North Central College - Naperville, IL

WONC broadcasters bring home the hardware

At WONC-FM 89.1, novice DJs, newswriters and sports announcers can learn from the pros — right on staff. That’s because North Central’s radio station is a perennial powerhouse in receiving nominations and awards for broadcasting excellence.

Among others, here are the top awards collected this year:

• Two first-place awards in national competition were given by the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System. The Golden Microphone Trophy Award in Best Sports Play-by-Play went to Ryan Piers for his play-by-play announcing and to Lucas Mitzel, who added the color during the December 4, 2010, national quarterfinal playoff game between the Cardinals and defending NCAA Division III national football champions, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (pictured right).

• The Golden Trophy Award for Best Documentary went to Ryan as well, who produced and narrated “Religion in American Society,” a 15-minute documentary. Ryan bested two other competing documentaries by DePaul University.

While at North Central, Lucas interned at WGN-AM 720, one of the nation’s best-known radio stations. He was involved in campus radio for four years and served as station manager his senior year. He now works at WROK-AM 1440 in Rockford and during the summer was public address announcer for the Kane County Chaos, a minor-league football team that played its games in Aurora.

Ryan conducted research in Uganda with the help of a Richter Independent Study Fellowship. He interviewed journalists about their strategies for covering violence and he later presented his findings at the College’s Rall Sympoisum for Undergraduate Research. “It was a life-changing experience,” he says.