Nominations include promotional art, sound effects and best use of video
Millikin University's student-run radio station 89.5 WJMU The Quad has been nominated for a station record eight national awards by the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS). Winners will be announced at the 80th Annual IBS International Media Conference March 6-8, 2020, at the Hotel Penn in Midtown Manhattan in New York City.
Every year, WJMU submits content created within the last year for the IBS Awards. This year's nominations span across numerous categories including specialty show, promotional art, sound effects and best use of video. The nominations are as follows:
- Best Specialty Show: "Transportation the Marmoset" by Frank Macaluso, a senior theatre major from Chicago
- Best On-Air Personalities: Jason Messina, a senior communication major from Crystal Lake, Ill., and Lane Caspar, a senior communication major from Sherman, Ill.
- Best Radio Drama: "Shivers and Chills" by Athena Pajer, a junior English literature major from Lovington, Ill.
- Best Station Promotional Poster: Stranger Things Poster created by Kiara Fultz, a senior arts technology major from St. Louis, Mo.
- Best Use of Sound Effects: "Devil's Advocate Show Promotion" created by Jason Messina and Lane Caspar
- Best Underwriting Spot: "Hardee's Underwriting" by Sam Meister, instructor of communication and WJMU station manager
- Best Comedy Show: "Owl Stretching Time" by Frank Macaluso
- Best Use of Video: "WJMU The Quad – True Blue Challenge" video, directed by Sam Meister and edited by Matt Sands
"It's exciting to be nominated … I think a few of the categories were unexpected," said Lane Caspar who serves as program director for WJMU. Caspar is a member of the six-person WJMU executive team along with Sam Meister, Frank Macaluso (production director), Meghan Whitlock (promotions director), Jason Messina (music director) and Sydney Stoewer, a junior communication major from Normal, Ill., who serves as projects coordinator.
The Best Use of Video category is one of the nominations that stood out to the executive team. "We were one of three organizations Millikin's Alumni & Development Office selected to help with the True Blue Challenge," said Meghan Whitlock, a senior music business major from Moseley, Va. "We did a lot of fundraising efforts through social media and the video was our main promotional bit. It's nice to be recognized for that campaign and that video itself. It was a station-wide effort. It's also great to see students who are not directly involved with WJMU get recognition, such as arts technology and theatre majors."
Caspar says the nomination for Best Sound Effects reflects the hard work of the WJMU production team. "We work very hard on sound mixing and editing, and I believe our production is very good," she said. "We're able to create prerecorded tracks that sound great, but to see the station get nominated for video production, sound mixing and sketch comedy is incredible."
Whitlock feels WJMU is gaining recognition because of the many creative opportunities that the station is involved with. "As an executive board, we've put in a lot more challenges and tasks over the past few years, and we've been able to branch out and do more things like video campaigns, Facebook Live videos and on-air drives."
IBS Awards finalists represent the top three to five percent of work submitted in their category to the National IBS from the previous year.
"I think there's been a rapid expansion over the last three to four years with new awards and categories, and it's nice to see our station earn nominations for work we did with Alumni & Development, arts technology and theatre – it's a combination of both the old and the new," said Sam Meister. "We're going up against institutions that have 300 to 400 students on their staff and we're always proud to compete with those schools."
WJMU's programming features shows that focus on sports, music and news as well as international programming that highlights Spanish, Hindi cinema and anime culture. Another element the station offers is the ability to play vinyl records on the air and feature music from bands that made radio relevant in society today. The station operates on the 3rd floor of the University Commons.
"The leadership from the student executive board has been fantastic. The quality they bring to the station, the diversity and ideas, the creativity all stands out," said Meister. "Having the station in the University Commons has given us more production room and more resources, and it entices students to want to do better work. Our quality, our quantity and our diversity, and the ways in which we can put ourselves out there and market WJMU, the communication program and Millikin continues to increase."
Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Inc. is a nonprofit education association and foundation that serves nonprofit education affiliated high school radio, college radio and community stations and streaming/webcasters. The organization has over 1,000 radio, television and webcasting station members. The 80th IBS Conference will feature over 150 speakers and 1,000 attendees from around the world.