Larry Katz and Dylan Theisen

Former WOUB Student Pays it Forward Through Scholarship

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The Larry and JoAnn Katz Family Scholarship is award annually

ATHENS, OH – WOUB student and Ohio University Sophomore Dylan Theisen didn’t expect to be paying to live in an apartment off campus this past school year. Due to the pandemic, his dorm was used to quarantine students. The transition raised daily expenses for many students, Theisen included. But now, he’s feeling a little better after he was recently awarded the Larry and JoAnn Katz Family Scholarship.

“I’m really grateful,” said Theisen. “The $1500 will help me make ends meet. I’m truly thankful and appreciative.”

The Larry and JoAnn Katz Family Scholarship is awarded annually to a student with involvement in WOUB, especially in athletic programming. Preference is given to Ohio residents. 

Theisen who grew up in Tallmadge in northeast Ohio works as a graphic designer in the WOUB Sports department. He works primarily on WOUB’s high school sports programs, Gridiron Glory and Hardwood Heroes. This summer, Theisen will be part of the WOUB Internship Program and work as a multimedia journalist for Newswatch.

“Former WOUB student Garrett Downing has my dream job,” said Theisen. “He is the director of social media for the Baltimore Ravens. I love the thought of working in social media and content curation and doing some on-air work. The opportunity to coordinate and lead social media efforts is important to me. I think of myself as a good leader, and I’ve honed those skills through WOUB.”

Dylan Theisen on the Hardwood Heroes set
Dylan Theisen sitting on the Hardwood Heroes set

Theisen’s journey at Ohio University and WOUB isn’t all that different from Larry Katz, the man who funds his scholarship. Katz also grew up in northeast Ohio in University Heights, a suburb of Cleveland. He came to Athens in 1973 knowing he wanted to study sports broadcasting.

“I was one of those kids who used to sit in front of the TV with a make-believe microphone watching sporting events and doing play by play,” said Katz. “So, as soon as I got to Ohio University, I started working in sports at WOUB. I knew that people like the late Cleveland Cavaliers Radio Announcer Joe Tait had worked there. And the opportunities I had as a college student working in the WOUB sports department were amazing. I got to cover major league sports and interview well-known athletes. I look back at my four years, and I’m in awe of the things I was able to do. I’m thankful and grateful.”

Katz graduated in 1977 and moved to New Orleans to work at his family’s clothing manufacturing business for what was supposed to be six weeks.

“Six weeks, turned into 20 years, and I never pursued a media career,” said Katz. “I eventually moved out of clothing manufacturing and started a chain of restaurants in New Orleans, Dots Diner.

And even though Katz never worked in media, he knows the skills he learned at WOUB helped him throughout his career. That’s why he felt it was so important to give back to students at WOUB.

“I learned confidence. I learned to be able to handle pressure packed situations, meet deadlines and work with a team with the expectation of all of us doing really good work.”

“It is important to give back to the places that have impacted you,” said Katz. “Ohio University, specifically WOUB, was at the top of my list. I really liked Ohio University, but I loved WOUB. I hoped to not only make it easier to not only have the experience I had, but to maybe help someone become another Joe Tait.”

Theisen is grateful for Katz’s generosity and commitment to pay it forward for present day students at WOUB.

“The one thing I’ve realized about WOUB is that anyone who goes through here is part of a family. It lasts long after you graduate. WOUB is a place you get such great hands-on experience, and it always has been. I, too, hope to leave this program better than I found it.”