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2009.05.12 > For Immediate Release
contact: Sarah Casey - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: sk.casey@yahoo.com

Omaha Press Club Awards Ceremony Honors Six UNO Students

Omaha - The Omaha Press Club (OPC) Annual Awards Ceremony was held Friday, April 24, and recognized the 2009 OPC Foundation Career Achievement and Journalism Educator Award winners, in addition to scholarship recipients that included six University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) students. Dr. Chris Allen of UNO's School of Communication served as emcee for the event.

2009 Panko Roberts/President’s Memorial Scholarship
The Panko/Roberts Scholarship has been presented since 1957 in memory of two highly respected Omaha journalists. Walter Panko was a reporter at the Omaha World-Herald and Jim Roberts was news director at television station KMTV in Omaha. It also honors past presidents of the Omaha Press Club.

Briana (Bre) Gehrken
Although only a junior, this public relations/advertising major has an astounding record of campus achievements. She has been advertising manager for UNO’s Gateway student newspaper and is the newsletter editor for the campus chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. She is an account executive for the School of Communication’s student-run PR firm, Mav Solutions. Briana is building her career further by working commercially as an account executive for 45-60 Online Magazine and as a graphic designer for 1% Productions. She has been on the Dean’s List six consecutive semesters.

2009 John F. Davis Scholarship
This scholarship was established by the Board of Directors of the Omaha Press Club in memory of the late John F. Davis, chairman of the board of First National Bank, which was the club’s first “angel” in the early days of its establishment atop the First National Center.

Sara Hochstein
Sara began her communication career early as managing editor of her high school newspaper, The Cedar Ink. She has since worked at the Omaha World-Herald as a classified advertising sales representative and has been a public relations intern at Roncalli High School. She served as a board member for UNO’s Student Activities Budget Commission and has been recognized for her academic excellence and her campus leadership. She has been on the Dean’s List four consecutive semesters and was named Student Employee of the Month in November 2007.

Katherin (Kate) Sorensen
Kate’s communication focus has been nonprofit organizations. She has served as a communication specialist for two churches and worked in health care marketing. As part of the latter position, she was responsible for both internal and external communication activities. She has also worked in the insurance industry, writing and designing a weekly newsletter. She has been on the Dean’s List not only at UNO, but also when she attended Nebraska Wesleyan University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

2009 Paul N. Williams Scholarship
Paul N. Williams was a dedicated journalist whose 27 years as a newspaperman culminated in a share of the first Pulitzer Prize ever awarded to a weekly newspaper, the Sun Newspapers of Omaha. He was assistant professor at the Ohio State University School of Journalism until his death in October 1976.

Mark Reagan
Mark, now in his senior year, has been a reporter for UNO’s student newspaper, the Gateway, since he arrived on campus in 2005. As a staff writer, he covers the UNO Student Senate and is a columnist. He worked for The Reader as an unpaid intern for six months and is a regular contributor to “dissident zines,” covering and writing about social protests. He received the Paisley Family Newspaper Scholarship and has been on the Dean’s List the past several semesters.

The 2009 Floyd Kalber Scholarship
Floyd Kalber started his 50-year broadcasting career at KGFW in Kearney, NE and eventually moved to KMTV in Omaha to become the station’s first news director. In 1962, Chicago’s NBC affiliate, WMAQ-TV, hired Kalber. In 1976 Kalber became the news anchor for the nationally televised “Today Show.” He retired from the network in 1981. In 1984 WLS-TV in Chicago lured him back to the anchor desk. He retired from WLS in 1998 and died in 2004.

Anna Berlett
Anna is in her junior year and applies her skills and talents for campus organizations. She is a graphic design intern for UNO’s Office of Latino/Latin American Studies. She is recruitment coordinator for the UNO Ad Club. She also volunteers in the pediatric intensive care unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Anna has received numerous scholarships, including one from the Omaha Federation of Advertising and the Next Generation Leadership Scholarship. She has been on the Dean’s List for four consecutive semesters.

The 2009 Terry Mason Scholarship
Terry England (known on-air as Terry Mason) was a fixture in Omaha radio. His radio management career started early, serving as the program director for the student-run WSPO at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He worked as an on-air personality for years at KOIL in Omaha. Mason moved to Central Florida where he worked for WGTO, WWZN and WOTS. He returned to Omaha where he was program director and morning air personality for New Radio Group’s “Oldies Plus” radio format. That programming was distributed to radio stations around the country. Mason died in January 2006 at the age of 52.

Bill Dickson
A broadcast journalism course a few years ago convinced Bill that his future lies in radio, and he made the most of his decision since then. He has been a reporter for KVNO, UNO’s FM radio station, and part-time staff member at KFAB in Omaha. Bill had a variety of assignments at KFAB, including producing live programs, web editing, writing news stories and promotions. KFAB Program Director Gary Sadlemyer said Bill “showed initiative, willingness and an eagerness to learn everything he could about our business. It is all too rare to find these qualities in people just starting out.”

* *

UNO is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The celebration recognizes the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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