Northwestern communication students win Telly Awards

Telly Award winning students of NSULA.
Telly Award winning students of NSULA.(NSULA)
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 12:14 PM CDT
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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KSLA) - Northwestern State University (NSULA) students earned Telly Awards for two video production projects they completed during the spring semester.

On May 26, NSULA announced that new media, journalism, and communication arts students earned nationally recognized Telly Awards for two video productions.

The “Latino Living” podcast won a Bronze Telly in the category of branded content, general, podcast. The podcast was a monthly podcast highlighting aspects of Hispanic life, culture, and issues Hispanic students of NSULA are facing.

Latino Living was produced in the NMJCA Podcast Studio by:

  • Lia Portillo Cantarero, producer
  • Laura Cabarcas Vargas, technical director
  • Naydu Daza Maya, host

“Each category we entered was at the professional level, not the student level,” said Dr. Nick Taylor, assistant professor, and advisor. “The fact that Latino Living won a Bronze Telly is exceptional because the students were in competition with professional multimedia organizations. This includes broadcasters like NPR, Disney, etc.”

A video produced by students to accompany the NSULA’s program to honor distinguished communication professionals earned a Gold Telly, the highest honor awarded in the category of non-broadcast general, public relations & non-broadcast general, education institution.


  • Department Head Jessica Zhang and Executive Producer Taylor, producer, writer, editor
  • Students: Kelsie Campbell, graphic designer; lead camera Jordan Johnson, camera/editing consultant Lia Portillo, camera Daviion Telsee, camera Haley Wiggins and announcer/host Colin Vedros.
  • Additional contributing faculty were Drone Operator J.D. Cox and contributing camera Melody Gilbert,

“Telly Awards work like regional Emmys, so first, second, third place winners are not awarded,” Dr. Taylor explains. “Instead, judges, who are multimedia professionals, award each entrant points. At a certain number of points entries can be awarded either Bronze, Silver, or Gold Telly Awards. We won the highest-level award, judged against industry standards.”

“Winning these awards means we compete with the biggest and the best and stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone out there,” Dr. Taylor explains the magnitude of these awards. “Our productions here at NSU are peer-reviewed to be as high quality as PR firms, other universities, and multimedia organizations producing multimedia with production budgets in the $50,000 or higher range.”

For more information about NSULA’s Telly Awards, visit

If you are interested in NSU’s Department of New Media, Journalism, and Communications Arts, check out