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Taylor Documentary Wins College Television Award

  • By: James R. Garringer
  • Published:
42nd college television awards

A project created by Taylor University Film and Media students has been named winner of the 42nd College Television Awards Loreen Arbus Focus on Disability $10,000 Scholarship and was nominated in the Nonfiction Series category along with finalists from the University of Southern California and Florida State University.

The short documentary, Lizzi: Deeper Than Water, tells the story of Lizzi Smith, a swimmer from Muncie, Indiana, who was born without part of her left arm, and yet became a world-class Paralympic swimmer where she has competed on an international stage with the world’s best Paralympic athletes. 

According to her biography on the Team USA website, Smith is a two-time Paralympian (2016, 2020), winning medals (2 silver, 1 bronze) during both the Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro games.

The Television Academy Foundation received 132 submissions from 35 schools across the country during the competition from which Taylor emerged as the winner in the disability category and as a finalist in the Nonfiction Series category. Designed to emulate the Emmy Awards, student entries are judged by Television Academy members. Criteria for the College Television Awards reflect industry standards of excellence, imagination, and innovation. 

“It was a privilege for us to be entrusted with Lizzi’s story,” said Kathy Bruner, Professor of Film and Media Production at Taylor. “It was also a transformative experience for the students who worked on the documentary as they got to know Lizzi and her family and experienced the hours of work she has invested in following her dream.

“It is experiences such as this that will equip our storytellers for excellence and effective communication with the wider audience,” Bruner added. “Our alumni are working in numerous settings where they are able to utilize the training they have undergone at Taylor in their pursuit of excellence in various settings that include network television, motion pictures, documentaries, and in service of some of the world’s foremost media organizations.” 

The film project is also nominated for a second award, and the student team will learn if they’ve won in April 2023.

Taylor faculty and students will attend the award ceremony in Los Angeles on April 1, 2023. 

About Taylor University 

For 176 years, Taylor University has combined rigorous academics with the Christian faith and remains the oldest nondenominational school in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). For nearly three decades, Taylor has been ranked a top Midwest College by U.S. News & World Report. The University’s graduation rate is the fourth highest nationally among peer institutions, and ninety-nine percent of Taylor’s graduates were employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. With a strong legacy of service and global opportunities, Taylor also ranks sixth nationally for study abroad internships and travel opportunities.