Mark Leonard, Illinois Public Media’s general manager, will be leaving the organization by August 1, 2013, to become the general manager and CEO for Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET), a statewide network of Nebraska’s PBS and NPR stations.
Leonard’s move to NET’s headquarters in Lincoln marks his first position at the helm of a statewide organization. NET has a satellite studio in Omaha.
“It is with mixed feelings that I leave Illinois Public Media, but the opportunity to lead NET offers exciting next steps for me,” Leonard said. “I take this position knowing that Illinois Public Media is well positioned to continue its success, including future opportunities to partner with the College of Media and with other units on campus as part of Chancellor Wise’s Visioning Excellence initiatives. In addition, I believe there are exciting possibilities for building deeper partnerships with WILL’s peer public radio and television stations throughout Illinois.”
Leonard arrived at Illinois Public Media in June 2007 from KCTS in Seattle. Prior to that, he held senior management positions in Seattle and Yakima, Wash., and at WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., where he was vice president for television.
Earlier this year, he received the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) 2013 National Advocacy Award for his exceptional efforts in furthering public television’s legislative goals. Leonard currently serves as president of the Illinois Public Broadcast Council, the association of all public television and radio stations in Illinois, as well as serving on the executive committee of the national University Licensees’ Association as well as a board member of the Public Media Business Association.
“With his unique vision, Mark has recreated public broadcasting while at Illinois Public Media, keeping it innovative as well as relevant,” College of Media interim dean Jan Slater said. “He is well respected among his colleagues across the country, so I am not surprised that he was sought out for the position at NET. It has been a great pleasure for me as both a department head and as interim dean to work with him, and I appreciate that he has always acted in the best interests of the College and the University.”
Slater said that discussions are already underway to determine the next steps in finding a new leader for IPM.
Sept. 26-Oct. 6, 2013: Civil War Train
Travel on our Civil War Train, featuring unique private restored train cars from the 1950s, to Washington D.C. and Williamsburg with sightseeing in Gettysburg and Virginia along with other historic sites, museums and battlefields. Also included Included are Antietam, Harper's Ferry, the USS Monitor, Baltimore's B&O Railroad useum and Washington, D.C. Review the full itinerary for details. For more information, call Danda Beard at 217-333-7300. To make your reservation, call Judy McElfresh at TourGroupPlanners (217-422-5002 or toll-free 877-386-4777).
Illinois Public Media's educational outreach director, Molly Delaney, will be honored by the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois (GSCI), along with four other women, as "Women of Distinction." Molly will be recognized in the STEM education category.
The awards will be presented at an annual celebration April 11 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign. The event recognizes community women for their outstanding commitment to their profession, to the community and to inspire and mentor young girls.
“We teach girls every day that they have what it takes to become leaders in any field they choose,” GSCI CEO Pam Kovacevich said. “The women we are honoring with these awards are not only successful in their fields, they are role models to girls and provide inspiration and motivation that has a tremendous impact on young women in their communities. These awards are just a small way of thanking them for their efforts.” Nominees came from Champaign, Vermillion, Ford and Iroquois Counties.
Molly has concentrated much of her work at Illinois Public Media in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics) education. She created a hands-on STEM education program for preschoolers and was instrumental in launching new PBS digital media tools for PreK-12 educators. She worked with colleagues at Parkland College’s William M. Staerkel Planetarium on a project that was awarded a $90,000 Grow Up Great grant from PNC Foundation. The grant has helped to serve hundreds of children in Champaign County with a highly impactful STEM initiative.
The Girl Scouts noted that Molly has been leader in the field of education for more than 25 years. She began and completed her master’s degree while working full-time and raising three children.
Other 2013 Women of Distinction Honorees include:
Business or Professional: Laura Weis (Savoy), president and CEO of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce; Public Service: Dr. Annette Lansford (Champaign), a pediatrician and founder of the Carle Child Disability Clinic; Education: Cynthia Feeney (Champaign), a kindergarten teacher at St. Matthew School in Champaign; Creative Arts and Entertainment: Christina McClelland (Urbana), an interdisciplinary artist and public arts coordinator for the City of Urbana. Ranija Turner (Champaign), a junior at Central High School, will be honored as a Young Woman of Distinction
Tickets for the event will be $50 or $25 for children under 12. For more information, contact Samantha Greenburg at 309-336-0221. Proceeds from the event help fund leadership development programs for girls.
The Café features three generations of women involved with running a welcoming neighborhood eatery. Numerous colorful characters from all walks of life pop in to this hub, usually with comedic results. Content director David Thiel will try to purchase The Café for the WILL-TV schedule during the next fiscal year.
Illinois Public Media is teaching students at Stratton Leadership and Microsociety Magnet School how to produce video newscasts for their Strattonville microsociety.
The case of the missing corn snake headlined the first school newscast in December. Student newscasters Lihi and Terry reported that the snake was assumed to be loose in the school after its cage door was accidentally left open. Although the snake was harmless, “it would still be helpful—to the snake—if it were found,” Lihi said.
The newscasts are part of the “media venture” project of the school microsociety, named Strattonville by students. WILL received a grant from Unit 4 Schools to provide training for both students and teachers.
A team of 10 students produced the news show, which premiered during a school assembly in December, after other students reported stories, wrote scripts, and filmed and edited video. It also featured weather and a video story about the media venture project. Each time a new newscast is done, students upload it to the Web, where teachers in each classroom can access it and play it for students. It’s also available for parents and others to see at strattonsociety.org/.
Illinois Public Media’s Henry Radcliffe and College of Media intern Alison Marcotte are teaching the students TV studio production; Kimberlie Kranich shows them how to interview, report and research; and Molly Delaney teaches them media literacy skills. Stratton teachers Erin Uppinghouse and Monty Rose are working with the students.
Students spent two months learning their jobs, and becoming familiar with the equipment. At first, they didn’t know that “stand by to cue the talent” meant “get ready to cue them,” not “go ahead and cue them.” Learning to read the teleprompter without moving their heads left to right was another challenge. And camera operators were still working during the first taping to remember to hold the cameras still.
As they crowded around a monitor to watch the playback after completing the taping, students had big smiles on their faces as they saw themselves and heard their voices. “You’ve really come a long way,” Henry told them. “You should be proud.”