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Teachers, Mentors, and Friends: A farewell to WVC

Wabash Valley College helped turn my life around! That may seem dramatic, but is absolutely accurate. When I joined the WVC Radio, Television & Digital Media (RTD) program, I was coming off a gap year after flunking out of my first try at college. I was 21 years old at that point, considerably older than the rest of my classmates. It was a scary new chapter in my life. I can now say two years later that it has been one of the best chapters in my life to this point. 

Since I was 14 , I knew I wanted to be a sports broadcaster. After flunking out, I thought that those dreams would never be realized. At Wabash Valley I was finally given an opportunity to announce games and realize that I was actually good at what I want to do for a career. Ever since I broadcasted my first game, I jumped at the opportunity to do as many games as possible and get better at my craft. 

After just one school year of broadcasting, I was able to use the resume I had built up to secure a summer internship announcing baseball in California. That was the first time I had been paid to broadcast sports. That was a big confidence boost that I could go places in the industry. Now after two years of building up my resume, I have another summer internship lined up and have been accepted as a transfer student to Oklahoma State University. My time spent at WVC has allowed me to go to a better university than the one I had originally failed at.

A Thank You To My Teacher

It wasn’t just simply attending Wabash Valley College that has pushed me to the new heights. There have been so many people along the way that have helped me become a better student and broadcaster. Kyle Peach is the leader of the WVC RTD program. Kyle was the person to give me permission to broadcast as many games as possible-even when I had very little experience. Kyle and his teaching also forces us as students out of our comfort zones. I haven’t just been announcing games for two years. I have learned how to shoot and edit photos as well as videos. I have learned how to write and read news scripts. We have been taught the business side of media. Every extra skill that I have been taught by Kyle is something that has set me apart amongst other candidates when earning the internships I have gotten. None of this would have been possible without Kyle.

A Thank You To My Mentor

Mark Richison was and is my first true mentor as a sports play-by-play announcer. Mark has 30 plus years of experience announcing Wabash Valley basketball. He could have played the seniority card and pigeonholed me as his color commentator. Instead, we entered a partnership allowing me to do play by play for WVC women’s basketball and color for men’s basketball. This year Mark was sidelined with a hip injury, and I was able to do play by play for nearly every men’s basketball game. Mark was recovered by the time the region tournament came around. He once again could have played a seniority card but, instead, allowed me to remain the play by play broadcaster while he did color for the tournament. I have learned so much from Mark while listening to him announce games. He has also been very generous with tips to help me along the way. My favorite pointer I received from Mark was to listen back to my broadcasts with my eyes closed so that I could try to envision what was happening based on my words. That helped me realize the importance of being as descriptive as possible. Mark has made me a better man and a better broadcaster.

A Thank You To My Friends

College is supposed to be fun. Obviously the goal is to get good grades and graduate. That goal is a lot easier to obtain when you have friends to make the journey enjoyable along the way. Austin Harrelson came in as a freshman at the same time I did. It turned out that we both wanted to be sports broadcasters and grew up less than 30 minutes apart. We had a lot in common but had never met because of the nearly four year age difference. Over our two years at Wabash Valley, we have bonded over our love for sports. We have had great times bickering about our rival favorite teams whether just amongst ourselves or on our sports talk show Sports Cubed. We have made each other better broadcasters by working together but also having a friendly rivalry trying to see which of us are the best. Austin and my other classmates have made things fun and lighthearted throughout my time here at WVC. I have no doubt that many success stories will come from this group of WVC RTD students. We have had a ton of unique talents ready to make our mark on the media world.

Wabash Valley college has turned a failure into a success story. I would recommend this place and especially the Radio and Television department to anyone looking for an opportunity to show their skills. My story is far from over, but one thing is for sure. No matter how far and how high I get in my life and career, I will always owe a large piece of it to my time here at Wabash Valley College.


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