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Volume 23, No. 7       November 13, 2000

First Rod Serling Internship Given to Ithaca College Senior

Eric Bennett, a cinema and photography major at Ithaca College, has been awarded the first Rod Serling Internship in Writing for Television. The Serling internship, given by the Writers Guild of America Foundation, will be awarded each semester to a junior or senior in the College’s communications program in Los Angeles. The winners will be placed on the writing staff of a television program. Bennett is spending the fall semester working with the producers and writers of the Emmy Award–winning television comedy Frasier.

Eric Bennett ’01 (far right), winner of the first Rod Serling Internship in Writing for Television, is congratulated by Harvey Warren ’73 (far left), who initiated the internship, and Stephen Tropiano ’84, director of the Ithaca College Los Angeles program.

Photo by Mathew Photographic Services

The internship is named after the late Rod Serling, who taught at Ithaca College in the early 1970s and remains one of the best-known writers of television’s "golden age." Winner of six Emmys, Serling wrote many episodes of the classic television series The Twilight Zone as well as the Playhouse 90 drama Requiem for a Heavyweight, which later was made into a film starring Anthony Quinn and Jackie Gleason. Ithaca alumnus Harvey Warren, a member of the Writers Guild who studied with Serling at the College, initiated the efforts to set up an internship to honor his former professor.

"Rod was a master of the television medium," says Del Reisman, a story editor of both Playhouse 90 and The Twilight Zone and currently serving as a board member of the Writers Guild Foundation. "The internship program in Rod’s name honors him and gives the talented Eric Bennett the kind of opportunity that would delight Rod."

"Eric was selected from six finalists," says Stephen Tropiano, director of the Los Angeles program. "He was chosen on the basis of his writing ability, professionalism, and academic accomplishments."

Bennett attended the Los Angeles program last summer and interned at Materials Pictures on the Warner Brothers lot. His career goal is to write for television and film.

The Writers Guild represents over 8,000 professional writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new technologies industries. Guild members also write news, animation, nonfiction, and documentary programming.


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Andrejs Ozolins, Ithaca College Office of Publications. 9. Nov. 2000