Radio student and professor take home Broadcast Education Association awards

Professor of Communications Mike Laponis and 2020 broadcast radio graduate Josue Arellano both won awards at the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts for work broadcast on Leo FM in 2020, the BEA announced earlier this month.

Laponis won two awards – Best of Competition and Award of Excellence in the Best Station Promo, PSA, Commercial categories – for two entries in the faculty competition.

Arellano won an Award of Excellence for the PSA, Promo, Commercial student category.

As a Best of Competition winner, Laponis is automatically entered for the King Best of Festival Award, for which the winners will be announced Monday.

Laponis said the 2020 recognition meant a lot, considering he and his LeoFM students were working from home make-shift recording studios for most of the year amid the COVID-19 campus shutdown.

“Using home studios and doing it remotely was a challenge,” Laponis said. “We wanted people to know that they were live from home.”

Arellano was pleasantly surprised with the news of his win for the music promo he recorded and edited on his home laptop. 

“(It) was just regular work,” he said. “I didn’t realize it was going to get me an award.”

BEA is an international education association focusing on broadcast journalism, radio, television, digital media, public relations and design, with annual conventions in spring, though this year’s convention was virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2021 awardees were selected from a pool of over 1,300 entries, representing over 250 colleges and universities.

—Jorge Martinez

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