Students win media awards for TV, radio and news

Generic image of an On Air sign
Image Credit: Bernadine Carey-Tucker

Several students working for media entities on campus recently received multiple awards for their work at Grand Valley.

Broadcast content produced by GVTV and WCKS "The Whale" received honors from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Student Media Awards. Students received the awards during a luncheon in Lansing on March 8.

Len O'Kelly, assistant professor of multimedia journalism and faculty supervisor for GVTV and WCKS, said these awards can make a big impact for students.

"The job market is tough and any advantage a student can gain to stand out helps," he said. "The students working for campus radio and TV don't get paid, nor do they receive credit. They are doing the work to better themselves as journalists and broadcasters, and these recognitions are an endorsement of the skills and training they receive at Grand Valley."

Staff for the Lanthorn also recently won awards in the 2016 College Better Newspaper Contest, sponsored by the Michigan Press Association. Audra Gamble, former editor-in-chief who graduated in December, took home four awards for writing, the most of any single college journalist in Michigan. The Lanthorn competes in Division I against schools like University of Michigan, Central Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University because it publishes more than one edition per week.

Below is a full list of awards received.

GVTV Awards:

PSA (1st Place) - “Flint Water Crisis," Olivia Smith

News Feature (2nd place) - “Greek Philanthropy,” Jeana Gondek and Kyle Bindas

Hard News (Honorable Mention) - “GVSU Walkout Protest,” Blair Thompson, Regan Blissett, Kyle Bindas, Montez Fennick

WCKS The Whale Awards:

Sports Play-By-Play (1st Place) - Paul McPherson, Nate Dreyer, Jacob Farah

On-air Personality or Team (2nd Place) - "The Shady Bunch," Patrick Mast, Logan Church, Maitlynn Mossolle, Cierra Prosser

Daily Newscast/News Feature (Honorable Mention) - “Questioning Student Initiatives at the White House,” Meghan McBrady, A.J. Bedard

The Lanthorn:

Feature Story (1st place) - “Fighting through Fear,” Audra Gamble

Feature Story (2nd place) - “Finding Happiness in Heels,” Audra Gamble

Investigative Reporting (3rd place) - “Following the Battle of Valley’s Funds,” Audra Gamble

Front Page Design (2nd place) - Layout staff, Chase Hasper, layout editor

News Photo (2nd place) - “Flint Lives Matter,” Kevin Sielaff

News Photo (3rd place) - “Bernie Sanders,” Emily Frye

News Photo (Honorable Mention) - “Trump,” Kevin Sielaff

Sports Feature (3rd place) - “Junior Nickelback Stepping into Primetime Role for GVSU,” Adam Knorr

Single Advertisement (1st place) - “Enclave,” Kelsey Kolokowski

Special Advertising Section (2nd place) - “Housing Guide,” Kelsey Kolokowski

Best Photographer (Honorable Mention) - Emily Frye

Best Writer (Honorable Mention) - Audra Gamble 


For more information about WCKS The Whale, visit

For more information about the Lanthorn, visit