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Students and safety office produce award-winning videos

BOONE – A series of informative and humorous safety videos produced by students, faculty and staff at Appalachian State University has received honors from The Videographer Awards, a competition judged by members of the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.

An insurance recruitment video produced by students for the Brantley Risk & Insurance Center in Appalachian’s Walker College of Business and the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) also won an award.

The Videographer Awards are among the most coveted awards in the video industry. The awards recognize outstanding achievement in video productions.

Winning top awards was a promotional insurance video, “Insurance in Action,” which won an Award of Distinction in the Recruitment Category and Award of Excellence in the Creativity/Editing Category.

Risk management and insurance students in Dr. Dave Wood’s “International Insurance Markets” course, offered through the Walker College of Business, acted in, helped write and produce the video with guidance from Greg Williams, producer and director of Appalachian’s Interactive Video Services, and Glenn Bruce, an adjunct professor.  The video was commissioned by the AAMGA and the Brantley Center to recruit prospective students into the surplus lines insurance field. The video was shown at the opening breakfast of the 2011 AAMGA convention and is being sent to 4,600 college and university career centers across the nation.  It is available for viewing at

Appalachian also received Honorable Mention awards for the safety videos “Safe Lifting 101,” “Ladder Safety 101” and “Hazardous Materials and Chemical Awareness.” The Award of Distinction, presented to projects that exceeded industry standards, was awarded for “Good Housekeeping 101.”

The safety videos will soon be available on Appalachian’s website and will be used to increase safety awareness on and off campus.

The safety videos were created through a spring semester course called “Industrial Video Production A-Z,” which will be offered again fall semester with students producing five new videos. Students in the class were involved with every step of production from acting, costuming and creating story boards to site location work, animation and music.

The course, conceptualized and brought to reality by Williams, is offered through the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and is taught by Bruce, who also teaches screenwriting and has a background in writing and directing. “We had a good idea, we presented it and we were supported by the people who mattered,” said Bruce. “It’s a testament to the talent we have here at Appalachian.”

Williams served as videographer and editor of all the videos. Ronnie Riddle, safety trainer with the Occupational Safety and Health Department, supplied source materials and technical advice for the safety videos.

“Faculty, staff and students need to have easy access to safety information,” says Williams. “[The videos] are not meant to replace Ronnie’s training, but are meant to be a gateway to additional safety training. All these videos are examples of true collaboration across many departments and disciplines.”