2019 Holle Award Winners Announced

May 1, 2019

Holle Award winners Sonia Farmer (left) and Alex Cherry at Honors Day 2019
Holle Award winners Sonia Farmer (left) and Alex Cherry at Honors Day 2019

The College of Communication and Information Sciences has announced the winners of the 2019 Holle Awards for Excellence and Creativity in Communication.

The awards are designed to celebrate and reward student achievement in the areas of book arts, filmmaking, media writing, public speaking and screenwriting. The awards also feature a $10,000 prize.

  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Book Arts is awarded to University of Iowa MFA student Sonia Farmer for her piece, “A True & Exact History,” a boxed set of unbound poetic fragments with no ascribed sequencing created in response to a seventeenth century description of the English Caribbean, Richard Ligon’s “A True and Exact History of Barbadoes.”
  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Filmmaking is awarded to New York University student Raven Jackson for “Nettles,” a film about stinging moments in the lives of different girls and women.
  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Media Writing is awarded to The University of Alabama’s Rebecca Griesbach, a senior from Tuscaloosa. Her submission led one judge to remark, “Greisbach makes her mark in deeper research and explanatory journalism.  Both the piece on international enrollment and Sumter County schools shows the work of a reporter who is willing to invest the time and effort needed to explain complex problems, opportunities and solutions.”
  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Public Speaking is awarded to The University of Alabama’s Senna House, a freshman from Hoover, Alabama. Her speech about concussion protocols in football and the health problems associated with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) sought to change public perception in support of measures the National Football League is taking to protect players from CTE. In her speech, House used a water bottle to demonstrate the effects of CTE on the brains of football players.

    The 2019 Holle Award for Public Speaking finalists
    The 2019 Holle Award for Public Speaking finalists
  • The Holle Award for Excellence in Screenwriting is awarded to The University of Alabama’s Alex Cherry for her work, “The Ties That Bind.” Cherry is a senior from Maryville, Tennessee. This script was praised by judges for its originality, imagery and precision.

“The 2019 Holle Award winners are some of the most gifted students we’ve ever seen,” said Dr. Mark Nelson, dean of the College of Communication and Information Sciences. “These students from around the country excel in communication and creativity, two things Brigadier General Everett Holle believed in and supported through 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 was a member of the College of Communication and Information Sciences’ board of visitors where he passionately invested in the success of University of Alabama students for years.