Alumnus retires after 37-year career at Detroit TV station

Veteran news reporter Roger Weber ‘73 was astounded when his colleagues at Channel 4 in Detroit presented him with the Roger Weber Award on his final day.

“When I heard that, I thought, ‘You’re doing what?’” said Weber, of Farmington Hills, Michigan. “It’s for journalistic standards. Every year they will have a winner of the award named after me. That is such an honor.”

Weber joined Channel 4, one of the nation’s top-rated NBC affiliates, in 1978—the same year he married his wife Corinna, with whom he has two children—and remained there until his retirement in late June, 2015 after a career spanning more than 40 years. [READ FULL STORY on the BGSU News Page]

Posted in Alumni, Alumni Achievements | Tagged | Comments Off on Alumnus retires after 37-year career at Detroit TV station

Alumnus one of the top voices in professional soccer

Phil Schoen ’87 loved soccer long before it was cool to love soccer.

Growing up in south Florida, Schoen discovered the sport that has defined his professional life by watching, of all things, public television. It was there, on PBS, that Schoen stumbled across two weekly highlight shows—“Soccer Made in Germany” and “Star Soccer”—that introduced him to the beauty, passion and intricacies of the global game. [READ MORE on the BGSU News Page]

Posted in Alumni, Alumni Achievements | Tagged | Comments Off on Alumnus one of the top voices in professional soccer

Alumna reaches leadership heights as PBS station general manager

Amy Burkett ’90

Amy Burkett ’90

By Alexus Horn
Reporting Student

Alumna Amy Burkett has spent her life being what she describes as “a student of leadership.”

From the small town of Uhrichsville, Ohio, 35 miles south of Canton, she spent her high school years doing just about everything from marching band and choir to cheerleading and drama club.

When Burkett became a Falcon, she wasted no time jumping into the life of a heavily- involved college student writing for the BG News and joining a sorority.

Burkett, spent four years writing for the BG News, was the managing editor her senior year. “I loved every single thing. It was the best experience,” she said. “I always knew I wanted to be on TV, but writing for the BG News taught me how to be a good writer.”

After graduating on a Saturday in May 1990, Burkett began her first job on the following Monday at WHIZ-TV NBC in Zanesville, Ohio.

After spending 18 months in Zanesville, Burkett moved to Medstar Television, a nationally syndicated show based in Pennsylvania, which she describes as a pivotal point in her career.

“That’s where I learned to go from those short 90-second stories to the 5-minute stories with special effects and looking at complex issues that you don’t see on the nightly news,” Burkett said.

While hard at work showcasing products to over 150 channels, she also got to travel to places like Honolulu and Miami.

“I got to see the country on their money, but four years living out of a suitcase was more than enough,” Burkett said.

In 1999, began working at WLVT-TV PBS 39 in Pennsylvania, here Burkett lead a team to create a show called “Tempo!” which received 34 Emmy nominations as well as six wins.

Laura McHugh, who worked with Burkett at PBS 39, recalled accepting the award for her Mid-Atlantic Emmy.

“As I was standing on stage, I remember looking to my right and seeing Amy backstage jumping up and down and cheering for us,” McHugh said. “I really believe she couldn’t have been happier than if she had won the award herself.”

Burkett worked her way from production to host to vice president, but she had other plans. She wanted to be the general manager of a station, and when the opportunity presented itself, she went to North Carolina

Just before moving to North Carolina, though, Burkett and her family took a mission trip to Haiti to help those in need.

Currently, Burkett is the general manager at WTVI-PBS Charlotte. In her spare time, she creates YouTube videos that all have a great message or a boost of motivation for her viewers.

Her videos cover an array of topics, anywhere from chasing your dreams to the struggles of reaching your goals. She also has a series of videos about leadership lessons from different things such as Disney and Mary Poppins.

McHugh, her former colleague, said: “I would never be the reporter or producer I am today without Amy Burkett. She taught me the meaning of excellence in television, and when I struggle with a difficult ethical or editorial decision, I find myself asking, ‘What would Amy do?’”

What would Amy do?

When asked what advice she would give for remaining motivated after graduating, Burkett said, “Focus on learning and focus on being all that I can be to take all my experiences in college and continue to grow everyday.”

Posted in Alumni | Tagged | Comments Off on Alumna reaches leadership heights as PBS station general manager

PR post comes with travel perks

Matt Maynard, ’08

Matt Maynard, ’08

By Bryant Miesle
Reporting Student

Matt Maynard has been able to travel the world and go to places he never thought he would see.

“A Valentine’s weekend in Paris? An impromptu vacation to Buenos Aires? I’ve been lucky enough to do it all,” the 2008 broadcast journalism graduate said.

Maynard, who is now a senior analyst of customer communications leading all the development of integration communications with customers at American Airlines in Dallas, Texas, loves every minute of his time at the airline.

“I joined the company right as it was merging with U.S. Airways to become the world’s largest airline, and that’s given me the opportunity to work on many great projects,” he said. “I really enjoy working for big companies and finding ways to solve big problems. Working at American Airlines has given me many opportunities to do just that.”

While a student at BGSU, Maynard said he wanted to be a broadcast journalist, but that changed soon after graduating.

Maynard said the awful hours and moving to a small, unfamiliar town were two things he thought were not for him.

Julie Hagenbuch, BGSU public relations professor, said Maynard began to have his doubts about broadcast journalism during his junior year of college and considered switching to public relations. She encouraged him to keep his major in broadcast journalism to avoid setting him back a few more years at college.

“TV news was and will always be my first love,” Maynard said. “But coming out [of] college, I just wasn’t willing to commit to that lifestyle.”

Upon graduating, Maynard decided that pursuing a career in public relations would be the best fit for him.

“Deep down, I knew I always had a passion for finding stories and finding creative ways to tell them. I just never thought that skill could be used in other professions like public relations and marketing,” he said.

Two years ago, after working in the journalism field for over eight years and gaining experience in multiple industries, Maynard saw an opening in media relations at American Airlines and decided to apply.

Cristina Castro, a manager at American Airlines. hired Maynard.

“When I was finalizing my decision in January 2013 as to who I should hire, I asked myself, ‘Which of these candidate can help get our department where we want to take it?’ And immediately, Matt rose to the top of the list,” Castro said. “I hired Matt to join our Cargo team, and at that time, I knew he wouldn’t be in our department long – only because I saw how driven and talented he was.”

This drive that Maynard has is something Hagenbuch noticed while she had him as a student and believes it has contributed to his success thus far.

“He was focused. He knew what he wanted out of life and was naturally curious,” Hagenbuch said.

At American Airlines, Maynard has been able to apply his passions to his career in order to help promote the world’s largest airlines.

“In my role, every day I’m a reporter. I work across a global company and with senior leadership to determine what’s important, how to say it and how to share it,” Maynard said.

Even though working at American Airlines is his career, Maynard has another passion he has been able to pursue: “Big Brother.”

“Big Brother” is the CBS television series where contestants live in a house together and compete against each other for a chance to win $500,000.

“When I was in high school, a friend and I created a fan site for the show, and it grew to become so popular that we’re now considered to be part of the media,” Maynard said. “Alongside reporters from “Entertainment Tonight” and People, I’ve covered the show every summer as an entertainment reporter for more than 10 years.”

Maynard described his time as a reporter as simply “creating an opportunity out of a hobby.”

“I don’t do it for the money – in fact, I don’t even get paid. I call it my ‘night job’ that I do simply because I enjoy it,” he said.

Brian Scheffler, a managing member at ScheffTech Productions, LLC, wrote a recommendation for Maynard about his efforts with “Big Brother.”

“Matt’s input during the designing and re-designing phases of our platform have been critical to allow for user-friendliness, while managing to keep the website new and fresh,” Scheffler said.

Now that Maynard has carried the BGSU alumnus status for almost seven years, he has several pieces of advice for students entering the public relations field.

“First, and most importantly, you have to know how to write…You need to be able to take something complicated and make it easy to understand,” Maynard said. “Secondly, diversify your skills. Nothing makes you more valuable than having a wide range of skills.”

Maynard attributes early writing assignments to some of his success, but said the confidence the journalism professors taught him was even more important.

“At BGSU, I learned to recognize my natural gifts and talents, and today, I work to maximize those in my career,” he said.

As far as what the future holds, Maynard is confident he will always be in a career that challenges him to the fullest.

Posted in Alumni | Tagged | Comments Off on PR post comes with travel perks

Master’s degree helps alumna focus on feeding the hungry

By Nikita Lewis
Reporting Student

California, the big state for big dreams. The Golden State appeals to dreamers, especially 2007 alumna Miranda Everitt.

Everitt said moving to California was the best decision she has ever made.

“I bought a plane ticket to California a week after graduation,” she said. “I had a few friends in San Francisco that I met during my internship. I had a couple of hundred from waiting tables, and I had this crazy idea that I can try and make it.”

Everitt didn’t start out in journalism or at BGSU. She attended her first year of college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and majored in history.

“I started off as a history major and made a lot of friends there,” she said. “But, as I was going through the year, I realized what I actually wanted to do and love, which was working on the school newspaper.”

After changing her major to journalism, the Toledo, Ohio, native transferred to BGSU as a commuter student and managed to graduate from BGSU in two years because she received extra college credits in high school.

Throughout college, Everitt described herself as quiet, yet very curious.

Professor Jim Foust had Everitt as a student in one of his courses. “ She was definitely quiet, but you could tell that she had a lot more going on than she let on,” Foust said. “She did not speak much in class at all, but when she did a project, she would do it really well. It was clear she was smart.”

After settling in California, Everitt worked for the Oakland Tribune as a news designer and copy editor for two years.

Due to layoffs and financial problems at the Oakland Tribune, she started to look for a career change.

“I started volunteering and gardening because I love being outdoors and food,” she said. “I worked for AmeriCorps for one year.”

AmeriCorps is an agency whose mission is to improve lives and communities and to promote civic engagement through service.

After working for AmeriCorps as marketing coordinator, Everitt learned a lot about poverty in San Francisco and became more interested in food policy.

“I started doing marketing at a food bank, which I thought was perfect because I have always been interested in food and gardening and that kind of stuff,” she said. “And with a journalism background, it is appealing doing marketing.”

Everitt worked as a marketing communications coordinator at Alameda County Community Food Bank for three years.

While working at the food bank, some of her duties were pitching stories on hunger and poverty to New York Times, KQED and Oakland Tribune, writing op-eds on the Farm Bill and state budget and speaking to large groups about hunger and poverty.

“The more I worked on food policy, the more I thought that the solution to hunger is going to have to be more than a food drive,” she said. “That is when I learned more about food policy and getting another credential.”

Everitt applied to the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of Berkeley.

“I wanted to make a career change but didn’t want to move across the country,” she said. “But it happens that what people think is the best policy school in America is right in the Bay Area, where I live.”

In need of a letter of recommendation, Everitt turned to Foust.

“I based [the letter] on how I saw her growing as a person through Facebook,” Foust said. “She was writing a lot of intelligent posts and doing all these cool things.”

While studying for her master’s degree in public policy she was a consultant for the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy.

In addition to attending graduate school, Everitt was the Global Food Initiative Fellow at the Berkeley Food Institute. She contributed ideas to increase and improve policy programs.

Following her May 2015 graduation, Everitt wants to continue working on poverty, labor, criminal justice and food security in California.

“I know the next few months are going to determine a lot for me after grad school, but ideally, I hope to work on California state policy, poor people, helping incarcerated people and people who struggle with receiving food,” she said. “I especially think my curiosity and interest and health and food policy will lead me in an interesting path.”

Posted in Alumni, Alumni Achievements | Tagged , | Comments Off on Master’s degree helps alumna focus on feeding the hungry

Hall of Fame honor is fitting end for alumnus with 40 years of covering sports for the Sentinel Tribune

Jack Carle, ’74

Jack Carle, ’74

By Brandon Shrider
Reporting Student

A hall of fame induction caps off 40-year-career at the Sentinel Tribune for 1974 Bowling Green State University journalism alumnus Jack Carle.

Carle was selected as an inductee into the Ohio Prep Sportswriter’s Association Hall of Fame the same year he retired – 2014.

“I’d like to find out who nominated me in the first place…to give them hell,” Carle said jokingly. “I was totally surprised. I couldn’t believe it.”

With the ceremony at the Ohio High School Athletic Association boys basketball tournament in March, Carle got the chance to reflect upon the highly regarded and well-respected career.

“When I reflect out there it’s kind of humbling,” Carle said. “But it wasn’t all me, it was everybody else.”

First beginning to write while at BGSU for The BG News, Carle ultimately became sports editor for the 1971-72 school year. At the same time, he worked part time for the Sentinel-Tribune, Carle eventually became full time in 1978 as the assistant sports editor.

Growing, improving and perfecting his work over this time, he said it was more than just him. He said he had a lot of great help at both places alongside some people who went on to do great things.

Carle, however, did great things too.

Among his many accolades, Carle was named the “Best Ohio Sports Writer” in 2003. Carle never made it a priority to let everyone know of his accomplishments though.

Thomas Schmeltz, current sports editor at the Sentinel-Tribune, said, “Any awards he’s ever won never get brought up. You wouldn’t know the awards he’s won over the years because he doesn’t talk about it, it doesn’t affect him one way or the other.”

Schmeltz, who worked alongside Carle for three and a half years, said, “He appreciates it, but he’ll always be the first to credit somebody else for doing something, thanking the people he’s had working for him over the years when really, it’s been him pushing others to do what they are able to do.”

Carle wasn’t always the confident and established sports writer, however.

Coming from Circleville, Ohio, Carle was originally looking to study radio-television news.

Carle had worked part-time with his older brother at a radio station in Circleville once he turned 18. This is what first piqued his interest.

When looking for colleges, Bowling Green didn’t require a foreign language to get into the radio-television news curriculum, Carle said.

He decided on BGSU.

However, while moving into the dormitories at the beginning of his sophomore year, Carle picked up the freshman issue of The BG News. Seeing an ad for a sports writer, Carle inquired.

Gary Davis, the sports editor at the time, saw something in me and gave me a chance, he said.

“(When I first started) I was horrible and in over my head,” Carle said chuckling.

With no experience in journalistic writing, Carle began covering the men’s soccer team.

“Luckily enough for me, my chance was with [men’s soccer coach] Mickey Cochrane,” Carle said. “He realized I was young. If I asked a stupid question, he wouldn’t say ‘that’s a stupid question,’ he would suggest what I maybe wanted to know. So I was lucky enough to get started with him.”

After covering a plethora of campus athletics, Carle graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism with a specialization in broadcast journalism.

Carle applied for an assistant sports editor position at the Sentinel-Tribune.

Harold Brown, the sports editor at the time, talked to the general manager and hired him.

“I don’t know why,” Carle said facetiously with a smirk on his face.

Brown eventually moved to city editor, opening the sports editor position for Carle.

In 1987, Carle hired Kevin Gordon. Gordon remained his assistant until Carle retirement in 2014.

“He was an important part of my career.” Gordon said. “He helped me to grow and develop as a writer and a page designer. He included me in all decisions involving the department and allowed me to do things on my own.”

Carle said, “[Kevin Gordon] was a big part, I leaned on him to do a lot of things. I don’t know if I passed any knowledge onto him, he probably passed more along to me.”

Carle elected to spend his entire career at the Sentinel-Tribune as opposed to moving elsewhere.

“When I got that job at the Sentinel, it just seemed like a good fit,” he said. “Some people were willing to leave being the sports editor at a small paper to be a reporter at a bigger paper, but I kind of liked being in charge too.”

Schmeltz laughed when he recalled his first interview with Carle and his initially hiring. “I was scared, Schmeltz said. “ But once you get to know him, for just a week or two, he’s just the most laid back, relaxed, guy I’ve ever met.”

But, Schmeltz said, Carle makes sure the job gets done. “He still gives that presence that he’s stern. You can get away with doing things the way you want to do it, but as soon you mess it up or do it wrong, you know about it—which is a good thing. I think that helped me grow. He’s always there to help somebody.”

When asked about Carle’s work, Schmeltz said, “Detailed, he always had his way of doing things; he always wanted to make sure his stuff was different from somebody else’s. He wanted his to stand out more.”

Carle said: “It could be demanding at times, missing time with my family on late nights, but it was enjoyable. Everything didn’t click everyday, didn’t get enough sleep writing stories, but it was enjoyable.”

“I don’t miss the long hours though,” Carle added jokingly with a sigh of relief. “It was an interesting job. There were so many different things, seasons always changed.”

With his career coming to a close, Carle leaves behind a legacy, not just in Wood County, but Ohio and the Midwest. People, interested in sports or not, know who Carle is because of the relentless, but prodigious work he produced.

“Everybody knows who he is because of how long he did it and because he was good at it. He knew what he was doing,” Schmeltz said. “To know that I got that kind of knowledge from somebody who knew what he was doing and who really had a passion for it, I’m thankful for.”

Posted in Alumni, Alumni Achievements | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Hall of Fame honor is fitting end for alumnus with 40 years of covering sports for the Sentinel Tribune

Stella oversees FOX Sports West and Prime Ticket websites

Pete Stella, ’01

Pete Stella, ’01

By Steven Kubitza
Reporting Student

“I’m just a kid from Ohio,” said 2001 Bowling Green State University graduate Pete Stella as he sat in his office in Los Angeles on a clear and sunny day in the middle of February.

From The BG News to being the Digital Content Manager at FOX Sports West and Prime Ticket, Stella still thinks about his days at BGSU quite often.

“I went there [BGSU] as a high school senior and made the decision to come after that one night,” Stella said.

He said his time at The BG News aided him in his current job, as it “taught me how to do everything with a paper.”

His current position involves overseeing the FOX Sports West and Prime Ticket website, while also maintaining a prominent presence in social media.

One of his colleagues is Sid Saraf, who currently serves as an NFL editor for and has countless great things to say about Stella.

In regard to when they worked together, Saraf said: “If Pete’s shift started at 5 p.m., he was there at 4:15, checking his emails and already diving into work. If you were bogged down with something, Pete volunteered to take work off your plate, no questions asked.”

These comments show just how much of an impact the man from Los Angeles by way of Bowling Green, Ohio, has had on those around him.

Nick Hurm, Stella’s friend and fellow BGSU graduate, said: “Stella has the passion of a sports fanatic mixed in with the sense of an experienced editor. He’s a fan that understands the kind of questions that are conversation starters and he knows how to communicate that with the writers he works with.”

Before landing in Los Angeles, Stella spent a decade in Florida working for several newspapers and for, where he served as a staff editor.

Things are different out in Los Angeles, where he tells of the atmosphere that involves the potential of seeing celebrities every time he attends a Los Angeles Clippers game at Staples Center.

Stella, a Billy Crystal fan, recalled turning around at a game and seeing Crystal right behind him.

Life in Los Angeles has included trips to the Rose Bowl and even the 2014 BCS National Championship game that Stella recalled vividly.

He talked about how he was in the elevator heading to the field when Florida State’s comeback began against Auburn in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game.

He made it to the field, he said, and “watched the Florida State section erupt” when the team won the game.

While he has been able to take in these spectacular events, Stella could not help but bring up memories from his time at BGSU.

He recalled being in Urban Meyer’s first press conference at BGSU, which is a great memory for a self-proclaimed Ohio State fan.

Hurm recalled a game from 2000 when the BGSU basketball team won on a game-winning three-point shot.

“Stella writes down his observations, then calmly walks into a bathroom,” Hurm said.

After hearing cheers and screams come from the bathroom, “he walked out of the restroom with his reporter face on and headed to the postgame press conference,” Hurm said.

When asked to describe Stella, Saraf said, “This is the same guy who loves “Goodfellas,” texting me ‘Simpsons’ quotes at 11 p.m. and nerding out with novels from the ‘Star Wars Expanded Universe’.”

Hurm said GoodStella was the name of Pete’s weekly BG News column and it fit him perfectly.

Stella said he hopes to one-day move back to the East Coast; although admittedly, he said, he cannot complain about the experience in Los Angeles.

Not a bad life for a kid from Ohio.

Posted in Alumni | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Stella oversees FOX Sports West and Prime Ticket websites

Work for the CDC gives alumna chance to help others

Sarah Lewis, ’99

Sarah Lewis, ’99

By Cherise Thomas
Reporting Student

Most journalism graduates pursue jobs as reporters, writers or editors for newspapers, however 1999 alumna Sarah Lewis desired something different.

“Something about being on the fringes of society to experience something few ever would, appealed to me,” she said. “I wanted to bring a subjective truth to people’s worldview that was so different from their everyday lives.”

Deep within, she said she desired to “challenge their thoughts on what was possible,” for the world and its “fellow human beings.”

In her mind, she always knew the career she wanted, but she just didn’t know how to get there.

After finishing her undergraduate degree, Lewis went to graduate school at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

She worked in marketing and spent time as copywriter and marketing manager.

Lewis, then parlayed her interest in health issues into a job in Atlanta, Georgia, working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she is able to create programs in communications that improve the quality of people’s lives.

A typical day at CDC consists of balancing current projects, requests from the press and government leaders.

She considers work at CDC fun. “No one day, is exactly like the last,” she said.

Lewis said she is happy she didn’t take the typical route of a journalism graduate.

“It is exciting work for me because you are creating a communications campaign from the ground-up, which requires strategic thinking and vision,” she said. “It’s a wonderful balance of science and art, logic and creativity.”

Those closest to Lewis describe her as a selfless person, who puts the community and those in need first.

Heather Engel, a 1998 BGSU broadcast journalism graduate and Lewis’ good friend from college, described Lewis as a loyal, honest and caring person.

“She truly cares about how others are doing,” Engel said. “She puts other people first. She likes to feel as if she is paying it forward to the world.”

Giving back to the world is exactly what Lewis demonstrated when she went to Sierra Leone, West Africa, last October to work against Ebola.

Engel was terrified for Lewis; she did not know if she’d be protected from the virus, and said prayers for her daily.

“She went and risked her life to help those with Ebola,” Engel said. “She just has an amazing heart. She’s very brave.”

At CDC, Lewis has the opportunity to work locally, nationally and globally; whenever the opportunity arises workers are urged to participate.

Lewis’ case was different; no one had to urge her to volunteer. “She took it upon herself to do it. Nobody asked her to do it,” said Dr. Fred Fridinger, Lewis’ former supervisor and the CDC Strategic and Proactive Communications Branch chief.

She took it upon herself to not only gain the experience, but to “act above and beyond the call of duty” in regard to public health, he said.

Lewis said, “Having the opportunity to work against one of the largest outbreaks the CDC has ever responded to was exhilarating and wonderful and stressful all at the same time.”

While in Sierra Leone, Lewis met people she said are incredible. She met a community health worker, for example, who survived a civil war and had to face the deaths in her family that were due to Ebola.

“It was a very humbling experience, and it made me very appreciative of the conveniences I have had in my life because I was born in the United States,” Lewis said.

Lewis enjoyed being of service to others in need and considers herself fortunate to have been part of the opportunity.

“In instances such as these, you see the power of communication and education to save the lives of people, and I was so lucky to be a small part of that work,” she said. “It’s inspiring to be able to use your skill set in service of others.”



Posted in Alumni | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Work for the CDC gives alumna chance to help others

After two years on the West Coast, 2010 graduate finding career success back in the Midwest

Heather Walker 2010 broadcast journalism graduate

Heather Walker
2010 broadcast journalism graduate

By Kayla Lewandowski
Reporting Student

After discovering her passion for journalism, Toledo, Ohio, native and 2010 alumna Heather Walker ditched her dream of becoming a Broadway star and headed for the news station.

Currently a reporter at WOOD-TV8 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Walker discovered her passion for television news by volunteering with BG24 News during her time at BGSU.

“I was not that little girl who watched the news and said, ‘Oh I want to be like that woman I’m watching,’” she said.

It was Walker’s father who signed her up to work at the organization thinking it was something she would enjoy.

Out of high school Walker wanted to pursue a Broadway career in New York, but it was her parents who helped her decide to attend a year at BGSU, their alma mater.

As she thought back to her first year of college, she said it was a decision she is now very glad she made.

She started editing with BG 24 News then reporting, falling in love with the news from then on.

Walker said she has great memories from her experience at the BG24 News. “BG24 News taught me the ABC’s of news,” she said. “It laid a good foundation and I was able to grow from there.”

Katherine Bradshaw, associate professor and chair of the Department of Journalism and Public Relations, acted as a mentor and helped guide Walker through her college career.

Looking back, Bradshaw remembered how incredibly helpful Walker was to BG24 News.

“The entire organization benefitted from her being there in terms of her kindness and helping other people,” Bradshaw said.

Bradshaw said that Walker had an amazing confidence in herself and her own abilities.

“Heather Walker could decide to do something and could do anything she decided to do,” Bradshaw said.

Walker said she does not know if she would be the reporter she is today if she had not met Bradshaw. Bradshaw, as well as her participation in the BG24 News, molded her into the talented reporter she is today.

After graduating Walker sent her tapes all around the United States, receiving a number of offers from different stations.

“I didn’t really care where I was. I just wanted to be at a great station to start my career,” she said.

Walker accepted an offer in Yakima, Washington, where she spent two years as a multimedia journalist at KIMA-TV and radio station KDBL.

One story she worked on in particular earned her a Society of Professional Journalists award. Her investigative piece included evidence of a Yakima Gang Sergeant behaving inappropriately while on the job.

Sarah Navoy, who worked with Walker for two years in Yakima, said: “Heather is a strong person in and out of the newsroom. She handles herself with confidence. Just by being who she is, Heather silently encourages those around her to step up their game.”

After two years in Washington, Walker decided to take her talents to a station closer to her hometown. Walker said she decided to move for the sake of her mother, who was not happy with her living across the country, and because WOOD-TV 8 is an amazing station.

In December 2012 Walker accepted the position in Grand Rapids. Her voice lit up as she cheerfully described her position at the station. She said her job now is similar to the position in Yakima, except now she has a photographer and an assignment desk. She no longer has to generate her own stories.

Walker said her favorite aspect of her job is her ability to help people.

“Television is very powerful and you can use that for good, and when you do it’s a great feeling,” she said.

Walker said she feels her best when she is able to make a difference in peoples’ lives.


Posted in Alumni | Tagged , | Comments Off on After two years on the West Coast, 2010 graduate finding career success back in the Midwest

Marrison leaving Dispatch

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 1.08.10 PM

Click on picture above to read the story.

Posted in Alumni | Comments Off on Marrison leaving Dispatch

Saturday Night at NFL 2015 Sports Journalism Boot Camp

Posted in Alumni, Events, Faculty, Multimedia, Students | Comments Off on Saturday Night at NFL 2015 Sports Journalism Boot Camp

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

Posted in Alumni, Involvement, Student Achievements, Students | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Multimedia projects conclude academic career for broadcast and multiplatform students

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.”

Posted in Alumni | Tagged , | Comments Off on Alumna’s recipe for success touches others

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.

Posted in Alumni | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Cravens takes new role in alumni and annual giving office at BGSU

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.”

Posted in Alumni | Tagged , | Comments Off on Independent cartoonist, illustrator got his start in student media

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.”

Posted in Alumni | Tagged , | Comments Off on Alumna moves from in front of the camera to behind the plate

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.”


Posted in Alumni, Alumni Achievements | Tagged , | Comments Off on Variety in job positions highlights career of 1960 graduate

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.

Posted in Organizations, Students | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on PRSSA students sample PR in the state capital

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.

Posted in Alumni | Tagged , | Comments Off on Good humor and passion for their job fill the graduation gap for alumnae working together in public relations

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.

Posted in Alumni | Tagged | Comments Off on Broadcast alumnus goes from news anchor to hometown business owner