CWU News

The 'Burg Radio Station Wins National Award for Best Podcast

Manager Makes Good on a Promise and Gets First-Ever Tattoo

A slightly anxious Travis Box was right on time for his 2:30 appointment—no doubt thanks to the 10 members of his crew who walked him to the tattoo studio to witness the occasion.

Box is general manager of CWU’s student radio station, KCWU-FM 88.1 The ‘Burg. He was making good on a promise to his students: If The ‘Burg won a national award, Box would get his first-ever tattoo to memorialize their success.

The ‘Burg won the College Broadcasters, Inc. 2014 National Student Production Award for Best Podcast. It beat out three other college radio stations that made the finals: The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Stanford University, and the University of Oregon.

In October, eight CWU students accepted the award at CBI’s National Student Media Conference in Seattle. The winning podcast, “The ‘Burg Spotlight,” focuses on new music and music discovery. Student music director Tim Mitchell and former associate music director Mikah Washburn created the concept.

“It reinforces the fact that if you put your creative resources to good use, you can make a great product,” Mitchell said about the win.

As Box reclined in the tattoo chair, radio station volunteers and staffers hovered around. He hadn’t yet told his family about the black radio to be stamped on the top of his right foot, a body part that is especially painful to tattoo.

“I’m an oddity,” Box said. “At 44, I lived through the entire grunge era unscathed.”

He said his friends—some of whom have full sleeves of body art—tried to get him to get a tattoo.

Box is joining a club of four other lifelong ‘Burg fans whose feet have the same tattoo. They say it started as a joke, but after giving it more thought, they agreed getting a ‘Burg tattoo made good sense. Artist Denver Monaghan, who owns Art & Soul Tattoo on University Way in Ellensburg, designed the mark.

“That’s unpleasant,” said Box, as Monaghan began applying the permanent badge.

“It feels like pride. Some spots are more tender than others.”

Box said winning the national award gave the students instant confidence.

“I couldn’t be prouder of them,” he said. “This is the least I could do.”

Media contact: Barb Arnott, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-2841,

November 4, 2014

PHOTO: Travis Box, general manager of The ‘Burg, gets a tattoo to memorialize the station’s first national award. Student music director Tim Mitchell, left, helped create the winning podcast, “The ‘Burg Spotlight.” (Barb Arnott/CWU)