Former COD Students Win Award for Courier TV from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
By Brian Kleemann
Former College of DuPage students Tyler Swanson of Carol Stream and Anthony Amant of Elmhurst (pictured) have received a Crystal Pillar Student Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the producers of the Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards.
Swanson and Amant earned the award for “Athletes of the Week: Matt Fletcher and Evan Kirk,” which they produced while students in COD’s Motion Picture/Television program. The segment features two COD football players who are also veterans, and it aired in 2015 on the student-run Courier TV. Click here to watch the award-winning segment.
Swanson said it was his favorite video to produce. The idea came from a discussion with MPTV Professor Jennifer Piehl about highlighting veterans on campus.
“Once we found out about Matt and Evan, we went from there,” he said. “They were always willing to be interviewed and filmed. It took time because there was no home game that week and we had to get footage of them during practices.”
The two players also volunteered to help students with the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association, which Amant said added to the feature.
“The story just unfolded before our eyes,” he said. “Matt and Even were both so great and gave us anything we needed to get the job done.”
Swanson, who has always liked sports, grew up with aspirations of being on ESPN. Knowing that his future career would involve sports, he planned to attend College of DuPage to complete his general education requirements and transfer. Then he met Piehl and learned about the Motion Picture/TV program.
“Once I got into COD and the MPTV program, it confirmed what I wanted to do and convinced me to go for it,” he said. “Jennifer told me I was one of the first students in the new Digital Broadcast Journalism program and Courier TV.”
Swanson is currently studying broadcasting and radio at North Central College. After graduating in 2018, he hopes to pursue a career in sports broadcasting. He is grateful that he found the MPTV program, and receiving the Crystal Pillar validates his career choice.
“I was hopeful we might win the award but I didn’t expect it,” he said.
Amant gained experience working on video in junior high and high school. He assisted a woman at his church who taught him about shooting and editing, and the industry was converting to digital when he was a teenager.
Although he started a career as a carpenter, he never lost his love of video and decided to pursue a different path.
“I was working on a job close to College of DuPage, and one day I just walked in and said that I wanted to register for classes,” he said. “My goal was to get my gen eds and transfer, but I was talking to a student who told me about a class called Intro to TV Production. I did some research and discovered the MPTV program.”
Having earned his Associate in Applied Science degree in Television Production, Amant is pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Columbia College in Chicago with an ultimate goal of working on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.”
“I had heard great things about College of DuPage before I started, but I didn’t really know what to expect,” he said. “Jennifer Piehl was my mentor and she really pushed me to excel further than I thought was possible.”
Piehl praises her students and is thrilled by the attention for Courier TV has received in just its second year of broadcasting.
“It’s really the students who are showing what Courier TV can do,” she said. “The Crystal Pillar award is because of them, and I’m so proud of what they have accomplished.”
College of DuPage is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Serving approximately 27,000 students each term, College of DuPage is the largest public community college in the state of Illinois. The College grants nine associate degrees and offers more than 170 career and technical certificates in over 50 areas of study. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, College of DuPage will host a series of on- and off-campus events throughout the year to highlight the institution’s history and service to students and District 502 residents over the past half-century.
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