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APSU Spotlight: Austin Peay State University Communication alum Rachel LeJeune wins news Emmy

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – When a winter storm hit Middle Tennessee on February 14th, 2021, Austin Peay State University (APSU) alum Rachel LeJeune was ready to capture the story for Fox 17 News in Nashville.

As an arctic air mass spread across the region that day, more than an inch of ice collected on trees, power lines, bridges, and overpasses, creating massive travel disruptions and tens of thousands of power outages.
LeJeune’s work that day helped to keep the public informed, and it helped to earn her and the Fox 17 “Code Red Weather & Traffic Alert” team recognition for Best Team Coverage at the 36th Annual Midsouth Regional Emmy Awards. The winners were announced on February 26th.
“It was actually a pretty cool and challenging experience,” said LeJeune, a news photographer, and photojournalist for the news station. “Our field reporters and photographers were all scattered remotely throughout Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky covering in the city-wide shutdowns from snow.”

Austin Peay State University alumni Rachel LeJeune. (APSU)
Austin Peay State University alumni Rachel LeJeune. (APSU)

The worst damage affected Lincoln County, Bedford County, Coffee County, Cannon County, Putnam County, Overton County, and Fentress County. And an additional 2-3 inches of snow in northern Middle Tennessee and Nashville shut down travel in those areas.

On March 28th, 2022, after finding out about LeJeune’s Emmy, Austin Peay State University’s Department of Communication Facebook post congratulated LeJeune on her win with the hashtags “#winning” and “#representing.”

LeJeune credits the department – especially Professors Karen Bullis and Kathy Heuston – for lifting her to her success.

“The Austin Peay communication department provided me with real news set experience that helped me land a job in a Top 30 TV market,” LeJeune said. “Professors Bullis and Heuston provided opportunities within and outside APSU that prepared me for my future.”

Rachel LeJeune at her 2019 commencement. (APSU)
Rachel LeJeune at her 2019 commencement. (APSU)

LeJeune graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in communication, and she cherishes her days at Austin Peay State University.

“My favorite memories are with APSU-TV,” she said. “We had many different shows that we’d all work so hard on to broadcast locally.


“I learned to be committed to show projects to help the success of our production teams,” she added. “I’m always thankful for the hands-on experience.”


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