EMF students create winning audio and video PSAs

By Sedonia Martin on March 22, 2017

PSAs will air on WBAL radio and in MVA offices statewide

Grand prize winner Brooks Berry is flanked by (left to right) Michael Angelella, EMF chairperson; Christopher T. McDonald, executive director of the Maryland Vehicle Prevention Council;Paul Holland, ’83, president of the Maryland/DC Anti-Car Theft Committee; Elena Russo, deputy director media communications for the Maryland State Police; and Adam Schwartz, lecturer, EMF.
Grand prize winner Brooks Berry is flanked by (left to right) Michael Angelella, EMF chairperson; Christopher T. McDonald, executive director of the Maryland Vehicle Prevention Council;Paul Holland, ’83, president of the Maryland/DC Anti-Car Theft Committee; Elena Russo, deputy director media communications for the Maryland State Police; and Adam Schwartz, lecturer, EMF.

Towson University Electronic Media and Film (EMF) students won at total of $8,500 in cash awards from the Maryland State Police, the Maryland/DC Vehicle Anti-Car Theft Committee and the Maryland Vehicle Prevention Council for their winning submissions to the vehicle anti-car theft PSA competition.

The winners received awards of $125 to $2,000 each for their PSAs. The 10- to 30-second video and audio PSAs focused on auto theft crime prevention and theft from vehicle or owner give-up and will be broadcast locally on WBAL-AM 1090 and in state MVA locations.

This is the seventh year the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council and the Maryland DC Anti-Car Theft Committee have worked with Towson EMF students on their anti-theft PSA campaign. Adam Schwartz, lecturer, EMF, organized and oversaw the creation of the projects.

According to Elena Russo, Office of Media Communications for the Maryland State Police, “each participant produced a 30-second spot to ultimately be used in media campaigns to reach a target audience who is unfamiliar with the rapidly growing criminal enterprise.”

Award recipients were judged on theme, quality, persuasion and creativity.

Brooks Berry, EMF major and junior from Frederick, Maryland, won the grand prize of $2,000 for his vehicle theft video.

The two grand prize winners in the audio category for a 30-second radio spots were produced by students Sam Teasley, Jared Brazil, Casey Smith and Tyler Barnes and the second spot produced by Michael Caddigan, Nigel Truesdale, Katherine Ruggiero and Kayla Mehok.

“The creativity was a step higher this year. Several of the projects hit on multi-layer information and the degree of research was impressive,” said Paul Holland ’83, president of the Maryland/DC Anti-Car Theft Committee. 

Holland and Christopher T. McDonald, executive director of the Maryland Vehicle Prevention Council, presented the winners with their checks along with Russo.

“I was definitely most impressed with the acting, particularly the singing. It is always nice to see students reap the rewards at the college level and the impact it can have on their college career and beyond,” said Russo, who encouraged the students to include these projects on their resumes.

McDonald said the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council and the Maryland DC Anti-Car Theft Committee are “happy and pleased” to work with Towson. McDonald, who has been a part of the project for several years said, “I think we see more creativity each year. I’m impressed with who puts time into it with new ideas and imagination.”

The Maryland/DC Anti-Car Theft Committee (MD/DC ACT) is a non-profit 501c3 organization dedicated to reducing auto theft in Maryland and the District of Columbia through support for law enforcement; the education of our citizens; and the enactment of legislation that supports cost effective programs and laws that diminish auto theft.

The Maryland General Assembly created the Vehicle Theft Prevention Council in 1994, as a statewide planning and dedicated funding resource. The Council embraces a statewide strategy directed at public awareness, vehicle theft by juveniles, law enforcement and prosecution through a grant award process. This strategy has proven to be highly successful in reducing vehicle theft rates throughout the state of Maryland. Since the creation of the Council in 1994, overall vehicle theft rates in Maryland have been reduced by over 58 percent for an estimated economic savings of over $148 million.