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The 2011 National Advocacy Awards

The 2011 National Advocacy Awards recognize two exceptional individuals who exemplify effective advocacy on behalf of public television. This year's honorees are Shae Hopkins, Executive Director of Kentucky Educational Television (KET), and Kathleen Pavelko, President & CEO of witf in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


As a 24-year veteran of the station, Ms. Hopkins leads an advocacy team that also includes Hilma Prather, a member of the Kentucky Authority for Educational Television and the APTS board, and Julie Schmidt, KET Senior Director of Community Relations, along with the KET Friends Board, comprised of volunteers. The KET team has cultivated impressive relationships with the entire Kentucky congressional delegation. In addition to excelling at direct advocacy, KET fosters support through exceptional educational services, such as the nation’s preeminent adult literacy series, and programs and services utilized in Kentucky classrooms. KET also produces a tremendous volume of local programming including highly regarded local public affairs and cultural programming like Kentucky Life with Dave Shuffett and Kentucky Tonight with Bill Goodman.


Kathleen was honored for her leadership at the national and state level in recognizing the critical importance of sustained engagement with policymakers, both through direct and grassroots advocacy. Following a bruising campaign to preserve state funding for public broadcasting in Pennsylvania, Kathleen immediately threw herself into the fight to preserve federal funding as well. Her leadership skills were evident as she actively worked with her Pennsylvania public broadcasting colleagues to engage their entire congressional delegation—particularly those Members who may have been inclined to oppose federal funding for public broadcasting. In addition, under Kathleen's leadership, witf has been at the forefront of the 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting campaign, creating board testimonials and other catchy videos to rally the Harrisburg community around the campaign. Thirty-two witf staff members also worked together to create the “Go Public” video ( that has received almost 3,300 views on YouTube. In all, witf produced and aired 48 testimonial spots on radio and TV that pointed viewers and listeners to witf’s example inspired numerous other public television and radio stations to actively embrace this vital grassroots campaign. 

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