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HCC student wins first place in Reel Illinois film competition
3/24/2016

Alex Jansen of Freeport, a student in the Mass Communication program at Highland Community College, was awarded first place in the Reel Illinois Community College film competition at an Illinois Community College Trustees Association (ICCTA) luncheon held Friday, March 11 in Lombard.

Jansen received a $1,000 scholarship award for his film "The Voices of Highland Community College." The three-minute video was part of a state-wide competition sponsored by the ICCTA. With 65 percent of Illinois students in higher education attending Community Colleges, the films submitted to the competition were to focus on enhancing school engagement and pride. Jansen's film explores what Highland means to the community, where it's been and where it is going.

Jansen's film embodies the mission and vision of Highland Community College. He captured three voices that spoke of the past and future of the College. Those featured in the film are Delbert Scheider, one of the founding trustees of the HCC; Alan Wenzel, a retired instructor and current leadership program director, and Samantha Petsche, a graduate of Highland.

Jansen shot the video with the goal of telling the story of how Highland Community College is seen through the eyes of the three individuals who share how HCC affected their community and their lives. With hours of content captured, Jansen had the task of editing the video down to the three-minute length required by the Reel Illinois competition. In the end, Jansen said he knew that he had a video worthy to stand up to the competition.

"When I heard I had won, I was relieved," Jansen said. "It means that I am doing things right, and it's hard to gauge what someone else gets from a video, but this award reinforces what I see in myself as a filmmaker."

Jansen plans to further his education in broadcasting at Western Illinois University (WIU) in the fall of 2017. Highland Community College recently signed a 2+2 transfer agreement with WIU to offer a direct pathway to a bachelor's degree in broadcasting.

Jim Yeager, speech and mass communication instructor, said Jansen's prize is great for HCC and the newly developed program at the College. "This is fantastic for our program at Highland," Yeager said. "Alex is a great kid, a student worker, and has an insane work ethic, striving to be better. Now we can say we are an award-winning Mass Communications program. It's great for recruiting future students, and students like Alex lead by example. This sets the pace for us and encourages more people to come to Highland Community College."

For more information on the Mass Communication program at Highland Community College, contact Jim Yeager at jim.yeager@highland.edu or 815.599.3482.

(left to right) Jim Yeager, Alex Jansen, HCC President Tim Hood and Highland Trustee Jim Endress




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