Saturday Night at NFL 2015 Sports Journalism Boot Camp

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Multimedia projects conclude academic career for broadcast and multiplatform students

A panel of working journalists critique the senior broadcast and multi-platform capstone class projects. The panelists were (from the foreground) Andy Ouriel, ’10;  Alyssa Widman Neese, ’12; Brian Szabelski, ’08; and Greg Backnis.

A panel of working journalists critique the senior broadcast and multiplatform capstone class projects. The panelists were (from the foreground) Andy Ouriel, ’10; Alyssa Widman Neese, ’12; Brian Szabelski, ’08; and Greg Backnis.

Students in broadcast sequence capstone class, J4300, and the multiplatform sequence capstone class, J4200, worked together in teams to develop a multimedia project.

Starting in early March, each team chose a topic  then members conducted interviews, wrote stories, shot pictures, captured video and audio and put it all together in on a WordPress site.

On April 23, the groups presented their projects to a panel of reviewers, who provided feedback to each group.

The reviewers were Greg Braknis, Web news editor at The [Toledo] Blade; Andy Ouriel, 2010 alumnus and government reporter at the Sandusky register; Alyssa Widman Neese, a 2012 alumna and education reporter at the Sandusky Register; and Brian Szabelski, a 2008 alumnus and multimedia Web editor at The [Findlay] Courier. Itay Gabay, who teaches the social media class, also made comments.

The basics of the websites were set up by Jim Foust.   Kathy Bradshaw and Nancy Brendlinger taught the two courses.

Click on the topic of the project below to view the group’s website:
Sexual Assault on Campus
Local Food to Local Restaurants
Militarization of Police

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Alumna’s recipe for success touches others

This is the photo from the website of Marie Ludwig, ’83, where she identifies herself as QVC guest host, TV personality, food blogger, award winning home cook, autism warrior mom.

This is the banner photo from the website of Marie Ludwig. On her site, the 1983 graduate identifies herself as QVC guest host, TV personality, food blogger, award winning home cook, and autism warrior mom. 

By Amanda Schiavo
Reporting Student

“Lately, as I’m getting older, I find that it is great to challenge myself,” said the energetic Marie Ludwig, a 1983 journalism graduate.

Ludwig is currently splitting time in her career between partnering a “thriving” catering business in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, guest hosting as a kitchen expert on QVC in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and serving as the CEO of the 501c3 non-profit organization Stephanie’s House.

“Back in 1983, when I graduated from BGSU, I went straight from graduation ceremonies to a job at Cedar Point working as a marketing intern for the summer,” Ludwig said.

After spending three summers with Cedar Point as an intern, Ludwig realized her opportunity for a full-time position was not likely and decided to embark on her next adventure.

A year later, Ludwig landed a toy designing position with Those Characters from Cleveland, a division of American Greetings in Cleveland.

“I worked with some of the most talented individuals in the toy industry as a creative copy writer, giving names, stories and words to some of the most famous characters in toy history – Care Bears, Popples, Holly Hobby, Strawberry Shortcake and more,” Ludwig said.

However, she soon relocated to Philadelphia with her first husband in 1986.

In Philadelphia, Ludwig did freelance advertising work for American Greetings as a greeting card writer for three years until the birth of her first son, Ryan.

Ludwig’s personal career journey was halted when Ryan was diagnosed with complex congenital heart disease and numerous other medical issues.

“I spent the next three years in and out of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia working hard to keep him alive,” Ludwig said.

Ludwig gave birth to her second child, a daughter named Stephanie, in 1992.

Nicholas, Ludwig’s youngest son, was born in 1994, which was the same year Stephanie was diagnosed with autism.

Ludwig was a stay-at-home mom until 1997, waitressing on the weekends to provide for the wellness of her children.

Little did Ludwig know that her weekend waitressing job would provide her with more than the experience in and out of the kitchen.

“In 1993, one evening she came in looking for a part-time waitress position,” said Andy Ludwig, Ludwig’s second husband.

Andy was the general manager for the inn where Ludwig applied to be a part-time waitress.

“She was a great employee, despite all of her challenges at home, she always came in with a smile on her face and a lot of energy,” he said.

Ludwig eventually left the inn where she began waitressing to fulfill a general manager position for one of the biggest restaurant companies on the East Coast.

“I kept working on my foodie abilities until one day I got the chance to audition to be a guest (something new) on QVC,” Ludwig said.

Ludwig was hired to represent QVC on Dec. 5, 2000 and sold over 10,000 units of a Zyliss food chopper in 8 minutes.

Ludwig’s career path was back on track and going quite well after being hired by QVC in 2000.

“The experience on QVC has landed me some great friends and contacts so I have been able to do a lot of TV work, which I love,” Ludwig said.

Ludwig started Stephanie’s House in 2009, a 501c3 non-profit organization, with a mission to create life homes for adults with autism.

In 2010, Ludwig married Andy and became a partner in his catering business as well.

Although Ludwig has kept herself busy over the years, her passion for what she loves and does has not weakened.

Director of Student Media Bob Bortel, who was an adviser to The BG News while Ludwig attended BGSU, said Ludwig has always demonstrated a positive attitude when it came to her work.

“She has a way of transmitting her own personal excitement to those around her,” Bortel said.

Both Ludwig and Bortel understand the amount of commitment and love that goes into caring for a child with special needs.

Bortel spoke highly of the accomplishments Ludwig’s Stephanie’s House has made.

In October 2013, Stephanie’s House raised enough money to purchase Stephanie’s childhood home and took 10 months to renovate into a place for adults with autism to live.

Ludwig was adamant about sharing one last life lesson.

“Make the decision that makes you happy,” she said. “Don’t worry about anyone else.”

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Cravens takes new role in alumni and annual giving office at BGSU

by Aaron Parker
Reporting Student

Jordan Cravens

Jordan Cravens, ’09

Wearing a black Bowling Green State University volleyball windbreaker, alumna Jordan Cravens walks into a Starbucks on Wooster Street in Bowling Green.

Mentioning how long her day has been, she orders a small coffee and sits down.

She is very soft-spoken, but keeps a smile and starts talking about journey in the journalism world.

A graduate and employee of BGSU, Cravens’ childhood led her to her collegiate experience and career path.

Cravens is from Fostoria, a small town about half an hour away from BGSU. The youngest of four, she grew up with two sisters, her brother and both her parents.

She played softball and volleyball in high school, on top of starting and developing a newspaper. It was that experience that made her realize that she wanted to go into the journalism field.

While in high school, she would frequently visit BGSU and watch the sports games. It was these factors that brought her to BGSU.

As an undergraduate, she left a lasting impression through her work. Kelly Taylor, a journalism professor at the university, recalled her time as a teacher and faculty adviser to Cravens nearly 10 years ago.

“She was self-motivated, reliable, and an excellent writer,” Taylor said. “She was exemplary as a student.”

Cravens was active in the journalism department, starting as a reporter for the BG News.

“I started out covering women’s tennis then kind of graduated a little bit of women’s basketball,” Cravens said. “I always felt really at home there.”

Her experience reporting for the BG News her first two undergraduate years led her to a number of different internships.

“I got my first internship at the Fostoria Review Times, the newspaper in my hometown. Then that was able to get me an internship with the Sentinel-Tribune here in Bowling Green. It started as a summer internship but it seems like I’ve been working there since then,” Cravens said.

It was her work at the Tribune that allowed Cravens to develop a solid portfolio. Soon after that, she graduated and eventually got a job as a courts reporter for the Findlay Courier, which was short-lived.

“That was pretty heavy stuff. When you’re the courts reporter nobody wants to be in your stories because you are usually not writing the nicest things about people, but somebody has to do it,” Cravens said.

After all that, despite having a successful start in the field, Cravens decided that journalism was not a career that she wanted to stay in.

In 2012, she returned to graduate school at BGSU to pursue a master’s in sport administration and continued to work part time for the Sentinel-Tribune. It was during this time she covered the BGSU volleyball teams NCAA Tournament appearance at Penn State.

She did not know it at the time, but covering that team would lead to her new career path.

“I watched them win their first ever NCAA volleyball match in program history so that was pretty fantastic. That was where I first developed my relationship with [head volleyball] coach Tomic,” Cravens said. “About a year later when the director of volleyball operations job opened, she remembered me from actually interviewing her in her press conferences at the NCAA Championships.”

Cravens was able to get a job back into a field she was familiar through the connections that she had made reporting. Throughout her career in journalism, Cravens stayed active in the sport she had played in high school.

For that reason, the job opening was fitting to her resume.

“Jordan was an outstanding DOVO for many reasons. She is very organized, hard-working and self-motivated person,” head volleyball coach Danijela Tomic said. “More importantly, she is a kind and loyal person who loves to help people.”

Cravens had a successful coaching stint from 2009 into 2012. From 2010 to 2012, she served as the assistant volleyball coach at Liberty-Benton High School, outside of Findlay, and won a Blanchard Valley Conference title and sectional championship.

“I loved [coaching],” Cravens said. “Coaching anything, especially the high school level, you’re not in it for the money. You’re definitely in it for making an impact in those kids’ lives. Its long hours and you do coaching on top of your full time work. You leave for work at 8 o’clock in the morning and don’t get home until 10 o’clock at night but it’s very rewarding.”

Staying at the university, Cravens accepted a new position in January as Assistant Director of Annual Giving. She said journalism is a strong base for any career since writing is so essential.

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Independent cartoonist, illustrator got his start in student media

Don Lee

Don Lee, ’87, submitted this self-portait sketch to illustrate his alumni feature story.

By Amy Reeves
Reporting Student

“When I saw my cartoons getting published, it was kind of a rush and I never really looked back,” explained Don Lee, a 1987 alumus, as he shared his strides toward becoming the distinguished independent cartoonist/illustrator in Toledo, Ohio, he is today.

As some people go through various career aspirations, Lee always had one career on his mind – something that would allow him to draw.

When he was young, he liked to draw. So, when in high school, he got on the crew for the newspaper and later got involved in the BG News in college.

“I was at the BG News office pretty much all of my time. I didn’t hang out at my dorm; I hung out at the BG News,” he said. “The BG News was pretty much my social circle while I was at school.”

Lee explained that getting person-to-person feedback, like the kind of feedback one would receive at the BG News, offered more than just getting back a graded paper. It was more interactive.

In addition to the BG News, Lee praised his professors for the help they provided him.

He said his professors heightened his learning experience by letting him sit in their offices, listen to their stories and watch them work.

He said, “On some days, [this was] an education with more value than a classroom lecture.”

Although Lee was very humble in describing his successes, Director of Student Media at BGSU Bob Bortel described Lee as “probably the most gifted cartoonist that ever graced the pages of The BG News.”

Lee was offered a position at the Sandusky Register not long after graduation.

Since few found jobs right away in journalism after graduation, when he got a job offer at the Sandusky Register, he jumped at the opportunity.

“The Register was a small enough paper with big enough ambitions that I could be a reporter and be a cartoonist,” he said.

He said if he had taken a job at a bigger paper, he probably would have had to do one job and only do that one job.

Eventually, he got tired of 12 to 14 hour days. “Things seemed to be getting further away from journalism,” he said.

That is when Lee decided it was time to use the money he had been saving up to work on his own.

After leaving Toledo to take his job at the Sandusky Register, he made his way back to Toledo so he could be with his family and work for himself, which is what he is doing today.

Throughout his career he has received various awards and multiple compliments.

Julie Cantu, one client, said, “He followed directions for the type of caricature my client wanted very well and produced quality artwork quickly for me.”

Even though Lee has received a collection of awards, he humbly explained those awards did not mean much to him.

“I think my proudest moment was actually a judge’s comment,” he said. “They said that I was an editorial cartoonist that gets news and that knows how it works and can communicate it.”

Bortel said, “He also is a talented reporter and editor that always tells it like it is, no holds barred. He was, and is, always true to himself, being delightfully honest about himself and those he speaks about. He always provided refreshing viewpoints through his work, be it with the artist’s pen or the reporter’s words.”

Lee offered some advice on how to get business when you are working independently. “Every chance you get to make a contact, you do it,” he said. “You have business cards, fliers printed up. You introduce yourself.”

He explained publicizing yourself, which is hard for a journalist, is important when you are working by yourself.

“Sometimes things happen in the course of a week and sometimes in year or more. You just have to have that kind of patience,” he said.

One last piece of advice Lee offered for people looking to begin a career: “See what you’re worth. You would surprise yourself.”

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Alumna moves from in front of the camera to behind the plate

Colleen Rerucha

Colleen Rerucha, 2006 journalism graduate

by Crystal Chlebina
Reporting Student

Colleen Rerucha, ’06, is an excellent example of a graduate who has achieved her dreams.

Starting out in television, Rerucha today works with Toledo’s minor league baseball team, the Toledo Mud Hens.

Rerucha, who graduated in broadcast journalism, said above all communicating with people has always been her passion.

“I was always that girl in class who loved talking on the phone and had a ton of notes to pass with friends,” Rerucha said with a laugh. “My love for communication is what inspired me to major with communications and specifically in broadcast journalism.”

Rerucha began her career first as a sports reporter in Lima, Ohio, during her senior year at BGSU. After graduation, she then took a job as a news reporter at WTOL, Toledo, Ohio.

In 2012, Rerucha received the offer to work with the Mud Hens and made the switch to a new field and job.

“You could just tell she was going to do well in life,” said Julie Hagenbuch, one of Rerucha’s professors at BGSU. “She always came to class prepared, enthusiastic and participating. She was professional even as a student.”

At her current position with the Toledo Mud Hens, Rerucha said there is never a typical dull day, which she loves.

She said some of her main day-to-day responsibilities include working with season ticket and suite holders, helping to coordinate special events, assisting with the Mud Hens communications and helping to write different newsletters and emails.

With so many responsibilities within her job, it is hard to imagine having a life outside of it. However, Rerucha effectively balances her work with the Mud Hens and her family life.

Rerucha met her husband when they worked together at Channel 11 News. They have a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old.

“The Mud Hens is truly a family-friendly organization. It is not unusual for people to have their kids with them in the office,” Rerucha said. “We try to be family-oriented with all of our fans.”

Not only is the Rerucha’s family able to visit her in the office, but her children and husband are able to enjoy the games together.

“The job itself has been a great opportunity; my husband is able to bring our kids to the games while I’m working so I can see them,” Rerucha said. “I think that everyone is working on finding the right balance between work and family. Having them there at the games is a great way to balance both.”

Andi Roman, who has worked with Rerucha since she landed her first job at WTOL, now works at the Toledo Mud Hens with her. Roman said what makes Rerucha so special is the dedication and passion she has about what she does.

“Colleen is a hometown girl and is a great cheerleader for our community,” Roman said. “From going to high school here, then BGSU, and now raising her family here, we should be very happy she stayed in Toledo and is adding to our community.”

When it comes to the challenges within Rerucha’s current job at the Mud Hens, she said she has very little to complain about.

“I think that there are challenges that come with any job,” Rerucha said. “Each challenge that I am given at my job always seems to be a fun one. My co-workers and I work to find ways each season to be more creative and different than the one before. We work to keep the environment fresh and exciting.”

The optimistic and uplifting spirit behind Rerucha’s work makes not only the job more beneficial for herself, but her coworkers as well.

“Colleen brings such heart to any organization and is always looking for the good in stories she tells,” Roman said. “She is a warm person who people are automatically drawn to.”

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Variety in job positions highlights career of 1960 graduate

By Carlye Pollack
Reporting Student

Sitting in his dress pants, turtleneck and top hat, alumnus Bill Kopper politely offers to buy lunch at Bowling Green’s Sam B’s.

With kind eyes and a polite smile, he orders lunch and gets to talking about his life.

After graduating from BGSU in 1960, Kopper started on a career path that would take him from Navy intelligence, through several business executive positions and wind him through retirement as a founder of a successful business start-up.

Kopper is an avid Wall Street Journal reader and comes from a family of entrepreneurs. He started in the business field at the age of 12 and earned his Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree from the College of Business Administration.

His sequence was public relations, which he utilized throughout his careers.

“Back in the day, public relations was like a new enterprise within the organization,” Kopper said.

When Kopper graduated BGSU in June of 1960, he began training with the Standard Oil of Ohio company.

“When I was 21, I was sitting in lunch with businessmen, first class in downtown Cleveland,” Kopper said. “I didn’t even know I was being interviewed.”

Kopper continuously stated his appreciation for the education that he earned at BGSU and how it gave him the tools he needed to succeed.

“I come from a school where they give you life lessons and experiences that will help you in the real world,” Kopper said.

At BGSU Kopper was involved with The BG News where he did writing, reporting and photography. He is also a brother of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

“Bill really shows how a person with a journalism degree can branch out and prosper in other fields,” Bob Bortel, director of student media, said.

Kopper’s friends describe him as positive, self-confident, passionate and work oriented.

“He truly is one of the last of the good guys,” said Bill Keller, a close friend, work colleague, military comrade and fellow alumnus.

Kopper’s accomplishments stem from a strong work ethic and experience in the real world.

“I built a bowling alley on Navy money then paid it off in three years when I was 23 years old,” Kopper said. “It’s about hard work and putting your mind to it.”

Kopper was drafted into the Navy shortly after graduation, where he started out as a line officer, designed to drive ships.

He then converted over to intelligence, where it took him three years and a tough load of course work, to graduate as a Navy intelligence officer.

Aside from being a retired senior Navy intelligence officer, Kopper is an active member of the Navy League of the U.S.

His love for the Navy and being a retired USN Captain draws you into the conversation.

Kopper is the type of person who tells you a story with every word, a quality he believes everyone should possess in order to be successful.

“If you can communicate, if you can convince, if you can handle yourself, you’ll make it,” Kopper said. “You want to do it? It’s possible.”

After the Navy, Kopper decided it was time to go back to work.

He enrolled in law school but dropped out to start a family.

Kopper settled down with his late wife, an alumna and Delta Gamma, and together they raised three children.

He continued to work within the sales and marketing side of IBM for numerous years.

He contributed much to IBM, such as introducing a plan to build 250,000 PCs in 1982.

After Kopper retired, he decided retirement wasn’t for him and went to work for a small startup software publishing company.

Starting with eight employees, by the time Kopper sold his business to the inventor of LexisNexis, they had over 70 employees.

Kopper went through many different job positions, but said, “You have to grab fate as it passes you by.”

If there was one message that Kopper would want to get across, it is that life isn’t going to be handed to you; you must work for what you want.

“If you think you can’t, you’re right,” Kopper said. “You’ve got to have that positive attitude.”

Kopper is a supporter of BGSU and the journalism department.

“There are endless opportunities that you can gain from your time here at BGSU,” he said. “It’s all a matter of what you’re going to do once that opportunity arises.”


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PRSSA students sample PR in the state capital

Carly Diantonio, Molly Davenport, Lucas Stall, Alanna Nuessle, Jessica Struth, Stevon Duey and Bre Sabin

PRSSA students Carly Diantonio, Molly Davenport, Lucas Stall, Alanna Nuessle, Jessica Struth, Stevon Duey and Bre Sabin pose in the Fahlgren-Mortine offices during an April 17 visit to Columbus.

PRSSA students tried public relations agency life first-hand, as they traveled to Columbus to visit and tour Fahlgren-Mortine.  While there, they were able to talk to senior management and recent hires about what working in a public relations agency is like.  This summer, two BGSU PR students, Anna Crabill and Kristen Tomins, will work as interns for the Dayton and Cleveland Fahlgren offices.

Also while visiting Columbus, PRSSA members met with a lobbyist at the Ohio State Capital building.  Jenny Camper, president of the public affairs firm Lesic & Camper Communications, spoke with students about life as a lobbyist and how public affairs can impact legislation on all levels of government.

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Good humor and passion for their job fill the graduation gap for alumnae working together in public relations

Mary Jo DiSalvo and Sara O'Malley

Mary Jo DiSalvo, ’76, and Sara O’Malley, ’05, pose in a frame promoting the Dublin, Ohio, Irish Festival. The two realized their BGSU connection when they started working together in public relations for the city of Dublin, Ohio.

By Annie Furia
Reporting Student

Despite graduating from Bowling Green State University 30 years apart, Sara O’Malley and Mary Jo DiSalvo are completely in sync when it comes to their passion for their work.

DiSalvo, who graduated in 1976, joked with good humor about the age gap.

“It doesn’t matter that she got a degree before me,” O’Malley, a 2005 graduate, said.

“What she meant to say was, I got a degree before she was born,” DiSalvo quipped.

The two broke off into peals of laughter before composing themselves enough to continue. They continued to pepper their answers to questions with jokes, showing senses of humor as similar as they are.

While they never met studying journalism at BGSU, the two alumnae now work together in public relations for the city of Dublin, Ohio, managing marketing and media for events produced by the city. Though they took separate journeys to get there, both were motivated by dedication to their families.

DiSalvo took a part-time job in media and marketing for the city in 2000. The job allowed her to balance work and family, she said, even when it soon became full-time.

O’Malley took a part-time job with the city in 2012 for similar reasons. She had previously worked in public relations for a software company’s Dublin office, but left to focus on her family.

“I’m in a position where I have two babies, I have a very demanding job, which I do love, but I really wanted to be a mom more,” O’Malley said.

Not wanting to leave public relations completely, O’Malley joined a committee for the Dublin Irish Festival, which led to her current position.

Kitty Munger, a founder of the festival, said, “Sara is one of the most positive, happy, bubbly, can-do people I’ve ever met.”

She added that DiSalvo is “the same, but she’s a bit more intense.”

The Dublin Irish Festival is the biggest event that Dublin produces and something O’Malley and DiSalvo talked passionately about. The 2015 festival will occur July 31-Aug. 2.

“This event is located in the heart of Coffman Park for a reason. It’s the pulse of our community. Until you’ve experienced it first-hand, you can’t truly understand the impact it has on the local economy and beyond,” O’Malley said. “We’re the largest three-day Irish festival on the planet.”

The 2014 festival spanned over 38 acres, with more than 98,000 people attending over three days, according to the festival’s annual report.

A 2013 media release stated that the festival brought $8.3 million into the local economy that year.

The two spoke with great pride about what the festival does for Dublin, showing great passion for their work.

DiSalvo said with events, “you’re helping people create meaningful connections, memorable moments and measurable results.”

Munger praised O’Malley and DiSalvo for the work they have done for the festival.

“As a founder, I can tell you I’m glad it’s (the festival) in their hands,” she said. “All of the things they accomplish all year long, it’s just amazing.”

In addition to admiring the work O’Malley and DiSalvo do, Munger also said she enjoys being in their company.

“They’re really terrific ladies and I love working with them,” Munger said. “I wonder, if they weren’t part of it, if I would be so interested in volunteering as much as I do. They make it a lot of fun.”

The two discovered they were BGSU alumni during their initial conversation.

“I have always carried such a level of pride being a Falcon, so I’m always happy and excited to talk about that,” O’Malley said.

“You have this instant bond when you talk about your experience (at BGSU),” she said.

The generation gap is not a hindrance to working together, DiSalvo said, but actually makes them both better.

“Sara and I, having the same kind of journalism and PR background from Bowling Green, we really do work very well together with my traditional media background and her more up-to-the-minute social media,” she said. “Together we bounce ideas off of each other and come together with what turns out to be, I think, a better end product for everybody.”

“We are 30 years apart, but we are so in sync,” O’Malley said. “We laugh and we say sometimes that it’s our foundation as a Falcon.”

Munger agreed their BGSU foundation brings them together.

“What they learned at Bowling Green and being in that community – it probably gives them more in common than they would have anyway, (because) there’s just a bit of an age difference between them,” she said with a laugh.

Though Dublin is their current home, O’Malley and DiSalvo had nothing but fond memories of Bowling Green. O’Malley said her favorite thing about BGSU is that it feels like a second home.

“It’s the first time you’re away from your parents, your siblings and you go to a place where you feel at home, you feel safe, you feel the freedom to be yourself and learn and grow into who you’re going to be as a person and as a professional,” she said.  “My second favorite thing is Campus Pollyeyes.”

BGSU is also where O’Malley decided to be fully dedicated to public relations, though she spent her first two years as a student athlete on an athletic scholarship in the softball program. O’Malley said that Terry Rentner, a journalism and public relations professor at BGSU who has a doctorate in social psychology, provided the push to get her more involved with public relations.

Rentner wrote in an email, “It’s wonderful to hear from successful alums like Sara. She was a success in the Tech PR field, but really found her passion with the Dublin Irish Festival. She is extremely creative and talented, just as I remember her as a student.”

DiSalvo said her professors at BGSU inspired her to work harder.

“They all gave a lot of passion to what they did, and that’s why I really wanted to become the best that I could be, because they wanted to bring that out in us,” she said.

DiSalvo went to the University of Dayton for her master’s in communication. She said that while taking classes there, “I could tell in my master’s program that the background that I had gotten from Bowling Green in fundamentals of writing and PR were really very solid.”

However, one of DiSalvo’s favorite things about BGSU is in Dublin with her.

“I love that you (BGSU) continue to produce people like Sara O’Malley,” she said.

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Broadcast alumnus goes from news anchor to hometown business owner

Joe Stoll

Joe Stoll ’05

by Jessica Speweike
Reporting Student

Joe Stoll, a 2005 broadcast journalism graduate from Bowling Green State University (BGSU), took his skills as a news anchor and transferred them into owning his own business.

Situated in his office, complete with lime green walls, Stoll seemed quite comfortable in his role as president and CEO of locally-owned and operated Toledo Flags.

Young, energetic and never without a smile, Stoll openly discussed his career as an assignment editor, news anchor and, finally, business owner within the past 10 years.

Not only did Stoll never believe he would be a business owner, but, at the beginning of his college career, he didn’t believe he would be a broadcast journalist.

Stoll was first introduced to broadcast journalism at WTVG-13 ABC, a local news station in Toledo, Ohio, where he worked during his first years at Owens Community College.

“One of my coworkers there [at WTVG-13 ABC] was a BG alum and she took me there, showed me everything they had to offer and I just loved it,” said Stoll.

Stoll said he felt at home at BGSU and once he found his niche, realized broadcast was the perfect field for him.

“I was always glued to the TV news growing up,” he said. “If a TV newsperson was in the Point Place area, I would get on my bike and go hunt them down just so I could see them do their thing.”

At BG, Stoll was known for his charisma and affinity for broadcast.

“Joe Stoll still stands out as one of the students who are dedicated to broadcast,” said Kathy Bradshaw, chair of the Journalism and Public Relations Department. Bradshaw joked that she wished, “every classroom was three-fourths full of Joe.”

From there, he was offered a job as an assignment editor and broadcast technician at WTVG-13 ABC, a station owned by The Walt Disney Company.

After working for five years at WTVG-13 ABC, Stoll held positions at LIN Media as an anchor, Raycom Media as a reporter and Sinclair Broadcast Group as an assignment editor.

Throughout the past 10 years, all of Stoll’s career transitions were by choice, but toward the end of his broadcast career, he realized he did not want to be in broadcast anymore.

Traveling for the job was a pro and a con for Stoll and he explained that being away from family and friends and missing out on important events was a contributing factor to his decision to leave broadcast.

Stoll and his then fiancée were in Columbus, Ohio, when he heard that Toledo Flags was in trouble.

“It just so happened that this store was in jeopardy of closing and I had worked here when I first started college … and so I talked to [my wife] about it and said would this be something you’re willing to do?” Stoll said.

In January 2014 Stoll became the owner and CEO of Toledo Flags, a business located in Point Place in Toledo, Ohio, and Stoll’s childhood home.

Toledo Flags specializes in custom flag production and not only supplies flags and designs, but flag poles and installation.

Stoll explained that while he’s had to learn new things like bookkeeping, he’s used many of the techniques and practices he acquired while working in broadcast.

“Being in news taught me how to be neutral, how to stay on neutral ground, so I think I have a good basis on that,” Stoll said.

Wendy Beallas is the daughter of the former owner of Toledo Flags, Howard Pinkley, and she felt that Stoll fell easily into rhythm of the business.

“He knows how to speak to people … and from his experiences when he was here before, that was helpful,” she said. “Because he kind of understood how the business ran.”

While not much of the business has changed since Stoll took over, he stated he has worked on regrouping and reorganizing this past year.

He has worked on every aspect of the business from taking inventory to installing flagpoles and pouring concrete.

However, Stoll said he still hasn’t learned how to sew and doesn’t plan on it anytime soon.

The best part about owning your own business? Being in charge of yourself, quipped Stoll.

“Owning your own business, you get to watch your ideas either flourish or fall to the wayside,” Stoll said. “You know not to do it again or make some changes to it.”

Throughout his time as CEO of Toledo Flags, Stoll has maintained his signature enthusiasm. When he spoke of his work, past or present, he showed a great sense of pride in the actions he took to achieve his goals.

Beallas, like Bradshaw, noticed Stoll’s enthusiasm from the first time she met him and said he has maintained that eagerness to work.

“My father was the same way … he was always out there, couldn’t wait to go to a meeting,” Beallas said. “Those were important qualities … I see the same things in Joe, which is very good.”

Journalism was a large part of Stoll’s life for the past ten years and though he is no longer working in that field, it still plays a very large role in his current lifestyle.

Even though not every aspect of being a business owner is easy, rising costs of goods and transportation for example, Stoll remains optimistic about the future of his company.

“Don’t be afraid to do what you want to do. There’s ups and downs in everything that we do, but if you just follow your inner self, it’s going to guide you to happiness,” Stoll said.

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Covering news in South Dakota is not without its challenges for recent broadcast journalism graduate

by Terrin Bates
Reporting Student

Some students find their passion right away when they enroll in college. For 2014 Bowling Green State University journalism graduate Adam King, it took a while for him to realize what he was pursuing wasn’t right for him.

King spent two years as an electrical engineering major, before having an epiphany that would change the course of his collegiate education.

“I had a major moment one day where I realized that engineering wasn’t giving me the outlets that I needed in life,” he said.

After taking a class called “Broadcast Speaking” in community college, King found his true passion and pursued it wholeheartedly.

He soon found himself at BGSU, whose journalism department sparked his interest.

“BGSU appealed to me mostly because of the strength of the program,” he said. “I hadn’t spent a lot of time there before attending and it was far enough away from home that I could be independent, but not too far that I couldn’t stay in contact with my family and friends.”

While at BGSU, he tackled various on-campus positions, including Vice President and Head of Player Development of the Club Tennis Team, as well as a reporter and anchor for BG24 News and its sports show.

As an avid fan of sports, King hoped to pursue a career in sports broadcasting, but was encouraged by faculty member Kathy Bradshaw to focus on news.

“I started with the idea of sports broadcasting and sports journalism,” he said. “After more than 275 applications and some advice from Dr. Bradshaw, I decided to pursue news.”

King is now a daily assignment reporter for KOTA Territory News in South Dakota, where he writes, edits and shoots his own stories.

“I work Saturday through Wednesday, covering different news stories through the day,” he said.

He has covered a variety of stories, ranging in proximity and uniqueness.

“Some of the more fun stories that I’ve covered have been related to the Mountain Pine beetle and how it damages the state forests in South Dakota,” he said.

But King will never forget his first experience with KOTA, where he spent hours in frigid weather getting his first remote live on location.

“I remember shooting the story during the day and the high was 3 degrees,” he said. “By the time the live shot happened, the sun had went down and it was minus 10 with wind chill.”

King is also a political correspondent for the station. He gets to travel to the state capital, where he attends legislative sessions and hears the State of the State Address.

When he’s not working, King remains active and spends his time having as much fun as possible.

“My hobbies are tennis and ice hockey, and I spend a lot of time in the gym,” King said. “Other than that, I’m still just like any other college kid.”

With a positive attitude and good humor, King has managed to form connections and make strides in his career.

“If you carry yourself and interact with others in a positive way, then they will do the same to you and others and create a positive environment,” he said.

King’s values and good character has left a mark on those around him, as seen by his close friend from high school, Doug Benzel. Benzel said King has had a positive impact on his life just by being himself.

“He has given me the push to become the strongest version of myself,” Benzel said. “Adam is the type of person who makes people believe the best about themselves.”

Benzel also admires King’s work ethic and how he manages his professional and personal life.

“Since high school, he always balanced work, sports, working out, school and his social life,” Benzel said. “The drive, determination and hard work he has displayed to balance these things has truly lead to the successful path that he is now on.”

King has also left a good impression with past instructors, including Bradshaw.

“He was the only student who did exactly what a professional would do when his work was critiqued,” she said. “He said ‘thank you for your help.’”

The journalism field may be a tough one to enter, but King encourages aspiring journalists to learn as much as you can and be hopeful.

“Learn everything,” he said. “Write, edit, produce, shoot, run cameras and prompters, learn graphics… anything you do will benefit you in the future.”

As he continues to pursue his goals and conquer new territory, King never forgets the lessons he has learned as a BGSU student.

“Face fear,” he said. “If it scares you, you need to do it. You won’t know your real limits until you fail, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”

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Alumna gives advice for finding a career you love

Amanda Atkins

Almuna Amanda Atkins shares her career path from former BG News reporter to head of digital communication for Gap Inc. in an evening speech in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union Theater on April 7.

By Terrin Bates
Reporting Student

In the 12 years she has spent finding a career, alumna Amanda Atkins has always kept one thing in mind: your career should be the love of your life. She shared this piece of advice and much more when she visited BGSU on April 7 and spoke to a group of journalism and public relations students.

Head of Digital Communications at Gap, Inc., in San Francisco, Atkins described her journey from college to career as “twisting and full of lessons.” After graduating from BGSU in 2003 with a degree in print journalism, she ended up in a field that wasn’t related to her major. She took an internship at Owens Corning in Toledo as an internal communications specialist.

“It was really the right job for me at that time because I was still figuring out what I’m good at,” she said.

After four years at Owens Corning, Atkins decided it was time to move on and figure out the next step in finding her career.

“I was ready to start digging into that other half of the equation and figuring out what I love and how to put those things together,” she said.

There was a common theme of loving your career heard throughout Atkins’ speech, and she broke it down in three key steps: marry what you’re good at with what you love, embrace what scares you, and build the best relationships. With each step, Atkins shared anecdotes and offered helpful advice on how to grow as a person while searching for professional success.

“Embracing what scares you might be speaking up in a meeting and sharing your idea with confidence,” she said. “It might be volunteering to lead a project when you’ve never done that kind of work before. It might be moving into a new industry because you know the one you’re in isn’t the right fit for you anymore.”

Atkins also urged students not to be afraid of the idea of moving to a different city, because it can be beneficial to your career.

“I can’t emphasize enough the power of experiencing living in different places,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be permanent. You can always move back, and you can always move somewhere different, but it’s a really powerful thing to experience.”

Atkins knows a thing or two about living in different locations and broadening your horizons. She and her husband, Jeff, also a fellow Falcon, have resided in South Carolina, Columbus, Ohio, and Boston, before finally relocating to San Francisco.

“Don’t be afraid to move,” she encouraged. “The world is large and complex, it’s so full of opportunity, so full of things to learn.”

Toward the end of her speech, Atkins focused more on personal development and building relationships. She mentioned that it’s great to achieve success on your own, but forming bonds, both personal and professional, can get you farther in your career.

“You are going to encounter hundreds, if not thousands, of people throughout the pursuit of your career and you never know who’s going to be the one to teach you something new,” she said. “You never know who might end up being a treasured mentor, who might be the key to getting your dream job, and you never know who might end up being your best friend.”

Through personal stories about making friends and partners in the work force, Atkins inspired students to be their authentic selves and always have a positive outlook toward others.

Miranda Gilmer, a sophomore studying public relations, said Atkins’ speech was inspiring and gave her the motivation she needs for her career pursuits.

“She gave me a lot to think about,” Gilmer said. “I learned that in order to be successful and do what you want to do, you have to make it happen for yourself even if it scares you.”

Alexus Horn, another sophomore majoring in public relations, said she enjoyed the speech and thinks more people like Atkins should come to BGSU and share their experiences.

“I loved her stories,” she said. “I could really relate to her and her situations. Her overall vibe was informative, but warm. She made me less nervous about what I want to do with my career.”

Atkins ended her speech on a very honest note. She mentioned not everything in your career will remain constant and that change can be a good thing.

“Sometimes you’re going to fall in and out of love with your career, and that’s okay,” she said. “When you find the balance that fits you, it’s going to be a lot easier to get up out of bed every morning and you’re going to love your life more overall.”

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Students visit Pro Football Hall of Fame

BGSU Students at the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Twenty-five students from the School of Media and Communication and Sport Management headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH on Friday, April 10 as part of Richard Maxwell’s “Public Relations Practitioners in the NFL Reunion.”  Students had the opportunity to meet and interact with some of the 70 current and retired public relations NFL directors who attended.

Students attended workshops on social media, crisis PR, and getting that first job in the sports world. They attended the “Conversations with Dick Maxwell” panel where six PR practitioners shared stories of their days in the NFL and provided career advice to students.

The annual Collins Scholarship awards were handed out that evening. This year’s recipients are Terry Lash, a BGSU junior majoring in broadcast journalism, and Kaleb Page, a sophomore sport management major. The Collins Scholarship is presented annually in honor of Mr. Maxwell’s father-in-law, the late Bob Collins, who was a highly regarded sports editor of the Rocky Mountain News.

The event is sponsored by the Department of Journalism & Public Relations, the BGSU Sport Management Program, the School of Media and Communication and the Maxwell Project.


Richard “Dick” Maxwell is a 1965 BGSU journalism graduate and retired Senior Director of Broadcasting for the National Football League. He is widely known and greatly respected in the sport communication industry, having worked in public relations for the Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and subsequently as the NFL’s Director of Information for the National Football Conference, and finally as Senior Director of Broadcast Services. Dick was instrumental in the production of 32 Super Bowls, numerous Hall of Fame games, AFC-NFC Pro Bowls, and international American Bowls including as overall coordinator for three games in London, England.

Dick has served as a member of the BGSU Journalism Advisory Board, and has given numerous guest lectures over several years in BGSU journalism, public relations, and sport management courses. During the lead-up to 2006’s Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Dick arranged for seven NFL and Super Bowl executives to participate in a highly successful panel presentation held on BGSU’s campus, sponsored by the undergraduate student pre-professional group, the Sport Management Alliance. This past fall, Dick taught an undergraduate workshop titled “NFL: Modern Sport Media and Management.”

In 2008 Dick was inducted into the BGSU Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism Hall of Fame and the Fostoria (Ohio) High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Since his retirement, Dick continues to serve as a broadcast consultant for the NFL. He also coordinates the faculty and curriculum for the annual NFL Broadcast Boot Camp, a program established in 2006 to help NFL players plan for a post-playing career in sports broadcasting. He also continues to make several lectures per year on American and European university campuses including, of course, BGSU.

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South Hall revitalization underway

South Hall under construction.

South Hall under construction.

The Department of Journalism and Public Relations will move to a new, state-of-the-art facility in Fall 2016. That facility will be what is now South Hall, but it won’t be the same South Hall you might remember.

This video, produced by Dr. Jim Foust for use in his Multimedia Reporting course, shows some of the current demolition work underway in South Hall, as well as a preview of the significant structural upgrades that will be made to the building.

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BGSU students making trip to NFL Hall of Fame

Fifty students from the School of Media and Communication will be heading to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH on Friday, April 10 as part of Richard Maxwell’s “Public Relations Practitioners in the NFL Reunion.”  Students will have the opportunity to meet and interact with 70 current and retired public relations pros.

Students will attend workshops on social media, crises PR, and getting that first job in the sports world.  They will also attend the  “Conversations with Dick Maxwell” panel where PR practitioners will share stories of their days in the NFL.

The annual Collins Scholarship award will be handed out that evening.  This year’s recipient is Terry Lash, a BGSU junior majoring in broadcast journalism.  The Collins Scholarship is presented annually in honor of Mr. Maxwell’s father-in-law, the late Bob Collins, who was a highly regarded sports editor of the famous Rocky Mountain New.

The event is sponsored by the Department of Journalism & Public Relations, the BGSU Sport Management Program, the School of Media and Communication and the Maxwell Project.


Richard “Dick” Maxwell is a 1965 BGSU journalism graduate and retired Senior Director of Broadcasting for the National Football League. He is widely known and greatly respected in the sport communication industry, having worked in public relations for the Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and subsequently as the NFL’s Director of Information for the National Football Conference, and finally as Senior Director of Broadcast Services. Dick was instrumental in the production of 32 Super Bowls, numerous Hall of Fame games, AFC-NFC Pro Bowls, and international American Bowls including as overall coordinator for three games in London, England.

Dick has served as a member of the BGSU Journalism Advisory Board, and has given numerous guest lectures over several years in BGSU journalism, public relations, and sport management courses. During the lead-up to 2006’s Super Bowl XL in Detroit, Dick arranged for seven NFL and Super Bowl executives to participate in a highly successful panel presentation held on BGSU’s campus, sponsored by the undergraduate student pre-professional group, the Sport Management Alliance. This past fall, Dick taught an undergraduate workshop titled “NFL:  Modern Sport Media and Management.”

In 2008 Dick was inducted into the BGSU Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism Hall of Fame and the Fostoria (Ohio) High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Since his retirement, Dick continues to serve as a broadcast consultant for the NFL. He also coordinates the faculty and curriculum for the annual NFL Broadcast Boot Camp, a program established in 2006 to help NFL players plan for a post-playing career in sports broadcasting. He also continues to make several lectures per year on American and European university campuses including, of course, BGSU.

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BGSU Journalists Cover ONA Convention

A group of seven BGSU journalism students ran the Student News Bureau at the Ohio Newspaper Association (ONA) annual convention in February. The convention, held every year in Columbus, brings together newspaper executives, editors and reporters from around the state.

BGSU Student Journalists

BGSU’s Student News Bureau journalists pose at the ONA convention in Columbus. From left to right: Will Channell, Annie Furia, Kathryne Rubright, Cameron Teague Robinson, Jon Stinchcomb, Katherine (Katie) Wernke and Sarah Sanchez.

BGSU student journalists produced a printed convention bulletin, shot video and photos, and managed the ONA Twitter account. The students were supervised by faculty members Dr. Nancy Brendlinger and Kelly Taylor.

Jason Sanford, the ONA staff member in charge of publications, and ONA executive director Dennis Hetzel were pleased with the students’s work. “My first reaction—and my reaction is shared by Dennis Hetzel—is that this is the most impressive student newsletter we’ve had in years,” Sanford said. “We’re also really impressed by the videos. Please tell the students they did a great job.”

You can see all of the content produced by the students here.


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Jim Gordon, 1932-2015

jim_gordonFormer BGSU journalism professor Jim Gordon passed away Saturday at his home in Bowling Green. Memorial arrangements will be announced this week.

We have created this memorial site where you can post your tributes to Jim.

Here is Jim’s obituary from The Blade; and from the Sentinel-Tribune.

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The BG News Wins Big at Ohio Newspaper Convention

The BG News won three first prizes in the Ohio Newspaper Association’s Collegiate Competition, Division A, for sports coverage, headlines and photography. The awards were announced this week at the Ohio Newspaper Association’s annual convention in Columbus.

The winners for sports coverage were:

  • Danae King (former editor of The BG News, now health and business reporter at The Lima News);
  • Cameron Teague (former sports editor and now editor in chief of The BG News);
  • the sports staff.

The winners for headlines were:

  • Danae King;
  • Alex Alusheff (now business reporter at the Monroe News in Michigan);
  • Abby Welsh (now education and news reporter for the Daily Press and Argus in Livingston County, Michigan);
  • Dylanne Petros (now Vistas editor at the Roswell Daily Record in New Mexico.)

The winners for photojournalism were:

  • Ron Zeisloft;
  • Ruben Kappler;
  • Alyssa Benes.

Seven BGSU journalism students were reporting the convention for the Ohio Newspaper Association Wednesday and Thursday and will be producing their stories, videos and the ONA convention newsletter this weekend in West Hall. They are Cameron Teague, Kathryne Rubright, Will Channell and Jon Stinchcomb (all editors and reporters for The BG News) and Katie Wernke and Sarah Sanchez (reporters and producers for BG24 News).

Faculty members Kelly Taylor and Nancy Brendlinger accompanied the students.


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Designer Visits Online Journalism Class

Greg Jenkins, a designer at Madhouse Creative, visited Dr. Jim Foust’s Online Journalism class this week to talk about responsive design. Jenkins, who is a BGSU graduate, shared some of the history of web design and how the current (and future) variety of devices requires designs that adapt well to different screen sizes and formats.Greg Jenkins talks to Online journalism class.

Madhouse Creative, a Toledo-based agency, recently worked on the responsive re-design of the BGSU web site. Jenkins told students that it is important to understand your audience, and to understand the different ways (smartphone, tablet, desktop computer, etc.) they may be accessing content. He also talked about how future developments in facial recognition and geolocation might affect how content is created and consumed.

Online Journalism is a junior/senior level class required of all BGSU multiplatform and Broadcast journalism majors.

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Former BGSU Professor Jim Gordon is Seriously Ill

We are sad to learn that former BGSU journalism professor and longtime editor of the NPPA’s News Phojim_gordontographer magazine is seriously ill. Jim’s family says that he would enjoy receiving cards or other communication from former students and acquaintances. This is his address:

Jim Gordon
1446 Conneaut Ave.
Bowling Green, OH  43402-2145

You can read more in this article from the NPPA.

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