September 26, 2012

Radio-TV students earn statewide recognition

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Students in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Department of Radio-Television excelled once again in the 2012 Illinois Broadcasters Association Student Silver Dome Awards.

Students earned two first place individual awards, a second- and third-place individual award, and second- and third-place group awards.  The River Region Evening Edition news team earned first-place for Best Television Newscast for its April 24, 2012, broadcast.  Current students and recent graduates of the department’s media industry sequence swept the Best Sales Presentation category, while eight students won group awards for best promotional campaign.

The Silver Dome Awards program is open to all 19 IBA member colleges and universities.  Students received the awards at the annual IBA-U Academics Day at Illinois State University on Sept. 21.

In addition to securing the Best Television Newscast, Nicholas Gresham, a senior in radio-television, earned first-place honors for “Best TV Sports Package.”

"The hands-on experience students receive here and the ability to work on an actual live television newscast is one of the reasons that the SIU Carbondale Department of Radio-Television continues to see enrollment growth during some very challenging times for higher education,” said Gregory Todd, River Region Evening Edition news director.  “Our students graduate with a quality education and the ability to put that education to work.”

Students produce more than two hours of television newscasts weekly that air on WSIU-TV channel 8/16.  Nearly 100 students work on the newscasts behind the scenes and in front of the cameras, Todd said.

Newscasts air at 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday when school is in session during the fall and spring semesters.

In sales and promotion competitions, Brenna Coyle, a senior in radio-television, won first in the “Best Sales Presentation” category, with Andrew Lund and Landon McReynolds finishing second and third.  Lund earned his degree in radio-television in December 2011; McReynolds is a senior in the program.

Two teams of SIU Carbondale students were second and third in the IBA’s “Best Promotion Campaign” category.  Shawn Shanle, Jasmine Vickers, Vincent Ewing and Mueez Adigun placed second, while Jessica Banicki, April Etheridge, Sharita Childs, and McReynolds were third.  All of the students are seniors in radio-television, except Vickers and Shanle, who are recent program graduates.

James Wall, a senior lecturer in radio-television, said the IBA awards are important for students because they recognize “the talents of students in the media industries end of the business.” 

The entries are the result of semester-long projects in two of his classes -- electronic media sales and electronic media promotion.

The projects also provide a hands-on classroom experience that students can also use for their portfolios to show to a prospective employer during job interviews, he said.

Wall said he returns from the awards ceremonies encouraged “because I know what we are doing is working and that we are preparing the best, and our students are going to be well-prepared for the media age.”