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PSU media production program wins big at KAB awards

Each year, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) hosts a statewide broadcasting contest. This year, the Pittsburg State University media production program won 23 awards in various categories.  

“It was a combined effort but most of the credit goes to the students,” said Jason Knowles, assistant professor of communication. “More than anything we were really proud of the students and the hard work they put into it. They bring a lot of the creativity…” 

The program recently underwent changes in the curriculum and had some staff turnover. Comeau was proud of how the program performed despite these changes. 

“(It’s) a really good number,” Troy Comeau, professor and director of media production. “We were still leading all the schools in the state of Kansas for the awards so that was cool. This year I wasn’t so sure how we would do (because of the changes). So, I was pretty proud that we got 23. The past two or three years we’ve averaged we’ve gotten closer to 30 so we were down just a little bit this year.” 

Caleb Wuthnow, senior in communication, was one student who received awards for his work.  

“It feels really good, honestly,” Wuthnow said. “It’s a great feeling, and the best thing is getting to see what my friends submitted because sometimes we’re all so stressed out that I don’t know what some of the people I worked alongside with submitted, so getting to see what they submitted is great…” 

Wuthnow received first place in the promotional audio or video category, first place in the complete sports feature category, second place in the promotional audio or video category, and an honorable mention in the sportscast category. 

Wuthnow accredited much of the success to the program, and he hands on opportunities students are able to in it. 

“The program is just so hands on,” Wuthnow said. “We have a chance right away, if we’re willing to start, producing content that by the time you get to… senior year, you’ve entered projects for three years or had the opportunity to. You know what the judges look for… you know what professionals want to see from your videos.” 

Comeau said the faculty in the program “encourage students to try new things.” 

“I think this is probably the best thing that we do here,” Comeau said. “We don’t, we don’t just teach theory we teach them by actually doing.” 

Receiving the awards is a positive experience for both the program’s faculty and students. 

“For the faculty at least, it felt like validation that what we’re trying with some of the new things we’re trying are working and working to the student’s benefit,” Knowles said. “It’s definitely a morale booster, and the students should be proud of the work. This is hard work, it’s not easy, especially time-based media. Also, it’s important to have this stuff to put on their resume’s.” 

Other categories that students won in included: 60-second commercial/PSA, sports play by play, entertainment program, station promotion announcement, complete sports feature, DJ personality for radio or news anchor for TV, entertainment program, documentary, among others. 

The awards were to be presented at a banquet on April 3, which was cancelled but the KAB is planning to deliver the awards to the students this spring. 

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