Seniors Ryan Kelly Murphy and Jenna Suchyta both placed in the annual College Broad­casters Inc. Natonal Student Pro­duction Awards. Scot Bertram | Courtesy

Only three years old, Radio Free Hillsdale 101.7 FM is already winning national recog­nition.

Seniors Ryan Kelly Murphy and Jenna Suchyta both placed in the annual College Broad­casters Inc. National Student Pro­duction Awards. Murphy took third place for Best Audio Newscast, and Suchyta took fourth in Best Audio Doc­u­mentary for her pro­duction “A Problem of Pain” on the opioid epi­demic. They were able to attend the awards cer­emony, as well as con­ference ses­sions, this weekend in Seattle, Wash­ington. This was the first year Hillsdale’s radio program was eli­gible to be nom­i­nated for CBI awards, according to Scot Bertram, general manager of the radio station.

“I’m so proud of our station as a whole, that so early in we’ve sharpened our skills to a point where we can be truly com­pet­itive against bigger schools and radio pro­grams that have been around longer. That shows the greatness of Hillsdale,” Murphy said.

Suchyta also was excited to see what these awards mean for the radio broad­casting program on campus.

“We’re still a very young program; the station only started in my sophomore year,” she said in an email. “To see the suc­cesses that we are already seeing from all the stu­dents that are involved is more than I really imagined when I went to that first meeting.”

The fact that Hillsdale is placing alongside larger schools with well-known radio pro­grams, Bertram said, says some­thing about the stu­dents here.

“It’s a reflection of the seri­ousness and com­mitment to every part of their activ­ities on campus,” he said. “Everybody is giving every­thing they have to all of those orga­ni­za­tions, and that’s been reflected here since the start.”

Murphy said she expects the trend of growth in audience and out­reach is going to con­tinue.

“It shows that we are a radio force to be reckoned with in the college arena, and beyond,” Murphy said. “So many stu­dents are training to become broad­casters. It’s an exciting place to be right now.”

Beyond the award cer­emony, Murphy and Suchyta both were glad to have the oppor­tunity to attend the con­ference itself. Suchyta empha­sized that the trip to Seattle was about learning from the con­ference even more than winning awards.

“It wasn’t just an awards cer­emony,” Murphy said. “The con­ference fea­tured so many areas for radio we can work on or improve on — news copy, expanding your reach. Even if we hadn’t walked away with awards, it would have been ben­e­ficial because we would have walked away with skills we can apply here.”