OSU College of Arts and Sciences alumna wins Emmy for work on 20/20
Tuesday, November 1, 2022
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The National Television Academy recently announced the winners of its News and Documentary Emmy Awards, and Oklahoma State University alumna Maddy Cunningham was on the list.
Cunningham, who graduated with degrees in multimedia journalism and theatre in 2016, was a field producer for the 20/20 episode “The Babies of 9/11: Twenty Years Later.” On Sept. 29, she and her colleagues were awarded the Emmy for Outstanding Soft Feature Story: Long Form.
“I was so shocked and overwhelmed and excited that I practically floated through the four-hour ceremony,” said Cunningham, who accepted the award in person along with several others from her team. “It still doesn’t feel totally real. Maybe once the trophy with my name engraved arrives in the mail, I’ll be able to fully digest everything.”
The Emmy-winning 20/20 episode aired Sept. 10, 2021, on ABC. It was the latest in a series of reunions coordinated by 20/20 and host Diane Sawyer over the past two decades, where children born immediately after losing fathers on Sept. 11, 2001, were interviewed along with their mothers.
“With any coverage of 9/11, it can be really difficult to see past the seemingly endless amount of grief and horror. But when we met with these families, all you could see was how resilient they were,” Cunningham said. “Getting to know them and helping tell their stories has been one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in my career so far.”
Cunningham’s work in journalism started at OSU while studying at the School of Media and Strategic Communications and producing video content for the OSU Office of Brand Management.
“Maddy’s always been driven to tell compelling stories, and she honed her craft right here at OSU,” said director of Inside OSU Andy Wallace, who worked with Cunningham while she was a student. “This prestigious award speaks to the high caliber work that she produces.”
Cunningham credited OSU faculty and staff with giving her the resources to succeed as a student and young professional.
“I lost count of the amount of times a professor stayed late to review a new resume layout, critique my latest reel, give me notes on an audition piece or work through an editing software bug,” said Cunningham, who was a McKnight Scholar and a 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Rising Star. “The staff at OSU is truly like no other. They constantly pushed me to be the best I could be.”
Learn more about Cunningham and her work on maddycatherinecunningham.com.