Here comes the SUN!

This weather cast was aired live on March 26, 2014 on WRUF-TV Weather at 7:26AM. I produced all of the graphics and forecasted the weather story for that day. PS: The sunrise *literally* happened as I was showing the live cam. So exciting!


And the winner is…

What a week it has been here in Los Angeles, California representing UF’s wonderful College of Journalism and Communications. I’ve learned so many new skills and have met many great people. If you’d like a quick recap of what we did this week, I briefly blogged about it in my last post.

Now, on to the exciting news! As usual, UF dominated the student competition. This year, we had 15 finalists in the national competition. That alone is a huge accomplishment. Tonight (Saturday, March 15), UF took home 6 total awards!!!
  • Leanna Scachetti, Audio News Package, Grand Prize (Plane Crash Breaking Newscast)
  • Lauren Rautenkranz, Video Feature Package, Grand Prize (Local farm benefitting from Halloween)
  • Bothaina Saleh, Video Open Category, Grand Prize, WUFT News Veterans Day Special
  • Lauren Rautenkranz, NBS-AERho Member of Year
  • University of Florida, Chapter of the Year
  • Shahd El Lamei, Instagram On the Spot Competition
I am so incredibly proud and honored to be a part of such a great university! The Chapter of the Year award was something I have been striving for during my time as the GatorNBS President. I’d love to know if this is a first for UF!? I’m glad our hard work paid off. I’m also so happy with all 20 students who attended this week. They networked with professionals, asked questions during panel discussions, met with other students from different chapters, acted and dressed very professionally, and were consistently on their best behavior. Next year, NBS heads to Atlanta, GA for the annual convention.


I’ll be back in Gainesville for WUFT News at Six on Monday. I cannot wait to get back to my second home! 🙂

Hello, Hollywood

I feel like I say this at the beginning of every blog post, but time sure does fly by. It’s been quite a while since I last blogged and so much has happened in my life since then! I’ve really enjoyed working every day in the newsroom, Gator basketball is doing FANTASTIC, and I moved into a new apartment. Last week, I spent my last Spring Break as an undergrad in Puerto Rico. This week, I’m in Los Angeles for the National Broadcasting Society convention. WOW! That was a mouthful.

Although a lot of exciting events have happened, I really wanted to blog about my trip to California thus far. I leave tomorrow morning bright and early and I’ve had an incredible experience here on the west coast (even though jet lag is likely to kick me in the butt come Monday)!


“I hopped off the plane at LAX with a dream and my cardigan…” Ok, ok I won’t quote Miley Cyrus‘s song “Party in the U.S.A.” during this entire blog, but I really did arrive at LAX (and yes, I was singing the song in my head when I arrived). Anyways, it was about ten in the morning, so I had the entire day to explore the city. After reading my travel book on the plane, I knew the first thing I couldn’t wait to do was take a trip to the beaches. Santa Monica was my destination first. A few girls and I enjoyed the pier, walked to the very interesting Venice Beach, watched a cloudy, but beautiful sunset and ate dinner on Third Street Promenade.


Tuesday and Wednesday were also days to explore the sights and sounds of LA before the convention officially began. I was an audience member for the Price is Right, which was a long process but definitely well worth it because I’ve grown up watching the show. I also toured Hollywood Boulevard, witnessed a red carpet event for a movie premiere, and walked down the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Wednesday morning a few other UF students and I taxied to the Griffith Observatory to view the Hollywood sign. I attended a Chelsea Lately taping and met with an NBCUniversal gator grad who works on shows like The Voice.


The opening ceremony of the NBS convention began Wednesday evening with two speakers. Ever since, I have been nonstop and the same goes for my fellow members here from UF. One huge highlight of my trip was being able to meet Crystal Egger, a broadcast meteorologist for KNBC. Her story was extremely inspirational to me and she really gave me a boost of confidence to pursue my passion for weather. Also, there have been many other great panel speakers and a lot of helpful advice thrown my way. I’m thankful and feel fortunate to have this opportunity, which will hopefully help further my career.


Another one of my favorite experiences from this trip was being able to visit the ABC affiliate in LA, KABC-TV Channel 7. Everyone from the front desk receptionist, to the general manager, to the evening anchors was just incredibly friendly and inviting. I sat in on the 4PM newscast and even got to give everyone my mock forecast for LA on the green screen! I loved touring a station in such a large market. It was very eye-opening to see their daily operations.


The people I’ve met, friendships I’ve made, and advice I’ve been given has been marvelous, but tonight is the grand finale of the convention: the annual award ceremony for the student competition. I am a finalist in two categories, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a grand prize. However, making it this far is an accomplishment enough. I’ll also be rooting on other UF students who are finalists in different categories. I’m so proud and so honored to be here to represent the University of Florida. There are 20 students who traveled out to LA this year for the convention and we’ve had a wonderful time getting to know each other (or at least I have)! 🙂


I will keep you posted on the results of the competition. Wish us luck and go Gators!