WLAS Radio’s IBS triumph

By Megan Palumbo & Katie Peters- Co-Editor-in-Chief & 1851 Staff 


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(L-R) Matt Berentsen, Polina Heckle, Adam Hallenback, Charlotte Gitelman, Jared Giurleo, and Amanda Tamborelli holding all 11 trophies WLAS took home from the IBS Conference.


Six students from Lasell College Radio (WLAS) traveled to New York City the weekend of March 1 to attend this year’s International Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) Conference. The station came home with 11 trophies, including one first place title.

Lasell was in competition with colleges and universities across America including New York University and University of Southern California. The finalist trophy was won in the category of Best Public Service Promotion for
a promo done by Lasell alumni Nick Charmis (‘18) featuring Lauren Ahern (‘18) for the Conservation Fund. Other nominations the station received include Best Station Contest, Best Live Broadcast Promotion and Best Sports Play-by-Play.

In comparison to previous years, Lasell nearly doubled the amount of awards they brought home the year before. This is the largest number of awards WLAS has received since they started submitting in 2015, when they brought home two trophies.

Along with an awards ceremony, IBS also holds a conference for the attending schools. Students had the opportunity to participate in roundtable sessions specific to their roles at the station, attend panel discussions and network with other students and professionals. “IBS as a whole is an extraordinary opportunity,” said junior Booking Director Jared Giurleo. “You get the real world perspective of what it’s like to be a radio DJ. We met the iHeartRadio CEO and he explained what it’s really like to put yourself out there as a DJ.”

Junior Station Manager and Program Director Matt Berentsen said while there’s things he learns in the classroom and working at the radio station, “A big thing I took away this year was ‘you’re not a real radio DJ until you’ve been red for no reason, and they will not tell you that in a class.”

For many students, networking at this conference was a priority. “The networking aspect is really important for me especially with promotions,” sophomore Promotions Manager Amanda Tamborelli said. “A lot of the roundtable meetings were eye-opening.” Tamborelli also highlighted that some of the speakers and facilitators were students receiving credit.

When asked how it felt to win these awards, Berentsen said, “It feels awesome. It’s cool to see everyone working together and be truly passionate to make ourselves look really good.” While Berentsen has pride for the recognition received from IBS, he remains humble and proud, saying, “It’s nice to be validated with awards, but at the end of the day it’s also nice to see how we can work as a station and take ideas from other people and make it work for us.”

Giurleo was amazed by the scale of the conference and said, “This was my first year doing my show and just seeing my nomination was an honor in of itself. So, having a finalist trophy for my show is just unreal.”

Tamborelli may not have won a personal award but is more motivated for next year, saying, “I’m going to do all the [requirements] and see what the person who won did and go off of that. It definitely motivates you to be your best self.”

“This year one of the reasons I think we did so well is because we submitted
a lot more work. We really made it kind of our mission to collect more work from students, especially from sports,” said Dr. Wardyga. “A lot of the submissions [were ones] from my classes, from classwork, because I save all the student’s work.” Wardyga noted that the three first-place winners were work from his classes.

The WLAS executive board handled a lot of the selection process while Dr. Wardyga did the actual submitting. Berentsen said, “You have to convert the files, give a brief explanation of what the file is, who wrote it, how long ago was it made, and why it deserves to be [nominated]. It’s not easy but that also determines who really wants it.”

According to Dr. Wardyga, WLAS submits roughly a dozen pieces to IBS each year, and this year he said they were able to collect about 47 entries. “It’s always kind of been a last-minute thing because we would spend our entire October planning the Halloween dance. And so, I decided after this year, 14 years is enough of Creeps and Ghouls,” said Wardyga.

Instead of putting on an event that has been lacking the attendance it once had, the station is shifting their time and focus towards producing more submissions for the IBS Awards. “I put together a whole new page in our DJ handbook that lists all the IBS awards that we are eligible for and explains to the students how to submit them and when they’re due,” Wardyga said.

Berentsen expresses to the radio station members that they should be proud to show off their work and said it also gives them an incentive to attend the IBS Conference. “The fact that it’s nationwide and you’re going up against all these schools, just getting your work recognized by a national audience is just mind blowing,” said Giurleo.

The full list of nominations and awards can be found on http://radio.lasell.edu/awards.htm.

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