The one-hour WUGA-TV documentary that follows 17 University of Georgia students (including many from the Franklin College) studying abroad in Costa Rica "UGA Costa Rica: Changing Lives," has been awarded a bronze award in the national documentary category as part of the 35th Annual Telly Awards.
The documentary follows UGA students taking Spanish, creative writing and photo-documentary classes from their first days on the UGA Costa Rica campus to their trips into the Monteverde Biological Cloud Forest Reserve. It shows the Finca La Bella sustainable treehouse community, the Pacific Ocean beaches and the capital city of San Jose. The story is told from a student's perspective and the project was created with help from student videographers and post-production editors. The executive producer, writer and director of the one-hour documentary was Melissa Jackson of WUGA-TV.
Huge congratulations to Jackson, WUGA-TV and the underwiters of this great programming. Documentaries and other UGA-originated programming are the best way to capitalize on an asset like a public television station - we use it to educate the public about UGA and its mission while projecting the influence of the univerity far beyond campus. And then that message gets amplified by the attention from awards like this. Great job all around.
Our study abroad programs benefit widely from the added attention as well. Many important things happen in the heart and the mind when people travel. Something as simple as having students talk about their learning experiences abroad allows a glimpse at their growth almost as it is happening. These are wonderful tools that teach and inspire, just as the university itself should. Here's to seeing more of them in the future.
Image: Costa Rica sunrise, courtesy of UGA Public Affiars.