Five CSUSM student filmmakers received an Emmy® at the 2013 National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences-Pacific Southwest Chapter Awards in June for their film, North County Food Bank. This is the first time that a CSUSM student film has received this honor.  

Students Heli Morey, Sebastian Maselli, Patrick Sattley, Stephen Cammell and Heidy Lopez produced North County Food Bank for Professor Kristine Diekman’s spring 2012 Video in the Community class.  Video in the Community is a course that connects students with nonprofits to identify critical social problems and produce high-quality videos that bring about social awareness and change. The film, showcasing the services and operations of the North County Community Services (NCCS) Food Bank, spotlights the growing need for food assistance in North County.


"We show the film as part of our presentation to organizations and foundations," said NCCS Food Bank Director Michael Lawson. Last year the food bank worked with over 100 partner agencies to provide 1.94 million pounds of food to over 240,000 individuals. "It’s a phenomenal tool as it very clearly and succinctly tells our mission so that potential donors, partners and community members can see what we are all about." 

With funding sources dwindling for nonprofits and service organizations, the CSUSM class offers a valuable resource. 

"We were absolutely excited when we heard that the students wanted to do a video about the food bank," said Lawson. "They came in with the tools and expertise to help us with something that we felt was a great need."

Diekman says that she is proud of her students and hopes it will be an inspiration for others.

"Video in the Community allows students to learn video production skills and apply those techniques and concepts in a way that not only serves the region but serves the students as well. I want other students to see that winning an Emmy is within their reach. What we do in the classroom can be linked to awards—as well as other professional opportunities—that could impact their lives after they graduate."

"I was surprised, happy and honored to learn of the nomination and the award," said Maselli, one of the student awardees that worked on the project. Maselli graduated from CSUSM in 2012 with a degree in mass media and is now self-employed as a freelance videographer, graphic designer and editor. "I really enjoyed Professor Diekman’s class and the fact that I got to apply what I was learning in a way that impacted people in a positive way was phenomenal."

Many would agree that the socially conscious, civic engagement components of Video in the Community is what makes not only the course but CSUSM so unique.

"What sets Cal State San Marcos apart as an institution is our commitment to service learning. We provide project-based, hands-on learning opportunities that take students beyond the classroom, allowing them to not only build their portfolio and garner valuable professional experience, but give back and make a difference," said Diekman.

"It was humbling to be able to help the food bank," reflected Maselli. "From start to finish it was a positive and uplifting experience."

The students were also honored with a Community Service Learning Award by CSUSM in spring 2012.

"I was surprised, happy and honored to learn of the nomination and the award," said Maselli, one of the student awardees that worked on the project. Maselli graduated from CSUSM in 2012 with a degree in mass media and is now self-employed as a freelance videographer, graphic designer and editor. "I really enjoyed Professor Diekman’s class and the fact that I got to apply what I was learning in a way that impacted people in a positive way was phenomenal."