There is a little piece of Hollywood fame right here on campus – and it’s sitting on School of Communication professor Jeffrey Stern’s office, nestled between stacks of paper and his computer.
Stern was part of the team that was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series for season three of the HBO show “Boardwalk Empire.” Stern served as the dialogue editor.
“It’s nice to know your peers are listening and appreciating what you do,” said Stern, who teaches in the department of cinema and interactive media.
Before working on “Boardwalk Empire,” Stern had been a sound editor for more than 80 movies, including “Goodfellas,” “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Chicago.”
While this is Stern’s first Emmy win, it is his third nomination. He was nominated in 2003 for his work as sound editor on PBS’s “American Masters” series. In 2012, he was nominated for an Emmy for his role in the sound editing team for season two of “Boardwalk Empire.”
Professor Ed Talavera, the chair of the department of cinema and interactive media, said when he first heard about Stern’s nomination, he knew his colleague was going to take home the trophy.
“He is such a talented teacher and professional, that it was clear he was going to win,” he said.
Senior Kate Maier is a student in Stern’s sound editing class this semester. She said having an Emmy winner as a professor is “awesome.”
“He’s a great listener and has a lot of patience,” she said. “He’s just a really nice person.”
Maier and a friend were also in the audience when Stern received his award at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards show on Sept. 15, which were held a week before the Primetime Emmys.
“He was so surprised to see us there,” she said. “It was pretty cool.”
But Stern did not always intend to be a sound editor, let alone an Emmy winner. When he graduated from college more than 30 years ago, Stern was a sculpture major who got into the field simply because there were jobs available.
“I didn’t immediately appreciate all the possibilities,” he said.
Now, he said sound editing is “a thrill” for him.
“You are trying to tell a story, and sound, like every other element in a movie, is at the beck and call of telling that story,” he said. “It’s pretty powerful.”
Jeffrey Stern, a School of Communication professor, was part of the sound editing team for the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.” The show airs at 9 p.m. on Sundays.