University Park, IL,
12:24 PM

Governors State Students Nominated for an Emmy

Governors State University is going to the Emmy’s!

Media Studies undergraduate Zhamarr "Z"  Thompkins and 2020 Communication graduate Jeremy Manthey have been nominated for a Student Emmy, known as the Crystal Pillar Award, by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Chicago Midwest Chapter. 

Thompkins' understated reaction to the nomination says it all.

"It's a really big deal."

Their nominated video, "Jeremy Manthey One on One with Sterling Fields," was created during their Sports Broadcasting Internship at GSU. The students picked Sterling Fields to interview for his history with the GSU Men's Basketball team and the dynamic he brings to the court.

“His first year on the team, they won the championship.  His second year, they lost the championship on the home court. He’s been there at the highest of highs and then had to watch another team celebrate on his home court. So this season was him coming back to the championship for the third time in a row,” Manthey said during a Facebook live interview on their nomination.

 “We noticed that when he comes into the games he changes the pace, controls the tempo. His job is to come in and change the tide if they don’t have control of the game. If they do have it, he keeps the control,” Thompkins explained.

Thompkins and Manthey, who directed and produced the nominated video respectively, came to Governors State unsure of what path they wanted to take in life but that all changed when they took a media productions class with Uriah Berryhill, a GSU TV director-producer, in 2018. Manthey remembers the class as one that set off his love for media production. For Thompkins it was the moment he knew was in the right place.

“My wife was telling me there’s tons of internship opportunities at Governors State. I told her I didn’t want to do one because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I thought I would be out of place. After four or five weeks at GSU, Uryiah came to Jeremy and I to sign up for the Sports Broadcasting internship,” Thompkins recalls.

Mark Kundla, Supervisor for the Sports Broadcasting internship, said the internship, a collaboration between the Digital Learning and Media Design (DLMD), Media Studies, and the Athletics Department, offers real-world experience.

“We bring in 10-12 students in the fall and the spring to broadcast soccer, basketball, and volleyball. They get to work with camera and audio, playback units, and graphics. It’s the same equipment that they’ll be using in the corporate world, so when they leave GSU they’ll have the experience.”

For Thompkins the internship was a game changer.

“I got the chance to learn and spread my wings as a creator with other creative people like myself.”

They enjoyed their time so much during the internship that they came back to take part in the internship again, but this time Thompkins was invited to direct and Manthey to produce. Manthey praises the internship and Kundla’s guidance as allowing for the most personal growth possible.

“I loved that it was up to us to sink or swim. They gave us the space to be creative. Mark didn’t want us to fail but he let us learn from our mistakes. One of the things I took to heart was if something went wrong in production, we wanted either Z or I to fix it before Mark stepped in and he let us. He would be watching but giving us our space.”

Manthey and Thompkins heap praise onto each other, note that the partnership they created through the internship made their accomplishments possible.

"He's the Ying to my Yang. To be set up on a trajectory with someone as dedicated and passionate as I am made all the difference," Thompkins stated.

Student Emmy winners will be announced  in a virtual ceremony on Nov. 22.