Jul 26, 2023
Rich Williams, who will be a senior broadcast journalism student this fall at St. Bonaventure University, is the 2023 recipient of the Tim Russert Career Award from the Buffalo Broadcasters Association.
Williams will be recognized during the association’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony and celebration on Sept. 21 in Clarence, New York.
Williams, who is from Randolph, New Jersey, caught the journalism bug in high school and dove right into Bonaventure’s student media outlets his freshman year.
“Within days, I fell in love with the broadcast world through my work with SBU-TV, and since then I haven’t looked back,” Williams said.
As a multimedia journalist and executive producer at SBU-TV, Williams covers the Greater Olean area as a reporter and also produces the weekly newscast.
Anna Bulszewicz, a lecturer in the Jandoli School of Communication and director of SBU-TV, is never surprised when Williams is recognized for excellence.
“He is success. He is charisma. He is reliable, and driven to become exceptional at whatever he puts his mind to,” she said. “It’s been an honor to have a front row seat. All I can say is, if this is the beginning, the world better watch out. It’s a privilege to work with him.”
Williams is grateful for the mentors and the opportunities at St. Bonaventure.
Last April he traveled to Las Vegas to join a panel discussion about community journalism alongside fellow Bonnie Jah’Neyce Washington, Bulszewicz, and Aaron Chimbel, dean of the School of Communication. The panel was part of the 2023 Broadcast Education Association conference.
The following week, Williams traveled to New York City as part of a national advertising competition sponsored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF). Williams was part of the SBU campaign pitch team, which placed first in its district for the first time in university history.
“Having the opportunity to travel across the country and achieve such great success was incredible,” Williams said. “I’m so honored to have been able to participate in both trips. That week in April is the defining moment of my time at St. Bonaventure.”
In May and June, Williams interned at WKBW-TV in Buffalo, shadowing reporters and creating occasional content. He is now in Sorrento, Italy, for a five-week summer program offered by St. Bonaventure in which students focus on global business and communications while taking courses at Sant’Anna Institute.
Williams is uncertain what career path he’ll head down following graduation next May.
“I simply hope to be happy doing something I love, whether that’s in broadcast journalism or another related field,” he said.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. St. Bonaventure was named the #5 regional university value in the North in U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 college rankings edition.