By Arielle Martinez
Amanda Marzullo, a Stony Brook University School of Journalism alum, had a big night on Saturday at the 59th Annual New York Emmy Awards.
Marzullo, ’11, was the photographer for a team at NJ Advance Media that won the award for best “Human Interest: Program/Special.”
“I still feel like I’m on cloud nine,” Marzullo said. “When they announced the winner, I just zoned out. I was completely speechless.”
The team won the award for a story published last March about Isaiah Williams, an Iona College basketball star and Newark, New Jersey native who lost 24 friends to street violence.
“I never worked on a long-form story like that before,” Marzullo said. “We went to an area in Newark with a high crime rate, so there were times when we had to stop shooting once it got dark out.”
Marzullo’s team was comprised of herself, reporter Matt Stanmyre and videographer Adya Beasley. Marzullo and Beasley shot photos and video of Williams’ family in Newark for three days, and then went to Iona in New Rochelle, New York for two days.
Marzullo said Williams was very open with the journalists about his life and the struggles he faced.
“When we interview a person, it often takes them a while to loosen up, but here was this man in his early twenties, crying in front of us,” Marzullo said. “And that’s what really connected with me.”
After graduating Stony Brook, Marzullo went on to earn a master’s degree in photography from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Marzullo said her education at Stony Brook’s J-School gave her the foundation she needed for her post-grad career.
“Stony Brook gave me the fundamentals of reporting — the who, what, when, where, why of it all, crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s,” Marzullo said.
See Marzullo’s photos chronicling Williams life both on and off the court here.