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Students at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh took home 15 of the 63 student media awards presented by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA) during the organization’s student media conference on March 3. UW Oshkosh won more awards than any institution participating. A record 190 entries were in the competition.

“Because we don’t have the financial resources and advanced  technological equipment, not to mention the benefit of being in a  major media market, we’re already at a marked disadvantage compared to  those bigger universities,” said Eric Balkman, of 90.3 WRST-FM, UW Oshkosh’s student-operated radio station and winner of seven WBA awards. “These awards prove that industry analysts  consider our work at WRST and Titan TV to be on par or better than the  work and media coverage being done at those schools.”

UW Oshkosh took first place honors in three categories.

  • In Sports Play-by-Play for radio, UW Oshkosh was honored for a WRST broadcast of a Titan men’s basketball game against St. Norbert College called by station sports director Brandon Kinnard and program director Spencer Wagen.
  • Kinnard also took the first place honors in the radio category for a segment he did for WRST’s Oshkosh Sports Saturday program on the retirement of scorekeeper Ben Zalas.
  • Another first place award went to the Titan TV program Titan Tonight in the category for Non-Play-by-Play Sports Programming. Members of the radio-TV-film course Multicamera Studio Production produced the episode.

Second place honors were awarded in the following categories:

  • For radio news series/documentary, Balkman was honored for his three-part series on Wisconsin’s new voter ID rules.
  • For radio sports story, Kinnard won for his Titan Outlook; previewing the football homecoming opponent.
  • For radio aircheck, Balkman won for his announcing during his WRST program “Basically Blues.”
  • For long-form non-news television production, Titan TV operations manager Tyler Frodl, Devon Zerbe, Kyle Halter, Nicholas Williams and Jason Edwards won for a video promoting the mentoring program in Outagamie County.
  • For television sports play-by-play, Balkman, Kinnard, Titan TV sports director Brian Urbanek and program director Eli Wickman were honored for their coverage of the UW Oshkosh/UW-Whitewater football game.
  • For television or radio website, Titan TV station manager Joe Chitel won for the Titan TV website.

Third place awards were made in the following categories:

  • For long-form non-news radio production, Balkman won for “Black and Yellows,” a profile of a group of UW Oshkosh student sports fans.
  • For radio newscast, WRST news director Dana Sekeres won for her newscast of December 8, 2011.
  • For non-play-by-play sports programming, Kinnard won for an interview he conducted with UW Oshkosh football coach Pat Cerroni.
  • For television public affairs, the 2011 Radio-TV-Film Industry Panel broadcast was honored. It was written by students in the radio-TV-film course Writing for Electronic Media and produced by Multicamera Studio Production. Callie Mills and Balkman hosted the live alumni event.
  • For television sports play-by-play, Kinnard, Balkman, Urbanek and Kevin Smith won for their broadcast of the women’s basketball game between UW Oshkosh and Wheaton College.
  • For television or radio website, WRST webmaster Chris Kaupp won for the WRST website.

Also, UW Oshkosh RTF senior Samantha Wallschlager was one of four recipients of WBA Foundation scholarships at the conference, winning the $1,000 award from Results Broadcasting. Wallschlager is promotions coordinator for both the UW Oshkosh Film Society and International Film Series.

“Any award winner knows that  you need to launch yourself into your broadcasting work in order for it to be considered elite among your audience and peers,” Balkman said. “But my hope  is that UW Oshkosh will now start earning its deserved and accurately proportionate recognition around the state for, perhaps, having the best radio/TV/film university program in Wisconsin.”

UW Oshkosh has won 55 WBA awards since the student media competition was begun in 2004.

Ten UW Oshkosh students attended the annual conference in Middleton on March 3, along with Justine Stokes and Randall Davidson of the Radio TV Film faculty.

Learn more:

  • To see and hear many of the award-winning works of Titan TV and WRST visit the radio-TV-film Vimeo page:

UW Oshkosh Radio-TV-Film faculty member and WRST-FM Director Randall Davidson submitted this announcement with additional reporting provided by the News Bureau. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.