In its 40-year history, Gannon University’s student-operated radio station, 90.5 WERG, has launched the careers of dozens of prominent professional broadcasters and has achieved milestones disproportionate to the size of its signal (Remember the ice storm of 1990 when WERG was the only station on the air to supply critical updates and information?).

Now 90.5 WERG can add the Gold Microphone award for Outstanding Broadcasting Excellence given at the 73rd Annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting Conference (I.B.S.) in New York City.

In winning the award, the station surpassed criteria in categories such as service to the university and community, adherence to FCC policies and guidelines, providing news and sports programming in the public interest, student involvement in on-air and managerial capacities, and effective use of social media to promote the station.

Chet Laprice, WERG’s operations manager, and six Gannon students accepted the award at the conference, which was held March 1-3. Laprice also presented on two different panels at the conference: “Management Bootcamp” with Len Mailloux, chairman of the I.B.S. conference, and “Programming Your College Radio Station,” with several students and two other professors. Deb Carlson, a 2009 Gannon University graduate, hosted a session entitled “Station Underwriting: How to Get It, Run It, and Keep It Legal.”

Administered through the Department of Theatre, Communication and Fine Arts, 90.5 WERG provides a healthy, creative, and stimulating learning experience in broadcast operations and management while offering unique programming for Gannon and the Erie community.

Working at the station, students develop valuable skills such as effective public speaking, creative writing, digital editing, software maintenance, and teamwork. Students also have the opportunity to augment their proficiency in managerial situations by chairing various departments at WERG: programming, music, news, production, social media, and many other aspects that make up a successful broadcast operation.

This article was originally published on Apr. 29, 2013 on