CENTENNIAL, Colo., July 2, 2018Colorado Public Radio (CPR) today announced the results of a recent campaign to sustain the growth of its fellowship program, which offers yearlong, paid opportunities for young professionals to learn and develop their skills. Over a span of seven months, the organization raised $1.19 million to guarantee a continual pipeline of public radio talent for years to come.

The campaign brought in more than $690,000 from 65 donors. CPR’s board of directors also authorized a matching-gift of $500,000 from the organization’s reserves. Combined, these funds provide sound financial backing for a long-term investment in the fellowships.

Colorado Public Radio started the fellowship program in 2015 as a means to advance talent development and secure a bright future for public radio in Colorado. CPR’s board of directors recently renamed the initiative – The Max Wycisk Fellowships – to honor former president Max Wycisk, who retired last month after 40 years of leadership. To-date, six graduates have completed fellowships, with two more starting this month. 

“We are heartened to know that people in Colorado value this effort to support the next generation of public radio professionals,” said Senior Vice President of Development Jim East. “Their generous and important investment strengthens The Max Wycisk Fellowships and ensures Colorado Public Radio’s quality standards and impactful community service will continue well into the future.”

Meet the Max Wycisk Fellows

Joella Baumann and Hayley Sanchez are the 2018 recipients of Max Wycisk Fellowships. Both will spend the upcoming year working in CPR’s newsroom. Baumann is a recent graduate of Metropolitan State University; Sanchez graduated last spring from the University of Colorado. 

Sam Brasch.

Sam Brasch
Brasch is currently a general assignment reporter for CPR News. He began his journey at CPR in 2015 as one of the first Max Wycisk Fellows. During his fellowship, Brasch focused on honing his journalism skills and published several stories for CPR News, including this look at the coal industry in Moffat County. Brasch is a 2012 graduate of Colorado College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy.

Xandra McMahon.

Xandra McMahon
McMahon was a 2017 Max Wycisk Fellow. She produced a number of stories working alongside CPR reporters, including an in-depth look at the history and development of Rocky Flats. McMahon is a 2017 graduate of the University of Colorado. She studied journalism and worked for the school's digital news site, overseeing a staff of 50 student editors, reporters and contributors.

Rachel Ramberg.

Rachel Ramberg
Ramberg was a 2017 Max Wycisk Fellow and spent the past year working on video production. She contributed to several successful projects, including a video of the installation of the Ai Weiwei exhibit in Civic Center Park. She is a recent graduate of the University of Colorado where she studied journalism, broadcast production and film. 

Andrew Randall.

Andrew Randall
Along with Brasch, Randall was a recipient of the first Max Wycisk Fellowships, focusing on music programming. Randall played a big role in developing CPR’s award-winning story about an Israeli-American composer who was inspired by a painter who died during the Holocaust. He graduated from Colorado College with a bachelor’s degree in arts and music. 

Rebekah Romberg.

Rebekah Romberg
Romberg joined CPR’s content team as a full-time employee in July, 2017 and currently supports production work. As a 2016 Max Wycisk Fellow, Romberg produced a wide range of content, including this in-depth feature on the Bringing Music to Life Instrument Drive. She is a 2016 graduate of Colorado State University where she managed the campus radio station, KCSU, while earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism and media communications.

Michael Sakas.

Michael Sakas
Sakas was a Max Wycisk Fellow in 2016 and subsequently accepted a full-time position as a general assignment reporter for CPR News. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Colorado State University where she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. Her work as a fellow includes a two-part series exploring the changing role of the Denver Public Library as a community resource for the homeless and those struggling with drug addiction

Learn more about Colorado Public Radio at www.cpr.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Colorado Public Radio is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization that produces and curates in-depth and meaningful news and music, establishing thoughtful connections to Colorado for listeners seeking to be informed, enlightened and entertained. Roughly 95 percent of CPR’s funds come from the private support of listeners, businesses and foundations.

CPR News delivers in-depth, insightful and impartial news and information from around the world, across the nation and throughout Colorado, examining its relevance to our state and connecting it to our community.

CPR Classical takes listeners on an in-depth exploration of thoughtfully curated music – with an emphasis on Colorado’s classical community – providing context to a broad range of meaningful and compelling works from past to present.

CPR’s OpenAir takes listeners inside the world of new and independent music – exposing them to up-and-coming artists and highlighting Colorado’s local music scene.

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