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FAMU SJGC Students Win First Place and a $40K Grant for Ken Riley Documentary

Heather Johnson
Heather Johnson
SJGC students strike after school’s second consecutive win for the Coca-Cola HBCU Sports Production competition.

Earlier this week several students from Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC) formally accepted the award for winning the 2024 Coca-Cola HBCU Sports Production grant competition. The students were honored during the 45th Annual Sports Emmy® Awards held in New York.

From left: Germanie Bozeman, Darnell Walker Jones, Edward Thomas, and Jonathan David accept the grant for winning the 2024 Coca-Cola HBCU Sports Production competition.

FAMU SJGC alumnus Jonathan David (Class of 2024), sophomore Darnell Walker Jones, and seniors Germanie Bozeman, Jalon Howard and Tristian Hutton received the honors and this win, under the guidance of Edward Thomas, advisor and FAMU TV-20 general manager, marks the second consecutive year FAMU SJGC has received recognition from the program.

Their winning submission, “Field Trip,” was noted for its creative video and essay addressing the competition’s theme, “The Past, Present and Future.” The film is a poignant portrayal of the late Pro Football Hall of Famer and FAMU alumnus Ken Riley and his enduring impact on the sport.

Click here to watch the award winning documentary produced by SJGC students about Pro Football Hall of Famer and FAMU alumnus Ken Riley 

Thomas shared the initial concept for the documentary with the team and he was pleased with their enthusiasm and work ethic.

“Guiding the team on this project was pretty simple…we knew we had a great story and Jonathan was the right guy to execute the plan and bring it to life.”

Presented by ESPN anchor Elle Duncan, National Academy of Television Arts and Science (NATAS) and The Coca-Cola Company, FAMU SJGC’s students were awarded a $40,000 grant during the ceremony. During his remarks Dana M. Johnson, Coca-Cola’s senior director for frontline strategies and stewardship for colleges and universities, restated their collaborative efforts to invest in their communities and their commitment to support HBCUs.

Bozeman is appreciative of the financial support and also added gender inclusivity is equally important.

“My role as a Black woman in the PR / sports journalism field is to not only inspire others, but to create more opportunities for women interested in sports,” Bozeman said. “There were so many women who went on stage to accept their Emmy® awards and it confirmed that the time for women in sports is now!”

Jonathan David, “Field Trip’s” director, producer and writer, expressed his gratitude for the competition while reflecting on FAMU SJGC’s second consecutive win and lauding the dedication and talent exhibited by all the participating students.

Field Trip Film Poster by Johnanthan David

Bozeman also encouraged students to show excitement for their work while also maintaining and developing professional connections.

“As a student it is important to be recognized for good quality work not just completing assignments to get them done,” she offered. “Jonathan was very aware of my passion for not only sports, but football. Focus on building relationships and you never know what opportunities may come your way. 

The Coca-Cola HBCU Sports Production Grant competition, a collaboration with NATAS, was established to highlight the outstanding talents of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the realm of sports media. Finalists displayed a diverse range of projects from various HBCUs. The breadth of entries, spanning from documentaries to dance narratives, further underscored the talent within the HBCU community and the multifaceted nature of sports storytelling.

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