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Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM

Alumni win award for heroin documentary

Emily Ann Kostic

The Whit, Issue date: 11/29/07 Section: News

Two Rowan alumni, Rob Lightfoot and Melissa Cassara, won an award in the radio documentary category of the International Academy of the Visual Arts for their documentary, "Hidden Heroin: New Jersey's Dirty Deadly Secret."

"In addition to informing people about the drug's dangers, the documentary was intended to let people know that heroin isn't just an 'inner city' problem," Lightfoot said. "A lot of people picture the typical heroin addict as a junkie, with a needle stuck in his arm, in some back alley, but it's happening in suburban areas as well."

According to Lightfoot, the documentary focuses on how heroin is for the most part first shipped to New Jersey and how a person can ingest heroin with other methods besides using needles.

Both Lightfoot and Cassara earned their bachelor's degrees in radio/television/film and their master's degrees in public relations from Rowan. Lightfoot earned his degrees in 2000 and 2001, while Cassara earned hers in 1997 and 1998.

According to Lightfoot, he and Cassara have an extremely productive working relationship.

"It's funny," he said, "because we would be listening to all the audio we captured from the different interviews and we both just knew exactly what the best clips and most powerful sound bits were."

Lightfoot and Cassara are also alumni of Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM and were 2005 inductees into the Rowan Radio Hall of Fame.

"When it comes to the station's success in winning awards, I believe it's because of the high standard set by General Manager Frank Hogan," Lightfoot said. "It's not possible to win as many awards as the station has won without the right guidance. Frank's dedication to WGLS and his work ethic are definitely recognized by the station members and it rubs off."

Assistant Station Manager Derek Jones added, "Both Rob and Melissa continue to embody what Rowan Radio is all about. They have continued to play a key role in station's success as alums."

"This award-winning documentary," he continued, "is a further testament to Rob and Melissa's dedication and contribution to Rowan University."