Rowan grad wins for documentary

Rowan grad wins for documentary

Rowan grad wins for documentary

The Philadelphia Inquirer, February 24, 2014

Allie Volpe of Washington Township, a 2013 Rowan University graduate, has won a Gracie Award for her work on a student radio documentary, Heroin High.

“It’s really exciting,” said Volpe, 21, a former Rowan radio operations manager.

The awards, which have student and adult divisions, are presented by the Alliance for Women in Media. Winners include such luminaries as poet Maya Angelou, actress Tina Fey, journalist Barbara Walters, andwriter Lena Dunham, who won a best director award for her hit HBO series Girls.

The awards honor outstanding programming by women and are named for radio and television star Gracie Allen.

Volpe, who works for the Spanish-language television station Univision as an inventory coordinator, co-produced the documentary with then-fellow students Joe Mineo and Robert Zettlemoyer for a 2012 radio-production course. It examines the drug culture and drug use in South Jersey high schools.

Volpe said she got the idea for the documentary from her mother, who knew someone whose son died of an accidental heroin overdose.

“Hard-drug abuse, especially heroin, is a bigger problem than people realize,” said Volpe, who double-majored in journalism and radio, television and film.

Heroin High aired on university station WGLS-FM on Dec. 31, 2012. The Gracie Award is one of several honors that have been bestowed on the 30-minute documentary. Three other former WGLS-FM members won Gracie Awards as students. Even though Heroin High was a lot of work, Volpehopes to do more like it.

The Gracie doesn’t come with a cash prize, but Volpe is fine with that. “Being in the same category as Lena Dunham is all the reward I need,” she said.

- Rita Giordano