Lasers Rock IBS NYC 2020

By Claire Crittendon – Features Editor

From L-R, Victoria Spellman, Kathleen McHale, Nora Ortegas, Robby Rowe, Allie Clancy, Taylor Viles, Matt Berentsen, and Elliette Barrows pictured at the IBS NYC conference. Photo courtesy of Taylor Viles. 

From March 6-8, eight select members of WLAS and Lasell Community Television (LCTV) and advisor of both clubs, Dr. Brian Wardya, attended the Intercollegiate Broadcast System (IBS) 2020 conference held in New York City.


WLAS was awarded 11 nominations spanning a variety of 30 categories. There are three main categories for awards: “There’s audio, there’s visual, and then there’s manager. And they come out week after week,” said senior and WLAS Program Director Matt Berentsen, a returning attendee.  

 As of now, Lasers have claimed Best Sports Play-by-Play for TV, and Social Media Manager has yet to be awarded. 

“IBS was an amazing opportunity to hear from professionals and learn all we can,” said junior Kat McHale, who is nominated for the Social Media Manager award.

 There were two keynote speakers, a member of iHeartRadio and Mike McVay, as well as over 100 different events and panels spanning the three-day weekend. 

 When describing the process of choosing which students attend the conference each year, Berentsen said, “Dr. Wardyga and I spend a week [on the process.] It’s such a hard week of listening to everything. We have IDs, PSAs, people’s airchecks, there’s a whole process.” 

 According to Dr. Wardyga, Lasell students have been attending this conference for 15 years now, and while there’s a reason Wardyga keeps bringing his students back, he says these conferences are at times flawed.

 “One of the issues is they have a lot of people from the industry giving these presentations and they’re not exactly teachers. And so they like to talk about themselves. People in radio have really big egos. And so sometimes you’re like, okay, we’re 30 minutes in and I’ve just heard about your career. What about voice tracking? I thought this was supposed to be a presentation about voice tracking,” said Dr. Wardyga. “But even with that, you know, we’ve always walked away with tons of notes, tons of ideas and you can see the spark in the students’ eyes when they come back.” 

 Sophomore Elliette Barrows, WLAS’s hip-hop music director, attended the conference for the first time this year. 

 “IBS was a fantastic experience. If anyone ever gets a chance to go that is interested in radio and broadcasting, I highly recommend it,” said Barrows. “I came away from that weekend feeling super passionate and feeling like I knew so much more than I did going into it.” 

 Barrows was not alone in her takeaways, as sophomore WLAS’s News Director Taylor Viles, seconded her claim. 

 “It was so much fun,” said Viles. “There were conferences every day, every hour, we went to [attend a] new panel. There were some roundtables and it’s all about learning about the media industry, especially with radio and TV, because TV was just added as a sector of this.” 

 Viles’s was correct, 2020 was the first time IBS extended to encompass TV as well as radio. 

Both Dr. Wardyga and Berentsen agree this conference truly helps inspire undergraduates. “[With radio, it] becomes every day to be doing the same thing over and over again, and you kind of stop appreciating it a little bit,” said Berentsen. “And then you go and you’re in this room with all these like like-minded people with new ideas, and all sudden your brain it’s like going again, you’re like, ‘alright, I can get this much done by the end of the semester’…by the end of the weekend, everyone’s so tired, but they have like pages of notes.” 

 IBS NYC proved to be a grand example of Lasell’s emphasis on connected learning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: