Radio and Television Professor Mac Aipperspach named Texas Association of Broadcasters’ Educator of the Year
Article by: Melinda Eddleman
As a kid growing up in North Dakota, Mac Aipperspach sat on the living room floor spinning 45s on a portable record player or listening to AM radio stations piping in from Bismarck, Nd., Minneapolis, Mn., and even Winnipeg, Canada. As a high schooler thinking about his future and what to study in college, he considered becoming a high school teacher and instructing courses in history, geography, sociology or economics.
Those two aspects from his youth, being drafted in 1970, educational decisions influenced by a dormmate and life experiences like marriage led Aipperspach to teaching radio and television courses at the college level. Now, his 38 years as an educator at Del Mar College (DMC) and the impact he’s made on the broadcast professionals trained under his guidance have been recognized.
Tomorrow, Aug. 8, Aipperspach, a professor with the College’s Communications, Languages and Reading Department, will receive the 2019 Educator of the Year Award from the Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB) during their gala in Austin, an event that honors professionals representing different areas of the broadcasting industry across the state.
“The award is quite an honor because the association normally names a recipient every other year for educators teaching in the broadcast field, and a colleague from another college was just named last year,” Aipperspach humbly said of his TAB recognition. “I was surprised the association immediately named another recipient for a second year in a row.”
The honor is well deserved.
Fellow TAB member and industry colleague Don Dunlap, president and general manager of South Texas Public Broadcasting said, “I can’t think of a better person to receive this prestigious award.”
Mac has impacted the careers of innumerable broadcast professionals who are working across the state and the country. In South Texas, his students and graduates have fueled the broadcasting workforce for years. Mac is not only a caring instructor but also a mentor and positive role model.”
His influence has even driven three of his graduates to land current positions at CNN in Atlanta, Ga.
Aipperspach has been a member of the Texas Association of Broadcast Educators (TABE), which meets in conjunction with TAB each August, since the mid-1980s and served as vice president and president during his first organizational board run. He has served as TABE’s secretary/treasurer for the past 25 years.
After starting undergraduate studies at John Brown University (JBU) in Arkansas, getting drafted and then returning to the university in 1972 to complete his bachelor’s degree, Aipperspach worked for five years in various roles of broadcasting, which initially began at JBU’s campus radio station.
He earned his master’s degree in radio, television and film from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) and as a graduate student taught Writing for Radio/Television/Film for two years, along with one news writing course.
After finishing his graduate-level studies, Aipperspach landed his teaching position in 1981 with Del Mar’s Radio and Television Program, which the College had only started the previous year. He has taken the curriculum from its infancy to what the program offers today––state-of-the-art equipment, a television studio, audio and video editing facilities and a suite specifically designed for radio––to give students hands-on training needed for real-world application.
Dunlap noted, “The broadcast industry has been through huge operational, content delivery and technology changes during Mac’s time at Del Mar College, and he has done an outstanding job of keeping up with the media industry’s evolution to prepare his students with a relevant skills set and professional work ethic.”
“Yes, paradoxically technology has changed, and it certainly doesn’t resemble the equipment that I started with 38 years ago,” Aipperspach added. “But the basic human element within the industry is still the same. Students learn to use their voice, including inflection, pronunciation and projection, along with writing techniques standard to the field.”
While Aipperspach initially didn’t consider teaching in higher education, his Radio and Television students and graduates working behind the scenes, in the spotlight and even in the classroom take a bit of Aipperspach with them, which is an achievement and reward in its own right.
And, his latest achievement is fitting––the Texas Association of Broadcasters’ 2019 Educator of the Year award.
The Del Mar College Board of Regents recognized Aipperspach durng their regular meeting in June:
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.