Point Park professor earns ninth Emmy Award

Written By Kayla Snyder, Copy Editor

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School of Communication adjunct professor Gina Catanzarite recently won her ninth Emmy Award for a documentary in the Health/Environment/Science Program/Special category titled “Bedtime Story: The Troubling Truth About Teens and Sleep.”

The documentary that aired on WQED was about adolescent sleep issues and the biological and social factors that contribute to poor sleep health among teens.

When The University of Pittsburgh went to WQED and said they were interested in funding the program, Catanzarite jumped on it because she had a personal connection to the issue:  her two twin teenage sons.

“I knew how important it was and I saw it play out every day, but it wasn’t until I started to research that documentary that I saw how dangerous and detrimental to a young person’s physical, social and emotional health it was,” Catanzarite said. “I realized it was something more people needed to know about.”

Catanzarite entered six submissions for the Mid-Atlantic Emmys this year. She received four nominations from those submissions, including two in the Health/Environment/Science Program/Special category. Catanzarite’s other nomination, titled “Bundle of Nerves: Our Anxiety Epidemic,” was one she also felt close to.

“I thought if there was going to be a win, I expected it to be that one…It was quite a surprise when I heard Bedtime Stories,” Catanzarite said.

This win is added to the list of nine Emmy wins, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Awards, eight Telly Awards and various other professional honors for Catanzarite.

Although the documentary was produced by Catanzarite, she said that the whole process was a collaborative effort.

“It was my idea, and it was my plan on paper, but if it weren’t for all of the great input from other collaborators, it could never have risen to the point that it did,” Catanzarite said.

Michelle Wright, a WTAE anchor and School of Communication adjunct professor, was the narrator for both of her documentaries.

“I think it’s well-deserved, and I’ve always respected her work,” Wright said. “I’m thrilled that it is recognized in such a way that everyone can see what a great job she does.”

The broadcasting department at Point Park houses many different professors, full-time and adjuncts, who are currently working in their respective fields. School of Communication faculty chair Thom Baggerman said one of the hiring philosophies when hiring professors is to go out and get the best people they can that are currently working in the field.

“They bring cutting-edge knowledge of how the industry is right now, and they also bring their network of contacts that students can use when they go to get jobs,” Baggerman said. “We’re excited that someone who is so well recognized in the professional community is teaching our students.”

Catanzarite’s win is not only a personal win but also a win for Point Park, according to Blaine King, a senior broadcast reporting major and United Student Government president.

“We have professionals in the field teaching our students,” King said. “It is a great thing because they’re in that field, they know what to do in the field to get that kind of accomplishment and they’re relaying that information to the students so that we one day could potentially win an Emmy.”

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