2017 Holle Award Winners

May 4, 2017

The College of Communication and Information Sciences has announced the winners of the 2017 Holle Awards for Excellence and Creativity in Communication.

The awards are designed to celebrate and reward student achievement in the areas of creative transformation, filmmaking, media writing, public speaking and screenwriting.

  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Creative Transformation is awarded to Columbia College Chicago MFA student, Woody Leslie, for his piece, “Parsely.” His work is distinguished by his playful exploration of the framework and the structure of language through diagramming, dissecting and inventing.
  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Filmmaking is awarded to Columbia University student, Connor Simpson, for “Léa,” a film about a delusional actress with an affinity for burning bridges, struggling to connect with the role that could save her career.
  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Media Writing is awarded to UA’s Rebecca Rakowitz, of Stamford, Connecticut. Rakowitz is set apart from the other finalists through her strong narrative composition, technical mastery, and direct and clear headlines.
  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Public Speaking is awarded to UA’s Will Sansoucie, of Festus, Missouri, whose persuasive speech on the importance of preparing for retirement displayed excellent talent in speech writing and delivery.
  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Screenwriting is awarded to UA’s Osagie Jesuorobo, of Stockbridge, Georgia, for his work, “Through the Brain.” This script was praised by judges for its engaging, believable characters, quick pace and strong, snappy dialogue.

“The 2017 Holle Award winners displayed a true commitment to crafting stories and creative work to represent the unique student talent within the College and across the country,” said Dr. Mark Nelson, dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences. “These students excel in their chosen areas of study and have very bright futures ahead. We are so thankful to Brigadier General Everette Holle for his generosity in funding these awards.”

The Holle Awards are named for the 1950 graduate of The University of Alabama who served as an announcer, director, writer and producer during his 40-year career at NBC 13. Holle is a member of the College of Communication and Information Sciences’ board of visitors where he continues to invest in the success of University of Alabama students.