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Here Are Five College Students Psyched About Radio

The College Radio Foundation puts the spotlight on new scholarship recipients

Big Radio World kudos are going out today to the College Radio Foundation, which just announced awards of scholarship money to five students who plan to pursue careers in radio.

They’re the first to benefit from a new program called Next Step Radio Scholars

“We know that the radio industry is concerned about where the upcoming talent is, and we want to provide a solution, by supporting our brightest and best hopes for the future,” said Dr. Rob Quicke, who launched the foundation, in the announcement. “It’s a great start, but we want to do more to support the next generation of radio stars.”

The recipients are Janice Abel, station manager of WPFS(LP) at Monmouth College in Illinois; Lucas Chen, programming co-manager of UCLA Radio at the University of California, Los Angeles; Melanie Formosa, president/program director and DJ at WUSB(FM) Stony Brook University in New York; and Dante Stanton and Amelia Turnbull, respectively sports director and student station manager of WGCS(FM) at Goshen College in Indiana. 

We hear far too much — in Radio World, and around the industry — how young people in general are not interested in radio. But without making light of our changing demographics and consumer tastes, I think that conclusion is an oversimplification.

It’s safe to say that plenty of future young professionals find media of all kinds, including radio and audio, to be exciting frontiers. And reading more about these five recipients on the foundation website, I think they were chosen well.

Their enthusiasm certainly is refreshing. Amelia Turnbull of Goshen College wrote: “Receiving this scholarship … shows me that I am making my way into the correct field. Radio has my heart and receiving this scholarship fully solidifies the fact that radio is the industry for me.” 

Melanie Formosa of Stony Brook University wrote: “I am lucky; I get to be a leader of something I love. And I don’t want it to end. That is why my future is in the radio industry.”

As you know Radio World has been running some articles and commentaries on the importance of college radio and about how those who love it can help encourage school administrations to continue to support it. 

Here’s another idea. The $2,000 that each student will receive comes from the annual Vinylthon event. The next one will take place in April, with an award going to participating stations that broadcast at least 24 hours of only vinyl records. I encourage you to check it out and donate. As the site says: “If you ever worked in college radio, this is your chance to pay it forward. If you currently work in radio, help the future of your industry.”

(And on a separate but related note, if you plan to attend the upcoming IBSNYC 2023 conference in New York, I’ll be participating in a session on Friday afternoon on that very topic. Hope you can join me.)

Meantime, congrats to the recipients, and thanks, College Radio Foundation, for a great program.

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