The Illinois News Broadcasters Association is proud to announce its 2023 college scholarship recipients. These talented students received their awards on Saturday, April 29, during the INBA Spring Convention in Springfield.
The INBA has been supporting college students pursuing degrees in broadcast journalism for nearly 60 years. During that time, including the $8,400 in awards being handed out this year, the INBA has awarded more than 200 scholarships worth nearly $190,000.
Here are this year’s winners:
Harrison Belsanti is a broadcast journalism major at Eastern Illinois University who anticipates he’ll graduate in May 2024. He works at WEIU-TV, the PBS station in Charleston and has served in many roles, including assistant producer, news anchor, reporter, videographer, camera operator, floor manager, graphics operator, teleprompter operator and video editor.
Harrison is being awarded the INBA Ed Brown Scholarship. Ed was a professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and was a longtime executive secretary for the INBA. Harrison, please come get your award.
Carley Edwards is a journalism major who will graduate in just a few weeks from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has worked as a reporter for the student TV station’s “UI7 Live” and “Good Morning Illini.” Carley has studied abroad in Italy, where she wrote, produced, edited and did her own camera work on a “short” entitled “Eternal Painting” featuring Iacopo Lastrucci, a beloved Mosaic Artist of Florence. She’s also been a video production intern for the Big Ten Network and a lab assistant at Richmond Studio, the teaching studio for students in the College of Media.
Carley is being awarded the INBA’s Bill Miller Scholarship. Bill is a charter member of the INBA who worked at WTAX radio in Springfield from 1949 to 1967 before founding the Capitol Information Bureau. He then served for 20 years as director of the Public Affairs Reporting program at what was known then as Sangamon State University and now is UIS. He passed away in 2003, but we’re glad to remember him tonight as we honor Carley.
Abi Mitsven is a student at Illinois State University who is majoring in journalism and is on track to graduate this December. She works as an anchor and producer for ISU’s TV-10, where she’s also been a reporter, a weather person and worked the control room at the TV station. Abi has also worked at the Vidette, ISU’s student newspaper, as a news and features reporter.
Abi is being honored with the INBA Don Brown Scholarship. Don was a longtime journalist in Iowa and was a faculty member at the Universities of Iowa and Illinois and Arizona State University. Don was instrumental in forming the INBA in 1955. And this scholarship named after him has been in existence since 1963.
Jack Podlesnik is a journalism major at Illinois State University who plans to graduate this December. He’s worked all across campus in media jobs, including as a production crew member and MMJ for TV-10. He also worked at WZND, the student radio station, where he called ISU athletic events and wrote news stories. Jack also is an intern for WGLT, the campus’ public radio station. There, he’s done newscasts and hosting duties for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and is currently the “Morning Edition” newscaster for GLT and its sister station in Peoria, WCBU.
Jack is being honored tonight with the INBA Larry Wilson Scholarship. Larry was a longtime INBA member who served as news director of WSMI in Litchfield in the 1970s and ‘80s. He was an organizer and longtime support of the former INBA Road Shows and was a big advocate for involving students in INBA activities.
This year’s winners were chosen by the INBA Scholarship Selection Committee. This group reviewed numerous applications from student journalists around the state, conducted interviews with finalists and made some very tough decisions to select the four winners.
Thank you to the committee:
Devin Brooks, reporter/anchor, WQAD-TV, Quad Cities, a multi-time INBA scholarship winner himself.
Ryan Burrow, reporter/anchor, WGN Radio, Chicago
Rachel Lippmann, justice reporter, St. Louis Public Radio
Emily Manley, the Missouri capitol bureau reporter for Nexstar
The INBA Scholarship program is supported through the INBA Foundation, which would welcome your help to continue supporting college broadcasting students. If you’re interested in making a gift to support that effort, make an online donation now.