A pair of Simpson College alumni won awards at the annual Iowa Broadcast News Association (IBNA) Convention for projects completed during their time as students.
Alex Kirkpatrick ’18 took first place in the Public Affairs Category while Brandi Putz ’18 earned honorable mention honors in the Feature Category. The duo received recognition in the student television division.
Since graduation, Kirkpatrick and Putz have launched their respective careers. Kirkpatrick is the digital editor at KCCI, the CBS-affiliated television station in Des Moines. Putz is the tournament manager for the Principal Charity Classic, an annual and award-winning PGA TOUR Champions event held in Des Moines.
Both put their education into action with real-world experience during their time at Simpson, utilizing their professors, advisors and the Office of Career Development to help get them started.
A native of Indianola, Iowa, Kirkpatrick took full advantage of the real-world training available at Simpson and in the nearby Des Moines Metro.
In addition to writing for both the student newspaper and magazine, Kirkpatrick participated in speech and debate, Model United Nations and sang in the choir. He also interned at KCCI and now serves as the station’s digital editor.
“I took advantage of the opportunities within Simpson Student Media,” Kirkpatrick said. “I sought advice from professors. Simpson gave me the tools and all I needed to do was use them to build a solid foundation for my career.”
Lisa Carponelli, associate professor of multimedia communication and a member of the IBNA Board of Directors, noticed Kirkpatrick had a strong work ethic and desire to succeed.
“From the very beginning of his time at Simpson, Alex was passionate about being a reporter,” Carponelli said. “He took advantage of every opportunity to create content and to lead. He really showed how students with a good sense of direction can utilize the mentoring and networking within our program to set themselves apart and succeed.”
Like Kirkpatrick, Putz—originally from Lacona, Iowa—gained valuable experience through a pair of on-campus organizations. She participated in Simpson’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and worked for the C Street Agency, a student-led public relations firm on campus.
“These groups helped me gain real-world experience while in college,” she said. “These experiences led to internships, which led to my current career.”
Putz currently serves as the Tournament Manager of the Principal Charity Classic. Held at the historic Wakonda Club in Des Moines, the tournament has raised more than $17.7 million for charity since 2007.
The IBNA is a nonprofit corporation of radio and television news directors, reporters, producers, public relations professionals and others from Iowa and its adjacent states. The organization recognizes outstanding work done by its members with an awards banquet held at the annual convention.
The 2019 convention took place April 13 at the Stoney Creek Hotel and Convention Center in Johnston.
Click here to learn more about Simpson's Department of Multimedia Communication.