Students selected to attend prestigious Media Sales Institute

Three Western Carolina University broadcasting students have been selected to attend the prestigious Media Sales Institute at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University following graduation this spring.

The institute is sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.

Adrienne Avery of Morganton, Samantha Saunders of Morganton and Brandon Tigue of Fayetteville were selected through a competitive application process.

“The students will be taking part in an intense, 10-day educational program that includes sessions on radio, television, cable, Internet and other media. Students are instructed by, and work with, some of the top media sales professionals in the country,” said Don Connelly, director of the broadcasting program at WCU.

At the conclusion of the institute, the students will present mock presentations to major companies looking to hire recent graduates, including such companies as Fox, CBS, Turner Broadcasting, Comcast, Katz Radio and Clear Channel Communications, said Connelly.

“The institute selects only 25 candidates for participation from the entire United States, and we are honored that this year three graduating seniors from WCU were among those selected,” he said. “The students are required to be graduating seniors because it is not unusual for attendees to be interviewed and offered positions following the institute.”

Avery, the daughter of Charles and Barbra Avery, attended Freedom High School; Saunders, the daughter of Hoyt and Sandy Saunders, attended Freedom High School; and Tigue, son of Rachel Tigue, attended South View High School.

Two WCU students were selected to attend the institute last year, and both credit the program with helping to launch their careers. Kristen Boggs is now with CBS Radio in Charlotte and Jessica Bartley is with Christal Radio in Atlanta, the leading national radio advertising representative firm, said Connelly.

For more information about WCU’s broadcasting and broadcast sales program, contact Connelly at (828) 227-3851 or via email at