Thursday, January 28, 2010

THINK BIG: Tennessee State University Faculty Member Nominated For Two Emmy Awards

On the evening of January 30, Tennessee State University assistant professor Alan Griggs will hear word of whether he will receive two more Emmy awards to add to an already impressive collection of journalism and broadcast awards he has earned over his career.

Griggs was nominated in the categories of Magazine Program and Magazine Series for his work with, Tennessee’s Wild Life, a family-oriented show funded by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Griggs and his colleagues produce 26 half-hour shows each year. Now, in its ninth season, the show airs on PBS stations across Tennessee and Kentucky.

“I have learned an awful lot being a reporter, writer and producer on the show because I wasn’t the very experienced at being an outdoorsman. I have come to respect the natural world and the creatures—big and small—that live in it,” Griggs said.

Griggs has an extensive background in broadcast news and marketing. He was a reporter and anchor at WAPI-TV in Birmingham, Ala., before moving to Nashville’s WSMV-TV. For nine of 20 years at the NBC affiliate, Griggs served as news director, helping to steer the newsroom to recognition as the winner of more awards than any station in the country.

Griggs worked full-time at Tennessee’s Wild Side from 2001 until 2009, when he accepted a faculty position in TSU’s Department of Communications. He teaches courses in the department’s recently updated mass communications curriculum and oversees a student-led multimedia convergence effort.

Griggs said the lessons from the outdoors that he brings to his students into the classroom include the idea of living as green as possible, and firmer conviction that the same basic principles of writing scripts apply in nearly every environment. As a result, he has developed a deep love for conserving and preserving the land.

“Working on the show, I became a student all over again. It took a little time at first, but I quickly fell in love with being in nature, watching it unfold under the beauty of pre-dawn. From the mountains of East Tennessee to some of the most majestic rivers all over the state, the experience sharpened a part of me I hadn’t developed before.”

Alan Griggs

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