As preparation for the annual convention held in the latter part of the year, media studies students at Fort Hays State University attended the regional 2002-2003 National Broadcasting Society Heartland Regional student competition in St. Louis, MO, from March 5-8.
Students entered their work in the NBS regional competition, which included the categories of audio, video and Internet-related, such as script-writing.
Jenna Stout, Plainville senior, won an honorable mention in the Experimental Video category for "As the Barbie Turns."
Ryan Newton, Ellis senior, won a $100 NBS grant to attend the convention.
Becky Kiser, assistant professor of information networking and telecommunications, was named NBS district director for Kansas.
While time was spent in competition, the convention also included several seminars that were presented by professionals in electronic media. The seminars included topics such as what it is really like to work in a media-based field and helpful hints and suggestions for those career fields. After displaying their work and speaking, the presenters sat down with students to talk with them and critique their work.
Stout, Newton and Dru Miller, Russell senior, interviewed NBC Sports personality Bob Costas, who was a keynote speaker at the convention.
"We were really excited to hear that Bob Costas would be there," Stout said. "We were one of the only groups with a camera there, so we got to interview him."
"He was very willing to do the interview and talked with us about his experiences in the media field and how he got to where he is at NBC," she said. "He also gave us a promotional clip for KFHS." Stout said that the clip will air Thursday on KFHS-TV, channel 58, within the next two weeks.
Excerpts of the interview will air on KFHS-TV and Smoky Hills Public Television's "NewsLink."
"There's just so much you can learn at the conventions," Stout said. "You can see new ideas and see how other NBS chapters in the nation are functioning. It's also great for making contacts in different places."
"We were one of the smallest schools at the convention," Kiser said. "We competed with schools like the University of Miami -- huge, huge schools."
"Honestly, the best part was not the competition, but that the students could meet and network with other students and faculty throughout the United States," she said. "It's very good for networking and that is invaluable. The faculty there cares about the students and they want to groom tomorrow's personnel."
The Heartland Region comprises of the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.
Recently, FHSU students Dustin Armbruster, WaKeeney senior, and Taryn Everhart, Dodge City sophomore, and Stout were inducted into Alpha Epsilon Rho.
AERho, the honors division of NBS, and NBS are professional societies for students of the media.
In order to be nominated for AERho, students must be an active member of NBS, have completed at least nine hours in electronic media studies, have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 and must be in the upper 35 percent of the institutional academic class.
"It's nice to be rewarded for all of the hard work," Stout said. "I didn't join NBS until my sophomore year, and I kick myself for not joining earlier. It's a lot of fun and I have learned a lot."
"Being involved with the campus TV station since my freshman year has been one of the best decisions I've made during my college career," she said. "Every production I've been involved with, from the newscasts to the public affairs shows, have prepared me for the real world."
"It takes a lot of hard work and time," Stout said, "but every single minute is worth it."
Students who attended the convention are listed below by hometown.
DODGE CITY: Taryn Everhart, sophomore.
ELLIS: Ryan Newton, senior.
HAYS: Amy Schmeidler, senior.
HILL CITY: Tabitha Plante, special student.
PLAINVILLE: Jenna Stout, senior.
RUSSELL: Dru Miller, senior; Ryan Newton, senior.
WAKEENEY: Dustin Armbruster, senior.