October 13, 2010

Radio-TV students capture statewide honors

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Seven current and former students in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Department of Radio-Television took home honors in the 2010 Illinois Broadcasters Association Student Silver Dome Awards.

Students earned two first-place awards, three second-place awards, and two third-place awards. In addition, the River Region Evening Edition news team earned second-place for Best Television Newscast for its May 3, 2010, broadcast. Three recent graduates of the department’s media industry sequence swept the Best Sales Presentation category, while two other students won awards for best promotional campaign.

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

“We are thrilled that our students once again demonstrated their creativity by winning these awards from the Illinois Broadcasters Association,” Dean Gary P. Kolb said. “Our continued success in this competitive venue speaks to the high quality of our students and professors here at SIUC.”

The Student Silver Dome Awards is open to all IBA member colleges and universities. Students received the awards at the annual IBA-U Academics Day at Illinois State University on Oct. 8.

“We are very proud of our students' accomplishments,” said Dafna Lemish, chair of the Department of Radio-Television. “These awards demonstrate that our students excel in a wide variety of media related areas and that our faculty are dedicated to teaching them how to apply their newly acquired skills and knowledge in real-world professional situations.

“There is a wide world of media industries out there with many job opportunities that will benefit from this kind of education and training that our students are getting here,” Lemish said. “This year's IBA Awards reflect the long-tradition of excellence in the Department of Radio-TV and will continue to motivate us to continue investing in providing our students with the best education possible.”

James Wall, a senior lecturer in radio-television, said the five sales and promotional winning entries were the result of a semester-long project in two of his classes -- electronic media sales and electronic media promotion.

“Many former students have used their projects from these classes to obtain jobs. To me, that is the ultimate final examination,” Wall said.

A panel of professional broadcasters from Wisconsin judged the students’ entries, Wall said.

“Perhaps one reason for the strong showing in these categories is that Southern Illinois University Carbondale is unique, in that Radio-Television is one of the very few programs in the nation that offer a business-oriented sales and management sequence within the media industries,” Wall said.

The River Region Evening News Team that finished second in the state consists of producer Stephanie R. Fryer, a senior from Urbana; director Christopher F. Mata, a senior from Wheeling; anchor Hilary M. LeHew, a senior from Atwood; anchor Michael Radostits, a May 2010 graduate from New Lenox; weathercaster Garrett R. Ford, a senior from Centralia; and sports anchor Bret S. Beherns, a May 2010 graduate from Mahomet.

In addition to the River Region Evening News newscast finishing second, two students earned individual awards. Beherns was first in the Best TV News Pack category for a story about an indecent exposure case outside a local school, and Ashley D. Sweet, a senior in radio-television from Decatur, was second in the Best TV Weathercast category.

“It’s always nice for the students’ work to be recognized by the professional community,” said Joey Helleny, a senior lecturer. “It also puts their work in front of some potential future employers.

“The IBA supports our program not only through these awards, but also through seminars, internships, a scholarship, and support of our summer TV news camp for high school students,” he said.

The 2010 individual IBA Student Silver Dome Award recipients from SIUC are:


Breese: Charles Venhaus, May 2010 graduate, radio-television. Third-place, Best Promotional Campaign.

Decatur: Ashley D. Sweet, senior, radio-television. Second-place, Best TV Weathercast.

Downers Grove: Brendan Sheehy, senior, radio-television. Second-place, Best Sales Presentation.

Herrin: Krista Mason King, May 2010 graduate, radio-television. Third-place, Best Sales Presentation.

Mahomet: Brett S. Beherns, May 2010 graduate, radio-television. First-place, Best TV News Pack.


St. Louis: David M. Goldberg, senior, radio-television. Second-place, Best Promotional Campaign.


North Royalton: Marina Medic, May 2010 graduate, radio-television. First-place, Best Sales Presentation.