Profile: Piña ’93 Is Award-Winning Producer

pinaWith 20 years’ experience as writer, producer, reporter, and on-air host, Tinabeth Piña ’93 is managing editor of the special projects television unit, City University of New York. She has been nominated for her second New York EMMY for Study with the Best, a show she hosts and writes for CUNY-TV.

Earlier in her career she won a New York EMMY for VIVA!, a nationally syndicated program that showcased Latinos in entertainment. Now she produces shows on a wide variety of topics from food and art to business and science.

Piña launched her own production company, PiNeApple Produxns, after 9/11 and the subsequent economic downturn. She also published a book, Cha-Chiing! The Unemployed’s Guide to Finding Your Next TV Production Job, and continues to maintain a blog on the topic. “It keeps me fresh,” she says. “I’m always sharing new things I discover.”

Indeed, she finds herself drawing on the diversity of her studies and experiences at Lafayette. “The liberal arts background works hand-in-hand with what I do today,” says Piña, a Spanish and American studies honors graduate. “Lafayette helped solidify that drive, that desire to achieve whatever dream I had.”

Recipient of the Class of 1913 Trophy as the top senior in athletics and academics, Piña holds the indoor 55-meter dash record and has the fifth-fastest time in school history in the indoor 200-meter. She was also the co-winner of the Pepper Prize.

Her undergraduate thesis, which addressed the lack of representation of Latinos in mainstream television, became required reading in a program taught at University of Texas–Austin. Even as she recognizes that this trend has begun to turn around, she voices concern about the group’s misrepresentation in popular culture.

—Matt Sinclair ’90

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