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Raymond Clamage Memorial Award
in recognition of being the staff member who contributed the most to the progress and quality of The Daily Illini during the year.
Raymond Clamage served on the Daily Illini Staff from 1942-43 and was killed in action in World War II. The award was established by his family to honor his life.
John C. Trebilcock Memorial Award
in recognition of the Best Piece of Investigative Reporting by a member of The Daily Illini staff during the year.
Professor Trebilcock was a member of the College of Journalism faculty teaching reporting and editing from 1948 until his death in 1955.
Jeff Ponczak Memorial Award
in recognition of being the member of The Daily Illini sports staff who has contributed the most to teamwork, the spirit of friendship, and an unabashed love of sports and fun, as well as quality in reporting sports at the paper during the year.
Jeff Ponczak served as a writer and editor on The Daily Illini sports staff from 1987-91. This award was established by Jeff’s friends and family in June 2008 to honor him and support future sports journalists after Jeff lost a long battle with congenital heart problems .
Brett H. Lerner Memorial Award
in recognition of being the staff member who contributed the most to the progress and quality of Illini Drive during the year.
Brett Lerner was a DI sports reporter and the co-host of WPGU’s Illini Drive. He was killed in a tragic car accident on his way to cover a sporting event in October, 2015. This award was established by Brett’s father in recognition of Brett’s dedication and contributions to WPGU and The Daily Illini. You can read more about Brett here.
Carson has demonstrated his prowess in multimedia journalism as co-host of Illini Drive, producing content via radio broadcasts, podcasts, online video and live webinars. His keen insights, encyclopedic sports knowledge and confident delivery combined to provide an excellent informational source for Illini sports fans.
Tom Thomas, Jr. Memorial Award
in recognition of being the member of the WPGU-FM 107.1 staff who made the greatest contribution to the quality and the betterment of the radio station during the year.
Tom Thomas, Jr. worked at WPGU from 1974-76, and in later years was one of Illini Media’s most active alumni. This award was established by his friends and family, in recognition of his dedication and contributions to WPGU and Illini Media after his sudden death in May of 2008.
Gerald S. Cohen Memorial Award
in recognition of being the member of the business staff who made the greatest contribution to the betterment of The Daily Illini during the year.
Gerald S. Cohen worked on The Daily Illini business staff and this award was established by his parents after his untimely death in 1956 in memory of his contributions and dedication to The Daily Illini business staff.
Ellie currently is the longest-serving member of the business team, having worked on Illini Media’s front desk for the past three years. Always approachable and affable, Ellie handles the myriad responsibilities of her position with patience and grace when assisting our customers and fellow employees.
Thomas J. Costello Memorial Award
in recognition of outstanding service to Illini Media and loyalty to its mission to provide students with a professional learning experience.
Thomas Costello served on the Illini Media Board of Directors from 1995 until his death in 2020. The award was established by Illini Media to honor his outstanding service to the company.
Over the past year, Craig has single-handedly restored stability to Illini Media and WPGU’s technical infrastructure. A recently retired broadcast engineer who worked at WPGU as a student from 1973-1979, Craig has given back to the company with countless volunteer hours troubleshooting, planning and fixing the myriad hardware and software challenges we face. His services have been invaluable to the continued operation of not only the radio station, but the entire company.