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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS | COURTESY

Four dif­ferent Radio Free Hillsdale shows have received top awards from the Michigan Asso­ci­ation of Broad­casters. 

Matt Mont­gomery won first place for Public Service Announcement with his Blood Types PSA; Martin Petersen, Jake Sievers, and Mark Moreno won second place in the cat­egory of Talk Show with their show Charger Rundown, and Ben Diet­derich, Alex Nester, and Andrew Nell won Hon­orable Mention for the Talk show cat­egory for their show “American View”. Sophomore Jane O’Connor won first place for On-Air Per­son­ality from the Michigan Asso­ci­ation of Broad­casters for her show “State Facts.”

O’Connor started the show just last semester.

“I didn’t grow up in the U.S., and, as an out­sider, the dis­tinct sub-cul­tures that existed within each state always fas­ci­nated me,” O’Connor said. “Once I moved to the U.S., I became obsessed with the culture of my home state (Maryland) and that obsession slowly spread to other states.”

O’Connor approached the general manager of the station, Scot Bertram, with the idea for “State Facts” and then began working on a pilot episode. Shortly after the pilot aired, she began pro­ducing the show reg­u­larly. 

Mr. Scot Bertram, the general manager of the Hillsdale College radio station, has been working with stu­dents on their shows from the inception of the radio station four years ago. 

Three out of those four years, the work of Hillsdale College stu­dents has been sub­mitted for awards, and each of those years brought home awards for the College. 

“This is the third year in a row that a Hillsdale student has won this cat­egory,” Bertram said in ref­erence to O’Connor’s awards. “Jane’s show is also a finalist nationally for an IBS award.”

Jane enjoys every aspect of pro­ducing her show, from learning about the state she fea­tures in every episode, to editing, to the growth and devel­opment of her own skills and ideas. 

“While researching for an episode, I find myself really getting into the history and culture of the state and am always excited to find someone to interview,” O’Connor said. “The show is a radio feature that focuses on the 50 U.S. states. Each episode I bring on a Hillsdale student and quiz them on their home state. Throughout the con­ver­sation, the inter­viewees are sur­prised by both what they know and don’t know about their home states.”

Another show that was nom­i­nated is Charger Rundown hosted by Jake Sievers, Martin Petersen, and Mark Moreno who have been doing the show since their sophomore years.

“Martin and I basi­cally met and became friends because of our mutual interest in sports and radio, so it was just a perfect storm of events for us to take the reins and have a show about Hillsdale College ath­letics,” Sievers said.

Sievers and Petersen aim for their show to provide more than what can be read in the box score from the game. In the episode they sub­mitted to the MAB, Sievers and Peterson inter­viewed Maddie Clark from the Hillsdale vol­leyball team.

“Marty and I listed dif­ferent types of food for like three minutes straight and asked Maddie if her coach would let them eat these foods. Martin heard through the grapevine that all vol­leyball players have an extremely reg­i­mented diet,” Sievers said. “It was a pretty fun segment that allowed for short little anec­dotes to be told and def­i­nitely gives more behind-the-scenes infor­mation than the typical sports interview.”

Sievers immensely enjoyed his time at WRFH and plans to con­tinue doing radio in some capacity after he grad­uates in May. 

“The biggest thing I will take away is that everyone has a story to tell,” Sievers said. “After con­ducting countless inter­views with Martin over the past few years, I can defin­i­tively say that no one is boring.”