Senior Ryan Kelly Murphy was nom­i­nated for Best Audio Newscast by College Broad­casters, Inc. Mar­keting | Courtesy

Seniors Ryan Kelly Murphy and Genevieve Suchyta jockey against other finalists to win first place for radio sub­mis­sions to College Broad­casters, Incor­po­rated.

They were the first Hillsdale stu­dents to submit radio pieces  to and be nom­i­nated as finalists in the CBI, for the Audio Newscast and Public Affairs Doc­u­mentary cat­e­gories respec­tively. In October, Murphy and Suchyta will travel to a con­vention in Seattle, where CBI will announce a winner from among the four finalists in each cat­egory.

Murphy became involved with Radio Free Hillsdale during her freshman year, when the program was first starting up. She now spends most of her time on the air­waves as one of Radio Free Hillsdale’s news anchors, broad­casting national, local, and state news, as well as sports and weather. She decided to submit a recording of one of her casts at the request of Radio Station Manager Scot Bertram.

“News­casting is great because you can get your hands in so many areas of radio. You put together the script, record it, edit and produce it to be ready to air,” Murphy said. “What I focus on is speaking clearly, enun­ci­ating, and using my tone to bring the story to life and help the audience to rec­ognize its biggest takeaway.”

Murphy said she was shocked and proud to be chosen as a finalist.

“It is not just my award or my achievement; it is because of this station as a whole, and the people who are involved are so invested, and we are learning alongside each other,” she said. “I am excited to see what the station does in the future, and I am hoping this is the first of many awards.”

Suchyta has also been involved with Radio Free Hillsdale since its inception. Over the years, her interests have shifted from straight news pieces to inves­tigative pieces. She sub­mitted “A Problem of Pain,” her doc­u­mentary on the opioid epi­demic. She inves­ti­gated the issue thor­oughly by inter­viewing a local anes­the­si­ol­ogist, the Hillsdale County Sheriff, State Sen. Mike Shirkey, and College Director of Health and Wellness Brock Lutz, before she began her cre­ative process.

“I tried and get as many pos­sible per­spec­tives on this issue: the medical per­spective of treating pain, the psy­cho­logical per­spective of treating addiction, the law-and-order per­spective of con­trolling crime, and the leg­islative per­spective of trying to pre­serve com­mu­nities,” Suchyta said. “The com­plexity really makes it inter­esting in cre­ating it, as well as in lis­tening to it.”

Throughout the doc­u­mentary, Suchyta explores the real­ities of addiction, “pill mills,” the respon­si­bility of phar­ma­ceu­tical com­panies, and pos­sible solu­tions to this problem.

Whether or not Suchyta and Murphy are selected as winners among the finalists at the CBI con­vention in Seattle, Bertram expressed his pride that their young program pro­duced such suc­cessful stu­dents. He said he has high hopes for Radio Free Hillsdale’s growth in the future.

“When I see the other winners, I know that they are the top college radio sta­tions in the country, so to have our stu­dents in that little club with the station being so new is quite the accom­plishment,” Bertram said. “People outside looking at those lists don’t even know Hillsdale had a radio station. We do and we are new, but I think we are already pretty good.”