Broadcasting Students Win at State Competition

Seven Oklahoma Baptist University electronic media production students won 14 awards at the 2009 Oklahoma Broadcast Education Association annual convention on April 17 in Tulsa. More than 300 student entries were submitted to the competition, and 240 Oklahoma students attended the conference.

The convention allows students to hear professionals present sessions about topics in media fields. OBU students attended "The Elements of Story Telling," led by NBC news reporter John Larson, and "Finding Focus," also led by Larson.

(from left) Lisha Newman, Andrea Gates, Megan Hungerford, Daniel Lay, Luke Small and Jeremy Stephenson.

"‘Elements of Story Telling' was really interesting, and we got a lot of good tips from an award-winning field professional," said Jeremy Stephenson, an OBU senior from Moore, Okla.

The convention also presents students the opportunity to enter their work into a competition months before the conference. At the event, they receive feedback from professionals about the work they have submitted.

"I like the chance to get professional feedback about our work," said Daniel J. Lay, an OBU senior and 2009 OBEA award winner from Boise City, Okla. "It's good to hear what professionals think about our work, and where we need improvement."

OBU students earned several top awards at the event. Andrea Gates, a senior from Plano, Texas, won three first-place awards for Radio Entertainment Narrative, Radio PSA, and TV Entertainment-Short. Stephenson won four awards: two first-place awards for Radio Commercial and Radio Entertainment-Short; a second-place award for Radio Entertainment-Narrative; and third-place for TV Feature News.

Lay also took home four awards: first place in Radio Hard News; two second-place awards for TV Entertainment-Short and TV PSA, in conjunction with senior Lisha Newman from Shawnee; and third place for TV Hard News. Luke Small, a junior from Owasso, Okla., earned two second-place awards for TV Hard News and TV Promotional Spot. Seniors Megan Hungerford, from Stillwater, Okla., and Christi Mitchell, from Blair, Okla., took first place for TV Sports Play by Play.

"I enjoy the opportunity to be around media professionals and to receive their critiques of my work through the OBEA awards," Gates said.

Students from OBU who attended said they enjoyed the experience and gained more knowledge about the media field.

"I believe that OBEA conferences get students in Oklahoma prepared for the real world of broadcasting," Mitchell said. "It is great to get to see OBU students so successful in the OBEA awards."

Dr. Roger Hadley, OBU Communication Arts Division Chair and Frank W. And Pauline G. Patterson professor of journalism, said competition for the state awards is fierce.

"Thirteen OBEA colleges and universities won production awards," Hadley said. "OBU tied with UCO with the most first-place awards, followed by OSU and OU with six and five first-place awards. OBU students should be proud of their achievements."