BVU Digital Media Students Receive 31 National Awards

The national honors, presented by the Society for Collegiate Journalists, included seven first place awards across online, television and radio.

Buena Vista University’s digital media students and organizations received 31 awards in the annual Society for Collegiate Journalists national media contest.  

SCJ’s national contest entries are judged by professionals in the media industry. The organization currently has more than 100 chapters across the nation, and all active members are eligible to enter original works in the contest. Each chapter may submit up to three entries per category, with more than 50 categories covering all media formats. The national contest does not distinguish divisions by the size of the school or chapter.  

Dr. Andrea Frantz, professor of digital media at BVU and executive board president of SCJ, chartered BVU’s chapter in the fall of 2012 and is proud of the number and level of achievements that BVU’s chapter members and organizations have received over the years. 

“This year’s competition across several categories was very tight with many entries from all over the nation,” said Frantz. “BVU is competing exceptionally well with schools that have enrollments and resources ten times or more BVU’s.” 

In overall awards, KBVU won second place in the nation in the companion broadcast website category. The radio station went through a re-branding process in 2017-18 that led to the development of its new website, and this was the first year KBVU was entered in this category as a result. Additionally, The Tack Online placed third in the overall online news website excellence category. 

Madeleine McCormick, a senior digital media major from Huxley, was also presented with a Certificate of Merit, which is a special award given by the SCJ National Office to recognize members who have provided significant contributions to campus media. 

“Madeleine was given the award for her outstanding leadership of both KBVU and The Tack Online and for pioneering long-form audio storytelling and investigative journalism at BVU,” said Frantz, who nominated McCormick for the honor. “It was really gratifying to see her receive the acknowledgement for her hard work.” 

Frantz added, “Perhaps one of the things I’m most proud of is that several of our students took on the challenge to cover some very tough issues, and did so with tenacity and integrity. Judges saw fit to reward those important voices this year.”  

The SCJ national awards that BVU media organizations and students received include:  

Commercial, Promotion & Public Service Announcement

  • First place: “BVTV: By Beavers, For Beavers” (Morgan McGrew, a senior digital media major from Ankeny)
  • Second place: “Rokerthon Appeal” (Morgan McGrew) 

Television Sports Package

  • Second place: “BVU v. Luther Football” (Morgan McGrew; Kyle Wiebers, a senior psychology major from Holstein; Andrew Bandstra, a senior digital media major from Des Moines; Tanner Hoops, a senior digital media major from Storm Lake; Cooper Maahs, a junior digital media major from Johnston; BVTV staff)
  • Third place: “BVU Baseball v. Mayfield” (Morgan McGrew, Andrew Bandstra; Tanner Hoops, Cooper Maahs, BVTV staff) 

Television Feature Package

  • First place: “Driving with the Presidents” (Morgan McGrew)
  • Second place: “Homecoming Court (The Office Parody)” (Morgan McGrew) 

Radio Commercial, Promo, or PSA

  • Honorable mention: “Autism Speaks PSA” (Kyle Wiebers; and Job Saunders, a junior music production and technology major from Aurora, Colo.) 

Radio Sports Package

  • Third place: “Iowa Conference Volleyball Tournament” (Tanner Hoops)
  • Honorable mention: “Buena Vista v. Central Baseball” (Tanner Hoops and Andrew Bandstra)

Radio Feature Package

  • First place: “Fear and Paranoia in America” (Andrew Bandstra and Cooper Maahs)
  • Second place: “Iowa Watch: Post-election” (Chase Harrison, Class of 2017)
  • Third place: “Veterans’ Affairs” (Tiffany Brauckman, Class of 2017; and Katelyn Bohaty, a senior theatre and digital media double major from Wahoo, Neb.)

 Radio News Package

  • First place: “The Face of Activism” (Madeleine McCormick)
  • Second place: “Politics of Fear: What are we so afraid of? Immigration” (Madeleine McCormick)

 Companion Broadcast Website

  • Second place: “KBVU The Edge” (KBVU staff)

 Online News Website Overall Excellence

  • Third place: “The Tack Online” (The Tack Online staff)

 Individual Magazine Writing

  • Honorable mention: “Mimetic Theory at Wal Mart on Black Friday” (Olivia Wieseler, a junior digital media and English double major from Saint Helena, Neb.)

 Sports News

  • Honorable mention: “Beaver football seniors ‘build the dam’ for their younger teammates” (Emily Kenny, a senior psychology and digital media double major from Schaller)

 Feature Writing

  • Third place: “This is who I am! A Spina Bifida Story” (Alyssa Donnelly, a junior strategic public relations major from Council Bluffs) 

Column or Commentary

  • Second place: “Justice League: Warner Bros., we need to talk” (Sarah Nicholson, a senior digital media major from Jefferson)
  • Third place: “Anxiety and depression: The stories you don’t know” (Olivia Wieseler) 

Continuing Coverage

  • First place: “BVU Students Take a Knee During National Anthem; Receive Public Pushback” (Madeleine McCormick and Kylee Deering, a senior corporate communications major from Adel) 

Multi-Story News Series

  • Third place: “Series on racial incidents on campus” (Kylee Deering)

 News Writing

  • Second place: “BVU President Responds to Trump Action to Rescind DACA” (Madeleine McCormick)

 Multimedia Feature

  • Second place: “A Friendly Face to Fearful Hearts” (Deidree Friesen, a senior digital media major from Storm Lake)

 Multimedia Slideshow

  • Second place: “Monks Create Intricate Sand Mandala in BVU Art Gallery” (Deidree Friesen)

 Multimedia Sports Story

  • First place: “A Wrestler’s Story: Shane Vaughan” (Allyssa Ertz, a junior digital media major from Denison)
  • Second place: “Changing of the Guard” (Andrew Bandstra)

 Editorial Cartoon

  • Third place: “Thanksgiving Cartoon” (Mackenzie Rappe, a senior digital media major from Waukee)

 Feature Photography

  • Honorable mention: “Monk Photo” (Deidree Friesen)

 News Photography

  • First place: “President issues statement focused on moving forward following kneeling protest” (Emily Kenny)