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11:00 AM - 12:15 PM, April 23, 2019
Hudson Auditorium, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
Campus Life

Journalism and Media Communications honors Gary Lezak, Chief Meteorologist at KSHB 41 Action News, with the 2019 Headline Award.

Gary has been a well-respected chief meteorologist and media personality in the Kansas City area for 20 years. He also has educated the community about cancer, openly sharing about his diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

Gary and Sunny the Weather Dog will meet with students following his talk.

For 16 years, JCCC’s Journalism and Media Communications department has given the Headline Award to a local media professional who inspires JCCC students and serves as an example of exemplary journalism. Past honorees include Steve Kraske, Kelly Eckerman, Maria Antonia, Tim Twyman, Yael Abouhalkah, CJ Janovy, Dave Helling and Phil Witt.

Gary developed a passion for weather as a child growing up in Southern California. His love of rain and clouds turned from a hobby to a career when he graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in meteorology. In 1992, he moved to Kansas City, and several years later he became Chief Meteorologist at KSHB, 41 Action News. 

Over the years, Gary discovered that weather patterns were cyclical, and more accurate forecasts could be made using specific technology. Since then, Gary has established himself and his weather team as the most accurate in Kansas City.

Gary faced his greatest challenge when he was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer. After undergoing extensive chemotherapy and two surgeries, Gary has been cancer-free since 2000. He shares his cancer experience, passion for weather, love of animals and zest for life in his many public appearances.

Gary has always shared his airtime with his Weather Dogs – Windy, Breezy, Stormy and Sunny. He is an avid fan of the Chiefs, Royals and Sporting KC.