Broadcast journalism students shine in statewide contest

April 08, 2009

Student submissions from ComRadio, the Web-based streaming audio station operated by the College of Communications, won three statewide awards for medium-market radio and swept separate categories specifically for college students in an annual competition conducted by the Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

Penn State students also swept the top three spots in the student television category of the same competition. All the awards were presented at a conference in Harrisburg, Pa.

Winners in medium-marked radio categories competed against professionals from stations all over the state, including those from stations in Allentown, Harrisburg and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The competition was judged by members of the Associated Press Broadcasters Association in Michigan.

Student winners in medium-market categories were:

-- Samantha Scheller, first place, radio sound, for "Juicy Campus";
-- Jimmy Bowen, first place, sports feature, for "Psychology of Collegiate Sports"; and
-- Baylor Long, Tommy DiVito and Dan Krupinsky, second place, sports play-by-play, for a compilation of work including Penn State football and men's basketball.

"After hearing our student work, broadcast executives, including those from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, said they were impressed that our students are competitive with larger market working professionals," said Marea Mannion, a senior lecturer who teaches broadcast journalism in the Department of Journalism. "It was an impressive showing by our students."

In the student-only radio competition, Penn State earned the top three spots. Stef Davis captured first place for "You Are What You Buy"; Laura Shay claimed second place with "College Apparel Licensing"; and Dan Krupinsky earned third place for "Puppy Mills."

In the student television competition, segments from "Centre County Report," the half-hour news program produced by students during the academic year, also swept the competition. Caitlyn Barksdale was first with "Avella Football," Anna Zagari second with "College Town DUIs" and Stephanie Schelkun third with "Most Wanted."

ComRadio (, with regular student newscasts, can be heard on the Internet all over the world. More than 280 students have been part of ComRadio’s ever-expanding news gathering and programming efforts throughout the 2008-09 academic year. Students work in teams focusing on news, sports, marketing, promotions and sales.

The station combines an adult contemporary and jazz playlist with a variety of student-produced talk shows ranging from topics such as campus politics and diversity to entertainment, self-help and sports. Nearly 40 different talk shows comprise the station’s schedule.

ComRadio produces a half-hour long, student-written and produced newscast focusing on local issues at 6 p.m. Monday through Friday when Penn State classes are in session.

"Centre County Report" is produced 12 times each semester. It is aired live on campus cable at 12:10 p.m. on Friday, and then aired again on WPSU-TV (Channel 3) in the evening. WPSU-TV is the region's public television station serving 29 counties in Pennsylvania and New York.

Students must apply to be part of the class that produces "Centre County Report," which prides itself on being the newscast of record for residents of Centre County because other local television stations have their main offices at least 45 minutes away. Their only local presence is one reporter, in most cases.

In addition to earning awards at the conference, 16 students from the College of Communications made the trip to Harrisburg with ComRadio adviser/general manager Jeff Brown and met with professionals from across the state. They attended workshops on news and sports broadcasting, participated in individual interviews and got personal critiques of their work.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 08, 2009