2nd Place winners in the Magazine Category for the College Emmys, Amber Mackie and LaCrai Mitchell (Photo by Xavier Higgs for Sentinel)
Amber Mackie, 22 and LaCrai Mitchell, 19 were nervous and apprehensive April 25 as they sat among television’s most well known celebrities at the 34th College Television Awards ceremony.
Despite some clear favorites, the senior and sophomore duet from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee Florida eagerly anticipated the outcome yet managed to maintain their euphoria. Their entry was a TV special, “2012 FAMU Homecoming Special: Ignite the Strike.” They were awarded second place in the Magazine category. It was the first Academy Award for FAMU.
According to LaCrai, it is an honor to represent her university. “I was nervous, I had butterflies, while rubbing my legs back and forth,” she said.
In the moments leading up to the announcement, Amber was also nervous.
“I had knots in my stomach," she said. "I was shaking.”
But within a few short minutes after the announcement, these young ladies managed to exhale as their fairy tale adventure continued to the red carpet for their photo op. No one was more proud than FAMU’s Ann Kimbrough, Dean School of Journalism and Graphic Arts. After lauding her student's resilience and courage, she said, “our students have very limited resources, yet standing shoulder to shoulder with these fabulous film schools like Northwestern, USC, and UCLA says a lot about what we offer.”
The Television Academy Foundation was created to educate those who will impact the future of television in addition to preserving the medium of television. Additionally, the college television awards recognize student-produced videos and films from across the country. The Foundation received 771 entries from 202 college and universities. Only 511 were eligible.
Norma Provenio Pichardo, Executive Director Television Academy Foundation, says, “these are the future content providers.” She adds that it’s important to work with the students and let them have access into the industry because access to the industry is so difficult.”
Amber and LaCrai, like the other nominees in attendance received a day of lectures, workshops, and seminars with the cast of “Major Crimes” and the director of “Grey’s Anatomy” as part of their trip to Los Angeles.
While its has been a difficult 18-month period for FAMU because of the recent hazing incidents, Dr. Larry Robinson, President of Florida A&M
University says he’s proud of LaCrai and Amber. He insists that FAMU students continue to achieve in spite of recent negative events.
“They exemplify the type of quality students we have at Florida A&M University,” says Dr. Robinson. “We have some of the best students in America.”
This is quite evident from the spry self-confidence that exudes from Amber and LaCrai. Both are excited about the outcome and proud of themselves.
Although they may be the first from a HBCU school to enter the College Television Awards, the Foundation will continue to reach out to the Historic Black colleges and the Hispanic serving institutions.