A Winning Team of Bulls

USF’s Media Innovation Team brings home 10 Telly Awards, recognizing their work with video story-telling.


Members of the MIT celebrate their Telly Awards. Photo credit: Aimee Blodgett | USF News


By Barbara Melendez

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 26, 2011) – They couldn’t have had more diverse needs.


The College of Engineering wanted a redesign of its website with a lively, student-centered home page. The College of Education (COE) wanted to simulate a real world experience for human resource professionals. The College of Arts and Sciences needed to show a method of conducting an important test. The Fullbridge Program, an outside organization devoted to business education, needed to illustrate a company’s finances in a creative way.


They turned to the University of South Florida’s Media Innovation Team. MIT’s solutions to all of their problems became award-winners, pulling in video’s version of the Oscars – the Telly Awards – and a record-setting 10 at that.

There was also the Center for Student Involvement, which wanted to draw in freshmen. And in the area of fundraising, the USF Faculty and Staff Campaign wanted to show the broad variety of donors – and to attract new ones. A webisode in the USF Unstoppable campaign needed to tell the story of one of its most inspirational programs.

All were successful. 

 “We use the power of animation and video to tell stories,” said Bridget Patel, director of eLearning design and development. “Our team’s talent and experience coupled with our state-of-the-art equipment serve as the platform. We use our creativity to come up with entertaining and educational products that accomplish our clients’ goals and meet learners’ needs. We’re collaborating with experts from USF in all kinds of fields to develop authentic and engaging learning experiences for students.”

The Telly Awards competition honors the very best local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions and work created for the web. This year’s 32nd Annual Telly Awards competition received over 13,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

MIT developed the engineering website using video to bring the page to life, earning a Bronze Telly for Best Internet Commercial for a School or University. Students and faculty talk directly to visitors about their work from an animated banner.

COE collaborated with the MIT to produce a video simulation titled “Prosperity Park” based on the ADDIE model (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) and wound up with two Bronze Tellys for Best Educational Internet Video and Best Copywriting for an Internet Video.

The Geology Department in the College of Arts and Sciences produced an educational video for students on the Proctor Test, a test used to accurately predict engineering behavior prior to construction. It won two Bronze Telly Awards for Best Instructional Internet Program, Segment or Promo Piece and Best Use of High Definition (HD) for an Internet Program, Segment or Promo Piece.

Student Orientation now features a video on how to get involved all over campus and took home two Bronze Tellys for Best Motivational Internet Program, Segment or Promo Piece and Best Recruitment Internet Program, Segment or Promo Piece.

Yet another video shows people from across the USF system explaining why they donate to the Faculty and Staff Campaign. It earned a Bronze Telly Award for Best Fundraising for an Internet Program, Segment or Promo Piece.

The Tutor-A-Bull story, part of the USF Unstoppable webisode series, showcases heartwarming College of Education tutors inspiring middle school students and garnered a coveted People’s Choice Award Bronze Telly.

And finally, vivid graphics and creative story-driven examples help students learn about the earnings process, assets, liabilities, owner’s equity and other financial concepts. The goal was to stimulate hands-on learning for high achieving university graduates just out of school. The pilot program for the outside client, the Fullbridge Program, featured a multi-part animated short on finances and earned a Bronze Telly Award for Best Use of Graphics in an Internet/Online Program, Segment or Promo Piece. 

“The awards represent an exciting strategic mixture of instructional and institutional digital content,” said MIT eLearning Design and Development Senior Director William Patterson. “They underscore USF University College’s dedication to leading edge, world-class design as a vehicle for aligning and promoting USF’s instructional, institutional and entrepreneurial goals.”


Dedication has led to success. Patterson pointed to three years’ worth of international design awards - 16 additional ones – from a wide range of high profile competitions – including both bronze and silver Telly Awards (Telly Awards only come in bronze or silver) Interactive Media Awards, Davey Awards and more.


Patterson and his team aim to achieve world-class, highly innovative ongoing collaboration with USF faculty, departments, colleges and outside organizations. “We work closely together to cultivate a meaningful digital landscape that can also serve as an international showcase for USF’s dedication to the best in eLearning, university programs, teaching and learning, and entrepreneurship.”


Christine Brown, director of HD video and interactive media added, “Plus we love what we do. Seeing a storyboard come to life, discovering and sharing amazing stories about people and programs at USF, finding the best way to engage and help students learn a difficult topic…everything we do is unbelievably rewarding and I’m proud to be part of this team.”


Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563.