Two members of the Eastern New Mexico University community won awards from the New Mexico Broadcasters Association (NMBA) this year: Greyhound Grad Jacob Aranda and Professor of History Dr. Donald Elder III.
Jacob, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in communication with an emphasis in broadcast production in May, is the first student from ENMU to win a NMBA award. He received the "Student Sportscaster" award for his live broadcasts of the ENMU basketball women's and men's basketball games.
Dr. Elder received two NMBA awards: "Best Sportscast" for the broadcast of the Greyhounds playing New Mexico State University in December 2016 and "Best Sports Show" for a post-game interview Dr. Elder did with Josh Prock, coach of the women's basketball team, after his game against the University of New Mexico in November 2016.
Jacob, who worked at KENW as a student, said the award means a lot to him because he would "love to make a name for myself in the broadcast industry somehow involving sports. I would also like to put KENW on the map. I believe it is the real deal in training students on how to get ready for television, whether it be reporting, anchoring or even directing a TV show or newscast."
He received the opportunity to broadcast ENMU games from Allan Crawford, the producer and director at KENW.
"He would always tell us 'if you would like to do something just ask.' I was lucky enough he let me call the games play-by-play or color commentate."
Jacob's favorite part of broadcasting was the preparation for the games with his friends.
"I loved building up all the cameras for the games and running all the cables. People don't realize how much work so many people have to put into get a televised game to come out. I loved everything about it, but I really enjoyed spending time with all my friends setting up the games."
He would study rosters and stats a week ahead of each game with his broadcasting partner, Cristian Pacheco.
"Around a day before each game, we would talk about who was going to call each game and practice a little. We would have a lot of notes for the game, so we would never run out of things to say. Cristian was a great person to work with and made everything easy for me."
Jacob, who is from Portales, chose to attend ENMU to stay close to his family and friends.
The "Outstanding ENMU Student in Broadcast Production" honoree said that picking his field of study was a "funny story. I came in to try and receive my criminal justice degree, but I found out I really didn't enjoy that. My mother Norma Aranda, who works at the library, would talk to Sheryl Borden about where she worked [KENW]. My mom told me that I would love it and to give it a shot. About three years later here I am. I am very glad my mom talked to Miss Borden about the Department of Communication and KENW."
Jacob, who made the Dean's List and participated in intramural sports, worked at KENW for three years.
"I was under one of the best bosses I have ever had: Richard Rivera. He showed me so many things, from TV to having life talks with me and other co-workers. He did so much to start my career out."
While at KENW, Jacob produced the "SportsLook" program. He had "amazing opportunities" to work in the Dallas Cowboys stadium and be on his show segment called "High School Spotlight."
"I would like to thank Josh Bellin-Gallagher for teaching me so much about everything at KENW and giving me the keys to take over. I was able to work on and produce 'You Should Know,' 'Coaches Corner,' 'Cultura' and even help out from time to time with the nationally-aired show 'Creative Living' with Sheryl Borden."
Jacob currently works for KFDA News Channel 10 as a news photographer. He shoots stories with reporters and covers events or wrecks. He also brings his recorded footage back to the station to edit for broadcast and helps with writing scripts for the anchors.
His career goal to "achieve success in sports television or sports media. I want to make a name for myself and make my mom and dad proud of me. I would love to be a good role model for everyone out there that wants to achieve their dreams. I would like to be a person that kids look up to in Portales and ENMU. I want them to say, 'Hey, if he can do it I can too!'
"I am barely starting out my career in the television business, but I still have a long way to go from where I want to be. Whether I work for ESPN, TNT or even some local channel, I want to be one of the people that have a big say in what goes on. This is only the beginning for me."
While Jacob never called a game with Dr. Elder, who received two NMBA awards this year, he worked with him for three years on "SportsLook."
"Doc was very easy to work with and always open to any ideas and made everything very fun," said Jacob. "I learned from Doc at a young age listening to him call the Portales Rams games when they would travel out of town. My father and I would crank up the radio in the house or the car listening to him."
Dr. Elder said that from the moment he first met Jacob, he could tell that "Jacob possessed the communication skills that would make him an outstanding broadcaster. I was therefore not surprised when he was chosen to do play-by-play for KENW-TV's broadcast of an ENMU basketball doubleheader last spring.
"I had the chance to watch a replay of that broadcast, and I felt that Jacob had performed so well that his effort had a good chance of winning an award."
Dr. Elder talked to Richard Rivera, Allan Crawford and Duane Ryan about submitting Jacob's broadcast for consideration by the NMBA and they "wholeheartedly agreed with me. I knew that Jacob would be up against formidable competition, but I thought that his flawless delivery would win him the award. I was not surprised to learn that he had won. I am sure that it won't be the last one that he wins!"
In 20 years of broadcasting, Dr. Elder has won three "Best Sports Show" awards and six "Best Sportscast" awards.
"It was the student-athletes that really won these awards. They supplied heroic exploits, while Jacob and I merely provide words to describe them."
The professor of history has also won seven awards with Kevin Robbins for their program, "The Morning Throwdown." He was inducted into the NMBA Hall of Fame in 2013.
Dr. Elder was born into a broadcasting family: his father had a 15-year career with NBC, broadcasting both on radio and television.
"Ironically, he left broadcasting exactly nine months before I was born, so all I knew of his work was what people told me," explained Dr. Elder. "I grew up without feeling compelled to follow my dad into broadcasting."
His first exposure to broadcasting came when he was a 30-year-old junior high football coach in Vinton, Iowa in 1982. He did play-by-play broadcasts for varsity games on the local public access channel until he left for graduate school two years later.
In 1995 he was hired to teach at ENMU. In the spring of 1996, Sandi Bergman, who owned the local radio stations at the time, asked if he could fill in for the host of coaches show set to air that night.
"I think perhaps my wife had told her about my "broadcast career." I did the show that night, thinking that would be it, but the next day she asked me if I would become the regular host of that show," said Dr. Elder. "I agreed, and then a week later she asked if I would do play-by-play for ENMU baseball. That sport was my first love, so I happily said yes. The next fall, she asked me to do play-by-play for all ENMU and Portales High School sports. I have been fortunate enough to broadcast sports and sports shows ever since.
"I never asked Sandi Bergman why she asked me to do play-by-play for Greyhound baseball. I'd like to think that she thought that I had done a good job with the coaches show, and thought that my style would work well with the duties of doing play-by-play. But it may well be that she was simply desperate!"
He has broadcasts sports on local radio stations, including MIX 107.5, KSEL FM 105.9, KSEL-AM 1450 and BIG 101.5.
Dr. Elder has had "incredible experiences broadcasting every sport, but the highlights would have to come from football. Specifically, our Wagon Wheel games have been extremely memorable. We have lost a couple of close ones, but we have also had three comeback wins that were as exhilarating as anything that I can ever remember in relation to sports."
He joined "SportsLook" on KENW-TV in 2013 after being asked by Richard Rivera and has been hosting the show ever since. His role as host includes consulting with his student director and co-executive producer to select two guests per episode, interviewing them in 10-minute segments, providing brief introductions to the episodes, giving an ENMU recap of the past week and finishing with a retrospective feature called "Overtime."
To prepare for broadcasts, Dr. Elder looks at the facts: "how are we doing, how are our opponents doing, key match-ups, etc. I try to convey this information succinctly in my pre-game broadcasts because you can easily overload the listeners with too much information.
"During the game, I try first and foremost to tell the listeners what happened on each and every play. I try to update the score at least every three minutes. When I can safely do so, I try to use analogies from history, music, and films to illustrate a point about what is happening in the game.
"Finally, in my post-game, I try to explain as objectively as possible why the contest turned out the way that it did."
He said that whether or not he has someone doing color commentary is a "major variable in each broadcast. If I don't have someone doing that, I have to both describe and analyze the action."
Dr. Elder has had a "dozen ENMU COMM majors ask if they could do color commentary for me. If they succeed, they are often given the opportunity to broadcast games on their own when we are covering two games at the same time. With Jacob, I recognized immediately from our work on "SportsLook" that he did not need to do color commentary before being given the chance to do play-by-play. Steve and Duffy [owners of the radio stations] agreed, and we gave Jacob the chance to broadcast.
"I have to keep reminding myself that he is only in his early 20s--he is astoundingly mature for his age, and is a pleasure to work with."
If students are interested in getting involved with sports broadcasts, Dr. Elder urges them to "become involved in 'SportsLook.' That was Jacob's path to the success that he recently achieved. Contact Allan Crawford at the Broadcast Center if you are interested.
"My door is literally always open at Rooney-Moon Broadcasting. If you would like a chance to try your hand at broadcasting, Duffy Moon has always let me use students to do tasks ranging from color commentary to sideline reporting, and for some, it can lead to a chance to do play-by-play."
He advises potential broadcasters to "follow your passion. Jacob, for example, loved sports and when given the opportunity to get involved in sports journalism he jumped at the chance. I would also suggest turning down the volume when you watch a contest, and then do play-by-play for what you are watching. Finally, when you do listen to a commentator, pick up the pitch and cadence that makes that commentator interesting. Broadcasting is not innate--it is a skill you acquire with practice."