Alumna puts reporting skills to work at non-profit organization

Kara Lopp, Jason Lopp, Dog Bella

2005 graduate Kara Lopp with her husband, Jason, and their rescue dog, Bella

by Caitlin Vartorella
Reporting Student

Kara Lopp, class of 2005, has come a long way since her days as a Falcon. From changing careers and moving states, a lot has gone on in the last 13 years. Lopp now spends her days working for a non-profit outside Charlotte, North Carolina, and loves every second of it.

Lopp started working at JAJ Nonprofit Resource, LLC, four years ago as the vice president of community relations. JAJ Nonprofit Resource is a nonprofit consultant agency that helps nonprofit organizations achieve their missions through serving, educating, and consulting.

Although she loved reporting, Lopp said the switch to a nonprofit organization was a no-brainer for her. “I’ve always loved nonprofits and doing volunteer work,” she said. “I wanted to be able to use my skills to benefit a cause.”

Lopp started writing press releases, running social media accounts, and fundraising for different events around the community. She also works part time for Common Heart, a grassroots movement that began in 2006. Kara focuses mostly on Common Heart’s work with local food pantries, as they operate six in the Matthews, North Carolina, area.

Lopp’s switch to communications came as a surprise to some of those who knew her during her time at BGSU. Kelly Taylor, journalism professor and one of Lopp’s mentors, was taken back when she found out Lopp left the news world. “I was a little surprised that she switched from journalism to communications because she was such a good reporter and always worked in the newspaper business,” Taylor said. “I am not surprised she is doing nonprofit work, though. She is a very generous and caring person. She is easy to talk to, a trait which also made her a good reporter.”

Lopp started out her freshman year at the university by joining the BG News staff as a reporter and stayed with the program until she graduated. By her sophomore year Lopp was the editor of the community section and by junior year editor in chief.

During her senior year, Lopp created something that is still a staple in the newsroom today: the mentorship program. She started the mentorship program as a way for upperclass students to welcome first year students into the BG News and help them get adjusted in a way that would be the least intimidating.

Before her senior year, Lopp acquired an internship with Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

After she graduated she worked at the Journal Gazette for about a year and a half as a general assignment reporter and then from there did some reporting for the Auburn bureau office. It was right around this time that Lopp got married and her husband got a new job, relocating them to North Carolina.

In 2007 Lopp got a job at the Charlotte Observer bureau office and reported there for a year before becoming a freelance reporter and then editor of the local newspaper called Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly. She stayed there for about five years before changing her career from journalism to communications.

Even though Lopp is enjoying her nonprofit work, she says she will always miss working in news. “Nothing beats the comradery of a news room,” Lopp said. “As a reporter and an editor it was amazing to go out and interact with and meet new people. There’s just a special kind of energy that comes with the job and the people.”

Looking back on her time at BGSU, Lopp said she loved her experiences and feels that her professors helped prepare her for the real world. “I made life-long friends in college, including some of my professors,” Lopp said. “Bob Bortel and Kelly Taylor were such good mentors to me every step of the way.”

Bortel and Taylor, who are both still at BGSU, have stayed in-touch with Lopp over the years. “Kara was one of those rare students that combined good journalistic skills with the personality to also be a good editor,” Bortel said. “She had great skills, but also great humility about herself, meaning she was very coachable to becoming a better writer and listened to advice. She never took it personally.”

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Pro basketball, textbooks and summer camp part of PR alumna’s varied career path

Jennifer Libertowski ‘99

by Kari Toncre
Reporting Student

Alumna Jennifer Libertowski began her career after her four and a half years on campus working with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Quicken Loans Arena Public Relations.

At the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena, Libertowski worked with the arena public relations, which dealt with touring shows that would perform in the arena.

Libertowski said that she was just denied from another job due to her lack of experience. Her next interview was the one with the Cavaliers.

They asked her if she knew anything about basketball and she was honest and told them no. She was worried that she lost her chance of the job by being honest.

“The worst thing you can ever do is sell yourself out on a skill you don’t have,” Libertowski said. “When I got hired, I found out from my boss that they didn’t want someone whose ultimate love was basketball. My job was to focus on the show, not the team. It worked out amazing.”

After working with the PR team at Quicken Loans Arena, Libertowski went on to work at the National Association of College Stores in Oberlin, Ohio, where she was a public relations specialist for 15 years.

While Libertowski was working at the National Association of College Stores, the students in professor Terry Rentner’s PR campaign class, a class Libertowski took while she was a student at BGSU, partnered with Libertowski and her boss. They became the class’s client.

“We focused on textbook prices with the BGSU bookstore and NACS,” Renter said. “It was fun for her to go from student and then as a professional working with me in a different capacity.”

Libertowski graduated from BGSU in the August of 1999 with a major in public relations and a minor in marketing.

“I originally wanted to be a reporter. I didn’t even know that a career in public relations existed,” Libertowski said.  “I also did some shadowing in a newsroom and realized being a reporter just wasn’t for me, so I chose to pursue the public relations path.”

Libertowski said she chose marketing as her minor because “it goes hand in hand with public relations.” She said that having a good understanding of marketing is helpful because the field of public relations has changed so drastically that the lines between public relations and marketing are blurred.

“Jennifer had very good writing skills,” Rentner said. “She was very career orientated. She was a person ready to tackle the public relations world. And she did.”

Libertowski was involved with Sigma Kappa sorority and Public Relations Student Society of America during her time on campus.

In addition, she worked three unpaid internships during her college career. One was with the Toledo Storm, the former East Coast Hockey League team in Toledo, as a  marketing and communications intern.

“That’s what sets you apart from your competition,” Libertowski said. “The bigger your portfolio of real work, the more competitive you’re going to be when trying to get that first job.”

Today, she works part time at a non-profit called Common Ground at the Cindy Nord Center for Renewal as a marketing and development manager. The retreat, renewal facility located in Oberlin, Ohio, hosts summer camps for kids and corporate leadership and a zip line canopy tour.

“I decided to switch to this part-time job because full time was beginning to become too much. Although, I wanted to stay in the marketing, public relations field to keep my skill set active,” Libertowski said. “This way I can be home more with my two young daughters.”

Libertowski is also accredited in public relations (APR) through the Public Relations Society of America.

Libertowski recommends keeping up with the trends happening in the field of public relations.

“Diversify yourself,” she said. “The traditional public relations job was focused on public relations and media relations, but I feel like it doesn’t exist anymore. Those traditional PR jobs are crossed over more. You see marketing communications and content marketing. The more diversified you can make yourself the better off you’ll be.”

She added: “Get those internships. Don’t be afraid to take unpaid ones. Anything you can do to make yourself stand out from the rest.”

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Broadcast graduate travels road from sports television to communication specialist

Sarah Sanchez

Sarah Sanchez ’15

by Autumn Stevens
Reporting Student

Nearly 1,575 miles separate Bowling Green State University and Weslaco, Texas, the hometown of 2015 graduate Sarah Sanchez. Sanchez said she took a chance on the university not letting the distance deter her, and once campus, she made the most of her chances that came her way. Now, those chances are playing out in ways she hadn’t imagined.

As an undergraduate, Sanchez helped with BGonTV, a student organization that creates content that is broadcast on WBGU-TV, the campus PBS affiliate-station. This allowed for her to host her own show that taught her shooting and editing during her freshman year. By her senior year she became vice president of the organization and took a part-time job at WBGU.

“I knew journalism is the way I wanted to go,” Sanchez said. “It is fun to meet people, hear their story, see their passion and to tell that story.”

Sanchez said a professor that really pushed her to work toward her goals was Kelly Taylor. Taylor invited Sanchez to join a seven-member team of BGSU students covering the Ohio Newspaper Association annual convention in 2015.

Taylor said Sanchez was the consummate professional during the weeklong project.

“Being a student journalist covering a professional journalism event is tougher than covering something for class or student media,” Taylor said.  “The professionals attending the event care about journalism being done right so the stakes are higher.  Sarah represented BGSU very well.”

Taylor further described Sanchez as a confident and personable young woman. “She was always upbeat and approachable, important traits for a then budding journalist. These are also the same qualities that no doubt serve her well in her current job.

Post-graduation, Sanchez found herself in a front desk secretary position with Buckeye Cable Sports Network, as a way to break into the television industry.

After several months in that position, upper level management decided to put her in front of the camera. Her first spot was a live shot, covering a playoff round game for the Toledo Walleye.

Following the success of her first on-camera spot, Jeff Young, the live events manager, decided to keep her in front of the camera, but for the company’s arts network, BCAN.

Young included Sanchez on a trip to Washington, D.C., to work on a story at the Veteran’s Memorial. “While she was there we could see how far she had come from that first live shot,” Young said.  “Sarah has a passion for storytelling and you can see her passion for feel good stories.”

Sanchez also holds the in-game hosting position for the Toledo Walleye and MudHens.

While Sanchez liked her work for the Buckeye Sports Network she felt there was another position out there somewhere that would allow her to help out more in the community.

That position presented itself and in January Sanchez took a job as a communication specialist  at the Ohio Council of Community Schools. Sanchez role is to set up partnerships with organizations to help provide in their charter schools with unique opportunities.

One of the programs is a hockey-themed reading curriculum that partners with the Toledo Walleye, connecting her two worlds. Children get to meet the players and learn how to play hockey.

“BGSU prepared me how to interact with every contact I made. It gave me the confidence to ask for an interview. You do not get what you do not ask for,” Sanchez said. “My job now is building relationships and building those communication skills. I learned things that I never thought I would have to use. I was in TV, but now I am writing press releases.”

While Sanchez did not know what to expect when making the journey from Weslaco, Texas, she has learned it was worth the distance.

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Bortel named to BGSU Journalism Hall of Fame

Jared Wadley and Bob Bortel.

Jared Wadley and Bob Bortel. Wadley, a member of the BG News Alumni Society board, introduced Bortel at the awards ceremony.

Bob Bortel, the longtime editorial adviser and business manager of Bowling Green State University’s campus newspaper, was inducted into the Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism Hall of Fame at during the annual spring awards ceremony.

Bortel, a 1977 BGSU journalism graduate who began working for The BG News as a student reporter, summer editor and production manager, has overseen the campus newspaper operation full time since 1982.

Since 2015, he has supervised operations of BG Falcon Media, the unified student media organization that, besides The BG News, includes WBGU-FM; BG 24 TV News; Bowling Green Radio Sports; Key Magazine; and The Obsidian, the multicultural newspaper.

Under Bortel’s leadership, The BG News was named the nation’s best college paper by the Society of Professional Journalists in 1988-89 and is a seven-time winner of the best paper award in SPJ’s Region IV. In 2000-01, The BG News was one of only seven newspapers nationally and 15 internationally to receive the Society of News Design’s Gold Ribbon Award for best redesigned paper.

The newspaper’s website, bgnews.com, received recognition in 2012 and 2013 as one of the top collegiate websites in the nation by the Associated Collegiate Press. “The foundation for my career as a newsroom leader was built at The BG News, and the person who set the example, then and now, is Bob Bortel,” said fellow Journalism Hall of Famer Mizell Stewart III, senior news executive at the USA Today Network. “He is a committed journalist, a creative and transformational business executive and a supportive, inspiring leader.”

Bortel, who also earned an MBA from BGSU in 1983, was the 2010 winner of the Golden Touchstone Award from the Press Club of Toledo for significant career contributions to Northwest Ohio journalism. He is a member of the Press Club of Toledo and the College Media Advisers.

Bortel is a 1973 graduate of Liberty Center (Ohio) High School and a former resident of Napoleon, Ohio. He currently lives in the rural Liberty Center area. BGSU’s Journalism Hall of Fame award began in 1979.

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Goodman journalism scholarship awarded

Goodman Scholarship Cassandra Goodman and Abigail Shifley

Cassandra Goodman awards Abigail Shifley the memorial scholarship award in honor of her father, Terry Goodman, ’78.

A current Bowling Green State University student and an incoming BGSU freshman have been named winners of the Terry Goodman Memorial Journalism Scholarship at the university.

The awards are intended for students who work at the campus newspaper, The BG News, and are sponsored by the BG News Alumni Society and presented by the Department of Journalism and Public Relations on April 13. This is the second year the awards have been given.

Winner of a $500 scholarship is Abigail Shifley, a rising sophomore multiplatform journalism major from Ashland, Ohio, but who grew up in New Delhi, India. Her family, always native Ohioans, moved permanently from India to Ashland while Shifley was in junior high. She is a 2017 Ashland High School graduate. Shifley currently is a reporter at The BG News and is expected to assume an editor’s position next academic year. She plans on attending graduate school and devoting her career in journalism to giving a voice to the less fortunate.

Winner of a $250 scholarship is Alicia Kobasic, a senior from Brunswick, Ohio, a Cleveland- area suburb. Kobasic will enroll  fall semester and plans to work at The BG News and develop her writing while pushing herself to work outside her comfort zone. She currently is a senior Brunswick High School and is editor of the high school newspaper, The Devilier. She oversees all writers, edits stories and supervises the design of the paper. She was a staff writer her junior year.

Goodman was a 1978 BGSU journalism graduate who was sports editor of The BG News. He went on to win 39 state and national journalism awards during a reporting and editing career with the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, The Chronicle-Telegram in Elyria, the Sandusky Register and The Morning Journal in Lorain. At The Morning Journal, he was sports editor and then associate managing editor in charge of daily layout and design from 1980 until the time of his death from cancer in 1996.

The BG News Alumni Society was established in 2002 to provide alumni support for current BG News staff and raise funds in support of student scholarships.

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PR alumna plans events for historic national site

Megan Justice

Megan Justice ’09

by Grace Gebo
Reporting Student

Everyday alumna Megan Justice walks into the house of the third President of the United States to start her job.

In 2016, Justice became the Director of Events at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, a position Justice considers her dream job.

Terry Renter, a journalism and public relations professor, said the job fits Justice. “That fits her personality and her talents,” she said.

Justice and her team plan different events like weddings, socials and corporate retreats. They also plan all internal foundation events.

Justice’s favorite event is the Independence Day Naturalization Ceremony held on July Fourth.

“It’s very fulfilling to see the logistics my team has coordinated come together,” Justice said. “There are a lot of moving parts, including holding actual court on the lawn. Most importantly, we naturalize around 75 new citizens each year during the ceremony.”

Before Justice got her dream job at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation she worked as an intern in Washington D.C.

“When I graduated college in 2009, the economy was terrible and there weren’t a lot of jobs in journalism or public relations,” Justice said. “I heard about an unpaid event planning internship at Capitol Services in Washington, D.C., and figured, why not?”

After the unpaid internship, Justice moved into a sales position at Gaylord National Resort, a convention center located in National Harbor, Maryland.  Justice said she never thought that she would get a job in sales, but it ended up helping with the hospitality component of event planning.

“It certainly wasn’t what I thought I’d do after college as it wasn’t directly related to my degree, but that internship and job really drove home my love for the hospitality industry and event planning,” she said.

When Justice started school at BGSU she didn’t know she wanted to focus in Public Relations until she had a class taught by Rentner.

“Dr. Rentner was one of my absolute favorite professors,” Justice said. “After taking one of her classes, I realized my passion was actually in Public Relations not in print journalism and I changed the focus of my major.”

Renter described Justice as “high energy.”  Rentner has visited Justice recently. “I went to Washington, D.C., and visited her and she is very talented and engaged in her career,” Renter said.

Justice said it’s important for students to get involved with student media and take advantage of experiences college provides students.

“Not only did BGSU prepare me with a college degree, they also provided me with the professional skills needed to succeed,” she said. “One of the main reasons I was able to get an internship was the real-life experience I gained in the classroom.”

As for what is coming up in Justice’s dream job. She is currently planning on an event where the foundation is planning on opening Sally Heming’s Room and the rest of the South Wing at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s House.

“[The event] signals the end of the restoration that’s been happening for the last few years. This will happen over a celebratory three days and include a large public event on the West Lawn,” Justice said.

Justice is excited to invite people to the West Lawn at house of the third president of the United States. 

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New Toledo WTOL news anchor is not new to Toledo television

Kristi Leigh

Kristi Leigh

By Marianna Bohannon
Reporting Student

Award-winning journalist and  WTOL news anchor Kristi Leigh solidifies her position as the face of broadcast in Toledo.

Leigh is one of the few people to work at all four local news stations in the Toledo area. She got her start in broadcast with internships at Toledo CW, and WLIO, a station in Lima, Ohio.

Leigh was doing her last internship at WLIO when she got the opportunity to produce news content for the first time. Leigh said the news director didn’t let interns contribute to the content but she secretly produced news packages anyway.

“I had to be very ambitious,” Leigh said. “It was the third weekend I was down there that I just told the producer, I’m going to do a package for you today. She was like ‘okay’, and I just kind of did it under his nose.”

Following graduation, Leigh landed her first job in the Toledo market as a reporter for Fox 36. Leigh said she was motivated to get a job because she was married and got pregnant with her first child during her senior year of college.

“I just thought that if I didn’t get started that it was going to be that pipe dream that happens for most people,” Leigh said.

Leigh said working for so many stations in the Toledo area was something that happened “not by design.”

When Leigh was reporting for Fox 36, the station was bought out by WTOL Channel 11 which resulted in a large cut of employees. Leigh was cut because she was working part time.

In search of another reporting job, Leigh sought out more news stations in the area.

“I reached out personally to Channel 24 and Channel 13 at the time,” she said. “Channel 24 didn’t even respond at that time and Channel 13 was like ‘sure, come in for an interview,’ so I started working part time for Channel 13.”

When Leigh was ready to return to full-time work, Channel 13 wasn’t hiring but Channel 24 was looking to expand.

Channel 24 offered Leigh a full-time position as a news anchor and a reporter that she just couldn’t turn down.

After almost a year and a half in, Leigh was laid off. She received interest and interviews from larger cities in a bigger market, which drew the attention of Channel 11 producers.

“Ultimately, it was where God wanted me to be,” Leigh said. “It was very clear: like, how did this top job open up just as I had lost my job? So, I felt like I couldn’t ignore that.”

Leigh said from the time she was a child she knew she had a knack for journalism.

“It started as something where my parents would call me a little reporter because I would ask so many questions,” she said.

At BGSU, Leigh dedicated her time first to the BG News then BG 24 as a reporter, producer, and anchor.

“I started with The BG News and my best experience is when I did an opinion column,” she said. “I was pretty bold in my opinions so that was fun getting to share my opinions and really spark conversation.”

Initially, Leigh started out as a print major but soon moved to broadcast.

“It was actually a bit of a struggle,” Leigh said. “I don’t know that I would recommend someone starting in print and moving to broadcasting. It seems like it would be a good idea, but in the end, you have to break yourself from all the habits of writing for print.”

As a senior, Leigh won the Outstanding Broadcast Student Award given by the department.

Professor Jim Foust described Leigh as very determined and driven. “She sort of always had her eye on the prize,” he said. “She always had a star quality to her.”

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PR alumna traded work life for family life

Stacy Murphy, ’99

Stacy Murphy, ’99

By Anika Cunningham
Reporting Student

Public Relations alumna Stacy Fowler Murphy traded in her long hours and phone calls to CEO’s for a life as a planner of play dates and full-time mom for her two daughters, ages 12 and 9.

“I am very fortunate that I can stay and care for my children,” the 1999 graduate said. “It is a blessing.”

Murphy, a native of Huron, Ohio, began her journey at BGSU as an education major, but quickly realized that was not for her.

“I decided to major in PR because I always wanted to do something creative,” Murphy said. “I always wanted to worked with different types of businesses whether it was a nonprofit or a for profit business.”

Switching to journalism, Murphy became heavily involved in student publications, writing for the BG News and reporting for the radio station. She also joined the Public Relations Student Society of America.

“Stacy was always very hard working and dedicated to a career in PR,” said Terry Rentner, head of the PR sequence. “Over the years Stacy has always stood out as an excellent go- getter. I always knew that Stacy could make it in the PR world.”

Murphy’s first job after graduation was at Lourdes College as Director of Alumni Affairs and Public Relations.

Two years later, she took a job at the Toledo Botanical Garden as Director of Public Relations and Events. “I was an event planner and I worked very long hours,” Murphy said.

Wanting a typical 8-5 job and looking for better opportunities, Murphy retuned to BGSU in 2003 to work on a master’s degree in communication studies.

A year later and master’s degree in hand, Murphy took a position as an Alumni Program Officer at Cleveland State University.

“I do not regret getting my master’s degree because I loved working at Cleveland State University,” Murphy said. “The only regret that I do have is not expanding my education and getting my doctorate degree. My mentor Terry Rentner always encouraged me to go back and get my doctorates degree but I never thought it was important.”

While working at Cleveland State University, Murphy gave birth to her first daughter and decided to stop working and take care of her family.

“My job did not offer day care services so becoming a full-time mom was the only option that I had,” she said. “I knew that my husband and I would be fine financially since he was in law school.”

Murphy still uses her degree but in a much different way. Both of Murphy’s daughters are on a local soccer team so Murphy is a photographer for the team and handles the teams’ social media account.

Recently Murphy said she and her husband had a conversation about her going back to work since their daughters are getting old enough to care for themselves.

“I would love to go back to work,” she said. “If I do go back to work, I want to work part time so I can always be available for my girls.”

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Broadcast graduate finding success in her home state of Illinois

Hannah Hilyard

Hannah Hilyard, ‘14

by Danielle Kane
Reporting Stuent

Involvement in extra-curricular activities is the best way to learn, said 2014 graduate Hannah Hilyard, a general assignment reporter in Des Moines, Iowa.

Hilyard said she learned so much being in the field at BGSU.

“I invested many hours a week into BG24 and don’t regret it for a second,” Hilyard said. “As nerve wracking as it may be, just getting out there and doing it is the only way you’re going to learn.”

Kathy Bradshaw, an associate professor who taught Hilyard in the upper level broadcast classes, said, “She was kind and engaged with other people in terms of working with BG24. She would be helpful with other people and I think that’s a sign of success.”

Hilard is a second generation journalist. Her father was in the newspaper business working for the Peoria Journal Star.

“He is definitely the reason I got into journalism in the first place, “ Hilyard said.  He didn’t push it on me, though. In fact, it was the opposite. He didn’t want me to go into news because of the state of newspaper nationwide right now. But I took that as he didn’t want me to go into print, which is why I went into broadcast journalism instead.”

Hilyard’s first job after she graduation took her to her hometown of Peoria, Illinois. She was a general assignment reporter at WMBD.

Last year, she accepted the same job title but in Des Moines.

Hilyard said the challenge she faces day to day in her job are deadlines. “You are assigned a story at 10 in the morning, and you have to have a package ready by 5 or 6 o’clock at night — along with other versions of your story, as well,” she said. “And of course, you are at the mercy of other people’s schedules, so that’s always tough.”

Bradshaw said Hilyard always knew how to get a story done. “I will always remember Hannah for her creativity, generosity, her kindness, and the skill at which she did things,” she said.

Hilyard said: “I’m doing exactly what I studied at BGSU to do. Not everyone can say that.”

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Alumnus’ Tweet becomes USA Today Editorial

Tyler Buchanan, 2013, is in the news rather than editing the news this time.

Buchanan, the 26-year-old editor of the Athens Messenger, responded to a New York Times profile about Erik Hagerman, who now lives just outside of Athens and has been purposefully avoiding the news since President Trump’s election. Buchanan tweeted about the self-imposed news blackout, then USA Today asked him to turn it into an editorial.

Read Andrea Simakis Plain Dealer story, “An Ohio ‘millennial newspaper editor’ takes on news hermits and New York Times,” about how it all unfolded here.

Read the USA Today editorial, “It’s tempting to ignore the news to avoid Trump. Here’s why I hope you won’t,” here.

Also of note, Buchanan was just appointed a board member of the BGNews Alumni Society.

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BG News Alumni Society Adds Two New Board Members

The BG News Alumni Society voted to add  Tyler Buchanan and Alissa Widman Neese to the 12-member board at its March 17 meeting in the Falcon Media convergence lab in the Kuhlin Center.

BACKGROUND ON THE NEWEST BOARD MEMBERS:
Tyler Buchanan, 2013, was named editor of Athens (Ohio) Messenger in July 2017. He has also served as editor of its sister newspaper, The Vinton County Courier, since 2015. Buchanan joined The Messenger and The Courier in June 2013 shortly after graduating from BGSU. From 2014 to 2016, Buchanan broadcast high school football games as a radio commentator for WSEO out of Nelsonville. He continues to call basketball and football games as a play-by-play and color commentator for The Messenger’s digital broadcasting service. He began writing for The BG News as a columnist his freshman year and later served for several years as a reporter and In Focus Editor.

Alissa Widman Neese, 2012, is a reporter at the Columbus Dispatch. Neese joined the Dispatch in April 2016 as a suburban government reporter after spending three years covering education at the Sandusky Register. She has since taken on additional assignments in Columbus covering the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and issues related to aging. Neese worked in several capacities at The BG News throughout her college career, including reporting, copy editing, column-writing and serving as managing editor her senior year.

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Broadcast alumna lives her NASCAR dream in a way she had not anticipated

Katie Wernke

Katie Wernke
2015 Alumna

by Meredith Troxel
Reporting Student

As college students, we all want to someday reach our dream job. Whether it takes a year or 10, and no matter big or small, we can see our dream in sight. 2015 broadcast journalism alumna Katie Wernke is the poster-child for reaching even your wildest of dreams.

Wernke dreamed of one day working for NASCAR. And at 24, she is living her dream, though it turns out to be in public relations and not television.

In January of 2016, she started as a digital marketing manager for ARCA Racing Series, her first post-graduation job, which she said came after a tough six-month search.

“I think once I started working for ARCA and doing a lot of behind-the-scenes type of work I really ended up enjoying that,” Wernke said. “I started doing more with Photoshop and working with the different drivers throughout the series and I sort of fell into that role really well and realized that TV wasn’t what I really wanted to do.”

Staying in the public relations field, Wernke became PR director at Cunningham Motorsports in 2017 then moved to Kaulig Racing in November that same year.

At  Kaulig Racing, one of the teams in the NASCAR Xfinity Series,  Wernke is the communications and digital content specialist.

“I handle all of our driver’s day-to-day and at-track scheduling and appearances as well as team videos, graphics and social media,” she said. “It’s really a great job and a great fit for me because  I’ve been able to unleash a design potential I never even knew I had until working in racing.”

Although Wernke was able to reach her dream career so quickly, she did face a few challenges along the way.

“Like every job, you have to climb your way up the ladder and starting off in an entirely different racing series was a challenge in itself,” Wernke said.

Wernke’s time at BGSU help set her up for success.

A transfer student from the University of Cincinnati, Wernke participated in BG News and Kappa Delta Sorority at BGSU.

She was the sports director for BG24, the student run television station, her senior year. During that time, she oversaw the sports department, which included planning weekly content and reviewing final stories before air time.

Ken Garland, faculty adviser for BG24, remembers Wernke as someone who moved the sports coverage forward.

“Katie had a great work ethic,” Garland said.  “She went above just game footage and went the extra mile.”

Wernke said being independent in the classroom and going out to find stories were a big plus for her work.

“With my job, teamwork is vital, but there is also a sense of independence,” Wernke said. A lot of graphics and video ideas I need to come up with and execute on my own.”

Coming out of high school, Wernke said working in sports was always her dream, even though she thought it was far-off. She credits Garland for showing  her the potential she had in journalism.

“Ken helped me see that if I wanted it, there was without a doubt I could make it,” Wernke said. “I think my experience at BG wouldn’t have been anywhere close to what it was without Ken.”

As sports broadcast becomes a more competitive field, Garland said students who want to go into sports broadcast should be determined to succeed.

“College is great for finding what you want to do,” Garland said.  “It is important to try to get a position early because it may not be what you think.”

Wernke recommends that students takes risks and jump right into the action, even if that means accepting some losses.

“At some point you’re going to come to a fork in the road and you can either take a chance or stay safe,” Wernke said. “As terrifying as it may be, if you really want to be happy and achieve your dreams, you have to take that chance.”

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PR student’s ‘study away’ semester takes her out to sea

Read about PR student Audra Delaney’s first weeks in Mystic, Connecticut, where she is taking a semester away from BG to broaden her skills. Click here to read the full story.Postcard-from-Abroad-Audra-DeLaney

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Broadcast instructor promoted to lecturer

by Erica Hanko
Reporting Student

Ken Garland

Ken Garland

Thousands of Americans tune into their local news stations every day to listen to clean cut, well-dressed men and women talk about the world’s happenings. Journalism instructor Ken Garland was part of that industry.

Garland has had a broadcast career spanning over 18 years in five different markets.

From being a news anchor for WVTV-TV in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to doing play-by-play sport broadcasts for the Anchorage Bucs, an Alaskan baseball team, Garland brings those qualities to the classroom where he helps young students learn the skills to become successful in the broadcast industry.

For his dedication, Garland is being promoted to lecturer.

“He has done a really great job with everything we’ve thrown at him,” Jim Foust, chair of the Department of Journalism and Public Relations, said.

Foust said Garland is a really hard worker who always wants to work with students. “I am always seeing him out and around campus carrying cameras and getting ready for live shoots with the BG24 News,” Foust said.

Foust said the department recommended Garland for promotion based on his involvement with student media, positive teaching evaluations, and good service to the department.

Garland began his career with Bowling Green State University six years ago this May.

His position was originally created in 2011 by Terry Rentner, then director of the School of Media and Communications.

Garland said, “The job description was Instructor, News Broadcaster Operations. I thought, ‘Oh yeah! I can see that on a business card.’”

The position was to teach two courses and advise the campus student media news organization BG24 News.

Rentner wanted to have an instructor in the position who could divide their time between teaching and overseeing BG24 News. Garland was the man for the job.

Bob Bortel, director of student media, said Garland has been very much a team player. “He is a great listener and has a good background to draw from professionally,” Bortel said.

Garland said he loves the moments when students get what he is teaching, when he can spark students’ excitement.

“Some students have come back and said they are doing something now because of

something I’ve said, something I did, or something we worked together on because I got them excited and that to me is the big deal,” Garland said. “That is the most rewarding part.”

A story Garland likes to share with his Visual Editing classes illustrates the rewards of teaching. Garland tells about a student who said he was ruined because of taking the editing class with Garland. The student said he couldn’t watch movies without looking at the editing.

“The guy noticed it so he obviously learned something and on top of that he got excited about it,” Garland said.

 

 

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Alumnus credits BG News for making him a better journalist

Bob Moser, ’06

Bob Moser, ’06

by Lindsey Gump
Public Relations Student

A quick decision freshman year led alumnus Bob Moser to an illustrious journalism career in São Paulo, Brazil, and Orlando, Florida.

Moser did not dream of becoming a journalist growing up.  In fact, he almost became a sports management major instead.

“I kind of just flipped a coin and it landed on journalism.  I chose that knowing I could change it later freshman year if I wanted to,” he said.

Moser decided to stick with journalism about midway through his first year, when he became interested in a series of stories by the Toledo Blade called “Tiger Force.”  The Pulitzer Prize-winning series detailed the atrocities of an elite US army platoon during the Vietnam War.

“I thought it was an example of how reporters could solve decades-old mysteries and crimes and make a difference,” he said.

Nancy Brendlinger, associate professor at BGSU, described Moser as bright and determined.

“He was just a hard worker.  Sometimes I wondered if he slept,” she said.

Moser said he learned the most from working at the BG News.  He was editor-in-chief of the paper his senior year.

“At the BG News, I made some mistakes, but I had a lot of good breakthrough moments and made a lot of friends.  That’s where I got the experience of writing good stories and having kids in class recognize them,” he said.

Brendlinger remembered Moser as a good editor, who spent most of his time working on the paper.

“He was very committed to the BG News, and when he was the editor, he worked really hard with the younger students.  He tried really hard to be a good mentor,” she said.

After college, Moser’s first job was a working as business reporter in Lafayette, Louisiana.  In 2007, he won the World Affairs Journalism Fellowship by the International Center for Journalists, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.

With the fellowship, Moser went to Brazil for two weeks to write a 14-story series on sugarcane ethanol, which later won an Associated Press Media Editors Award.

“Before those two weeks ended, I decided I was going to move there,” Moser said.

Moser met his future wife while writing the story, and he moved to São Paulo, Brazil, in 2008.  He worked as a business reporter for several US and British news outlets.

He moved back to the United States in March 2015, settling in Orlando, Florida.  Since Florida is the closest state to Brazil, it has a large population of Brazilian tourists and residents.  Thus, Moser’s ability to speak Portuguese is more valuable there.  It also makes visiting Brazil a lot easier.

In Orlando, Moser works at GrowthSpotter, a new business news product from the Orlando Sentinel Media Group.  It focuses on early-stage property acquisition and development in the Orlando area.

“I put puzzles together every day.  The level at which we write stories is, we write them at such an early stage that the buyers, the sellers, they don’t want the news public, usually.  We don’t work off press releases.  Everything we do is exclusive,” Moser said.

His competitive nature helps in his job, because he has to be the first one to report the news, or it is no longer exclusive.

“He’s really dedicated to his job.  He really thinks what he’s doing is very important and he is still quite competitive in that sense.  He really works hard to be the first person to get that news out,” Brendlinger said.

BGSU senior Hannah Benson went with Brendlinger to Orlando for the Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism Conference in September 2015.

One night, they had a dinner with Moser.  Benson described him as soft-spoken and intelligent.

“He was very quiet, but if you asked him a question, he had no problem talking about it,” she said.

Benson said se she was feeling a bit discouraged at the conference, but seeing Moser’s passion for his job helped ease her worry about finding a job after graduating.

“Just talking with him and seeing that if you put in the effort and are willing to strive for your passion, it will go somewhere.  It might take a while, but something will come of it.  It just requires hard work thinking outside the box,” she said.

Similarly, Moser’s advice for BGSU journalism students is to work hard and often.

“Whatever you want to do in journalism, there’s a couple 100,000 kids the same age in the same classes across the country that want the same thing,” he said. “You need to separate yourself from the pack, and the only way to do that is to not just turn off your Xbox One or PS4, but to get it out of your life and go live at the BG News or live at BG24.”

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BG News Alumni Society Officer Profiles

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Bill Estep, ’77

PRESIDENT: Bill Estep
by Jen Reiss
Reporting Student

He was there in the beginning when the BG News Alumni Society formed in 2002 and now he is back.

Bill Estep, ’77, is bringing new life to the group as the new president.

He is at the front of the partnership between past and current students and plans on involving alumni in student engagement more than ever in the organization’s 15-year history.

Holding the organization accountable with strong goals and continuous involvement is Estep’s mindset for his time as president.

The society had been inactive for the last several years so in September 2016 co-founder and current BG News Society treasurer, Bob Bortel, ’77, felt that it was time to reorganize the society, and Estep was just the man to lead the movement.

“Bill has a passion for the university and has a special place in his heart for The BG News and what it meant to him as a student and tries to give back to the students by enriching their experience,” Bortel said.

One place Estep has worked hard is in honoring the memory of an alumnus and friend, Terry Goodman, who died of cancer at age 40. Goodman was a sports reporter and writer for The BG News and continued with a career in print journalism after graduating in 1978.

The society introduced the Terry Goodman Scholarship in 2011 for both a current BGSU student who is staffed on The BG News along with a high school senior who plans on attending Bowling Green and working for the student-run paper. The scholarship, however, had yet to be fully funded. That changed with Estep at the helm.

“That personal connection really just resonated when Bill took the president position,” said Jared Wadley, ’89, who serves as the current vice president of the

organization. “All the presidents who have been a part of the society have done a good job. One of the factors this time around was a greater effort that Bill wanted to get this scholarship program off the ground.”

Estep began working for the BG News as a sophomore, working his way up through the system by his senior year.

“I became the sports editor my junior year and they didn’t know what to do with me by my senior year so they made me the executive sports editor,” he said. “We had a really good staff. The 1970s was the height of the interest in journalism. It was right after Watergate and investigative journalism was hot back then.”

Estep did an internship at the Dayton Journal Harold in the summer of 1975 and The Blade in the summer of 1976. He also worked part time during his senior year at The Sentinel Tribune when he wrote about high school sports.

After graduating in 1977, Estep had a successful 10-year print journalism career that took him to Fort Wayne, Columbus and Toledo.

He also worked at Ohio University as an editor/writer of the campus paper and The Ohio State University as the advertising manager of their campus paper as well.

Most recently, he decided that it was time to put his knowledge of writing, editing and advertising all under one umbrella, thus Estep Media Solutions was born.

“Print is kind of a dying breed,” Estep said. “I wanted to keep doing something related and I always wanted to learn how to design websites.”

Estep Media Solutions creates logos and websites for local businesses in the Columbus area.

“I learned some of the basics and mechanics of web design from wix.com,” he said. “I was also the photo editor at Ohio University and supervised the photographers.”

While Estep is trying his best to move with the times and keep updated with technology, he does not want to lose touch with his love for print and BGSU.

“I had a great experience working for The BG News and I still keep touch with several individuals that I worked with in the 70s, and I think that the feeling is mutual,” Estep said. “I got a great education, which laid a great foundation for the rest of my career, so I owe a lot to Bowling Green.”

Jared Wadley, ’89

Jared Wadley, ’89

VICE PRESIDENT: Jared Wadley
by Phillip Zulli
Reporting Student

Jared Wadley, the newly selected Vice President of the BG News Alumni Society, looks to give back to students who fill the shoes where he once stood.

“I just want to give back to the BG News, the Department of Journalism and Public Relations and the BGSU community for getting me to where I am today,” the 1989 graduate said.

The Toledo native began his journey at BGSU in 1985. As a journalism major, Wadley immersed himself in student publications, reporting for The BG News, serving as an editor for The Obsidian and writing for Miscellany magazine.

“He was one of those students who really had a focus on what he wanted to do,” Robert Bortel, director of student media, said.

Wadley’s heavy involvement in university journalism led him to an internship at the Flint Journal where he was eventually offered a full-time job as a business, retail and economic development reporter. He later accepted a similar position at The Press Enterprise, in Riverside, California.

Old contacts and family led Wadley back to Michigan in 2002 where he accepted a public relations representative position at the University of Michigan. He currently holds the title of Senior Public Relations Representative for the university and handles pitches and press releases for social science departments on campus. Additionally, Wadley assists the press with set up and operations before and during media events on campus.

Wadley’s position within the BG News Alumni Society allows him to interact with students and act as their mentor. The goal of the mentoring program is to help the journalism students discover which field or career they would like to pursue. Wadley currently works with two students, helping them to practice important professional skills such as interviewing and job searching. He also conducts resume workshops and provides feedback on their media packages.

“The encouragement, advice and possible job leads from those already in journalism, broadcast and public relations can make a huge difference in one’s future,” Wadley said.

Being a journalism mentor isn’t the only way Wadley gives back to the university. He frequently returns to speak about public relations in classrooms, including those of professor Terry Rentner.

“I knew him throughout the years just as an alum,” Rentner said. “He would always come back for alumni activities and we would have him in the classroom every once in a while. I liked for him to talk to our students about PR,” Rentner said.

Wadley also takes part in an NFL engagement program here on campus called the Sports Journalism and Communications Boot Camp. The goal of this professional workshop is to prepare current and past NFL players for jobs in journalism after their sports careers have ended.

Wadley initially volunteered his time as a speaker for the Crisis Management in Public Relations session. He now works as an adviser to players throughout the duration of the workshop.

Wadley finds time within his busy schedule for he and his dog Legend to visit children’s and VA hospitals to provide patients with social, emotional and physical benefits through pet therapy. This weekly tradition has been maintained by the pair since 2010. Wadley, who has jokingly coined himself a, “dog whisperer,” said that even a small interaction with a dog can help patients destress while in the hospital.

He often sees patients before a surgery or procedure to help calm their nerves. Wadley and Legend also go to libraries and schools. Wadley encourages reading by having young students read to Legend.

“Sometimes interacting with a therapy dog is the right medicine to improve a person’s mental and physical health,” he said. “Just a few minutes with these well-trained, obedient dogs can lower one’s blood pressure and reduce anxiety and depression.”

Danae King, ’14

Danae King, ’14

SECRETARY: Danae King
by Hannah Reddington
Reporting Student

Journalism alumna Danae King said she is thrilled to be volunteering at the place where she got her start.

King, 2014, was recently selected secretary of the BG News Alumni Society.

Members of BG News Alumni Society decided to revitalize its 15-year-old program that had been on a hiatus the last couple years. The revamp is creating new opportunities for students to connect with graduates like King who are working in journalism.

Anyone who was a member of the BG News can be in the alumni society but only certain people get asked to be a member of the board.

As a member of the board, King has a female student that she is mentoring and helps the alumni society plan events.

“The idea is that we are there to help in anyway [the student] needs. I can read her stories, give her advice on her resume and give her an idea of what clips I think would be good,” King explained.

As the society makes more plans, King said she is optimistic to see what they can do in the future.

“I just really love the BG News. So I was really excited to get asked to do this and to be a part of the organization.”

King said her love for the BG News started her first day of college and her passion for writing developed early while growing up in the small town of Tipp City, Ohio.

“I was a really shy child, so I loved to read and that really translated into a love for writing,” she said. “I used to write all kinds of stories and I was on Power of the Pen.”

Through high school, King said she dreamed of becoming a novelist but thought a career in journalism seemed more practical.

Her junior year of high school she started working for The Tippecanoe Gazette and gained valuable reporting experience that prepared her for college.

When it came time to look at colleges, King considered BGSU. “First of all, my dad went there, I’m very sentimental.”

When she visited BG, she said fell in love.  “Jim Foust toured me around the journalism department and he showed me the BG News newsroom,” King said. “It was in West Hall then. It had ugly puke green walls and the diseased couch.  I teared up a little bit because it just felt like home.”

During her senior year at the BG News she served as editor-in-chief. King said she learned everything she knows through that experience.

“The BG News made me the journalist that I am today,” she said. “I was often there from like 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. working all the time. It was just kind of my life when I was in school.”

King also credits her mentors in college like Student Media Director, Bob Bortel, with her success.

“In some respects she was probably hard to work for because she had very high standards,” Bortel said. “She expected everyone else to be like she was and people aren’t like that. In the process though, it helped raise the level of quality overall.”

Associate Professor, Dr. Nancy Brendlinger, taught King in several classes, where she proved to be a great journalist and through independent study, they discovered they had a common interest in women’s issues. King loved the topic so much she made it her minor.

“By the time she graduated, we were friends. The thing that sets her apart from most other students was her inability to stay on the surface,” Brendlinger said.

Following graduation, King did an inaugural internship at the Baltimore Sun as their first Mary J. Corey intern, honoring the paper’s first female editor-in-chief.

“I was the only paid intern and I was given a lot of autonomy,” King said. “I reported on a lot of women’s issues, wrote on education issues and some business articles too. It was a really great experience.”

Currently, King holds the position of metro/general assignment reporter at The Columbus Dispatch, where she also interned in college.

King may do all kinds of stories now but she said her true passion is women’s and gender issues, which she hopes to write on full time someday.

She wrote on her personal website: “I want to make a difference in people’s lives and create change when necessary. I want my reporting, and the work of the publication I work for, to investigate issues and report facts that will help people live better.”

 

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PR students learn from alumnae in Columbus

A group of PRSSA members took a day-trip to Columbus on March 31 to network with two alumnae. The students met with past PRSSA President Anna Crabill, ’16, at her job at Adept Marketing, where she works as an Inbound Marketing Strategist. Crabill shared agency life details with the group. The students also met with Shirley O’Nan Blaine, ’13, to learn about her job with the Columbus Zoo.  Blaine took the students around the zoo and shared the ins and outs of social media for a non-profit. The group of 10 students was accompanied by PRSSA adviser Julie Hagenbuch.

prssa and crabill

Past PRSSA President Anna Crabill, ’16, with the group.

prssa and onan

Shirley O’Nan Blaine, ’13, with the group.

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New professor settling into job of teaching multimedia skills

By Haley Yuhas
Reporting Student

With the sequence change from print to multiplatform, the department had been looking for someone who could help take the program to the next level.  They have found that with new faculty member Saif Shahin.

“One of the things we were really looking for in the position was someone who knew the new technology, knew how to do it, and had actually used the new technology while they were reporters,” retired journalism professor Nancy Brendlinger said. Brendlinger chaired the search committee that hired Shahin.

Shahin, who is currently teaching multimedia reporting and online journalism, is settling into to the position. “The faculty is great,” Shain said. “Everyone has been very helpful.”

Students are also enjoying having Shahin in the classroom. “He’s very personable and makes sure every single student understands the content he’s teaching before he moves on,” sophomore journalism major Melissa Noel said. “He’s very helpful if I have to ask him a question outside of class or during office hours, which is great because I don’t have much experience with technology.”

Serving as one of four panelists on the  Toledo Press Club's forum on fake news, new assistant professor Saif Shahin shares a his perspective on  how journalists might establish their credibility.  The forum was held on Feb. 25 at the Toledo Public Library.

Serving as one of four panelists on the Toledo Press Club’s forum on fake news, new assistant professor Saif Shahin shares a his perspective on how journalists might establish their credibility. The forum was held on Feb. 25 at the Toledo Public Library.

Shahin said he plans to help journalism and public relations students increase their online presence in order to make themselves more marketable. “A lot of research shows journalists who have created a brand for themselves online are being preferred,” Shahin said.

Shahin’s journalism education started in India, where he earned a bachelor’s in journalism at the University of Delhi. He then traveled to the United Kingdom for his master’s. Currently, he is finishing his doctorate at The University of Texas-Austin while teaching here.

“In Omen and Qatar I wrote in English on regional politics,” he said. “In England, I had two internships with BBC and had some of my stories got published online.”

Shahin was competing with incredible talent, but he was a top candidate the whole time, Brendlinger said. Shahin had both research in technology and professional experience in the industry.

“He had the modern tools,” Brendlinger said.  “He had them all and he taught them. He had excellent teaching evaluations at Texas.”

Shahin liked that at BGSU the department is housed within the School of Media and Communication. They are two separate entities at the University of Texas-Austin. He said he was also impressed with the converging media and digitalization of its individual parts.

Due to the strong pool of candidates, Shahin went through a series of interviews before being offered the job. “It was a very long process,” he said.

Moving to a new country to study and teach is not without its challenges. “I miss my family a lot,” Shahin said.  “We stay in touch on the phone or Skype and that makes it easier. But, it’s obviously not the same thing.”

Being the new guy in Bowling Green has also left him missing his friends in Austin. “I used to live in graduate housing and it was fun to be around close friends, hanging out with them, ”  Shahin said.  “Austin also has a vibrant cultural life, a great live music scene and some excellent restaurants serving international cuisine – especially Indian. I enjoyed all of it and giving it up has been a big adjustment,”

Coming up on the end of his first year, Shahin said he beginning to make friends within the department. He said his favorite place in Bowling Green is the Kuhlin Center, the new home of the School of Media and Communication as of fall 2016. He said he has become friends with faculty and student and that is where they all are at.

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Broadcast alum is the face of Northwest Ohio sports

Jordan Strack, ’08

Jordan Strack, ’08

By Alex Schiavone
Reporting Student

From doing play-by-play in the stands at the Toledo Sports Arena during his youth, to being sports anchor for WTOL Toledo News 11, Jordan Strack has always had one dream: to be on television.

“Ever since third grade, all I wanted to do was be on television,” Strack said.

Sports was always a priority in the Strack house, especially hockey. Whether it was waking up before the sun rose for practice and games or playing in the living room with his younger brothers, Logan and Riley, hockey was always there.

“Looking back, we never had a ton of money as a family and hockey was expensive,” Strack said. “My parents worked their hardest and did whatever it took to make us happy.”

Strack was never the best athlete, so playing sports after high school wasn’t in the cards for him. He chose a career path where he knew he would excel. That path led him to study broadcast journalism.

He chose BGSU not only for the great journalism program, but for its proximity to home.

The Falcon alum said, “BGSU was far enough from home for me to have my college experience, but still be close enough to visit regularly.”

During his time at BGSU, Strack worked at Buckeye Cable Sports Network in Toledo. He worked the cameras, did replays and contributed anyway he could. That changed when his boss, Greg Franke, gave the then 20-year-old Strack a shot to cover an indoor soccer game.

“I was nervous and my suit was too big,” Strack said. “But, moments like those helped me get to where I am today.”

One faculty member who helped Strack was Kathy Bradshaw. “I looked at him and called him Shrek,” she recalled of one of their first encounters. This created a laughter among the two of them and the rest of the diversity class that day.

“She helped me so much,” Strack said.“She is so smart and she always knew what she was talking about.”

Nine years out of college, he stays connected with Bradshaw and regularly returns to campus to speak with her classes.

In 2008, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Strack started at WTOL News 11 Toledo immediately after his graduation as the weekend sports anchor.

“I love the people and environment here,” he said. “There aren’t days where I don’t enjoy going to work. The best part about it is that I get to talk about sports for a living. Its cliché but it is so true.”

Dan Cummins, sports director at WTOL News 11 Toledo, works closely with Strack.

“He’s a lot of fun,” Cummins said. “Over the years we’ve become great friends. I love having him in the newsroom, we joke around and have a lot of laughs. But, when it’s go time, he’s the best there is to work with and is very efficient getting stories done.”

Among Strack’s career highlights are the two World Series, the 2014 Ohio State National Championship in Dallas, the Stanley Cup Final, and the yearly coverage of the Ohio State vs. Michigan game.

His greatest memory, though, was the opportunity to interview legendary Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell.

“Ernie Harwell was the reason I got into broadcast,” Strack said. “When I was young and the Tigers had day games, I would turn on the radio, go into the backyard and play baseball while listening to him cover the game.”

Among his many feature stories one that stands out was his story on Brent Darah, the first transgendered athlete in Bowling Green State University history.

“Getting to know Brent and learning the intricacies of what he went through was incredible and eye-opening.”

When Strack isn’t on the television delivering the daily sports, he spends his time doing “dad stuff,” like picking up his daughter from kindergarten or taking her to dance class.

“She is the best thing that has ever happened to me,” he said. I am always busy and trying to keep up, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

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Student media director promotes Toledo Press Club event

Bob Bortel, director of student media, has been busy promoting a Toledo Press Club panel on fake news that will be held Feb. 25. Bortel, who was featured on WTOL-11 in Toledo on the morning show, will moderate the panel of local journalists, including BGSU assistant professor Saif Shahin.  The panel discussion is part of a series of Pressing Issues forums designed to discuss issues of relevance to regional media and public relations practitioners.Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 6.03.47 PM

 

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