several COM and BUTV10 alums who were all Emmy nominees,” says BUTV10 advisor Cavalieri (COM’81), a College of Communication assistant professor of television. “It was gratifying to see all of the COM connections.” BUTV10 is BU’s student-produced and student-managed content distribution network.

BU staff, faculty, and alums were among those honored for their work. NATAS—best known for presenting the Emmy Awards—is a leading professional organization in the television and media industry.

In 2018, the chapter received more than 1,000 entries from stations, production companies, and other media entities across New England, tying the record for the most entries ever submitted.

“Any time students can share, collaborate, and learn from successful industry professionals, it’s rewarding,” Cavalieri says. “That’s important reinforcement for them, knowing their pursuit and personal path is viable. It’s inspiring.”

The Studio Kitchen, produced by Honey Bunny Media, won in the category of graphic arts set design. The show is a live taping of a chef preparing a three-course meal. Show chief engineer Jake Kassen (CGS’01, COM’03), COM’s technical operations manager, works for the production as a freelancer and helped to design and build their studio. This is his third local Emmy.

Baynard, a COM journalism lecturer, won best editor for his work on a documentary about the local homeless population, Where Did You Sleep Last Night? Produced by the World Witness Project/Arlington Community Media, Inc., the film was nominated for five New England Emmy Awards, including best documentary, best director, and best cinematography.

Local filmmaker Alan Chebot (COM’82) won the Community/Public Service (PSA) Single Spot for directing and executive producing My Wish, about a woman who is aware of her encroaching Alzheimer’s disease, and those who care for her.

The Boston/New England Chapter of NATAS also gave student awards of excellence in April 2018 recognizing outstanding student achievement, and those winners were invited to the annual professional Emmy awards ceremony.

BUTV10’s Offsides won best sports program. Producer, director, and editor Marissa Dianas (COM’19), who attended the awards ceremony, says it was “awesome to get the recognition for all the hard work we put in every semester.” She has been involved with the show since freshman year, and she says it gave her hands-on experience before she was even eligible to take a film and television class.

After graduation, Dianas hopes to go into sports media production in Boston or Los Angeles. “Wherever there is an opportunity to go into sports production,” she says. “I will take it.”

Amy Laskowski can be reached at