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      Video Production Award

      Communication Studies Student Wins National Award After Philadelphia Union Internship

      Danielle Cardona, ‘18

      Danielle Cardona, a senior, receives the Inspire the Passion national award.

      Widener University senior Danielle Cardona has big dreams for her future and is one step closer after winning the national Inspire the Passion award.

      Cardona, a communication studies major, was one of three students recognized in July at the Information Display and Entertainment Association (IDEA) conference for members of the game entertainment or video production industry.

      Cardona’s path to the honor began in an unusual place – on a class tour of Talen Energy Stadium, the Chester home of the Philadelphia Union major league soccer team.

      She broke away from her classmates during the tour and approached Carl Mandell, the director of broadcasting and video production for Philadelphia Union.

      The introduction led to an internship with the team during Cardona’s junior year. She used what she learned in her Widener classes to film and edit videos from the team’s press conferences and game days.

      “It was intimidating at first because it was my first internship and it was with a major league sports team,” Cardona said. “But, I built a lot of relationships in six months, and they gave me a lot of responsibility.”

      Cardona felt a confidence boost when one of her videos aired on live television. Another boost came months later when she learned Mandell had nominated her for the Inspire the Passion award for outstanding students and interns.

      Mandell said he was impressed by Cardona’s eagerness to learn video production and wanted to help her secure future internships. “It’s a completely different environment than when you sit in a classroom and learn how to edit video,” Mandell said. “Here, you are in a live environment with thousands of people watching.”

      To her surprise, Cardona won and received an all-expenses paid trip to the IDEA conference and workshops in Philadelphia. The five-day conference in July opened networking opportunities that Cardona could have never imagined. She met video production professionals working with major league sports teams from all over the nation.

      Highlights of the conference for Cardona included getting to go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the fields and stadiums where the Philadelphia Eagles and Phillies play and giving a speech on the last night of the conference at the Golden Matrix Awards.

      “It’s life-changing,” Cardona said. “The amount of welcoming and support that I received from strangers has been a phenomenal networking opportunity. And, it all started with going to Widener, being in the Philadelphia area and having so many people who want me to succeed.”

      As Cardona starts her senior year, she hopes the award and networking opportunities will translate into a career in sports video production. This summer, she is interning at the Lancaster Barnstormers, a Pennsylvania minor league baseball team, and WRDE, a NBC affiliate in Lewes, Delaware.

      “Danielle is going to have all the tools and networking connections,” Mandell said. “If she wants to make it work, she will be able to. The ball is in her court.”


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