August 17, 2006

SIUC student wins one of 14 national scholarships

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A senior in the radio-television department at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is among 14 students nationwide to win a $5,000 scholarship from a leading industry group.

The John Bayliss Broadcast Foundation selected Oscar Schlenker, of Carbondale, for the honor for the 2006-2007 academic year.

John Hochheimer, professor and chairman of the radio-television department in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts at SIUC, said support for radio is important.

"Radio is the most used mass media in the world and the Bayliss Foundation has recognized not only radio's importance but that SIUC has one of the best programs in the nation for young men and women to learn this trade," Hochheimer said. "It's an indicator of how important our program is and by singling out Oscar it's a recognition of his fine work and hopefully an encouragement not only to him but other students to continue the study of radio."

Manjunath Pendakur, dean of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, said he "was thrilled" to learn of Schlenker's selection for the honor.

"It is also gratifying to see that we are in the company of some of the best universities in the country," Pendakur said.

Last year, the foundation's board of directors selected SIUC as having one of the top radio programs in the nation. Schlenker is the first SIUC student to benefit from the partnership between the foundation and the University that sprang from that distinction. Under the arrangement, students pursuing a career in radio at SIUC have a chance at the annual scholarship and several paid internships through the foundation.

The John Bayliss Broadcast Foundation has awarded more than 300 scholarships to students nationwide since 1985. Its board of directors select students on the basis of their academic achievement, extracurricular activities, their passion for radio and their desire to contribute to the overall advancement of the industry, said Kit Hunter Franke, executive director of the foundation.

Other colleges and universities whose students received scholarships are Bowling Green State University, Central Michigan University, Columbia University, Howard University, Ithaca College, Michigan State University, Monmouth University, Newbury College, Northwestern University, Syracuse University and the University of Southern California.

Creating friends who understand the University, its mission and its challenges is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.