Goshen College Features Nation’s Best Radio Station

Goshen College’s student-operated radio station WGCS 91.1 The Globe just added two more huge accomplishments to its growing list: 2013 Best College Station in the Nation and Indiana’s Radio School of the Year.

This is the second time the college radio station has received the top national award in three years from the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, making it the first college to be a repeat winner in the competition, which is against every college and university in the country of every size. Last year, the station was a runner-up for the top award.

Station General Manager Jason Samuel and a group of his students who work at the station were on hand to claim the award at the 73rd Annual Conference of the IBS in New York City on March 2. The Globe beat out two other finalists for the top award: William Patterson University (enrollment: 11,400 students) and DePaul University (enrollment: 25,000 students). In addition, students won six national awards and were finalists in 20 categories. IBS is the oldest college radio association in the country.

“I honestly thought we’d never win again, but they told us that the most significant factor separating WGCS from the other radio stations is our community involvement,” said Samuel, an assistant professor of communication. “We’re doing the best we can and it feels great to have others recognize our hard work.”

The Globe’s community involvements include hosting a blood drive, airing local high school events, partnering with Ignition Garage to bring artists for local concerts and helping with Downtown Goshen’s First Fridays.

Just a few weeks earlier, on Feb. 15, for the second consecutive year, Goshen College earned the state titles of both Radio School of the Year and Television School of the Year in the 2013 Indiana Association of School Broadcasting’s (IASB) college broadcasting competition.

Last year, the college was the first school in the IASB competition to win the School of the Year awards in both radio and television in the same academic year, and in doing so, Goshen became only the second school ever to win the award in both categories since the first awards were given in 2005. Goshen College broadcasting students also won 22 other radio and television awards in the competition, including six first-place awards.

The Correspondent is the college’s bi-weekly television news broadcast produced by Goshen College students and distributed via the campus cable system and the Internet. Assistant Professor of Communication Seth Conley is the adviser for The Correspondent.

“We are honored to receive an award of this magnitude, especially two years in a row,” said Conley. “We realize that we are facing some very tough competition from other strong video programs across the state, so we are thrilled to be included in that group, let alone being named Television School of the Year for the third time in four years.”

The Globe has been on the air since 1958, is managed by members of the Goshen College Communication Department and is staffed by about 40 student workers and community volunteers. Each week The Globe features a fresh and eclectic mix of Americana, alternative acoustic, folk, singer-songwriters and world beat music. The Globe is one of a select number of reporting stations to the Americana Airplay Chart. It provides 24-hour programming, which includes music, news, public affairs and sports.

“We’re tickled!” said Samuel, about the repeat win. “We have students at all grade levels recognized with awards. If we didn’t have that deep of a roster of talent, we wouldn’t have repeated as Radio School of the Year. We tell students that when they come here they can get behind the microphone or the camera immediately and start working at their craft. So they gain four years of hands-on experience, instead of just one or two years like they would at much larger schools.”

Five Goshen College students and a faculty member will also receive awards at Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts in Las Vegas in April. Kyle Hufford, assistant professor of communication and general manager of the college’s video production company FiveCore Media, and Daniel Penner, who graduated in May 2012, will receive an award of excellence for the video “Goshen College Theater Department: Take 1.” The award comes in the mixed (teacher/student co-production) video category.

Meanwhile, on the audio side, sophomore Danielle Kerschhackl and senior Kelsey Morris took first place in best radio newscast; senior Benjamin Kelley, third place in radio and TV play by play; and senior Jimmy Cassoday, third place for the specialty program “After Hours.”

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