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Fellowship Gives UW-Eau Claire Student Opportunity to Work for Twin Cities Television Station

RELEASED: Jan. 31, 2006

Chris Berg, Adam Stapel and Henry Lippold
Left to right: Chris Berg, Adam Stapel and Henry Lippold (UW-Eau Claire photo by Rick Mickelson, LTS)

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student Adam Stapel got a taste of reporting for a major news outlet, KSTP-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul, thanks to Chris Berg, KSTP-TV news director and UW-Eau Claire alumnus.

Stapel spent three weeks shadowing KSTP-TV reporters during Winterim, the university's three-week January break. The opportunity was made possible by Berg's $500 gift to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, enhanced by $500 from the Foundation's Henry Lippold Fund, to establish the Henry Lippold Fellowship. The fellowship, a first for broadcast journalism at UW-Eau Claire, is a tribute to Henry Lippold, professor emeritus of journalism, who taught at UW-Eau Claire from 1972-2001.

"This fellowship will continue Henry Lippold's legacy of having been one of the top broadcast journalism professors in this country," Berg said. "He always looked after students' best interests and he has continued to do it long after he left teaching. This is just a small thing I can do to be part of that tradition."

The fellowship let Stapel have an opportunity to experience firsthand what it is like to be a broadcast journalist in a major media market.

"The Lippold Fellowship showed me many things I would have never have learned in the classroom," Stapel said. "I learned how quick hard-hitting news decisions are made and why television stations go after some stories and leave other ones alone."

Berg said he is glad to be able to give students like Stapel a chance to experience the real world of a journalist.

"In school you are isolated — you need to get outside your comfort zone," Berg said. "If you don't you're not going to understand what it takes to be successful in this field."

Berg said Stapel did a great job learning the ropes at KSTP-TV.

"Adam is a very bright, motivated guy," Berg said "Once he got over being overwhelmed; he fit right into the staff and was very productive. He went out with seasoned reporters and even did some interviews and put together some stories which were aired by the station."

Stapel said he appreciated the opportunity to work in the field.

"The people I met and worked with were extremely helpful and I know I now have people to contact in the future if I ever have a question about the business. The fellowship was very valuable."

"This is a great experience for students," said Karen Kremer, UW-Eau Claire communication and journalism department chair. "Having the opportunity to work in a large metropolitan market will be extremely valuable. They will experience the fast pace of a big city newsroom and the diversity of cultures and issues covered."

Kremer said the gift from Berg establishing the fellowship will be recognized as a contribution to Fulfilling the Promise of Excellence, the UW-Eau Claire Foundation's ongoing campaign for the university's people and programs, and is a mark of excellence for the communication and journalism department.

The Henry Lippold Fellowship is available to sophomore and junior broadcast majors. Lippold Fellowship applicants will be recruited from October through March, with a winner recognized at the Journalism Student Excellence Recognition Reception in May. Students will then reap the benefits of their award the following January.

In addition to the Lippold Fellowship, students at UW-Eau Claire also can compete for two paid internships at KSTP-TV.

"Identifying the strongest broadcast journalism candidates in the region is a big motivation for KSTP-TV to offer these positions at the station," Berg said. "We are looking down the road two, four, or six years. We will groom quality professional journalist who will hopefully come back to the Twin Cities and we can hire them."

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KH

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