News & Events

Press Release

2017-2018

 

July 11, 2017

 

Cowley alumnus hired as news anchor in Topeka

 

Cowley alumnus hired as news anchor in TopekaJace Mills, a 2015 graduate of Cowley College, was recently hired to co-anchor the evening broadcasts on the KSNT and KTKA ABC-affiliated television stations in Topeka, KS.


Mills grew up in Winfield, KS and attended Winfield High School where he was the Class president, and was involved in Student Council, broadcast/print journalism, Youth Entrepreneurs of Kansas, FCA, Skills USA, and the Mayor’s Youth Commission.


After graduating from Winfield High School, he attended Cowley College in Arkansas City, where he earned an associate degree in mass communications.


While at Cowley, Mills was a member of media club and a part of the IMPACT program.


“Cowley offered the opportunity to get a quality college education without the high price tag,” Mills said. “I wanted to be free to make decisions about my future without the burden of student loan debt that so often limits students after graduation.”


Mills said he had many influential instructors at Cowley. He is grateful to former communications instructor Adam Borth for offering a scholarship and said the IMPACT program was invaluable to him.


“Loretta Waldroupe would always find time to help me with college algebra homework and Dianne Flickinger offered encouragement and was such an asset in helping me keep the big picture in mind,” Mills said. “Julie Kratt was also an excellent composition teacher. She taught the first class of my college career. Her friendly and kind personality eased the pressure of the new environment. I also enjoyed taking U.S. History and Government with Frank Arnold. Both were 8 a.m. classes, but he always made the classes lively.”


Mills went on to graduate from Kansas State University in May of 2017 with a B.S. in Mass Communication – Digital Journalism. While he was at K-State he was named into the second class of the Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows program. He also developed and hosted a morning show on the campus radio station and was involved in the news production on the campus television station.


Mills said it is difficult to find just one thing that led him into television broadcasting.


“My path would probably be considered unconventional,” Mills said. “As a kid, I would go to bed watching the news. I would force my brother and sister to help me put on mock newscasts in the basement. We would take turns reading articles from the newspaper. In high school, by chance, I enrolled in a new broadcasting class. I enjoyed it but even so I wasn’t considering pursuing a broadcasting education or career.”
However, before he graduated high school, he was offered a scholarship to study mass communications at Cowley College. Mills had planned to study business or marketing but ultimately decided to accept the scholarship.


“I enjoyed learning more about news and broadcasting and so I stuck with mass communications as I went to K-State,” Mills said. “Almost by accident, I got a job at the end of my junior year as a part-time reporter for a Topeka news station.”


Within a few months Mills was promoted to reporter and weekend anchor. He was in that position until he was recruited by KSNT to join the team as the weekday evening anchor. 


He has reported on a wide variety of stories including breaking news, education, campaigns and elections, crime and human interest.


“It is not an easy job and requires a lot of focus and attention,” Mills said. “The time spent in-front of the camera is just a fraction of what we do every day. Much of our time as anchors is spent on the phones, writing, reading, editing, etc. trying to get up to speed on the news so that when someone watches our newscast they come away better informed because of it. The most rewarding part of the job is when someone says they rely on your news team to get them up to speed. It’s extremely humbling. You remember just how important it is to get it right – because people are counting on you.”


Mills is a member of the Native American Journalists Association and the Kansas Association of Broadcasters.


“I wanted to be a broadcast journalist to always seek the truth and to tell the stories that are uplifting and encouraging,” Mills said. “I consider myself incredibly blessed to have a platform that I do each night.”


Mills credits Cowley with helping him get to where he is today.


“As a first generation student, navigating the college process seemed overwhelming,” Mills said. “I think it would have been difficult to transition into college and later into a four-year university without the help of the staff and faculty at Cowley. In my experience, nearly everyone I interacted with at Cowley was invested in my success -- and that goes a long way.”