UNO’s MavRadio offers sports journalism students CWS experience

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Published: Jun. 20, 2023 at 11:03 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It’s the College World Series and everyone has to be on their “A” game, and that includes UNO Communications students covering the event as credentialed sports media members for MavRadio.

“My first day I was so nervous being on the field because I used to come here for Creighton games for baseball (as a dual enrolled student at CU and UNO) so I’ve seen that aspect of things, but being here and being on the field with all the fans, it’s just been so amazing,” Annie Elming said. “We’ve been doing pre game post game updates for fans through Mav Radio. We update on Instagram and Twitter, and we’re just sharing kind of our experience here... then we do some post-game interviews and we’ll just ask about the game, moving forward, you know, what they want to see from their team.”

In 2011, a student came to UNO lecturer Jodeane Brownlee with the idea for MavRadio and since then, young sports journalists like Annie have gained hands-on experience unlike anything they dreamed they’d get in college, from play by play during the college seasons to covering events like the CWS.

“Being on a radio call or be on a radio broadcast or just to be able to talk the passion that you know, is important,” MavRadio alum Avarie Howard said. “MavRadio is an environment) where you are supported by your colleagues and also your teachers that have set up the organization solely for that purpose to kind of give you the reps that you can’t get in a classroom into just express and make those mistakes early, figure out if this is something you wanna do.”

Avarie and fellow MavRadio grad Ana Bellinghausen are here as working professionals for, and all three recognize how important the MavRadio experience is.

“I’ve learned so much just about what it takes to connect with people,” Bellinghausen said. “How to find sources and how to make sure that they trust you... and how to go about it the right way.”

“As a little kid growing up coming to these games and seeing what it is as a fan, but then getting to do this as a professional is a completely different experience,” Howard said. “But I think the biggest thing about MavRadio is all the off-camera, off-radio stuff that you learn, you know, how to be a professional in the business, who to meet, how to talk to people, how to become comfortable, even when you’re not on camera or not behind a microphone kind of thing, knowing who to talk to, what to observe, those little things.”

“I think that’s a really important part is also seeing you know, the fan side of things,” Elming said. “Because we’ve all been a fan somewhere and so being able to connect both realms of being a reporter and a fan has been really special to me.”

As a teacher and general manager of MavRadio, Jodeane Brownlee gladly gives up her summer to support her students at the College World Series.

“I’m here in the summer with the students,” Brownlee said. “I could be at a lake sitting on an inner tube, but honestly, isn’t this probably the coolest place in the United States right now? How could you pass that up? It’s the best.”

She’s particularly proud of the MavRadio women getting reps in a sportscasting world once dominated by men, representing a generation that has ripped the door right off the hinges.

“They’re women in this industry,” she said. “This isn’t the easiest place for women and here these girls are knocking it out of the park.”