Dr. Ozzie Ostwalt
Professor of philosophy and religion
Department of Philosophy and Religion
2019 RCC Wilbur Award
Religion Communicators Council (RCC)
“With this program, our goal has been to create a series of intellectually stimulating and accessible interviews that will provide a scholarly resource on religion in America.”
Dr. Ozzie Ostwalt, professor of philosophy and religion
BOONE, N.C. — The Religion Communicators Council (RCC) has recognized Dr. Ozzie Ostwalt, professor of philosophy and religion at Appalachian State University and host of AppTV show “Religion in Life,” with a 2019 RCC Wilbur Award in the category of Television and Cable Interview. The award specifically recognizes his interview with the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. during the fifth episode of the show’s eighth season.
Ostwalt, one of 22 recipients, will accept the award at the RCC’s 90th annual convention in Chicago in April, which celebrates 70 years of Wilbur Awards.
The Wilbur Awards honor excellence in secular media — including print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting and motion pictures — in communicating religious issues, values and themes. Juries of media professionals, coordinated by RCC members across the country, evaluate the Wilbur Award submissions on content, creativity, impact and excellence in communicating religious values.
Past winners of Wilbur Awards include programs produced by CBS, CNN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, the Christian Science Monitor and a host of other national media outlets.
“We have produced many special programs during the past four years,” Ostwalt said, “but none more important than this interview with the Rev. Jackson. His insight into the role religion played during one of the most pivotal periods in American history reminds us how important it is to study religion and the way it affects everyday life.”
Now in its ninth season, “Religion in Life” is one of the longest-running programs on the AppTV channel and has aired over 80 episodes with guests — including ministers, theologians, academicians, artists, writers and politicians — exploring the integral role that faith and spirituality play in the world today. AppTV, Appalachian’s student-staffed television channel, is housed in the Department of Communication.
“With this program, our goal has been to create a series of intellectually stimulating and accessible interviews that will provide a scholarly resource on religion in America,” Ostwalt said.
“I have been fortunate to be part of AppTV’s programming and thank not only AppTV and their student producers, but also the College of Arts and Sciences for providing resources that support this program. I am proud that we have been able to create a quality series with interesting content on contemporary religion.”
“Religion in Life” is available on SkyBest channel 20 or 1020, Spectrum channel 198 and on AppTV campus channel 23-3. The episode of Ostwalt’s interview with Jackson, as well as previous episodes of “Religion in Life,” may be viewed here.
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About the Religion Communicators Council
The Religion Communicators Council (RCC), founded in 1929, is an association of communications professionals who work for and with a diverse group of faith-based organizations in the areas of communications, public relations, advertising and development. RCC members promote excellence in the communication of faith and values in the public arena and encourage understanding among religious and faith groups. Learn more at https://www.religioncommunicators.org.
About the Department of Philosophy and Religion
The Department of Philosophy and Religion invites students to explore the world, examine beliefs, understand a diversity of worldviews, and challenge the ideas and values that instruct our lives. The department offers a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies, as well as a minor in both of these areas. Learn more at https://philrel.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About the Department of Communication
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Department of Communication at Appalachian State University focuses on preparing students to succeed in the varied fields within the communication industry. The department offers five majors – advertising, communication studies, electronic media/broadcasting, journalism and public relations – and a minor in communication studies. Graduates work in a wide range of positions in media, corporate, agency, government and nonprofit organizations. Learn more at https://communication.appstate.edu.
About the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance. Learn more at https://faa.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.