By TYLER ELLYSON
KEARNEY – The Nebraska Broadcasters Association Foundation (NBAF) is awarding its highest scholarship to University of Nebraska at Kearney junior Grace McDonald.
A Rockville native, McDonald received the Marty Riemenschneider Scholarship in recognition of her achievements in broadcast journalism. Named after the former president and executive director of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association (NBA) and current president emeritus, the scholarship is worth $5,000.
McDonald is one of just five students from across the state who were awarded NBAF scholarships for the 2021-22 academic year.
“One of our favorite tasks of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association Foundation is recognizing students actively pursuing a career in broadcasting through awarding scholarships. Once again, we are amazed at the talent across the state and look forward to the time when these students enter into the workforce full time to share their passion for broadcasting,” said Ami Graham, general manager of NRG Media-Lincoln and chair of the NBA board.
A double major in multimedia and journalism, McDonald has been showcasing her talent since high school, when she was a paid columnist for the Grand Island Independent throughout her senior year.
The Centura Public Schools graduate started writing for UNK’s student newspaper, The Antelope, as a freshman and was quickly promoted to managing editor. She’s served as editor-in-chief since spring 2021 and continues to write columns, editorials and news and feature stories.
Oftentimes, those stories are paired with video packages produced through “Antelope News,” a biweekly show covering campus events and other happenings from the UNK community. A partnership between The Antelope and one of associate communication professor Jacob Rosdail’s video production classes, the news show is produced in UNK’s on-campus video studio, giving students hands-on experience in a variety of broadcasting roles.
“I jumped into the news show when it started my sophomore year, even though I wasn’t in the class. Professor Rosdail let me produce packages because I wanted to learn – not for class credit or payment,” said McDonald, who’s served as a writer, reporter, editor and anchor.
Each episode of “Antelope News” is posted on YouTube and The Antelope’s website.
McDonald also used the studio to produce the “Let Loose with Louie” video series for this year’s freshman convocation, and she created her own Instagram show, “Lopers Speak.” She’s been involved with the campus radio station, KLPR 91.1 FM, and was a counselor at UNK’s Digital Expressions Media Camp last summer.
Off campus, McDonald interned with the Kearney Hub in summer 2020 and 2021, as well as during the three-week intersession in January. She’ll work for the Hub again next month.
“I gain a lot of hands-on experience there, including pairing videos and photos with articles,” she said. “Last summer, I wrote feature, news and in-depth stories.”
As a scholarship recipient, McDonald was invited to next year’s Nebraska Broadcasters Association annual convention, scheduled for Aug. 9-10 in Lincoln. Along with being recognized at the event, she’ll have the opportunity to attend sessions and network with broadcasting professionals from across the state.
“I’m extremely grateful for the generosity of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association,” she said. “I couldn’t have achieved this without my educators, my department, the Kearney Hub and other UNK supporters. I also learned the collaborative skills needed to produce quality news by working alongside my passionate peers.”
In addition to the NBAF award, McDonald receives the prestigious Omaha World-Herald/Kearney Hub Scholarship. Offered by the UNK Honors Program and supported by the Omaha World-Herald and Kearney Hub newspapers, that scholarship covers room and board, tuition and fees and books for up to four years. She also earned Nebraska Press Association scholarships in 2019 and 2021.
McDonald plans to work as a multimedia journalist after graduation.