Newswise — Dan Kimbrough, assistant professor of communications at Misericordia University, was recently presented an Award of Distinction from The Videographer Awards for a documentary that chronicles service work by Misericordia University students in Slidell, La.

Kimbrough accompanied a team of MU students, faculty and staff as a volunteer and videographer in order to document the service-learning course, "Theology of the Church,'' available through Campus Ministry. It marked the second spring break service trip for the Misericordia community since Hurricane Katrina damaged the Gulf Coast states.

The 26-minute documentary, "Planting Seeds of Change,'' highlights the volunteer work of 19 college students who visited East and West St. Tammany in south Louisiana in the spring of 2009. Their goals were to help rebuild houses with Habitat for Humanity and through their actions plant seeds of change for residents in need.

During the week-long service mission, students participated in local church services, toured the ravaged 9th Ward, attended a dedication for recently completed houses and helped complete 12 Habitat for Humanity houses. By weeks end, Misericordia students had painted, trimmed, caulked, hung doors and offered hope to families in Slidell.

"The documentary follows them through their week and allows them to tell in their own words the impact their work had, not only on the Louisiana families, but also on them,'' said Kimbrough. "While they helped make a change in the lives of others, they also noticed a change within themselves and I believe the documentary captures those changes.''

Misericordia University is known for imbuing a sense of service in each student through a mixture of service-learning courses, volunteer work, clinical experiences and other opportunities. MU's combination of challenging academics, professional preparation and service leadership produces graduates who are able to succeed in their personal and professional lives.

The documentary will be aired on WVIA-TV 44 in late August. Check your local television listings for the date and time.

The Award of Distinction is presented for projects that exceed industry standards. The Videographer Awards is an international program directed by communication professionals to honor talented individuals and companies in the video production field. Entrants include video production companies, advertising and public relations firms, corporate communication departments, cable and broadcast television operations, government agencies, schools, independent producers and wedding and special event producers.

In 2009, print and broadcast media professionals have recognized the quality of work being done in the Misericordia University Communications Department. The Pennsylvania Newspaper Associated awarded second place in the Ongoing News category to MU's student newspaper, The Highlander. The Telly Awards presented a 2009 bronze Telly Award to a team of Misericordia communications majors for their production of "CougarCast,'' a monthly campus news magazine show that is written, directed and produced by students. MU communications students Ann Gownley of Frackville and Sara Hite of Duryea received a 2009 bronze Telly Award for their production of the five-minute Misericordia University holiday greetings video (

For more information about the Misericordia University Communications Department, please log on to or call (570) 674-6400.

Founded and Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy in 1924, Misericordia University is Luzerne County's first four-year college and offers 32 undergraduate, graduate and doctorate majors in three colleges in full and part-time formats.

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