WASHINGTON, Pa. (April 16, 2013)—Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) senior Erikka Loper is being recognized by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters with an Excellence in Broadcasting Award at its annual convention Monday, May 6, in Hershey, Pa. The communication arts major from West Chester, Pa., won in the Judges’ Merit category for a game show she produced for W&J’s student-run radio station, WNJR.
Loper developed the award-winning game show, “Friend or Fraud,” as part of a senior capstone project for her communication arts major. She hosted the show every Sunday during the fall semester on WNJR, where she also serves on the student staff.
“Hosting my own game show always has been a long-term goal of mine,” said Loper, who took inspiration from shows like “The Newlywed Game” to design her own relationship-based program.
Anthony Fleury, associate professor of theatre and communication at W&J, attributes the show’s success to Loper’s “engaging interview style.” “The fact that Erikka appears to be the only college student in the list of more than 30 radio award winners indicates the high level of her achievement,” Fleury said. Recognized alongside WNJR in the Judges’ Merit category were WILK Newsradio in Pittston and WMBS-AM in Uniontown.
During the 30-minute show, Loper presents friends and colleagues with a series of questions to test the strength of their relationships. Developing the program required Loper to coordinate guests’ schedules, publicize the program, and meet tight writing and audio-editing deadlines.
“Creating this show helped me realize that I enjoy behind-the-scenes production work in addition to hosting,” said Loper, who plans to pursue a career in radio or television broadcasting after graduation. She credits her advisers Fleury and Bill Cameron, professor of theatre and communication, with providing guidance and helpful feedback throughout the production process.
Fleury, who also serves as the faculty adviser for WNJR, explained that the capstone project was designed so that each communication arts major can develop a project that suits his or her interests and talents. For students involved in the radio station, projects range from producing individual radio shows to creating online training videos.
Loper’s achievement marks the second award garnered by WNJR this year. In the fall, Fleury was named the Distinguished Four-Year Broadcast Adviser of the Year by the College Media Association. To listen online, visit www.wnjr.org.