UWW-TV adviser receives press award

Kettle Moraine Press Association honors Jim Mead


UWW-TV adviser Jim Mead adds closed captioning to a video clip for the hearing impaired.

Katie Childs, Assistant News Editor

The Kettle Moraine Press Association (KEMPA) honored 15-year adviser and director of UW-Whitewater Television station Jim Mead with the Friend of KEMPA award at the 2020 fall conference. The award was bestowed upon Mead for his continued service to the organization.

“It’s a big honor. It’s very touching, but I just do my job,” he said. “I look forward to bringing those high school kids back to the fall conference on an annual basis. I’ve been doing it for years, and I’ll keep doing it until they say I can’t anymore.”

A UW-W faculty member since 2006, Mead became involved with KEMPA 13 years ago. The organization supports scholastic journalism in Wisconsin and Illinois schools. The annual fall conference brings nearly 1,000 high school students to UW-Whitewater for workshops, speakers and activities each year. Mead’s dedication to the conference, and to the students who take part, made him a contender for the award.

“The Friend of KEMPA award honors and recognizes people and organizations who have contributed extraordinary time and effort to KEMPA or its member publications,” said Executive Director Linda Barrington. “We’re happy to give the award to Jim Mead this year for his valuable contributions.” 

Mead implemented some important changes during his years as a conference speaker to highlight student media at the college level, showing how high schoolers can continue their press careers in academia. Mead recruited UWW-TV staff members to become mentors for the conference attendees. The idea was to increase student-to-student learning and create a comradery among them at different levels in education, as well as in different forms of media work. 

This year Mead doubled the duration of his presentations at the conferences, creating more time for students to get hands-on experience with the media equipment. His segment was titled “The Show Must Go On,” referencing the state of uncertainty in the media industry during the pandemic, and highlighting the necessity to continue pushing through. Mead picked this theme with hopes that the presentation and conference would maintain their impact despite the lack of hands-on experience the attendees would receive this year with it not being held in-person. 

“This award highlights how dedicated he is to students at all levels of learning,” said KEMPA board member Keith Zukas. “Providing these workshops each year is a really valuable contribution to the association.”

KEMPA supports both students and advisers through conferences, workshops, competitions and scholarships. The KEMPA Fall Conference offers high school students and their advisers a choice of over 60 informational sessions about issues and trends in today’s professional and scholastic media environments. The annual Winter Adviser Seminar provides an engaging professional development seminar that gives advisers a refresher on media topics, as well as an opportunity to keep in touch with other advisers.

The KEMPA Summer Kamp offers a four-day journalism workshop for high school students and advisers from across the region. Attendees get hands on, one-on-one training with award winning advisers and media professionals. This year the camp is returning to UW-Whitewater with the theme “Back In Action” from July 18-21. For more information about the Kettle Moraine Press Association visit kempajournalism.org.