West Virginia University P.I. Reed School of Journalism professor Gina Martino Dahlia has earned a national Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Festival of Media Arts Award and special recognition from the governor for her documentary about the 1907 Monongah Mine disaster.
The 30-minute documentary,The Monongah Heroine,originally aired statewide in December on West Virginia Public Television.
Dahlia, acting chairman of the School of Journalism broadcast news sequence, won Best in Category for the Faculty Documentary Competition for Short Film. She will receive her award at the BEA 52nd Annual Convention April 16-19 in Las Vegas, Nev. A portion of her documentary will be aired during the BEA awards ceremony.
Dahlia also received the Distinguished Mountaineer award in recognition for her excellence in contribution to her students, state and community from Gov. Joe Manchin for the documentary. She was keynote speaker, and her documentary was shown at the Feb. 6 Womens Day at the Legislature presentation at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The event was sponsored by the West Virginia Womens Commission.
Ginas experience as a reporter, writer and news anchor have served her well as a respected professor,Manchin said.With her recent appointment to the Womens Commission and production of �€~Monongah Heroine,she continues to instill Mountaineer pride in everything she does for West Virginia.
Dahlia also will be the guest speaker, and her documentary will be featured at the monthly Business and Professional Womens organization meeting at 6 p.m. March 20 in Morgantown and at a meeting for the Diversity Council for Dominion Transmission of Clarksburg in July.
Jenny Springer of Dominion Transmission, who attended the Womens Day at the Legislature presentation, wrote in an e-mail to Dahlia,I (was) inspired by your speech and documentaryYour documentary was the highlight of our day.
Another attendee, Alexis L. McMillen, executive director of Rock Forge Neighborhood House, wrote,I wanted tolet you know how much I enjoyed your film yesterday when I attended Womens Day at the LegislatureIt is wonderful that you told the story of the women of Monongah.
Dahlia produced, filmed and narrated the historical documentary focusing on the struggles and triumphs of the widows and children left behind by the disaster, still considered the worst mine disaster in U.S. history with hundreds losing their lives.
Her film depicts the historical events of the mine disaster and its effects on the community of mostly immigrant workers who came to West Virginia with the lure of available mining jobs and the promise of inexpensive housing. When the Monongah disaster occurred, almost half of the towns breadwinners were killed, most of them Italian immigrants.
Over a four-year period, Dahlia went through hundreds of photos and conducted many interviews, collecting 25 hours of footage for the film.
Among those interviewed for the film are a well-known mining expert, a photojournalist, an author and local mining historian, Italian immigrants, a genealogist and poet, a vice president of Calabria, Italy, and a son whose mother was one of the widows of the Monongah Mine disaster.
The BEA festival provides a national refereed exhibition of faculty creative activities and is a national showcase for studentswork.