WKU PBS nominated for three Ohio Valley Emmy Awards


Julie Bowles, a recent graduate of WKU, received her first Ohio Valley Emmy Award nomination for her collaborative work on Lost River Sessions.

WKU PBS, the public television service of Western Kentucky University, has been nominated for awards in three categories for the 58th Annual Ohio Valley Emmy Awards. The awards will be presented on July 30 in Columbus, Ohio.

Cheryl Beckley, who recently retired from WKU PBS, is nominated twice for her work on The nature of the story documentary.

Three others — Darius Barati, Jeff Petrocelli and Neil Purcell — are nominated again for their work on Lost River Sessions. Julie Bowles, a recent WKU graduate, received her first nomination for her collaborative work on Lost River Sessions while he was a student.

Purcell, Joshua Niedwick and Zeb Weese are nominated along with Beckley for The nature of the story. They have all already been nominated for their work.

“For me, it all comes down to surrounding yourself with the right team,” said Barati, producer/director for WKU PBS. “In particular, I cannot overestimate the value that Julie Bowles has brought to our productions. From initial camera and editing management, set design and lighting, to a role as assistant producer, and finally taking the lead and producing an episode, top to bottom, entirely on her own . She contributed to the success of Sessions on the Lost River — all while she was still a student at WKU. I consider it the greatest honor to have worked alongside him, and his impact will be felt on this show and our station for years to come.

WKU PBS received the following nominations for the Ohio Valley Emmy Awards:

  • Entertainment (short or long content): Lost River Sessions — Composite, Darius Barati, Julie Bowles, Jeff Petrocelli, Neil Purcell (To learn more, visit https://youtu.be/pVeQvmfxLLo and https://youtu.be/yu1OaTZNPBI)
  • Informational/Instructive or Interview/Discussion (short form or long form): The nature of the story — Cheryl Shrader Beckley, Joshua Niedwick, Neil Purcell, Zeb Weese (For more, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxHy2kOrqHo)
  • Editor (long content): The nature of the story -Cheryl Shrader Beckley

“In The nature of the story we were able to tell how nature and history intertwine in this unique career documentary. There’s so much beauty in our state that it’s taken all of us to tell these incredible stories and bring the story to life,” Beckley said. “It’s such an honor to be nominated with such great professionals and to be able to tell incredible stories and showcase the beauty of our state.”

Niedwick said, “It is both humbling and a pleasure to work and collaborate with such incredible and talented colleagues and students. The added challenge of completing The nature of the story amidst the pandemic and the resulting changed production guidelines were nothing short of heartbreaking, and the fact that we not only completed the project during this time, but also had it recognized by the academy, is testament our ability to work together and achieve our goals. It is an absolute honor to have my name alongside these outstanding professionals whom I consider dear friends.

Barati was delighted to see the group recognized for their work.

“Cheryl, Josh, Neil and Jeff have been mainstays at our station for years and I’m beyond thrilled to see their work recognized at the highest level,” he said. “Their dedication to their craft and their commitment to their community are unparalleled. They lead by example and are always the last to seek credit, so I will do it for them.

WKU PBS has been nominated for each of the past 20 years, receiving 30 awards.

Contact: WKU PBS, (270) 745-2400


Western Kentucky University prides itself on positioning its students, faculty, and staff for long-term success. As student-centered, applied research university, WKU helps students expand classroom learning by integrating education with real-world applications in the communities we serve. Our hilltop campus is located in Bowling Green, Kentuckywhich was recently named by Reader’s Digest as one of America’s Most Beautiful Cities, just an hour’s drive from Nashville, Tennessee.


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