Home Campus Directory | A-Z Index

About the Contest

Jack McMullenThis radio production contest is open to all students with or without linking it to a course. The theme for the contest is “Life in Fayette County.”

The contest is named for Jack McMullen, who was a radio announcer in Fayette County for 50 years on WMBS, WCVI, WPQR, KQV, and other stations in the area and around the country. He was an oral historian, and his specialty was telling stories on the radio.

Tomorrow’s history is the story that you record today. Most of the entries in the Oral History project, located in the Coal and Coke Heritage Center, are about the past. This contest will update  the project with the telling of the way things are now.

Contestants should model their production format on: Ira Glass’ This American Life on National Public Radio. This American Life is a weekly hour-long radio program produced by Chicago Public Radio and hosted by Ira Glass. Primarily a journalistic non-fiction program, it has also featured essays, memoirs, field recordings, short fiction, and found footage. Listen to the show and the archives on the web at http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives.

Plans are to get the winners’ submission played on local radio, and we will also submit the contest winner to Ira Glass’ This American Life for possible play on his national radio show. WMBS will interview and play the winning production. The LION (Penn State Radio) will also play the winning production.

Prizes for Qualified SubmissionsJack McMullen

  • $250 first prize
  • $100 second prize
  • $50 third prize


  • Submit between eight and fifteen minutes of quality oral history produced, recorded, and e-mailed as an MP3 to frf1@psu.edu by April 1, 2011.
  • Bobby Salitrik, in 101 B Eberly Building, will assist with instruction on production techniques and the use of the equipment located in the Media Commons. Contact Bobby for an appointment at bgs1@psu.edu or 724-430-4159.

Contest Participants and their Topics:

  • Shirley M. Rojas – “Cultural and climate adjustment from the Dominican Republic to Southwestern PA.”
  • Stephen Dzambo – “Transitioning from high School to college: a true learning experience”
  • Tom Schad – “Mine ventilation and the law: a first-hand accounting”
  • Zak Risha – “Changes in Fayette County I’ve experienced in my 22 years”
  • Marshall Fife – “Boxing in S.W. PA.”
  • Jarod Rine – “Full-time miner, full-time student”
  • Rachel Franks – “How technology has changed teens”
  • Adam Filburn – “Observations of a retail cashier”
  • Kelly Huston – “For the kids, my experience as a THON dancer”
  • Rob Gratson – “A hunter’s tale”

Local Radio Stations and Times for This American Life

  • Morgantown—WVPM—90.9 FM—Friday—8:00 p.m.
  • Pittsburgh—WDUQ—90.5 FM—Monday—12:00 a.m.
  • Pittsburgh—WDUQ—90.5 FM—Saturday—1:00 p.m.
  • Pittsburgh—WYEP—91.3 FM—Monday—7:00 p.m.
  • Pittsburgh—WYEP—91.3 FM—Thursday—7:00 p.m.

Contest Judges

  • Fred C. Adams, attorney and Fayette County Court of Common Pleas judge, retired
  • Robert Eberly Jr., attorney, retired from the Navy General Counsel’s Office, author, and son of the late Robert Eberly, for whom the campus is named
  • Boshra Gheopreal, WKPS program director
  • Evelyn Hovanec, professor emeritus of English and American studies at Penn State Fayette, author, and co-founder of the Oral History Project
  • Brian Mroziak, WMBS station manager

Media Material Release

All entries submitted in the Jack McMullen Memorial Radio Production Contest become the property of John A. McMullen II and The Pennsylvania State University; the contestant releases and cedes all rights and control to them. McMullen and/or The Pennsylvania State University may publish, lease, or contract with any other for the broadcast or publishing by any means of the entry. The entrant releases McMullen and The Pennsylvania State University from responsibility for any violation of personal or proprietary right he/she may have in connection with this use. In the case of any conflict, Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus will determine the outcome. All proceeds from any and all royalties or fees resulting from any use of contest entries will accrue solely to Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus for the specific use of funding this contest.