Ferrell Wellman selected as 2011 COMM Distinguished Alum

l-r: Laura Butler, Kasey Mills, Dean Bob Rogow

EKU's Department of Communication 2011 distinguished alum is Mr. Ferrell Wellman. Mr. Wellman was honored during a presentation on Friday, April 1, 2011, at the annual College of Business and Technology College to Careers senior recognition luncheon. (Mr. Wellman is recuperating from an injury and unable to attend.  Accepting the award in his place is one of his former students and a producer at WLEX-TV in Lexington, Ms. Kasey Mills.)

The honor is reserved for special alumni who have distinguished themselves in their professions through excellence, dedication, and service.

Mr. Wellman earned his B.A. in Broadcasting from Eastern Kentucky University going on to complete his Master of Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina in 1992.

That was just the beginning.  Even though he is not with us today, many of you know his face or have heard his voice.  EKU Communication students know him for his teaching expertise in broadcast news, mass media, sports writing, and media law.  Others have most likely seen Mr. Wellman on programs like KET’s Comment on Kentucky where he is the co-producer and host.  Mr. Wellman also joins the WLEX-TV team for on-set analysis on election nights and during significant political events.  If you listen to WLAP-AM, you have heard his voice as he hosts the daily news call-in program.

Mr. Wellman joined the EKU Department of Communication in 1994 and is an award-winning broadcast journalist.  He was a reporter for 18 years at WAVE-TV in Louisville.  During that time he was named “Kentucky’s Outstanding Broadcast Journalist” and won numerous state and national awards for his coverage of state and national events and issues.  He was the news director for WVLK-AM/FM in Lexington, Kentucky, and worked as a news reporter for WNOR-AM/FM in Norfolk, Virginia.  He was a member of a documentary reporting team at WHAS-AM in Louisville, which won national Scripps-Howard and Headliner awards for an investigation of issues in Appalachia.

Still active in broadcast journalism in Kentucky, Mr. Wellman has a 30-year relationship with Kentucky Educational Television and has appeared as a host or guest on more than 600 productions, including KET's long-running weekly public affairs program Comment on Kentucky.  In addition, he won an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television News Directors Association in 2006 for his anchor work on WLAP-AM's coverage of the crash of Comair flight 5191.  This regional award was for best spot news reporting in five southeastern states.

He was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 2006 – only the fifth TV reporter or videographer who was a non-anchor to be inducted and the only TV reporter who did his own videography to be inducted since the Hall opened in 1981.

Congratulations, Mr. Wellman, on being selected as the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus representing the Department of Communication.

The college also honored distinguished seniors for the year as selected by their respective departments within the College of Business and Technology. Ms. Laura Elizabeth Butler, a journalism major from Hillsboro, Oh., was selected as the Communication departmental distinguished senior. In addition, recipients of scholarships and awards for the 2010-11 academic year were recognized. Students were honored for outstanding achievement and more than 40 area employers were on hand to engage in networking activities with college graduating seniors.

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Published on April 01, 2011