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Student Podcast Wins Award for Excellence in Communication "Classroom Insiders," a podcast produced by Prof. Karen Woody and her students, has been honored by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts.

“Classroom Insiders,” a podcast produced by W&L Law professor Karen Woody and her students, has been honored by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts with a 2022 Communicator Award in the category of Individual Episodes-Crime and Justice.

The Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program recognizing excellence and innovation in communication across a spectrum of industries. Founded nearly three decades ago, The Communicator Awards receives almost 5,000 entries from companies, agencies, studios, and boutique shops of all sizes, making it, globally, one of the largest award shows of its kind.

“I’m thrilled that the hard work of the students and an innovative approach to law teaching has been recognized by this award,” said Woody.

The Communicator Awards is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, an invitation-only group consisting of top-tier professionals from acclaimed media, communications, advertising, creative and marketing firms. AIVA members include executives from organizations like Amazon, Big Spaceship, Chelsea Pictures, Conde Nast, Critical Mass, Disney, ESPN, GE Digital, IBM, The Nation of Artists, Nextdoor, Spotify, Time, Inc., the Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones, and Wired.

“Classroom Insiders,” features Woody in conversation with students about insider trading and regulation. Seven episodes are available in all, including episodes that focus on the corporate law jurisprudence of alumnus and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell ’27, ‘31L.

In her episode with Prof. Woody, Lidia Kurganova ‘23L discussed how Justice Powell gradually loosened the SEC’s hold on insider trading regulation, which was regulated by states up until the 1960’s when President Kennedy appointed Chairman William Cary of Columbia Law to expand the regulatory power of the SEC. This was Kurganova’s first experience producing a podcast, and she sees it as an innovative way to teach complex material in a manner that is also fun for the students.

“Professor Woody is a natural podcast host and managed to turn a very technical topic of business law into a thought-provoking and fun conversation with her students,” says Kurganova. “Moreover, my friends and classmates who were not in our insider trading seminar enjoyed listening to the podcast and learning about a subject they never thought would interest them.”

Woody is a frequent guest on the corporate law podcast Everything Compliance and decided to develop a podcast in conjunction with her insider trading seminar in part as tool for assessment.

“This format has proved to be a great way for students to explain what they know,” said Woody. “I can really tell if they ‘get it’ during these conversations.”

“Classroom Insiders” is available through a variety of streaming services, including Spotify and Apple Music.

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