Broadcast students take record number of awards
Val Vita | Collegio Writer
Pittsburg State University broadcast students received a record 22 awards at the Kansas Association of Broadcasters annual student seminar in Wichita on April 3. Of the 22 awards, 12 were first place in their category.
Andrew Orpin says he has gotten awards before, but this was the first award related to broadcasting that he has received. Orpin won first place in the category “Hard News Package,” for a story titled “Storm Shelter Package.”
“It was awesome when I found out I won,” said Orpin, senior in communication. “It’s exciting when something you created gets this kind of recognition.”
Orpin says he did the story last fall during the Television Production and Producing & Directing classes. He says the idea to do the story on storm shelters stemmed from the Joplin tornado last May.
“It brought up the fact that Pittsburg has no designated town storm shelters,” Orpin said. “So I decided to do a story on it. I looked into the issue, went to a city council meeting and I interviewed the director of public utilities, as well as students.”
Troy Comeau, associate professor in communication, says the KAB is an annual competition for all Kansas broadcasting schools. Comeau says the pieces submitted were developed during 2011, and he says they submitted about 35 pieces this year.
“This is a testament to students’ hard work,” Comeau said. “Being a KAB winner is a step to the future, a step to the work world. And it’s great for their resumes.”
Comeau says the department changed its focus this year to improve its success at the awards. He says the students focused on several aspects of broadcasting, like documentary and sports, instead of concentrating on journalism pieces.
“This shows that we can be successful in different areas,” Comeau said.
Jake Faber, who received five awards, is an example of students succeeding in different areas. He won first place and an honorable mention for sportscast, and second-place finishes in news feature, documentary and commercial. He says all of the awards were given for work he did as a student videographer for the Pitt State Athletic Department.
“The second that we received the list of awards, I was completely surprised,” said Faber, junior in communication. “I didn’t think there was any way that I would receive five awards, because there were so many schools competing at the KAB.”
He says the documentary, “Hall of Fame,” was a 35-minute piece that followed the college careers of the inductees in the 2011 PSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
“I probably spent about two or three months working on the documentary,” Faber said.
Sydney Ward says she also dedicated a lot of time, especially outside of class, to her projects and her efforts were rewarded. Ward received two first-place awards and one honorable mention.
“It was an unreal feeling,” said Ward, junior in communication. “It really put all the long hours in the broadcast lab in perspective.”