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Student Spotlight
UIndy WICR radio and UIndy 5 TV students cover the election from downtown Republican and Democratic Election Night Headquarters  on November 8, 2016.  Radio students filed dispatches on the half hour, and it was the second election covered live by TV5, both with studio support from Esch. (Photo by D. Todd Moore, University of Indianapolis)
Award-winning Coverage

Election night is one of the busiest of the year for broadcasters, and you can count the student staff of UIndy’s WICR-FM among those hard-working journalists. They recently got national props for their coverage efforts during the November 2016 election.

The election night crew from WICR-FM — comprising of students from freshmen to seniors, as well as a mix of majors including communication, theatre and business administration — won first place in the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts competition in the radio newscast category, beating out Hofstra University, the University of North Texas and the University of Southern California.

“Winning this competition goes to show that no matter the size of the school or program, the quality and work ethic of the students supersedes all other entities,” said Evan Wilks, a senior communication major and operations manager of WICR-FM.

Election night is a challenging time for broadcast outlets, but the fast pace provides valuable, real-life lessons for students like sophomore Chris Shoulders.

“I’ve already covered huge events because of WICR, including the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, and it made election night so easy to stay calm and level-headed. The experience I get at UIndy has allowed me to approach any event with a high level of confidence,” said Shoulders, a communication major.

Communication students appreciate the hands-on aspect of the program. Wilks started at WICR-FM as a freshman and now has four years of experience at the radio station.

“Taking the radio course not only prepares me for being the best broadcaster I can be, it also has a central focus on career development and that, I believe, is the most important aspect of the class,” said Wilks.

WICR-FM isn’t the only hands-on learning opportunity at UIndy.

Communication students working at UIndy TV-5, the student-run television station, have won numerous awards from the Indiana Association of School Broadcasters. The Reflector, UIndy’s print and online newspaper, provides the chance to develop interviewing, reporting and management skills. If you have a passion for public relations, the University provides an award-winning, student-run PR agency called Top Dog Communication, one of just 29 student-run firms in the nation affiliated with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).