Cal State LA Celebrates and Honors Alumni Stars and Faculty
The annual TVFM Alumni Awards is a time where we join and celebrate the accomplishments of stellar alumni in the entertainment industry. Graduates of the Department of TV, Film & Media Studies have successfully pursued various careers in the entertainment industry, from screenwriting to acting to production. Our alumni include award-winning actors, artists, writers, editors, producers, media journalists, and more.
This year we had the pleasure of honoring three awardees that hail from different fields within the industry.
Receiving this year’s award for Television and Film is alum Deji LaRay ’04, pictured right in photo above. Deji is an award-winning actor and editor who graduated from Cal State LA with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio and TV Broadcasting.
LaRay can currently been seen starring in the role of Officer Edgewood on Amazon Studios’ production Bosch. He has also held many guest star and reoccurring roles in popular shows like Modern Family, Castle, CSI: New York, Charmed and The Shield. As an editor, Deji has collaborated with top music talent, cutting videos for Missy Elliot, Katy Perry and Janet Jackson, to name a few.
Deji debuted his new reel to the audience and had fun engaging his social media audience with some fun live shares from the awards ceremony, you can follow him on Instagram at @amerikanidol.
Award-winning journalist Dave Lopez ’70 is a General Assignment Reporter for CBS 2 News and a very familiar face for us locals. Lopez graduated from Cal State LA with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and received this year’s award for Broadcast Journalism.
David joined CBS 2 in 1977 as a General Assignment Reporter, and within a year became the station’s Orange County Correspondent. In addition to his regular duties, he serves as substitute sports anchor for CBS 2 News. With decades of experience in the TV news industry, he has covered every major breaking event in Los Angeles. The Orange County Register named Lopez, “The ‘Star’ TV reporter in Orange County.” Throughout his career, Dave Lopez has received numerous journalism awards for his work.
Dave entertained the audience with a nostalgic and comical reel of all the interesting occurrences he’s experienced as a reporter in the field.
And for the first time, this year’s ceremony celebrated a distinguished faculty member and we can’t think of a more deserving person to honor than Professor Blake Jackson.
Blake has considerable experience in motion picture production in various roles such as camera operator, grip, and art director, but is best known by his outstanding skills as a cinematographer. Blake’s camera work has been described as, ‘crisply detailed cinematography.’ He served as the Director of Photography on the 2002 Academy Award winning film The Accountant. He has also won the Starlight Award for excellence in instruction, and achievement in cinematography.
As a full-time professor, Blake puts his experience to use in the classroom to support student excellence and more importantly to ensure career readiness. He brings his own industry experience to the classroom, teaching a variety of courses that include Introduction to Cinematography, Advanced Cinematography, Motion Picture Production, Scene Study Workshops, and Visual Design. There is nothing more beneficial than learning from someone like Blake.