Syracuse University Magazine

Emmy Awards

Orange Alumni Shine in Primetimeadam mazer

More than 20 years ago, Adam Mazer ’89 produced a 35-minute senior thesis film at the Newhouse School based on the suicide of his close friend. “Creatively, it was very meaningful,” Mazer says. “Especially now, knowing that I was going to come to LA and pursue a career in the entertainment business.”

For Mazer, it was a stepping-stone into the field he loved: dramatic screenplays. This summer, Mazer reached a career milestone when he received an Emmy Award for outstanding writing for a miniseries, movie, or dramatic special for his work on You Don’t Know Jack, the HBO film based on the true story of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the physician known as “Dr. Death” for his efforts to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Fellow Orange Glenn Rigberg ’88, a Whitman School of Management graduate, was nominated for an Emmy for his role as an executive producer of the film, which collected a total of 15 nominations.

Mazer and Rigberg weren’t the only alumni giving an Orange glow to the red carpet at the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards. All told, five alumni received nominations—and three collected Emmys. Other Emmy recipients and nominees included:

» David Rockwell ’79, a School of Architecture graduate who won an Emmy for outstanding art direction for variety, music, or nonfiction programming. Rockwell worked as production designer for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards broadcast. 

» Danny Zuker ’86, a Newhouse graduate who was honored as a writer and producer for Modern Family, which won outstanding comedy series. 

» Evan Weinstein ’84, a College of Visual and Performing Arts alum who was recognized for his role as co-executive producer of Amazing Race, which was nominated for outstanding reality competition program. 

 For Mazer, the Emmy validated years of hard work and sacrifice. When he began his career in LA, he spent nearly five years working as a production assistant and logging time as a waiter before selling his first screenplay.  Although the movie never made it to the big screen, he says that was his “big break”—and hasn’t looked back since. “That was something I learned a great deal from,” Mazer says. —Sierra Jiminez