October 26, 2007

SIUC student wins prestigious Cronkite Scholarship

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Andrew D. Kastler, a senior in Southern Illinois University Carbondale's award-winning radio-television department, recently received a Walter Cronkite Scholarship from National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Mid-America Chapter.

"I didn't expect to win this award, I thought it was a shot in the dark," said Kastler, who telephoned his parents upon learning of the achievement, and, as he notes, "went back to work."

Kastler's experience in television while at SIUC is varied. He works with the award-winning alt.news 26:46, a student-produced, Emmy Award-winning half-hour alternative TV news magazine, in addition to WSIU.

"Had I not attended SIUC I would not be the person I am today," he said. "Through working with alt.news 26:46 and WSIU, I feel confident and ready to leave school and enter any workforce. There's a great environment in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts to work and socialize with your peers throughout your education.

"The combination of that environment and the available extra curricular activities is how SIUC breeds excellent graduates," Kastler said.

Kastler was among several alt.news 26:46 personnel to win an Emmy on Saturday, Oct. 20, during the organization's 31st annual Emmy Awards. Kastler was a co-executive producer for the winning magazine program.

The Department of Radio-Television is within the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

"This is a very exciting honor for Andy," said interim MCMA Dean Gary P. Kolb. "He has been a highly motivated student for several years in our Radio-Television program, working particularly with alt.news and this summer doing an internship with the Southern Illinois Miners baseball team. Andy's success is evidence of the continued high quality of our students in media production."

Jan Thompson, an association professor in radio-television, said Kastler demonstrates strengths that not only include production skills but also writing skills.

"Receiving the Walter Cronkite Award is not only a terrific accomplishment for Andy but also for our program," she said.

A member of the dean's list since 2005, Kastler is also a recipient of a 2007 Roscoe Pulliam Scholarship, given to students who are closely related to an SIUC alumnus or alumna who currently are a member of the SIU Alumni Association. He will graduate in May.

Kastler is one of three Cronkite award recipients. The other two are from the University of Missouri in Columbia. Kastler is the son of Diane and David Kastler of Waterloo, Iowa (130 Four Seasons Drive).