Merrill College

Merrill College’s Amelia Jarecke, Bethany Swain Win BEA Awards 

COLLEGE PARK -- Amelia Jarecke ’22, a student at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism, and Merrill College Lecturer Bethany Swain have been honored with awards from the Broadcast Education Association.

Amelia Jarecke
Amelia Jarecke

Jarecke won a first-place award in the Student News category of the BEA’s Festival of Media Arts national contest. Swain won an Award of Excellence in the 2021 Faculty Festival of Media Arts Promotional Video category.

Jarecke was honored for her mini-documentary, “The Flyover State.” The film follows Jarecke and her friends on their trip to see over a half-million sandhill cranes descend on a river in central Nebraska during the birds' migration north. It was filmed entirely on phones. She filmed, edited and produced the music for the film.

“It is extra impressive as Amelia produced this compelling story for her introductory video class,” Swain said. “I can’t wait to see what else she produces during her time at the college.” 

Jarecke is a junior journalism student with a minor in rhetoric. As a multimedia reporter for The Diamondback, she makes videos and podcasts about members of the UMD community who inspire change and think about the future. During her summer internship, she will contribute to multimedia content at America Magazine, a Jesuit publication about faith and social justice. 

The Nebraska native said she is honored to often be the first person from the Cornhusker State who Maryland students meet. She said she will always cheer for the Terps, and plans to continue to produce videos and someday direct a feature documentary.

Bethany Swain
Bethany Swain

Swain won for her video, “Feed Anne Arundel: 'This problem isn’t going away.' ” The promo centers on the “Feed Anne Arundel” food and jobs movement, whose mission is to keep restaurants open, keep people working and feed people. This video helped raise over $2 million in grants and donations for the project, which all went back into the local economy.  

There are over 70 restaurants involved and they have provided more than 150,000 meals to the community since March 2020.  

“There are numerous ways the storytelling and reporting skills that we teach at the college can be used to impact the community,” Swain said. “It was rewarding to tell this important story and raise awareness of the Feed Anne Arundel project.” 

Swain is a nationally recognized photojournalist, multimedia producer and educator who spent most of her career innovating at CNN. Now she focuses on inspiring the next generation of storytellers at Merrill, where she has taught broadcast journalism and multimedia courses since 2012.

While at CNN, Swain traveled thousands of miles — from Afghanistan to the presidential campaign trail. She won dozens of awards during her 10 years as one of the only women photojournalists at CNN, including the first woman named Video Photographer of the Year by the White House News Photographers Association. Her shooting, editing and storytelling skills have been honored by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and Broadcast Education Association (BEA). In 2014, she was nominated for an Emmy.

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