Rowan Radio host wins Gracie Award

Rowan Radio host wins Gracie Award

Rowan Radio host wins Gracie Award

Gloucester County Times, March 27, 2011

Rowan University graduate student Rachael Burgess will receive a prestigious award this May for her work on Rowan Radio WGLS-FM, and she says she's thrilled to represent what she considers one of the best stations in the country.

"I applied to Rowan because of the radio/television/film program, which is one of the best in the country," said Burgess, 22, of Sierra Vista, Ariz. "I finished my BA in radio/television/film with a minor in anthropology in 2010 and I am graduating with my masters in public relations this summer. I joined Rowan Radio my freshman year when I was looking for a club to get involved with because it was and still is a well-decorated station and represented what the industry is like. I have been here ever since."

Burgess is the public affairs director and the graduate assistant at the station. She has her own talk show called "A Community Affair" on Mondays at 5 p.m. She also updates the quarterly issues list for the station's public file, produces PSA's and announcements, podcasts the station's talk shows, and helps record shows for other talk show hosts. Her talk show is what got her nominated for the prestigious Gracie Award presented by the Alliance for Women in Media.

Established in 1975, the Gracies honor programming and individuals "of the highest caliber in all facets of radio, television, cable and web-based media, including news, drama, comedy commercials, public service, documentary and sports," according to its website. The Gracie Awards honor the memory of legendary entertainer Gracie Allen and other awardees this year include Meredith Vieira of the "Today Show," Anne Thompson of "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams," Hannah Storm of ESPN and actresses Betty White, Claire Danes and Alfre Woodard.

"I found out about the Gracie Award a few weeks ago," said Burgess. "I was doing some work and had not checked my email for about an hour - which is actually very strange for me - when a bunch of my friends at the station ran into the room to congratulate me. I had no idea what they were talking about. One of my friends pulled up the email on her Smartphone and I had to read it a couple times before it sank in."

The episode that won Burgess the award was her interview with Miss America 2010 - Caressa Cameron - who was in the area promoting nutritious diets and healthy living. For the award-winning show, Burgess and Cameron discussed healthy living and small steps people can take to help improve their diets. Though they also discussed her time as Miss America, Burgess said she felt like Cameron's passion for promoting healthy living really showed through in the interview.

"I nearly collapsed when I saw the list of people receiving the award," said Burgess. "Meredith Vieira, in particular, is one of my heroes. I feel that WGLS definitely earned the honor to walk with the greats and I am happy to represent the station. I'm not sure yet what doors this will open yet and I don't know if it has all hit me yet."

Burgess said her friends and family are very excited and that she was excited not only for herself but for the honor to the university.

"My family follows the radio station and I think they found out about it probably before I did," said Burgess. "This award is a big deal and they're proud of the work I've done here. Besides the advancement for women, the Gracie Award highlights the amazing work done at the radio station and at Rowan. This small college in South Jersey is full of students and faculty that have incredible talent. I do not think I have reached that level of prestige yet, but I'm glad that I can represent WGLS and this incredible college."