WOUB and E.W. Scripps School of Journalism Student Silver Barker is one of the recipients of the 73 West State Street Award

Published: April 29, 2022 Author: Cheri Russo

Ohio University Sophomore and WOUB Student Silver Barker of Shaker Heights, Ohio feels like she is one step closer to reaching her dream thanks to another former WOUBer and generous alumnus. Barker recently learned that she is a recipient of the 73 West State Street Award, a scholarship for students in the Scripps College of Communication established by Bill Brand, BSC ’87.

“This award will help me so much financially,” said Barker. “It’s laying the foundation of my college. I will be able to save money now for the big picture and look toward achieving my dream.”

Since she was a little girl, Barker has wanted to be a talk show host. The news and information major in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism has been working at WOUB for about a year. She started on WOUB’s high school football program Gridiron Glory and now she is working in the WOUB newsroom.

“It’s awesome to be able to work at WOUB, a professional station, while I am in college,” said Barker. “It prepares me for the real-world and will help me feel secure in what I am doing as a multi-media journalist.”

Bill Brand
rue21 CEO Bill Brand, BSC '87

Brand established the 73 West State Street Award in 2011 to recognize the importance of community and to honor the lifelong relationships that are formed at Ohio University. Brand is currently the CEO of American specialty retailer rue21. He worked at WOUB all four years he was a student at Ohio University and developed important leadership and communication skills that he says have helped him throughout his career.

Nominees for the scholarship are asked to provide a written essay that demonstrates individual potential, affinity to Ohio University, and involvement in the college experience. Barker wrote about the hardships she had transitioning to college due to the unexpected death of her grandmother and the struggles of the pandemic. But she also wrote about the community she found on campus at places like WOUB.

“I started working at WOUB doing Gridiron Glory in the fall and covered football games every week,” said Barker. “What I love about WOUB is the hands-on experience you get. I really feel like I’m in there, doing the work and learning. The professional staff is so accepting of mistakes and works with us to make us better. There are so many opportunities for journalists at Ohio University.”

Barker is very thankful to Brand and says his generosity is inspiring to her.

“I can’t thank Mr. Brand enough for helping me personally grow, gain knowledge and start my career,” said Barker. “It’s so great of him to help out students by remembering what college is like and giving back to the community that he came from. I plan to do the same with high school and college. It’s so important to remember your roots. I can’t wait to continue following my dreams, and I feel like I am getting closer to my dream.”

To learn more about WOUB, visit woub.org.