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Last updated: Saturday, 14-Mar-2009 19:10:25 Central Daylight Time

April 12, 2002


UW-RF Student Receives Regional Award, Scholarship

UW-River Falls student Megan Clarke is the recipient of two broadcast journalism awards; the first-place Eric Sevareid Award for radio documentary in the professional category and the Jack D.Shelley Scholarship of $1000 from the Northwest Broadcast News Association.

Clarke, a broadcast journalism major in her junior year from Mitchell, S.D., received the Eric Sevareid Award on April 5 at the "The MegaConference," a regional journalism conference held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington, Minn .

Her 18-minute documentary, "Animating Democracy in Amery ," was aired Sept. 13 on Wisconsin Public Radio in Eau Claire. It is set in the community of Amery, which received a grant from the Animating Democracy Initiative Group for the purpose of stimulating discussion on an issue through a form of art, such as photography, music, plays, poetry, short stories and sculpture.

The topic the community chose was water; water in all of its forms and what it means to the residents. Through various art forms they considered all aspects of water, including its usage, beauty, and pollution. The project kicked off last April on Earth Day, and was concluded in September.

"This was my first documentary, something I did to learn about radio and radio documentary production," said Clarke. "I conducted about 20 interviews and attended the events in Amery."

Clarke was nominated for the award by Dean Kallenbach, station manager for Wisconsin Public Radio in Eau Claire, for whom she worked as an intern last summer.

Said Kallenbach, "When I first met Megan, I was impressed with her maturity and respect for the field of journalism. She's aggressively open to new ideas and really seeks them out. Her focus and willingness to learn will take her as far as she would like to go in this business."

Kallenbach has worked in radio and television for 27 years, the last 16 of those with Wisconsin Public Radio. He has been WPR's regional manager representing Western Wisconsin for 12 years.

UW-RF Assistant Professor of journalism Patricia Berg won the NBNA award two years ago for her documentary "Working from the Heart," an in-depth look at the lives of Wisconsin dairy farmers. Clarke also received the award of merit along with Jason Kenyon, a junior from Amery majoring in broadcast journalism, for their five-minute weekly newscast on WRFW, the University radio station, which covers national, international, state and local news.

She serves as news director for WRFW hosting the hour-long public affairs program "Let's Talk" that airs on Tuesday evenings from 5 to 6 p.m. The program covers topics such as parking issues, and, for the first time ever this year, election coverage for all the races in Pierce and St. Croix Counties.

Associate Professor of journalism Sandy Ellis, teacher and advisor to Clarke, said, "Megan is bright and has a tremendous future ahead of her in journalism. Since she took over the job, the news presence in the community has increased significantly."

Concerning her scholarship, Clarke said, "I wouldn't have received the award without the help of the faculty in the journalism department and the opportunities the journalism program offers. Without those opportunities, I would not have been able to accomplish the things I have."

And I can't forget my peers. We all work together and help each other. All of the shows for WRFW are produced with the help of other students."

The Jack D. Shelley Scholarship is named for Jack Shelley, long-time anchor and news director at WHO/Des Moines and professor emeritus at Iowa State University. The scholarship is based on three criteria: dedication to broadcast journalism as a career, academic achievement, and experience in the field of broadcast journalism.


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