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Southeastern students honored by Emmys

Students at the Southeastern Channel have been honored with a college division Student Production Award given by the Emmy Awards’ Suncoast Region of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Tonya Lowentritt

June 1, 2023

emmy winners 2023

HAMMOND – Students at the Southeastern Channel have been honored with a college division Student Production Award given by the Emmy Awards’ Suncoast Region of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
     John Austin Williams of Denham Springs, Ross Chauvin of Houma and Jenna-Francis Duvic of Loranger received the Student Production Award in the “Commercial” category.
     In addition to the winning commercial, the Southeastern Channel had three other Student Production Award nominations. They were in the “Fiction: Short Film,” “Editor,” and “Newscast” categories.
     The students and their productions were honored in the Emmy Suncoast Region, comprised of television stations and production companies in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Puerto Rico. Students at the Southeastern Channel have now been named Emmy winners 23 times with 73 nominations.
     “Being recognized by the Emmys is the highest honor you can receive in television,” said Southeastern Channel General Manager Rick Settoon. “These student awards are measured against the Emmy standard of excellence. If no productions in a category achieve that standard, then no award is given. Since so few are given, we’re absolutely thrilled that John, Ross and Jenna are joining such elite company.”
     “I feel honored and grateful to be a student Emmy winner,” said Duvic. “I am proud I helped create something meaningful enough to be honored by the Emmys. It shows that hard work really does pay off.”
     The winning commercial was produced for the Salad Station, the salad restaurant chain that offers fresh local produce daily. The Salad Station opened its first restaurant in downtown Hammond in 2012 and in the past 10 years has grown to 30 locations throughout the South, including seven on the Northshore.
     The commercial titled “The Salad Station: Lettuce Bring Fresh to You,” focuses on catering services provided by the restaurant. It was produced by Duvic, while Williams was the cinematographer and Chauvin the video editor. The production was a class assignment for Comm 424: “Television Advertising Production,” taught by Southeastern Channel Operations Manager Steve Zaffuto.
     “Working and collaborating with a team for a project like this was a great experience in preparing me for work in the real world,” Williams said. “After graduating I quickly adapted to the workforce, as I had already experienced much of what it would be like while still in college. In the television and film industry, working with a team is the nature of the business. I got a good taste of what to expect after graduation… right here at Southeastern.”
     In the college “Newscast” category, the June 28, 2021, episode of the Southeastern Channel newscast “Northshore News” was nominated. Lauren Hawkins of Ponchatoula produced and co-anchored the show with Trinity Brown of Baton Rouge. Reporters contributing stories to the newscast were Hawkins, Taylor Nettle of Lacombe, Jordan Kliebert of Mandeville, Anaclaire McKneely of Amite, Kaylor Yates of Baton Rouge, and Joliette Vincent of Luling.
     In the “Fiction: Long Form” category, Williams’s short film, “Pit Stop,” was nominated. The 15-minute suspense film follows Lydia, a young lady played by Nettle, who finds herself lost in a desolate location trying to meet up with her friends. After being captured and held hostage by an apocalyptic conspiracy theorist, played by Jordan Alfred of Lacombe, Lydia must find her escape.
     Williams produced, directed, shot, edited and co-wrote the film with Nettle. For his editing of the film, Williams was nominated in the “Editor” category for the Emmy Student Production Award. He produced “Pit Stop” for his senior portfolio project in Comm 498 taught by James O’Connor, head of the Department of Communication and Media Studies.
     Winning in the “Commercial” category marked the third time that Williams has been honored for a Student Production Award by the Suncoast Emmys, the most by any Southeastern student. In previous years he won for “Director” with his short film “The Overthinker” and for “News Feature” with “July 4th in Baton Rouge,” on the student newscast “Northshore News.”
     Williams has worked as a marketing producer for WGMB-TV Ch. 44/WVLA-TV Ch. 33 in Baton Rouge and a cinematographer-editor for Anntoine Marketing and Design in Hammond since graduating, and now as a cinematographer-editor for Louisiana Public Broadcasting in Baton Rouge.
     “The Southeastern Channel was the best collegiate experience I could’ve asked for as an introduction to the film and television industry,” Williams said. “I got hands-on experience with state-of-the-art technology, brilliant professors and instructors, and well-designed, detailed courses. Anyone interested in television and film-related professions should check out The Southeastern Channel.”
     “The Southeastern Channel has prepared me for a career in television and film,” Duvic said. “I learned many things about directing, editing, producing, writing, and more from them.”
     In its 20 years of existence, the Southeastern Channel has won over 500 national, international and regional awards. The channel can be seen on Spectrum Cable 199 in Tangipahoa, Livingston, St. Tammany and St. Helena parishes and on for viewers in Washington Parish. In addition, the live 24-7 broadcast can be seen on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, the Spectrum App, and the channel’s website at, which also offers programs via video on demand. The Southeastern Channel is available on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


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