Emerson will recognize four distinguished alumni during Emerson Week. This year’s recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award are being recognized for excelling in film, TV, radio, journalism, screenwriting, and social media.
Emerson Week, May 1-8, will be a fully online, utterly global, seven days of gatherings and events to stimulate minds, jog memories, and reconnect old friends.
Martie Cook ‘82, MFA ‘00 has more than three decades of experience as a respected writer and producer of television and film. She has worked for ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS, as well as for Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, and Universal Studios. A member of the Writers Guild of America West, Cook has written for hit television shows such as the Top 10 Nielsen-rated Full House and the PBS Emmy-award winning children’s show Zoom.
Cook is author of the critically acclaimed book, Write To TV: Out of Your Head and Onto the Screen, 3rd edition (Focal Press/Routledge) used by professional writers, in college classrooms, and by budding writers.
She has served as an international writing mentor at Series Mania Writers Campus in Lille, France, a division of Series Mania, one of Europe’s most important TV events. Additionally, Cook mentored two soldiers serving in Afghanistan. Together, they co-wrote a treatment for a comedy pilot about the war, which Cook sold to Warner Bros., Jerry Bruckheimer Television, and NBC. Cook served as a consulting producer on the pilot.
Currently, Cook is a professor of screenwriting at Emerson College, where she also serves as the director of the BFA in Comedic Arts, is the founding director of the Center for Comedic Arts, and co-created Emerson’s MFA in screenwriting program.
Tina M. McDuffie ‘97 is an award-winning television/radio reporter and host in Boston. She is the host of Local, USA, a national television magazine style series on WORLD Channel Network. WORLD Channel is seen in roughly 33 million U.S. households and is based at WGBH in Boston. She is also an associate professor of the practice of journalism at Boston University.
McDuffie has won many awards for her work, including a National Endowment for Financial Education/RTDNA Award, a regional Edward R. Murrow Award, two National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Awards, two Public Radio News Directors Incorporated Awards and nine Telly Awards. She was nominated for an Emmy Award as host/moderator for an episode of WGBH’s local news program, Basic Black.
McDuffie is currently working as a co-host of an original Boston Globe podcast with author and professor Dick Lehr.
Rob Paine ‘92 has more than 200 credits to his name, including six of the 10 most-watched broadcasts in U.S. history. For more than 25 years, he’s specialized in live, large-scale television events, including Academy Awards, Super Bowl halftime shows, presidential inaugurations, Primetime Emmy Awards, The Kennedy Center Honors, political conventions, concerts and comedy specials. He’s the recipient of 11 Emmy Award nominations and a Peabody Award.
This year’s recipient of the Young Alumni Achievement Award is Hunter Reis ’17. Reis is an award-winning entertainment news journalist working as a video producer for Entertainment Tonight with ViacomCBS.
A Massachusetts native, Reis knew right away that Emerson was the perfect fit for him due to the school’s prestigious journalism program and its proximity to his hometown of Fall River. He finished his time at Emerson College in the ELA program, working for The Today Show covering the 2016 presidential election. From there, he went on to E! News where he won a Telly Award and a DIGIDAY Award for his work writing and producing The Rundown.
Now at Entertainment Tonight, he manages social accounts and creates video content for the syndicated entertainment news program. Recently, he was given the opportunity to speak on a panel for Emerson’s National First-Gen Day. As a first-generation college student, Reis is dedicated to supporting young graduates, as those before him had supported him.