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Central Washington University

CWU Student Broadcasters Again Earn National Acclaim

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

KCWU logoStudent broadcasters from KCWU-FM, Central Washington University’s student radio station, again earned top honors at the 81st annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) conference. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1940, represents 90 percent of all educational radio stations in the United States.

One of the station’s awards was for Best Video Sports Play-by-Play, for the broadcast of CWU’s football game against Southwest Baptist on Nov. 9, 2019. Senior J.T. Schmidt, of Gig Harbor, was the sideline reporter for the game.

“Communications was never on my radar,” said Schmidt, who will graduate at the end of winter quarter with a degree in finance. “But I’ve been told I have a good voice, and a buddy of mine urged me to apply to the radio station. Doing so allowed me to expand my knowledge of something completely different. The lessons I’ve learned in how to speak and command attention using just my voice are going to stick with me for a long time.”

KCWU general manager Jeff MacMillan was the play-by-play announcer for the award-winning broadcast, with CWU alumnus Dave Heaverlo providing color commentary.

KCWU’s other award, for Best Phone App, went to Dylan Elliott, a second-year Running Start student from Ellensburg. Elliott will enroll at CWU next fall and plans to major in computer science. His goal is to become a computer scientist with United States Space Force.

“I wanted it [the app] to connect us with the community so they can stay up-to-date on everything that’s going on at the ‘Burg and connect,” Elliott said. “I made sure that the graphics were constantly updated, that it also showed blogs, and more closely mimicked our website.”

Overall, a record 14 CWU students were named finalists for 22 awards at this year’s IBS conference, held virtually from March 2-6. In addition, for the seventh time, KCWU was nominated for Best College Radio Station, presented to colleges and universities with 10,000 students or more. The station won the national award in 2015.

“It is worth highlighting that the station achieved all this in the midst of a pandemic and having to quickly adapt full remote programming,” said MacMillan, a 2016 CWU broadcast journalism graduate and a former IBS student honoree himself.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,

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