Success Stories

Hard worker earns scholarship and first job

When Spencer Wheelock learned he was chosen for a scholarship from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation, he was quite surprised.

“There are so many great students in the broadcasting major at Grand Valley,” he said. “I feel honored to be the recipient of this award.”

The MABF Scholarship Program recipients are identified by faculty representatives from selected schools throughout the state and ratified by the MABF Board of Directors. Scholarships were presented during the Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference and Expo on March 13 in Lansing. Wheelock received the $1,000 Jerry P. Colvin Scholarship, good toward college tuition and fees.

“Spencer has been a true leader in the broadcasting major,” said Keith Oppenheim, assistant professor in the School of Communications. “He is hard-working, a team player and shows terrific enthusiasm for his chosen field. While at Grand Valley, he has been dedicated to growing his skills as a multimedia journalist, in the classroom, as part of campus media, and during an internship in Grand Rapids.”

Wheelock had his own radio talk show on the student-run WCKS The Whale, and held a newsroom internship at WOOD-TV for nearly a year, where he gained valuable experience as a producer. He gave up the internship when he was hired as a newscast producer at the NBC affiliate in Traverse City. He accepted the position just months before graduation, working part-time while finishing up at Grand Valley, then joining the station full-time.  

“I feel very fortunate to have had such good professors at Grand Valley and be in a program well respected by the MABF,” said Wheelock. “Professor Oppenheim was very supportive and also taught me to push beyond my comfort zone to get the best experience possible. All the hard work really pays off when you get to do the job you love.”


by Mary Isca Pirkola

This story was filed with the tags: Academic Excellence, Communications, Scholarships, Undergraduate Student