Simmons Presented with Broadcasting Alumni Award
April 30, 2013
MACOMB, IL - Students, faculty and staff from the Western Illinois University Department of Broadcasting welcomed alumna Sarah Simmons back to campus for the annual Broadcasting Banquet Thursday, April 18.
Simmons, a 1998 graduate, was presented with the Alumni of the Year Award. She anchors FOX 5 Morning News in Washington, D.C. and has worked in broadcast journalism for about 15 years. Simmons spoke to attendees about her experience at WIU and her journey from unpaid intern to the anchor desk.
During the 2013 department awards, nearly 30 students received recognition for their work inside and outside the classroom.
Several students from the WIU chapter of the Student Illinois News Broadcasters Association were recognized as winners in the organization's statewide competition: Rachel Steibing, a senior broadcasting major from Chicago (2nd place in TV News Reporting), Kristy Phillipson, a senior broadcasting major from Chicago (2nd place in Videography), Andrew Bacon, a sophomore broadcasting major from Chatham, IL (3rd place in TV Sports Reporting), Drew Hoffman, a graduate student from Morrison (1st place in TV Play-by-Play), Mike Broskowski, a senior broadcasting major from Jefferson, WI (1st place in Radio Play-by-Play), Nico Haeflinger, a junior broadcasting major from Marengo, IL (3rd place in Radio Play-by-Play) and "Pigskin Preview" (3rd place in TV Sports Program) and Kristy Phillipson, a senior broadcasting major from Geneseo, IL (3rd place in Radio News Reporting).
WIU had eight national finalists in the 50th annual Undergraduate Student Electronic Media Competition for the National Broadcasting Society. WIU students Juan Reyes, a sophomore broadcasting major from Burbank, IL, and Jeff Marta, a sophomore broadcasting major from Lisle, IL, won grand prize in the Audio Commercials category. Anthony Jones, a sophomore broadcasting major from Poplar Grove, IL, won grand prize in Audio Music/Entertainment Program. WIU's chapter of NBS AERho was also recognized as a "Motivated Chapter" at the national convention in Washington, D.C.
Additionally, six Dean's List students were awarded $50 textbook scholarships for Fall 2013: Nicholas Graj, a freshman broadcasting major from Bolingbrook, IL, Sarah Griffin, a freshman broadcasting major from Hawthorn Woods, IL, Juan Reyes, Grace Iftner, a freshman broadcasting major from Harvard, IL, Ryan Stoops, a senior broadcasting manor from Quincy, IL, and Andrew Bacon. The department received a total of $300 for the scholarships because all faculty turned in their book requirements on time. Faculty decided to split the money among broadcasting students who made the Dean's List last Fall, and names were randomly drawn for the award.
Retiring professor Patrick Stout was recognized for his 30 years of service to the university. He has been an academic adviser and a performance and broadcast newswriting instructor in the WIU Department of Broadcasting since the department's formation in 2005.
The banquet concluded with a rousing rendition of "Bad Moon Rising" by the broadcasting faculty band, "The Jump Cuts."