Skip Navigation

OU Journalism Professor and War Correspondent Awarded Two Emmys For Coverage of War in Afghanistan

OU Public Affairs WebsiteOU homepagePublic Affairs homepage
Skip Side Navigation

OU Journalism Professor and War Correspondent Awarded Two Emmys For Coverage of War in Afghanistan


CONTACT: Public Affairs, (405) 325-1701

NORMAN — University of Oklahoma journalism professor and foreign correspondent Mike Boettcher has been awarded two Emmys for his coverage of the war in Afghanistan, marking the first time an active university professor also serving as a war correspondent has won an Emmy.

In addition, Boettcher’s son, Carlos, produced the story, making it the first time a father and son have won Emmys for the same story.

Mike Boettcher worked with OU students to tell the stories of the war in Afghanistan through a cooperative venture between and the OU Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, named “Afghan 101.” During a year-long effort embedded with U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Boettcher delivered lectures to his students from the front lines via Skype. Students in the class, co-taught by professor John Schmeltzer, used videos and photos shot by Mike Boettcher and Carlos Boettcher to tell the personal stories of the men and women fighting the war, often focusing on the war’s effect on their families. The stories were featured on the “Afghan101” website,, and

“We are extremely proud that OU Journalism Professor Boettcher has made history in winning two Emmys,” OU President David Boren said. “The course which he taught while embedded with troops in Afghanistan demonstrates the creative approach taken by The Gaylord College of Journalism in providing unique opportunities to students.”

“American Valor: Home of the Brave,” the Emmy award winning news package, followed the Strong Eagle battle in Afghanistan. The story aired on ABC’s “Nightline” over the 2011 Memorial Day weekend. It was nominated in two categories: outstanding feature and best story in a regularly scheduled newscast.

The News and Documentary Emmys were presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in an Oct. 1 ceremony at Lincoln Center in New York City.

A companion piece to “American Valor” was produced by Mara Nelson, an OU student working on the “Afghan 101” project.

To recognize the students who participated in “Afghan 101” project, Boettcher today gave the Emmys to the Gaylord College in appreciation.

“I told the Emmy award audience in New York that if they want to hire great students, come to the Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma,” Mike Boettcher said. “The biggest award I received was seeing Gaylord students engaged in an issue of huge international importance during the ‘Afghan 101’ project. Their efforts kept my son and me inspired to press on during our two years in Afghanistan. These Emmys belong to them, the college and the university!”

Over the last three decades, Boettcher has covered world conflicts for NBC News, CNN and ABC News. He was one of a small group of reporters embedded with U.S. Special Forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom and since then has reported extensively from Iraq and Afghanistan. Boettcher has received national recognition in all facets of broadcast journalism, including a Peabody Award and a National Headliner Award. With his most recent honors, he has earned a total of six National Emmys.

“When we first dreamed of doing this ambitious project it was the generosity of the Sarkeys Foundation that turned the dream into a reality,” Boettcher said. “They invested in our students, and public service was the only dividend they expected. The entire college worked hard to meet those expectations, and the two National Emmys are proof of that.”

Recent News

Stephenson Cancer Center Earns National Cancer Institute Designation

Daniel Hayden

NORMAN -National, state and local leaders joined the Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma today to celebrate the center’s designation as a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Center. With this award, the Stephenson Cancer Center joins an elite group of 70 NCI-Designated Cancer Centers nationwide. Read more

OU Meteorologists Studying Arctic Atmospheric Barriers

Daniel Hayden

NORMAN - A University of Oklahoma meteorology team, led by Steven Cavallo, is studying the role of tropopause polar vortices as a barrier in limiting predictability over the Arctic with three, five-year grants totaling $2.9 million from the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research. TPVs occur in the upper troposphere of the Arctic, but the data doesn’t exist from this barren region to improve prediction. The OU team plans to conduct aircraft data-collection experiments during an international field campaign associated with the ‘Year of Polar Prediction.’ Read more

OU Student Receives Udall Scholarship

Daniel Hayden

NORMAN - University of Oklahoma honors student Daniel R. Hayden has been named a 2018 Udall Scholar. The Udall Foundation Scholarship recognizes undergraduate students who demonstrate a commitment to careers related to the environment or to Native American public policy or health care. Hayden is one of 50 nationwide selected for the honor. Read more

OU Professor to Receive IEEE Satellite Communications Technical Contribution Award

Mohammed Atiquzzaman

Mohammed Atiquzzaman, is the recipient of the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Satellite Communications Technical Contribution Award for 2018. The annual award is given to an accomplished, senior-level researcher who has achieved outstanding results in satellite communications and recognizes excellent scientific contributions done by academia and industries. Atiquzzaman will receive the award at the IEEE International Conference on Communications in Kansas City, Missouri, May 20-24. Read more

OU Physicist Developing Quantum-Enhanced Sensors for Real-Life Applications

Albert Marino

A University of Oklahoma physicist, Alberto M. Marino, is developing quantum-enhanced sensors that could find their way into applications ranging from biomedical to chemical detection. In a new study, Marino’s team, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, demonstrates the ability of quantum states of light to enhance the sensitivities of state-of-the-art plasmonic sensors. The team presents the first implementation of a sensor with sensitivities considered state-of-the-art and shows how quantum-enhanced sensing can find its way into real-life applications. Read more

OU Class of 2018 Gift to Honor Borens

The Boren Green

NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma Class of 2018 will celebrate their time at OU through a dedicated green space that will add to OU’s national reputation as one of America’s most beautiful campuses. Located along Lindsey Street in front of the newly completed Residential Colleges, this year’s class gift will fund a picturesque lawn named The Boren Green. Read more

OU Students Receive National Security Education Program Award for International Study

The Boren Awards

NORMAN – University of Oklahoma senior James Ratcliff and OU junior Libby Trowbridge recently were selected as recipients of the prestigious Boren Award for International Study, sponsored by the National Security Education Program. Thirty-four OU students have received the award since the program began in 1994. Read more

News Archives

2017  | 2016  | 2015  | 2014  |  2013  

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

For requests for past releases, please contact OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-1701 or