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Power 91 racks up awards at annual broadcast event

Christopher Holmes, a master of communication student from Cedar City, prepares to record a piece in the Power 91 radio station. Holmes won five awards at the Utah Broadcaster’s Association UBEE Awards dinner on Sept. 29.

Christopher Holmes, a master of communication student from Cedar City, prepares to record a piece in the Power 91 radio station. Holmes won five awards at the Utah Broadcaster’s Association UBEE Awards dinner on Sept. 29. Photo by Asher Swan.

SUU’s KSUU brought home six awards from the Utah Broadcasters Association’s annual UBEE Awards dinner at Ft. Douglas Sept. 29.

Christopher Holmes, a master of communication student from Cedar City, won five out of the six awards he was up for: best sports program, best feature story, best breaking news coverage, best news reporting in a series and best newscast with KSUU’s station manager Cal Rollins.

Power 91’s Morning Brew won Best Radio Personality or Team recognizing Eric Ripley, a senior communication major from Hemet, Calif.; Kami Christiansen, a senior theatre arts and communication double major from Grantsville; and Hollie Bistline, a senior political science and communication major from Orderville.

Rollins said the awards were a great accomplishment for students, especially since the competition was statewide competing with proficient radio broadcasters.

“The value of these awards shows is that we’re able to compete with professionals in the state of Utah,” he said.

Rollins said the awards help students get job offers. The awards recognize student names among those from professional radio stations, that students hope to work for.

“It’s a platform to display their skills,” he said.

Rollins said former SUU student Ben Winslow, a multi-media journalist for Fox 13 News, won many awards from the Utah Broadcasters Association which gave him a platform to be employed by KSL NewsRadio, and led him to Deseret News and Fox 13 News.

Holmes said he was anxious to submit to the UBEE open competition.

“You’re not just competing against students; you’re competing against professionals who work up to the speed of the radio industry,” he said.

Holmes said he first gained interest in radio broadcasting from his grandfather who always listened to the news. Holmes went to BYU as an undergraduate and found the opportunity to be on the radio slim. Holmes commends SUU for its ability to focus on students and their passions at school.

“The program (at BYU) was so massive and so big,” he said. “At SUU you have freedom to experiment and have fun.”

Holmes said the difference from BYU to SUU is, if you want to be on the radio, “it’s small enough and there are people willing to help you along the way.”

Christiansen said, unlike the application process to enter into BYU’s radio station, one of the requirements for SUU’s beginning radio broadcasting is getting your own show. That’s where she met Ripley and Bistline.

Christiansen said her attitudes with Ripley and Bistline are like a brother and sister relationship and a best friend style.

She said she never considered radio broadcasting as a career until she took the radio broadcasting class.

“It’s just a great honor to win the award,” she said. “I know some friends, who are at BYU, that don’t get a chance to be on the radio.”

Christiansen said the radio broadcasting class at SUU is hands-on and prepared her for bigger roles.

Bistline said it was great accomplishment and liked attending the UBEE awards dinner.

“We got to meet people in the field and talk to them about their job and radio,” she said. “I learned a lot, and it’s amazing to accomplish what we have in college; it’s something professional broadcasters fight for.”

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