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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Student documentary film wins national prize

For Immediate Release
May 10, 2011

Contact: Daphne Larkin
802-485-2886 or 595-3613(m)

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Norwich University’s student-produced documentary film, "The War at Home," has taken National First Place in the Society of Professional Journalists' 2010 "Mark of Excellence Awards in the category of Television In-Depth Reporting."

Norwich was awarded First Place in Region 1 on April 9 at Brown University and then went on to compete against the other 11 Regional Winners.

The awards will be presented on September 25 at the Society of Professional Journalists' 2011 National Convention in New Orleans.

“The War at Home” explores issues veterans face upon returning home in interviews with veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of those interviewed on camera are Norwich student veterans, which gives viewers the opportunity to witness what would otherwise be a private conversation.

Produced at the nation’s oldest private military college, many of the student producers went on to take commissions in the US military. One of the Senior Producers, Amanda Plachek, is currently serving in Afghanistan.

The goal of the documentary is to educate those deploying, their families and the general public about the realities of war and the effect it can have on those who serve.

“Family members, students and classmates say it is such a powerful video because getting exposed to these stories gives viewers a view of the military you don’t usually see,” said Brittney Schlauch, a Senior Producer.

Two current seniors, Jordan Lewis and Matt Hernandez, used the film as a catalyst for conversations with their parents in considering signing an Army contract. They are both graduating and commissioning in ceremonies at Norwich this weekend.

“‘The War at Home’ was a valuable experience for those on both sides of the camera,” said William Estill, communications professor. For some veterans, the on-camera interview was the first time they talked openly of certain wartime events.

“The national award comes at a time when The War on Terror reaches a milestone with the death of bin Laden, and the student veterans and producers are graduating and commissioning,” Estill said.

"The War at Home" can be viewed in full at: http://vimeo.com/22407469


Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army. Norwich University is the oldest private military college in the United States of America and the birthplace of our nation's Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu