The Dr. Edwin E. Vineyard Broadcasting Scholarship from the OETA was awarded this year for the first time to a student completing their sophomore year at a regionally accredited Oklahoma institution of higher education.
The scholarship was judged based on each student’s academic records, personal characteristics, career history and subjective opinion.
Justin Voda, a broadcasting major at OCCC, won the ten thousand dollar scholarship with the help of professors and advisors from OCCC and an internship at a local radio station, Voda said.
Voda said he grew up in Los Angeles, where his love for broadcasting blossomed from his frequent exposure to the entertainment and news industry.
Voda said after high school he began working as an extra on television and film shoots, but after realizing that acting wouldn’t pay the bills, he switched his career path to the mortgage industry.
Voda worked as a loan officer and processor until 2008 ,when he said the financial crisis left hundreds of his co-workers out of a job.
Unable to find work in the mortgage industry, Voda waited tables for extra cash before getting married in 2009.
Voda said the newlywed couple moved back to his wife’s home town of Norman, Okla. It was then Voda began to reshape his future.
“Having never completed a college degree had left a tremendous void in my life,” Voda said.
After finishing his sophomore year at OCCC, Voda accepted an internship at 107.7 KRXO for the summer, where he assists the promotions department, travels with DJ’s to broadcast at grocery stores and car dealerships, and records voice commercials on demand.
Being an intern helped Voda win the scholarship because it gave him valuable experience and proved to the scholarship committee that he was dedicated to a future in broadcasting, he said.
Voda said he plans to attend the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma in the fall.
After college, Voda said he wished to pursue a television career as an investigative journalist.
Through all the struggles and hardships of Voda’s life, Voda still holds his dreams in the highest regard.
“It is important to understand that while our country is going through the greatest economic disaster since the Great Depression, the American dream still exists,” Voda said.
Voda said he is expecting his first child, a son that he hopes to provide a better life for through a career in broadcastings.
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