Monday, April 29, 2013

Kean University Honors Veteran Public Radio Producer

Joseph Bevilacqua '82 and
Kean University President
Dawood Farahi, Ph.D.

Joseph Bevilacqua Accepts 2013 KEAN UNIVERSITY DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD Producer of The Comedy-O-Rama Hour, The Jazz-O-Rama Hour, The Joe Bev Experience, Cartoon Carnival, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition

On Sunday, April 28, Joseph Bevilacqua, class of '82, accepted his 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award presented to him by his alma mater Kean University in Union, New Jersey.

Each year, distinguished alumni are recognized for their exceptional achievements and service to society, their community and their profession. The recipients are outstanding practitioners in their respective fields; serve as role models; are an inspiration to others; and are recognized by their peers for professional endeavors and contributions.
Joseph Bevilacqua and his wife Lorie Kellogg

Bevilacqua began his acceptance speech by roasting himself as his characters. As Sgt. Lefty, he said, "You're givin' a guy an award for arrested development. You know he stole all his ideas from Kean."

Bevilacqua then turned serious, saying, "I am shocked and honored to be here amongst a scientist who’s cured cholesterol, a playwright who is also a lawyer, and all of you. Because I am just a guy doing funny voices and trying to make people laugh and make people happy."

He concluded by thanking everyone and asking the audience to "Give it up for everybody else. Thank you so much."
Kenny Savoy, Lorie Kellogg,
Caryn Bevilacqua, Joseph Bevilacqua,
Arthur Snyder and Thomas Babkowski
at Kean University.

Throughout the event, Kean University President Dawood Y. Farahi, Ph.D. singled Bevilacqua out, on stage and in private. 

"President Farahi is doing a fantastic job moving Kean forward. I believe he and I had a meeting of the minds yesterday--out of which many good thing will come," hinted Bevilacqua.

President Farahi wrote about Bevilacqua, in a letter dated February 13, 2013: "It gives me great pleasure to see a former Kean student achieve such impressive results in business and society. Although many people are capable of being leaders, it takes a truly unique and dynamic individual to inspire their colleagues and influence as much as you have done." 
Edward Esposito, President
of the Ken University Alumni Association
getting a thank you kiss from Joesph Bevilacqua

The career of Joseph Bevilacqua (Joe Bev) began at Kean, where he acted in many stage productions and created a weekly radio theater hour for WKNJ. Since graduating, Bevilacqua has created hundreds of hours of audio content for National Public Radio, WNYC-New York Public Radio, WBGO-Jazz88 and others--producing, directing, writing, acting and hosting a wide varieties of genres including drama, comedy, music, interview, biography, autobiography and documentary programs and specials.

The future Kean alum was born in 1959 in Belleville, New Jersey, his early years spent in Newark, New Jersey. He began performing as at the age of three for family gatherings. His family moved to Iselin, New Jersey in 1965, where he attended St. Cecelia's Grammar School. In 1971, using the Panasonic cassette recorder his father gave him, he began recording his first audio stories, Willoughby and the Professor, half-hours, in which he improvised performing all of the voices himself, creating live sound effects and scoring with 78 RPM records he found in his attic.
Joe Bevilacqua is sooooo happy
that Kenny Savoy gets a kiss too!

Bevilacqua's voice is heard on TV and radio commercials, films and audiobooks. Together with his wife, Lorie Kellogg, he founded Waterlogg Productions, where they voice and produce hundreds of hours audio content each year. The couple recently partnered with Blackstone Audio, Inc., to provide their award-winning audio books to a wider audience. Among their latest efforts: The Joe Bev 3-Hour Block, which airs streamed over Internet radio station Cult Radio A-Go-Go! which includes three distinct shows all produced by Bevilacqua: The Comedy-O-Rama Hour, The Jazz-O-Rama Hour and The Joe Bev Experience. These and Joe Bev's fourth weekly radio hour: Cartoon Carnival are podcast on iTunes and can be heard for free at 

Other recipients were:
Retired, Most Recently Senior Director of a Drug Metabolism Group
Founding, Artistic Director of the SJN Theatre Ministry in Reston, VA; Writer at Shorester Productions (1998-2010)
Educational Consultant and Motivational Speakers,
Assistant Professor of Music Technology and cognition at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA

An excerpt of Joseph Bevilacqua's acceptance speech:

"...but seriously I am shocked and honored to be here amongst a scientist who’s cured cholesterol, a playwright who is also a lawyer, and all of you. Because I am just a guy doing funny voices and trying to make people laugh and make people happy.  And I hope I am doing that. But without Kean I wouldn't have accomplished anything because I was really diamond in the rough when I got here. I don’t know how they didn’t throw me out because I was thrown out of the college I went to prior. Before I went to Kean I went to Middlesex County College and they ran me out of there on a rail and told me never to come back. And I took a semester off and I said to myself “what am I doing wrong?” and I kind-a cleaned up my act, I cut my hair different, real short and  it was 1982 and I put on an IZOD shirt and looked all preppie. I walked into the studio and Peggy Dunn is there in the studio theater and right away I am sucked in and involved with everything and I felt like I was “at home” and ever since I keep coming back.  You can’t get rid of me. You throw me out, I keep coming back and doing things for the college because it was such a wonderful experience.

 And I have taught at various colleges myself and I have always been slightly disappointed at the way they look at the world and the students. Because here at Kean (I could have gone to Princeton, I could have gone to Rutgers and I came here in a “open house”), I felt as though I was in a safe environment where you could be yourself and not be ostracized for it. But they always warned you: “you’re going to be ostracized” when you get outside in the real world. The real world is not as safe. So your were warned. But you were there to try all these things and experiment with what you had. And the mentors: Peggy Dunn, Jim Murphy... (Excuse me President, you should come out of your shell more. You are so shy.)... Bob Cirasa, big mentor of mine, a wonderful man. I am glad to see he is hanging upside down in China. It’s great.

So, thank you. Thank my wonderful wife Lorie Kellogg who is half of me. My sister Caryn who is here. Ken Savoy and Tom Babkowski. Kenny is on The Comedy-O-Rama Hour. If you listen just go to waterlogg with two g’s dot com. Lou Ann, a wonderful talent, great to work with her. And thank you President Farahi and Art Snyder who came here. I haven’t seen this man since 1982, and one last thing, the man suffered through me and Garrett Gega annoying him with different voices as he is trying to read the news. So thank you and I really appreciate this. It is a wonderful thing to me. Give it up for everybody else. Thank you so much."

The Joe Bev Experience Podcast on iTunes 
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