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LeoFM students win international competition

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Jocelyn Arceo
Staff Writer

Jeimi Herrera, junior promotions director of LeoFM, and Christopher Norman, senior program director of LeoFM, both won second place in separate categories at the 2018 Broadcast Education Associations Festival of Media Arts this month.

The international festival recognizes university students and faculty for their outstanding work in radio, television, and multimedia categories.

Mike Laponis, professor of communications, accepted the awards on behalf of his students at the Las Vegas conference.

“It’s such an honor, and I think they realize what an honor it is,” Laponis said. “For two people from the University of La Verne to get second place in the country, it’s a pretty big deal.”

Herrera won second place in the Public Service Announcement, Promotion and Commercial category for her promo, “LeoFM’s Feast of the Ages.”

Her segment was promoting a giveaway for free tickets to Medieval Times in Buena Park.

In the promo, Herrera puts on a fake voice to announce what the giveaway consisted of.

She said the voice was inspired by Harry Potter. Having originally thought to do it as a joke, Herrera ended up loving the final result.

“I wanted the audience who heard the commercial to understand that in the end, the magic behind the voice was Hispanic,” Herrera said.

“Towards the end, I said LeoFM in my own accent, for that representation.”

Herrera did initially plan to submit her work to the competition, but she was inspired by Norman and others to send the promo in.

“Thanks to Chris Norman for really motivating me, and Mike Laponis, because he really emphasizes the importance of submitting your work to these kinds of things,” Herrera said.

Norman, who goes by Grayson while on-air, won second place in the On-Air Personality category of the competition.

His on-air name was derived from the man who played Dick Grayson, who was Robin in the Batman comic books.

“One of the things I like about my name is that a lot of people know me as Chris Norman, someone who goes by the book and is a little more serious,” Norman said.

“But, when I want to have a little more fun or if I want to do something stupid, they’ll be like, ‘Oh that’s just Grayson’.”

Norman said he did not believe Laponis when he was first told that he won second place, considering he had entered last year, and also while previously attending Mt. San Antonio College.

“I mean, if anything, I was doing it just to do it. I don’t really see anything special about me personally,” Norman said.

“But once you figure out what it is that you like, and what it is that interests you, that quality of care for whatever it is that is your passion translates well enough.”

Both certificates will be kept and displayed in the communications department hung on a wall among awards from previous years.

“They both really have the passion to do what they do in the radio industry,” Laponis said.

“When they graduate they both want to find careers in radio and I have no doubt that they will, they’re both talented and they’re both very good on the air.”

Jocelyn Arceo can be reached at

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