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Journalism students receive Wisconsin Broadcasters Association awards

April 19, 2013

EAU CLAIRE — Several University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire journalism students won awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation at the recent WBA Student Seminar in Middleton.

Senior Jackson Schmidtke, Wausau, placed first in the News Story (TV) category with "Confluence Project clears hurdle," which aired on UW-Eau Claire's student-run television station, TV10. The story focused on the Eau Claire City Council voting to approve the rezoning of the area of a proposed new development, which meant that some of the buildings in the area would be torn down. He also received third place in the Sports Story (TV) category for "Matt Siverling: new Head Basketball Coach." Schmidtke, who graduates in May, wants to work as a TV news or sports reporter somewhere in the United States.

Senior James Pfitzinger, West St. Paul, Minn., placed second in the Sports Story (radio) category with "New UWEC Basketball Coach," which aired on WUEC 89.7 FM, UW-Eau Claire's student radio station. The segment highlighted the arrival of the university's new head men's basketball coach, Matt Siverling. Pfitzinger will graduate in December and plans to move to the Northwest and pursue a job in sports broadcasting. His ultimate goal is to work as a sports broadcaster on ESPN's SportsCenter.

Junior Rachel Minske, Northfield, Minn., and senior Taylor Kuether, Grafton, took third place in the Air Check (radio) category with "Local Independence," a WUEC 89.7 FM program. The air check included a discussion about a concert Minske had attended. Minske and Kuether talked about the last-minute performance of the local band The Heart Pills.

Minske, who will graduate in spring 2014, wants to pursue a job as a reporter in the television news industry after graduation. Kuether also plans to graduate in spring 2014 and plans to pursue employment at The Washington Post, where she worked as an intern as the 2012 recipient of UW-Eau Claire's Ann Devroy Memorial Scholarship. Kuether is especially interested in writing about women's issues and struggles on both a national and international scale.

Sophomore Rachel Vick, Byron, Minn., and senior Jessica Sharpee, Waukesha, placed third in the Public Affairs/Talk Show (radio) category for "Innocent Men / Blugold Radio," which aired on WUEC 89.7 FM. They won the award for their show about the all-male a cappella group in which they interviewed three members of the group about their upcoming concert.

Vick plans to graduate in spring 2015 and pursue a job with a radio station or media firm in a big city. Sharpee, who will graduate in spring 2014, wants to work in either television or radio broadcast journalism.

More information about the WBA Foundation is available online.

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