TV Students, Alumni Take Home 10 Mid-America Emmy Awards

2015 Emmy Awards

VH1 Host Amy Paffrath, BJ ’05, Was Host and Emcee

By Ashley Szatala

St. Louis (Oct. 9, 2015) — It was a star-studded Missouri School of Journalism reunion at the 39th annual National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Mid-America Emmy awards held Oct. 3 in St. Louis.

Amy Paffrath, BJ ’05, current host of VH1’s “Dating Naked” and a former KOMU-TV reporter, was the host and emcee, along with her husband, Drew Seeley, an actor and musician.

2015 Emmy Awards
Missouri School of Journalism alumni – all former students who worked at KOMU-TV – gather onstage after the 39th Mid-America Emmy Awards in St. Louis on Oct. 3. All but five of the 34 nominees were students of Associate Professor Stacey Woelfel (tenth from left) when he served as KOMU-TV news director.

Missouri School of Journalism alumni – all former students who worked at KOMU-TV – gather onstage after the 39th Mid–America Emmy Awards in St. Louis on Oct. 3.

Alumni took home eight Emmys that night, from a total of 34 nominations. Current students won two additional student awards.

“The night had a real J-School/KOMU flavor to it,” Stacey Woelfel, director of the Jonathan Murray Documentary Journalism Center, said. “It was especially meaningful for me to see such a big turnout of alums because all but five of the 34 nominees were students during my time at KOMU.”

Woelfel is the current president of the Mid-America Emmy chapter. He is an associate professor and served as news director of KOMU for 24 years before his current appointment. KOMU is the only university-owned commercial TV station in the U.S. that uses its newsroom as a working lab for students. The station is affiliated with NBC and CNN.

Jessica Mensch, BJ ’15, and Mihir Bhagat, BJ ’15, won student awards. Mensch won first place for “Spice makers use new compounds to make product legal” News: General Assignment-Serious News category. Bhagat won first place for “Waiting game” in the News: General Assignment-Light News category. He also won an honorable mention for “Battle’s Special Season.” Both stories aired on KOMU.

Andrew Kauffmann, BJ ’15, was one of five nominated for an Emmy in the professional category of Sports: Program Feature/Segment for two stories he produced for KOMU: “Brayden and J’den.”

Eligibility period for work produced was from April 1, 2014, through March 31, 2015. In total, there are 90 different categories in which to submit work.

The Mid-America chapter of NATAS was chartered in 1962 and began honoring outstanding work in the region with local Emmy awards in 1976. The group’s mission is to encourage excellence in the television community through the regional Emmy award, leadership, networking opportunities, education and resources.

Updated: August 15, 2019

Related Stories