The Emerging Leader Award recognizes a professional, under 40 years of age, working in the field of community media, who demonstrates the values of building community through media on a consistent basis.  The individual demonstrates leadership in the field on a local, regional or national level. The award recognizes the individual for being a person who is innovative in their work to strengthen the impact of community media.

The nominee must be an ACM member to qualify for this award.

2023 Winners: Justin Andersen, Canyon School District

Justin Andersen is an experienced educator and educational technology specialist with a passion for empowering students and teachers to share their story. In his role at Canyons School District, Justin oversees the CSDtv program and works on a variety of projects, including promotional videos, event coverage, and educational content. His attention to detail and creative approach to video production have helped the district to effectively communicate its message to a wide range of audiences.

Justin’s passion for education and media started at a young age. Growing up, he was always fascinated by documentaries, news programs, and educational shows that provided valuable information and insights. He pursued his interest in media in college, where he gained invaluable knowledge and skills in storytelling, media production, and broadcasting.

In addition to his video experience, Justin has an impressive academic background, having earned three master's degrees and is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Cultural Studies of Education at Utah State University.

When he's not behind the camera, Justin enjoys reading and getting caught up on all his favorite podcasts. 

List of Winners by Year

2023 - Justin Andersen, Canyons School District
2022 - Emily Parent, MidPen Media Center & Andrea Santopietro, Watertown Cable Access Corp. 
2021 - Elisa Barrios, Open Signal Portland
2020 - Matt Sullivan, Larchmont Mamaroneck Community Television
2019 - Seth Ring, MetroEast Community Media
2018 - Melinda Garfield, Westwood Media Center and MassAccess
2017 - Andrea Capere, Thurston Community Media
2017 - Erica Jones, Somerville Media Center