Byers is “Best of Competition”

Cory Byers, instructor of mass communication, is the recent recipient of a Broadcast Education Association (BEA) “Best of Competition” award for a video that he co-produced for Edwardsville’s 1820 Colonel Benjamin Stephenson House.

The BEA accepted video submissions during November and December 2010 for its annual Festival of Media Arts which is scheduled to take place in Las Vegas on April 9-13.

Cory Byers, instructor of mass communication, recently received a BEA "Best of Competition" award for a video that he co-produced. (Photo courtesy of C. Byers).

Byers submitted an educational video, “The Stephenson’s: A Story of Early Illinois,” which he co-produced with RoxAnn Raisner, director of the Stephenson House.

After the review and judging process was completed, Byers was notified of his award – “Best in Competition” in the educational/instructional category.

“I was really excited,” said Byers. “[They] called last Friday afternoon and I was in a faculty meeting and I thought I was going to have to wait the whole weekend to find out what award I had gotten, but, luckily [they] called back and I found out that I had gotten the [best in competition] award so that was really nice.”

According to Byers, SIUE is no stranger to producing video of the historic landmark. A television production class, taught by Professor of Mass Communication Riley Maynard, produced an earlier video for the Stephenson House.

About two years ago, after the landmark had undergone renovation and some refurnishing, Raisner reached out to Byers and SIUE’s Department of Mass Communication once again.

“We submitted a grant proposal to the Meridian Society at SIUE and we got the money from them to do the video,” explained Byers. “So we started shooting various things in the summer of 2009.”

Production completed in the summer of 2010. The award-winning video, which details the history of the Stephenson family and the home, is proving to be quite useful at the Stephenson House.

Cory Byers, instructor of mass communication. (Photo courtesy of C. Byers).

“The video is used as an introduction video so that when people come to tour the house they get a sense of the history of the house, who the family was and how the house came to be there.” Byers said. “It has also been sent out to schools and other places that might want to send visitors to the house.”

Educated at both the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in both advertising and video production, Byers has been developing his creativity and talent for several years. His hope is that his video production ventures can provide learning opportunities for his students and also serve as learning tools in the classroom.

“I think doing these sorts of projects is good… we had a couple students on-crew and it was nice for them to get out on a real shoot like that,” Byers said. “To keep producing stuff like this allows me to continue to further my knowledge of what I teach and it gives me a good example to use in the classroom as well.”

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