Radio-Television Journalism Faculty, Student Win MBA Excellence Awards

By Allison Mang

Columbia, Mo. (June 21, 2006) — Four radio-television journalism faculty members and a recent graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism captured two first-place awards and two certificates of merit for excellence in journalism in the Missouri Broadcasters Association‘s annual competition.

“When our faculty and staff members win awards, as they have done in this competition, it confirms that we have hired the best in the business to show students the way it’s done,” said Stacey Woelfel, news director at KOMU and a member of the radio-television journalism faculty. “It’s always gratifying to see our students pick up awards at the professional level. The fact that their work is able to win a competition with those already working professionally helps confirm our curriculum is right on track to teach students what they need to know to succeed in the broadcast news industry.”

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill
Gary Grigsby
Gary Grigsby

“Sarah’s Stories from South Asia” won the first-place award for “Best Documentary.” In this special edition of the weekly feature series, “Sarah’s Stories,” Sarah Hill, adjunct professor and KOMU anchor and reporter, and Gary Grigsby, assistant professor and KOMU photographer, followed the University of Missouri team for Psychosocial Trauma to Sri Lanka and Indonesia as they assisted individuals with post-traumatic stress and other mental health needs after the 2004 South Asia tsunami. The documentary highlighted the need for psychologists and psychiatrists after the disaster, in an area where more than 30,000 died and more than 3,000 children lost a parent.

“Sarah’s Stories from South Asia” has also won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Documentary and a Society of Professional Journalists Heart of America award for Best Documentary.

Eric Blumberg
Eric Blumberg

A feature titled, “Softball Pitcher,” won Eric Blumberg, adjunct professor and KOMU sports anchor, the first-place award for “Best Sports Coverage.” This story focused on a high school softball player who overcame her battle with cancer to win All-State honors and a college softball scholarship.

Blumberg also received a certificate of merit for “Marathon Man,” a sports feature on the first man in a wheelchair to compete in Columbia’s Heart of America Marathon, a 26.2-mile race.

Amber Lyon
Amber Lyon
Kent Collins
Kent Collins

Amber Lyon, BJ ’04, and Kent Collins, chair of radio-television journalism, earned a certificate of merit for their piece, “Battered Justice,” a three-part investigation of domestic violence cases and how Missouri courts are handling them. Lyon worked closely with the University of Missouri-Columbia’s School of Medicine and School of Law on the series, which took 11 months to investigate and produce.

“The series introduced me to the incredible power I have to help people through journalism,” said Lyon, who now reports at KVOA, the NBC-affiliate in Tucson, Ariz. “I used journalism to help abused women in ‘Battered Justice.’ I now use it to bring attention to the plight of impoverished Mexicans.”

Since 1982, KOMU faculty and students have won 54 first-place MBA awards plus many numerous honors in other categories. In addition to this year’s awards in the sports coverage, documentary and investigative reporting categories, others have been won in spot news, complete newscast, feature reporting, news series and best weathercast.

The MBA is a non-profit corporation that promotes high standards in the broadcasting industry by recognizing and sharing examples of excellence and achievement.


Allison Mang, a senior from Sparks, Nev., is pursuing a dual-degree in strategic communication and political science and a minor in Spanish. She has interned at the Nevada Commission on Tourism in Carson City, Nev., and with Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahan in Jefferson City, Mo. Mang plans to join the Peace Corps After graduation in May 2007.

Updated: April 10, 2020

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