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.”