Odyssey Online Awards Winter 2015


Antioch University Santa Barbara Odyssey Online Winter 2015 Awards Go To…

It has been another quarter of tremendous growth and continued success for Odyssey Online. Students have developed their voices and shared their experiences, research, interest and opinions in a variety of different mediums. Congrats to all!

Best Long-Form feature piece: Tamlorn Chase- “War on Wildlife

Tam’s voice and his passion for the environment was evident in this piece.  From his intensive research to his use of powerful images and video, Tam made us all care about the topic. Then, he took it to the next level: he interviewed Julia and went out on a call with her where a deer had been hit by a car. He went the extra mile to help show us the precarious balance of the human/animal relationship. When he zoomed in on the doe as she lay dying on the side of the road, it was incredibly powerful. Then, when we found out she was pregnant and would lose her unborn baby, it was impossible not to feel pain for her. Tam’s piece is a reminder of what we all hoped Odyssey would one day become- a powerful medium for independent thought and social change.  

Best Use of Visual Storytelling- Photos: Adele De Batz “Santa Barbara: The Original Hollywood”

Adele’s piece was well researched and formatted. It was also timely- she posted it during the SBIFF, which was a perfect lead-in for the event. Her photos perfectly matched her content and gave readers an experiential view of the various places in Santa Barbara that have been featured in cinema. Adele set the tone for the rest of the class with this piece – she showed everyone how important visual media is to creative storytelling. Well done, Adele.

Best Use of Visual Storytelling- Video: Adele De Batz- Hip Hop in Santa Barbara: A Slice of the Truth

Again, Adele went above and beyond to tell the story of the developing Hip-Hop culture in Santa Barbara. She featured 3 individuals in her piece by producing in-depth mini-documentaries about each artist. Adele pushed the story by using different production techniques and various storytelling tools in each segment, thus allowing her to show different aspects of each individual person. Adele’s piece was carefully crafted and perfectly presented. Professional level work Adele.

Best Series Piece using video content: Ian King, “Isla Vista’s Music Hub”

Ian was the most improved storyteller of the Odyssey team this quarter. He knew he wanted to cover the Isla Vista music scene, but he continued to develop his idea as the quarter progressed. His ability to listen to advice and implement the changes from piece to piece allowed him to have incredible growth throughout the quarter. And his ability to allow the story to form around him and his flexibility in the storytelling process allowed him to tell in-depth multimedia stories.

From a writing perspective, Ian clearly continued to refine his voice- he even looked up different articles on Odyssey so he could learn from previous students. His improvement on the video production side was amazing- his framing, his use of a tripod and his implementation of “behind the ropes” techniques helped give him compelling content. Ian is a master storyteller with a keen eye for how to engage an audience. Well done Ian.

Best Innovative Piece: Kirstine Soerensen, “Sunday to Sunday in Pictures”

Kirstine talked about wanting to highlight the weekly experience of student life at AUSB. She pitched the idea of “Sunday to Sunday,” which would allow each student to submit a picture from their weekly life. The class responded with enthusiasm and thus, “Sunday to Sunday” was born. Kirstine showed strong leadership skills in the management of the piece while also showing a creative vision with its development. She is a talented visionary and creator with a bright future ahead of her.

Best “Buzzfeed” Post: Mia Hyatt, “5 Valentines Ideas That Aren’t Cheesy”  & Sarah Villalobos  “7 Fun Facts About the SB ZOO”

Both Mia and Sarah connected with their topics and smartly packaged them in the “Buzzfeed” style that garners so much attention online. Mia helped educate men on the subtleties of making Valentines Day a success. Her insight was catchy and fun while also being informative.

Sarah spent a significant time researching the SB Zoo and developed a piece that illustrated its amazing history. Both women used pictures to further their stories and hyperlinks for additional resources. Great job.

Best “SB LOCAL” Coverage: Dimitri Chalupka, Local Eateries and Businesses

Dimitri’s article on local eateries perfectly embodied the Santa Barbara vibe of great food and international culture. He also used visuals and quotes to add depth to his profile. He also did a great job highlighting a local start-up company by featuring one of it’s products. He cleverly used personal stories and a profile of the CEO to show the important role that Internationals play in our economy. Once Dimitri found his niche as a storyteller, his production took off and he never looked back. Great job Dimitri.

Best Social Justice Piece: Mzaliwa Musaba,“Police Brutality: Excessive Use of Force”

Maza developed his writing style during the quarter by producing pieces on the urban culture in Santa Barbara. But he saved his most powerful work for his final piece- his discussion on the use of force by Police officers. It was a topic we discussed throughout the quarter, and Maza did a great job asking the questions that need to be addressed in our society. Maza is a gifted talent with the ability to find stories that have social justice implications. It was great to see him create pieces that are a visual expression of who he is. Great work Maza.

Most Consistent Performer/Most Improved Storyteller/Most Impressive “Above and Beyond Hustle”: Jon Parra

Jon came into the quarter as one of the strongest players in the game. But his hunger to improve motivated him to push himself as a storyteller. He took it upon himself to interview community activist and AUSB student Martin Leyva about his feelings on the riots in Furgeson. He shot an extensive interview with Leyva and then teamed with Steven on the production of the segment. Jon chased the story because he realized the importance of finding an expert to talk about the complex issue. He then spent significant time working on the editing of the interview because he wanted to give Martin’s words the justice they deserved.

Jon pushed himself throughout the quarter by continuing to develop his writing style. He was constantly working on edits and trying out new and different ways to tell his stories. He partnered with Steven at the SBIFF and they combined to produce a compelling feature that was as professional and creative as we’ve ever had at Odyssey. Jon is an power contributor to Odyssey and a developing star in the world of digital journalism.

Best Social Media/Manager of Film Festival Passes/Educational Piece/Consistent Classroom Performer:  Jennifer Vogel – “Living Skin Deep

Jennifer immediatley took a managerial role by taking responsibility for the development of Odyssey’s social media fingerprint. She focused on continuing to build a presence on Facebook and she integrated the branding of Odyssey’s various media platforms. She also told challenging and insightful stories using multimedia elements. She used compelling video to help show the intensity of performing in live theater. She also opened up about her experience with skin cancer and in the process educated the reader on the dangers of the disease. Jennifer’s professionalism in the classroom helped her lead classroom discussions on challenging social justice issues. And her professionalism outside of the classroom made her a perfect candidate to manage the SBIFF passes. Epic work Jennifer.

Best Piece for Global and Intercultural Awareness: Kim Ahlbom – “Scandinavians in Santa Barbara- From a Viking’s Perspective”

Kim immediately connected with the idea of using his Scandinavian background as a framework for telling his stories. This piece showed his progress as a storyteller- he combined multimedia elements to show what it’s like to study and live in America as an international student. Kim’s impressive work was well researched and well produced. And his diligence in his planning was evident in the final product.

Best “Student Life” Piece or Series: Kim “Alex” Froderberg,“International Student Struggle

Alex’s choice of topic showed his developed intercultural awareness and it clearly held personal meaning to him. His piece shined a light on the difficulty that international students face after graduation and his balanced approach to the explosive topic showed his strength as a storyteller. He spent significant time working on how he wanted to present his story and his final product showed how Odyssey can be used as a vehicle for increasing awareness.

Best Creative Promotional Piece: Marissa Kochan – “Social Justice Documentary Film Fest

Marissa told compelling stories throughout the quarter, but her work on the Documentary Film Festival was her most impressive work. She utilized video interviews with the professor and students to help forward the story. Her article illustrated her development as a storyteller through her ability to integrate multimedia elements. Marissa’s effort and her creativity continued to improve throughout the quarter and it was impressive to see her voice develop.

Most Enthusiastic Storyteller/Impressive Content Creator/In-class Contributor: Erin Maloney:

Erin’s effort and her karaoke piece set the tone for the quarter that she was going to bring it. Her fellow students took notice and followed her lead, both in content creation and in story development. Her passion for animals was evident in her “All Paws on Deck” piece and her piece on PTSD was honest and educational.

Best Profile Piece: Cesiah Koris: “Canine Rehabilitation

Cesiah used her personal relationship with Karen Atlas to tell a compelling and educational story. Her use of visuals helped add perspective to the piece, and her ability to simultaneously profile Atlas while also describing the concept of canine rehabilitation showed her progress as a storyteller.

Best Hustle/ Event Coverage: Steven Wagener & Jon Parra “SBIFF Virtuoso”

MVP: Steven Wagener

Steven intelligence and awareness makes him the top performer on the team. He produces inspiring and well-researched content (Inducing Fear: The Rise of Boko Haram) that makes us all stop and think. But he also has the ability to show his range as a storyteller by doing lighter pieces that help us build our reader base (FYI: National Day Calendar for everything). He’s a team player who stepped up and helped his teammates when they needed producing assistance. And he and John represented AUSB like professionals at the SBIFF and then produced top-notch content on the “Virtuoso” panel. Steven is a rising star would could make a difference in the world of journalism. If you want to see what a pro looks like, look no further than SW.





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