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Hofstra Votes LIVE:
A Lawrence Herbert School of Communication Simulcast Event

Hofstra Votes LIVE is a live, multi-platform Election Night broadcast, simulcast across Hofstra University television, social media and 88.7 FM WRHU Radio Hofstra University. The event is a collaboration between professors, administrators and hundreds of students at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication.

Hofstra Votes LIVE 2020 was a four-hour live multicast that aired on the evening of November 3, 2020. The event was viewed by thousands over The Herbert School’s social media live stream on YouTube and Facebook, as well as on campus television: Hofstra University Channel 32.2. It was also heard by thousands more over the airwaves on WRHU 88.7 FM.

The full election Full election night coverage brought together students from across the Herbert School and Hofstra University. The simulcast covered national and regional races as members of WRHU, HEAT Network, and The Hofstra Chronicle collaborated to produce this live, multiplatform broadcast.

In addition to the flagship HVL 2020 program, Herbert School students also produced an election preview show, “Hofstra Votes LIVE: Charting the 2020 Election.” A program which showcased student-produced packages and live discussions, Charting the 2020 Election set the scene for election night. Student anchors, reporters, and local experts delved into pre-election coverage of important issues. Watch the full replay of this program here.

HOfstra Votes Live

Student Leaders

Meet the student leaders who comprise Hofstra Votes Live 2020.

Executive Producers — Curtain Raiser
Adam Flash ’22 • Journalism

“Hofstra Votes Live is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I didn’t want to pass up. What we’re doing is exactly what professionals in the industry are doing and we’re only students. Even though my aspirations are not in political journalism, the experience of growing as a well-rounded journalist and getting to learn more about broadcasting, from producing to the political issues themselves, has been incredible.”

Nerys Muller ’21 • Video/Television & Film

It's not very often that the different departments get the chance to work together and interact in such a way like Hofstra Votes Live. I think it's important for LHSC to produce a broadcast like this because it not only provides a way for Hofstra Communication students to produce, work, and create under the strict guidelines set forth by COVID-19, but it also brings us all together no matter what your major.

Executive Producers — National & Regional

Courtney Adema (National)

Julia Wachtel ’22 (National) • Television Production

“In this pandemic, students have been severely limited in opportunities to create. This project has been incredibly fulfilling, and I feel grateful to have the chance to learn how election night coverage works. When Hofstra announced that they would not be hosting the debate, I was at first sad, but now I have Hofstra Votes Live and I feel fortunate to have this project to focus on!”

Cait O'Brien ’22 (Regional) • Journalism and Political Science

“When I was a first year, I was a trainee at WRHU and we were able to shadow about hour of HVL 2018. I thought the production was the coolest thing ever and wanted to be a part of it. Fast forward to this year, I jumped on the opportunity to be a leader in the production because I'm passionate about the intersection between politics and the media and want to experience what it would be like to work in this field someday!”

Jason Siegel ’21 (Regional) • Journalism and History

“I wanted to participate in Hofstra Votes Live for a couple of main reasons. First off, elections are some of the more exciting events in news, because we don't know what will happen. The outcome of an election will have an affect on the lives of everyone within a certain area, and at least for presidential elections, they only happen every four years. I thought it was a unique opportunity to work with other students while learning how a complex live broadcast is put together. I had the chance to be a producer for the first Hofstra Votes Live broadcast in 2018, and I have been looking forward to this year's broadcast for the past two years.”

Line Producers — National

Cassidy Slamin ’22 • Video/Television

“I think it is important for LHSC to produce this broadcast because it is giving us real world experience in all aspects of production and combines all of this incredible talent that we have in the school and at Hofstra. I am most excited for 8 p.m. on Election Night when the director is counting into the show and readying the shots, its pure adrenaline.”

Victoria O'Dell ’22 • Video/Television

“This is a completely student run broadcast and we all have positions that would be ones in the professional world. This presidential election is one of the most anticipated nights of this year and we will be a part of history. Not only is this a great opportunity for the school to broaden its horizons for us, but it also teaches us the most important fundamentals of live broadcast news in one night.”

Senior Coordinating Producers

Natalie Khait ’21 • Journalism

“This is one of the most important elections in a lifetime and as a journalist I wanted to be a part of an election so monumental. When I was given the opportunity to be the Senior Coordinating Producer, it was something I couldn’t give up.I know that being given a leadership role would both challenge me, but also let me show my talents in something so big as an election night broadcast.”

Elissa Fielding ’22 • Mass Media Communications

“I felt being involved in such a massive production would be a highlight during my final years at Hofstra University. It's important for LHSC to produce a broadcast like this not only to continue to have the communications school on the national stage (as always) when it comes to broadcasting but also to encourage its students to participate and prepare for real-world scenarios in this line of industry. Although I'll be working on HVL remotely, I'm most excited for following what's going on in terms of national and regional."

Senior Technical Directors

Victoria Chong ’21 • Video/Television

“This broadcast gives us all an opportunity to work within a truly live environment! We will all find ourselves having to make split second decisions and the ability to assess and respond to a situation is something that comes with experience. We are all very lucky to have a great student team as well as staff and faculty support who have helped us along the way.”

Jon Sanelli ’21 • Video/TV Business

“Hofstra Votes Live is the ultimate display of how the Hebert School works as a great team! This show brings the best out of every corner of LHSC. I am so excited to see the professionalism and greatness that LHSC can produce. HVL also shows the amazing technical ability of the facilities and students.”

Senior Graphics Producers

Lindsay Knight ’21 • Television and Video Production

“HVL is truly unlike any other production we produced at the School of Communications. It brings together the best of the best from all areas of our school - from television, to radio, to public relations - and gives us the chance to create something really impressive that we can call our own.”

Ben Kessler ’21 • Video/TV and Film

“In the Spring of 2020 I took a graphics course that taught me a lot about what goes into the preparation for live television graphics. Hofstra Votes Live allowed for the opportunity to create professional level work and actively go through the production all the way from beginning to end. Being able to use our new graphics machine was also really appealing and I wanted to continue working as part of a team to create the best production possible!”

Managing Editors — HVL Newsroom

Drashti Mehta ’21 (National) • Journalism

“Not many college students get to say that they covered a presidential election, let alone assisted in creating a broadcast devoted to it. This is such a unique opportunity and I knew I would be gaining hands-on experience that would help me better develop my skills as a journalist.”

Victoria Bell ’22 (National) • Journalism

“I am most excited for the overall sense of teamwork and fellowship among the HVL staff that I am sure is to come on Election Day. Not only is it great training for perfecting one’s skills, whether in research, anchoring, writing or technical, but it is also amazing for developing one’s teamwork and leadership qualities.”

Jesse Lindell ’21 (Regional) • Journalism

“I wanted to be a part of HVL 2020 to do my part in covering what could be the most important election in our lifetime. I think it’s important for the Herbert School to put on such a broadcast to give students real-world experience on what is one of the most important nights in America every four years.”

Decision Desk Directors

Elizabeth Turley ’21 • Journalism

“As National Decision Desk Manager, my job is almost entirely about remaining calm under pressure, so I can't wait to see what Nov. 3 has in store for my team and me. The Hofstra Votes Live broadcast is an amazing way to get politically savvy students to work with students in the school of communication to create an informative, hours-long broadcast that not only prepares LHSC students for their future media careers, but also gives Hofstra's history and political science students (among many others) a chance to show off their knowledge as well as a taste of what really goes on behind the scenes of a live broadcast.”

Blaise Rowlands ’23 • Public Relations and Political Science

“I decided to participate in HVL to not only gain experience that benefits me for the future, but to also be directly involved in the most pivotal election in modern day history. This will set me apart from my peers when it’s time to get a job! We are so blessed to have these experiences so we might as well utilize them. I’m most excited for the surprises that election night will throw our way!”

Faith Schanck ’22 • Public Relations and Political Science

“I think this particular broadcast gives students an insanely unique opportunity to learn and grow. I know I have been able to learn many new skills and how to conduct myself in such a large group production. This is an experience I do not think communications students would normally have if they were not at Hofstra LHSC.”

Marketing and PR Directors

Rebecca Canfield ’22 • Journalism

“Living right outside of DC, politics has always interested me and played a big role in my education. I wanted to participate in HVL to engage other students in what is one of the most important times of our lives- politics-wise. I am most excited to watch all of our hard work come together the night of. I can’t wait to see what we’ve spent months working on and watching our passion for politics and broadcast carry our show.”

Aasha Lewis-Redway

Tino Pattigno ’23 • Journalism

“I wanted to participate in Hofstra Votes Live because I felt like being a part of such a big team all working together to accomplish the same goal could help me learn and grow so much as a journalist and as a person in this field. Another reason why I knew this was something for me was the fact that I want to leave a legacy here at Hofstra.”

Gabriella Varano ’21 • Journalism

“I think it's important for the Herbert School to be producing a broadcast like Hofstra Votes Live because this election – and the circumstances surrounding it– will surely end up in history books one day. It's our duty as journalists to report on the news and inform the public. Just because we're college students, it doesn't mean we have any less of a responsibility to do so. The Hofstra community has a right to be informed and we have the skills, knowledge and ability to inform them, so there's no reason why we shouldn't.”

HVL Anchors

Amudalat Ajasa ’22 • Journalism
National News Correspondent

“This election is the first presidential election that I’m able to vote in and it’s also the election that’s rattled our country to its core. As a journalist, I wanted to be involved in this broadcast because it’s an amazing opportunity to do an in-depth live broadcast; as a citizen and activist, it’s imperative to be politically active because each decision has a direct impact on our lives.”

Juliana Battaglia ’21 • Journalism
Decision Desk Anchor

“This opportunity gives students the chance to take on one of the most impactful events in this country and produce a broadcast that features our collective skills and talents. Students across the communication school have combined their talents to work on areas from package producing to research. It’s given us all a chance to emulate the professional work in the real world taking what we’ve learned at Hofstra to make it happen.”

Katerina Belales ’21 • Journalism and Drama
Curtain Raiser Anchor/Newsroom Interviewer

“From my internships at MSNBC and Weekend Today, I have had experience covering the 2020 election from announcement of the Democratic candidates up until Super Tuesday. Since those responsibilities were focused on more behind-the-camera tasks, I really wanted to have the opportunity to be able to report on the election in front of the camera (especially since it would be covering the actual election and, for the Sunday night show, the most prevalent issues). To be a part of any election coverage is an honor, but covering this historic election is truly extraordinary.”

Eric Belyea ’21 • MA, Journalism
Curtain Raiser/Regional Decision Desk Interviewer

“I wanted to participate in HVL because I wanted to get the experience of being in this type of media environment that is covering an Election Day that includes the Presidential Election. It is important that LHSC produces a broadcast like this because it gives the students a chance to work in a high-pressure, unique situation.”

Crystal Bermudez ’23 • Journalism and Political Science
Regional Anchor

“I chose to participate in Hofstra Votes Live because it allows for students like me to be able to engage in a live monumental event such as this presidential election and be able to contribute to a student-run organization. It also has given me the opportunity to experience a professional setting while working with peers.”

Athena Dawson ’22 • Journalism
Regional Anchor

“I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and get some really unique experience covering a presidential election. I feel as though since we are a school that has many media organizations it is important to tell our perspective of what is going on to Gen Z and educate others on the election.”

Danny DeCrescenzo ’24 • Audio/Radio Studies
New Jersey/Connecticut Correspondent

“I saw how incredible HVL was in 2018 and I knew that I definitely wanted to be a part of it when I arrived at Hofstra during one of the most pivotal elections in our nation’s history. I am excited to work with a terrific team, learn a lot, and be a part of something truly special.”

Eli Finkelson ’21 • Journalism
National Anchor

“I wanted to participate because I saw this as an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself. This is the most important election of my lifetime, and as a journalist, I recognize that a production like Hofstra Votes Live is once in a lifetime chance to not only showcase my skills, but to learn and grow doing something I love. This team is remarkable and I knew as soon as I heard this production was happening that I needed to be a part of it.”

Eddie Fitzgerald ’22 • Journalism
National Anchor

“This election is extremely important for the future of our country. Why wouldn't you want to be on the front lines for it? Getting to be a part of this production is a dream come true. We have the talent and technology on all sides of this production. We know we have the ability to put together a quality broadcast. I think when all is said and done we will have production we can all look back on with true Hofstra Pride in what we've created.”

Lyndsey Hill ’23 • Political Science
Pennsylvania Correspondent

“I wanted to be really involved with the election this year and what better way to be involved than to help report on it. I've also been interested in branching out to try more media and news outlets so this was the perfect opportunity. HVL helps both people interested in pursuing news and reporting and those pursuing camera, lights, and other behind the scenes work in preparing for their future.”

Jermaine Howerton ’21 • MA, Journalism
Curtain Raiser/Newsroom Anchor

“I wanted to participate in Hofstra Votes Live because it’s a huge production and a huge opportunity I knew I couldn’t pass up. Having the opportunity to be part of something bigger than myself ultimately led to my decision. I’m most excited about seeing how everything comes together and how we all perform as a unit when the lights are on.”

Rachel Luscher ’23 • Journalism
Regional Anchor

“I'm excited to gain experience covering breaking news, which is a vital skill in the field of journalism. It's so important for LHSC to produce a broadcast like this because it shows that as a student body, we never give up, despite bleak and unprecedented circumstances. The pandemic posed many challenges in the production behind this broadcast, but students across many notable organizations on campus came together to cover the most important election of our lives. It says a lot about Hofstra's school of communication.”

Blaise Rowlands ’23 • Public Relations and Political Science
Regional/Decision Desk Anchor

“I decided to participate in HVL to not only gain experience that benefits me for the future, but to also be directly involved in the most pivotal election in modern day history. This will set you apart from your peers when it’s time to get a job! We are so blessed to have these experiences so we might as well utilize them. I’m most excited for the surprises that election night will throw our way!”

Max Sacco ’22 • Public Relations
Lead Regional Anchor

“Since I was a freshman and heard about Hofstra Votes Live, I knew that I wanted to join and be a part of it in some way. This year, now getting the chance to join and be the lead anchor has both been an eye opening experience for me and shown me that I can accomplish things I once just thought of as a dream. HVL allows everyone from every walk of life in the LHSC to get together and put together a major broadcast to help connect one another and continue to grow the station as well.”

Frank Shields II ’22 • Film Production and Studies
Regional Anchor

“This is without a doubt the most important election of our lives. I believe it is important to provide accurate information and coverage over the course of the election. I also think the teamwork and efforts of multiple communication departments join together to provide a voice for college students is an incredible opportunity to be a part of. Election night is an integral event and will shape the future of our lives as a nation.”

Samantha Sivert ’23 • Journalism and Spanish
Long Island Correspondent

“I've always been interested in politics and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to cover the election. This year has been especially historic, which makes this election a very important one. I think it's important that students get the opportunity to cover an election before we start careers in the media. For many of us, this is the first time we can vote in a presidential election and the results of this election will affect us for the rest of our lives. It's important that we get the chance to work hands-on broadcasting the election so we fully understand its impact and the power we have as journalists.”

HVL 2020 in Pictures

HVL 2020 (Part 1)
Read the LHSC Viewbook

2019-20 at LHSC