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Former Sports Information Student Assistants Receive Awards From MIAA

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

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MIAA Announcement

The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association has announced the winners of two awards honoring outstanding publicity efforts by its member schools - the Hartman Writing Award and the Renner Associate SID Award.

Chaz Amidon, a student assistant in the Calvin College sports information director, was named the winner of the Hartman Award, while Bruce Van Baren, also a student assistant in Calvin’s SID office, was named the recipient of the Renner Award.

CHAZ AMIDON

Chaz Amidon, who graduated from Calvin in May with a bachelor’s degree in mass media, was honored for a story he wrote depicting the Knights’
thrilling last-second victory over rival Hope College in an MIAA men’s basketball game at Calvin last winter.

A native of Muskegon and graduate of Mona Shores High School, Amidon worked for two years as a student assistant in Calvin’s sports information office, writing recaps of Calvin sporting events and related features. He also was a play-by-play announcer on Calvin’s Internet broadcasts, covering soccer, volleyball, basketball and baseball, and also conducted audio interviews of student-athletes and coaches for the school’s sports information Web site.

Amidon also worked for two years as co-sports editor of Chimes, Calvin’s student newspaper. He has served several internships, including two years as a sports correspondent for the Grand Haven Tribune, public affairs and investigative reporting internships at WBBM-TV (CBS-2) in Chicago and a sports writing internship at The Daily Southtown in Tinley Park, Ill.

Amidon has enrolled in the graduate program at Michigan State University’s Department of Communication, starting this fall, and will be working
part-time in MSU’s Department of Athletic Communications during his graduate study.

BRUCE VAN BAREN

A native of Crete, Ill., and graduate of Illiana Christian High School, Bruce Van Baren graduated from Calvin in May with a degree in business communications.  He is being honored by the MIAA for the second consecutive year. Last year, Van Baren received the Hartman Writing Award for a story he wrote on the comeback from illness of Calvin men’s soccer player Michael Holwerda. Van Baren is the second consecutive Calvin student to receive the award as 2008 Calvin graduate Annalise VenHuizen was the inaugural recipient last year. Like Van Baren, Ven Huizen is also a graduate of Illiana Christian High School.

During his three years in Calvin’s sports information department, Van Baren produced game stories, features and columns for Calvin’s Web site, broadcast sporting events on the Internet, and recorded podcasts featuring interviews of Calvin student-athletes and coaches.

As a sophomore, Van Baren called play-by-play during Calvin’s run in the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament for Grand Rapids radio station WFUR-FM, and then followed the Knights’ women’s basketball team later that season in the sectional round of the NCAA tournament. He has filled in on play-by-play duties for Calvin men’s basketball road games the last two seasons on WFUR.

In addition, Van Baren provided broadcast coverage and photos of Calvin competing in the NCAA Division III men’s and women’s cross country
championships last fall.

A dean’s list student at Calvin, VanBaren served as the co-sports editor and world news editor of the school’s student newspaper, Chimes, and served internships at WMVP-AM in Chicago, WOOD Radio in Grand Rapids and for the nationally-syndicated Michael Reagan Talk Show, based in Washington D.C. He also hosted a television program, “Beyond the Game,” that was produced by Calvin students.

Van Baren has enrolled in law school at Loyola University in Chicago, starting this fall.

The awards honor two sports information directors who have given many years of service to the MIAA - Robin Hartman of Albion College and Tom Renner of Hope College. The Hartman Award honors outstanding writing in a sports information capacity, either by a sports information director or assistant, while the Renner Award honors outstanding efforts by student assistants in sports information offices at MIAA schools.

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1 comment on "Former Sports Information Student Assistants Receive Awards From MIAA"
  • Chaz is an excellent writer. As a Hope graduate and citizen of the great state of Idaho, I never missed his broadcasts when Calvin played Hope in any sport. I told myself not to cry when people like Chaz graduate, but alas, tears prevailed with the grand exit of this fine young gentleman. Chaz, you will be missed!! Good luck in the real world, bud.

    Posted by Barry M on 09/26 at 08:09 PM