UM Journalism Students Win 2017 Regional Awards of Excellence

September 06, 2017

MISSOULA – Several students from the University of Montana’s School of Journalism received Northwest Regional College Student Awards of Excellence from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the 54th annual Emmy awards ceremony held June 3 in Seattle.

Reporter Braly Whisler from Burien, Washington, and photographer Colter Lairy from Missoula won awards in the sports category for “Athletes and Concussions.”

Producer Keiko Sagami from Bigfork and chief writer Dominique Giusti from Novato, California, received the Award of Excellence for the 2016 television documentary “Aging Out: Autism in Montana.” The documentary team also won the award in the long-form nonfiction category. The project documents four families with children who are on the autism spectrum and reports on the lack of services available for young adults with autism in Montana.

Other journalism students involved in the autism project were: Director Peter Riley; Director of Photography Andy Anderson; Chief of Research Sean Robb; Reporters David Detrick, Katie Durkin, Katie Riordan, Jana Wiegand, Sarah Yovetich, Sojin Josephson; and Photographers Carrie Miller, Joe Hodgson, Joe Lesar and Nick Chrestenson.

Caryn Foehringer from Kingsport, Tennessee, won an award in the public affairs/community service category for her reporting in “Feeding the Community,” a feature on the work done by the Missoula Food Bank.

“Coaster Pedicabs,” produced by Tiffany Folkes from Preston, Washington, and Mederios Whitworth-Babb from Butte, earned the Award of Excellence for the single camera-only category in the video essay section. Their profile of the pedicab business in Missoula was produced as part of the “Business: Made in Montana” program produced by juniors in the television journalism track each semester and aired on MontanaPBS.

 “Hands-On Science,” reported by Jack Ginsburg and photographed by Grant Herzog, and “Keeping it Local,” reported and photographed by Foehringer, also were nominated for awards in the general news assignment-light category. 

The awards recognize excellence in television news, documentary, entertainment and individual achievement. The northwest region includes Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Alaska.

“Students from the University of Montana School of Journalism have earned a reputation for excellence in television news, features and documentary among the members of the Academy,” said Denise Dowling, a UM associate professor of journalism. “It is an honor to have our student work recognized and for our students to know they are among the very best in the country.”

More information on the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences-Northwest Chapter is online at

Established in 1914, the UM School of Journalism has trained generations of journalists in print, broadcast, photography and digital media. The school regularly ranks among the top 10 journalism schools in the United States. Learn more at


Contact: Denise Dowling, associate professor, UM School of Journalism, 406-243-4143,