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STLCC Grad Wins Emmy Award

Isabelle Muren with her Emmy® Award

“To me, it carries a lot of weight.”

That’s what Isabelle Muren said after winning her award. She meant it metaphorically, but she just as easily could have been describing it literally. After all, an Emmy® Award weighs several pounds.

Last month, Muren won a Mid-America Emmy® Award for her work on a promotional campaign she worked on at KSDK, along with two other colleagues. She has been a motion graphics designer with the news station for just over a year.

“This win is essentially my past year's work,” she said. “Aside from how surreal this has been, it's also been very validating. I've worked long nights and early before-the-sun-comes-up mornings at KSDK with occasional doubts about the quality of my work. It's reassuring to know I'm on the right path.”

That path started at St. Louis Community College-Meramec.

“When I started at STLCC, I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but I still had no clue on what career I wanted to dive into,” she said, noting that she was particularly interested in the fine arts department programs.

During Muren’s two years at Meramec, she was able to explore options. First, she tried her hand at music, only to quickly discover it didn’t strike the right chord with her. Next, Muren took a shot at photography. And although that didn’t develop into something she wanted to pursue, she learned lessons she still applies to her career.

“I learned that the process was just as important as the final product, which I greatly appreciated,” she said.

“I also found that STLCC helped shape me as a person and recognize my worth. In nearly every single class I took at STLCC, my professors were kind, understanding and genuinely interested in my work and who I am. I didn't feel like a number in a class; I felt even more motivated about my education, and I cared a lot more about it over my two years at STLCC. Not only did that boost my confidence on a personal level, but it also allowed me to have confidence in the work I was doing.”

Muren’s former professor, Christopher Smejkal, Ed.D., said he was “blown away, but not entirely surprised” at Muren winning such a major award. He also emphasized that the ability for students to explore options at STLCC greatly benefits them and well as the campus.

“It allows students who may not know what they want to do at first to discover areas that they had no idea existed,” Smejkal said. “If we can maintain a focus on giving students more choices and freedom to find out what they are meant to do, then there will be more award winners and success stories of STLCC students like Izzy.” Isabelle Muren poses with her award

After earning an associate degree in general studies from STLCC, Muren transferred to Webster University to earn a bachelor’s degree in film, television and video production. To this day, she remembers lessons learned in Smejkal’s classes.

“I found a lot of value in how he blended learning with how it applies outside of education,” she said. “With that thought so prevalent in his classes, I would ask myself ‘How does this impact my life or the world around me?’ in every single class. I still catch myself doing the same thing despite being ‘done’ with my education in 2018.”

Aside from reiterating how surreal it was to win an Emmy®, Muren’s lasting image is of the cheering and overwhelming support she received from friends, family and colleagues during the last “rocky” year of her life.

“I called my friends and my mom as soon as I received the award,” she said. “There was so much screaming from excitement that I'm surprised my phone's speaker still works.”

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