Broadcasting students at Western Illinois honored at Emmys

The following is a media release from Western Illinois University Relations:


“A trio of Western Illinois University Broadcasting students were honored by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Mid-America Chapter over the weekend during the 42nd Mid-America Emmy gala in Kansas City, MO.

Senior broadcasting major Justin Fitzpatrick, of O’Fallon, MO, won the Crystal Pillar for the best Short Form – Non-Fiction entry for “More Than a Number: Sam Pryor’s Story.”

“It’s honestly an incredible honor to be recognized by NATAS and receive this award,” said Fitzpatrick. “This all started as an extra credit project and turned into something that I couldn’t have imagined. The awards are nice, but I’m more proud of the fact that I was able to do Sam and her mother justice and touch people with their story.”

Fitzpatrick‘s entry was created as part of a broadcasting course taught by WIU Broadcasting Instructor Quintin Parker.

In addition to the award, two WIU broadcasting students, Senior broadcasting majors Emily Kenney, of Farmington, IL, and Terrance Black, of Chicago, were awarded the prestigious Walter Cronkite Scholarship.

Kenney is a broadcasting production major with a minor in music business. She works as the production manager for NEWS3, the student-produced newscast in the WIU Department of Broadcasting and Journalism, and is president of the Students of Illinois News Broadcasters Association, National Broadcasting Society and the Broadcasting Production Club. Last year, Kenney won a Crystal Pillar award from NATAS Mid-America in the general assignment reporting in light news category for her videography and editing work. Her ultimate goal is to become a videographer or editor for Discovery Channel.

Black is studying broadcasting production, with a minor in Spanish. He works as a news anchor and newscast director for NEWS3. He is also vice president of the National Broadcasting Society. Black says his ultimate goal is to become a director. He began directing and producing in high school, obtaining his first film internship in 2015, working on the set of a Spike Lee movie.

Walter Cronkite Scholarships are merit-based and are awarded to qualified high school seniors and college undergraduates in the NATAS Mid-America region pursuing a career in the media industry. Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate the potential to join the profession and contribute to its future. Four scholarships were awarded this year to college students in the NATAS Mid-America region, which includes Illinois from Champaign/Urbana, and south to Paducah KY, all of Missouri and Arkansas and Shreveport, LA.

The students were accompanied to the awards by WIU Broadcasting Instructor Jasmine Crighton, who is also a NATAS Mid-America Emmy Board of Governors member.

For more information about the awards, visit For more information about the WIU Department of Broadcasting and Journalism visit”

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