Communication student finds life in the fast lane

CULLOWHEE – Have you ever wondered what life on the road as part of a broadcast crew videotaping some of the world’s fastest race cars would be like? Just ask Sarah Kepley, a junior at Western Carolina University.

Sarah Kepley in Western's Channel 62 studios.

Sarah Kepley in Western’s
Channel 62 studios.

Kepley, a communication major at Western, may be on the “fast track” to a career in sports broadcasting, thanks to experience she is getting working with a national production company. She made her first TV contacts at the 2004 “ Battle for the Old Mountain Jug” football game between Western and archrival Appalachian State, which led to future contacts with Wheeler Television, located in Charlotte.

The company owned by Patti Wheeler, daughter of Lowe’s Motor Speedway owner “Humpy” Wheeler, is paying Kepley to work weekends on the 2005 Le Mans Series. She has traveled to the American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio, the Petit Le Mans, the Mazda Laguna Seca and the Atlanta Grand Prix helping produce race footage for Speed Channel and CBS Sports. She has worked alongside business professionals in the industry, and was the technical director for the Motors International feed at the Grand Prix of Atlanta.

“Sara is a promising student and an example of the quality of students we hope will come to Western,” said Pat Acheson, assistant professor of communication at Western. “She is eager, reliable, and if I was in the work force, she is the kind of individual I would hire.”

Aside from her work on the Le Mans Series on the weekends, Kepley also has managed to balance her studies at Western during the week. She says one of the best benefits of working with Wheeler Television is the contacts made on the road—especially if those contacts will put her career in the “fast lane.”

Kepley, daughter of Bill and Anna Kepley of Salisbury, is a 2003 graduate of East Rowan High School.

For more information, contact Pat Acheson at (828) 227-3801 or e-mail at