Honors College Recruitment Video Wins Gold and Silver Davey Awards


Honors College Dean Lynda Coon leads the tour of Gearhart Hall.

John Steele Cooper

Honors College Dean Lynda Coon leads the tour of Gearhart Hall.

Tour Gearhart Hall (2020 Edition), a short recruitment video produced by the University of Arkansas Honors College and University Relations, has won gold and silver awards in the 16th Annual Davey Awards competition, which drew nearly 2,000 entries from across the U.S. and around the world. The U of A video was recognized with a gold Davey Award in the Online Film & Video – Infomercial category and a silver Davey Award in the Craft – Best Use of Humor for Online Film & Video category. 

The Davey Awards, inspired by the Biblical tale of David and Goliath, seeks to honor creative “Davids” who derive strength from big ideas rather than big budgets. The Davey is judged and overseen by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. 

The video follows Honors College Dean Lynda Coon through a tour of Gearhart Hall, with detours to Paul Adams’ chemistry lab and the Basilica of San Isidoro in León, Spain, to highlight research and study abroad opportunities available to honors students. Long planned and scripted, some adjustments were necessary due to COVID-19.

“We were masked, physically distanced and extensively hand sanitized in this video, but we still managed to have fun,” said Dean Coon. “It’s always a pleasure to work with our friends at University Relations, and we’re delighted to see that these collaborations continue to win national recognition.” 

The video was produced by Kendall Curlee and directed, filmed and edited by John Steele Cooper; Samantha Kirby wrote the script. Ashley Acord, Brian Petty and Hiba Tahir assisted with the production and Eric Olson edited the sound. In addition to Dean Coon, the film featured Honors College staffers Louise Hancox, Jennie Popp and Michael Zachary, with special cameo appearances made by faculty members Tricia Starks and Paul Adams. 

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