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Appalachian students take top honors at Broadcast Education Association competition

BOONE—Four audio documentaries by Appalachian State University senior communication/electronic media broadcasting majors have received top honors from the Broadcast Education Association. The students and their work will be recognized at the BEA Festival of Media Arts April 7-10 in Las Vegas.

Senior Jessica E. Paratore received the Best of Festival Award for “Clogging: History of an Appalachian Dance Form.” (

Christian Taylor received first place in the Educational Program (Documentary) category for “Love Rain Down: The Evolution of Black Gospel Music.” (

Also winning awards in the Educational Program (Documentary) category are Paul K. Shaver, who received second-place honors for “Unfit To Breed: The Eugenics Program of North Carolina” ( and Grant T. Elder, whose project titled “New World Tradition: The Story of the Appalachian Ballad” received a third place award. (

The award-winning projects were created in an audio production class taught by Steve Smith, a lecturer in the Department of Communication.

The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international exhibition of award-wining student works chosen in the following competitions: audio, documentary, interactive multimedia, two-year/small colleges, news, scriptwriting, sports and video.