International Hour on WRMU

International Hour on WRMU

Traveling has always been one of my passions. I love visiting new places and learning new things, culture, language and FOOD. Studying here in Ohio is essentially an entirely new experience for me. Well, not as new as it was two years ago, but you get the point. Being atMount Union gave me opportunities that … Read more

International Hour Traveling has always been one of my passions. I love visiting new places and learning new things, culture, language and FOOD.

Studying here in Ohio is essentially an entirely new experience for me. Well, not as new as it was two years ago, but you get the point.

Being atMount Union gave me opportunities that I could never imagine having if I had went to a larger school. Since my transfer from my little island state of Penang in Malaysia, I had been able to have first hand experience with creating ad campaigns, operating film studio equipment, being a president for an association representing my peers from around the world and now, I even have my own radio show.

It’s called “International Hour.” Essentially what goes down in my show is each week, I focus on one country; highlighting certain aspects of its culture, like language, beliefs, music and the occasional stereotypes. Songs from the country of the week will be played throughout the hour-long radio program. The songs are selected by guests from the particular country, who join me in the WRMU studio to share their experience in the United States as well as the differences between the culture of their native country and the US.

So far, I have covered countries like China, Japan, South Korea, Ethiopia, Northern Ireland, Germany, Georgia, France and Spain to name a few.

The things I’ve learned from doing this show are endless. Each week, I learn a little more about a different part of the world. Each week, I discover new songs and styles of music.

I will be recapping each country featured on the show starting this week.

The International Hour is a radio program by the Association of International Students. The show is on Mount Union’s very own WRMU 91.1, every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST.

So, what country will be featured next?

Elections 2011

Elections 2011

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Another one of my favorite things to do with WRMU is to participate in election coverage.

Every second Tuesday of November, members of the WRMU news team heads to Canton to broadcast election coverage live on-air at the Stark County Board of Elections.

Of course, it is probably way more exciting to be a part of this during a presidential election, but regardless of what is being voted on, it is still a great learning experience! You don’t even need to be interested in politics to enjoy being there.

Results start pouring in around 8 p.m. or so (the time varies every year), and we collect the information along with various other media outlets from the Stark County area.

It is fun because we are right there with other media outlets – newspapers, websites, radio stations, etc.

Election coverage … just another thing I love about WRMU :]

WRMU: More than just our music

WRMU: More than just our music

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Over the past few months, I’ve noticed myself blogging more and more about WRMU. What can I say? It is the organization I am most involved in and it is the one I chose to put my heart into the most.

When people come to our campus and see we have a radio station, I hear a lot of “How cool!” comments. Heck yea it is cool! How many other schools can you go to where you can have your very own radio show during your freshman year? How many other opportunities will you have to be a live on-air DJ?

As if that isn’t appealing enough, I can say with confidence that WRMU is more than just a radio station.

RECAP: I joined WRMU’s staff as a freshman knowing I wanted to pursue communication. Mind you, I was only a freshman, and here is what I was able to do:

  • conduct interviews regarding the 2008 presidential election
  • be on-air and give listeners up to date voting results during said election
  • create fliers and promotional items to spread the word about the station
  • attend a Cavs came and represent WRMU
  • broadcast live from various events such as Relay For Life
  • and more… (it was a few years ago, of course it is a little blurry!)

So, after a year of participating in various events, I fell in love with the station and applied to be a director — a (paid) work-study job where we work on the internal part of WRMU.

My sophomore year, I was named sponsorship director and I was in charge of finding sponsors for our radio station and its airtime. I learned a lot about sponsorship, but it wasn’t really my strong suit, which is why the next year I applied to be the public relations director.

Since then, I have had many public relations duties that I absolutely love doing. I love finding new ways to promote the station, raise awareness and do other activities on behalf of WRMU.

OK, so now you know that people actually work at the station and have fun doing so… but, is there more? You bet.

As a staff, we LOVE doing things outside of the station. Our directors have our business meetings at restaurants to get out of the office; we do live remotes (broadcasts) at various locations in the community, which often result in us just having fun; we go on trips; we have fun at football games where we broadcast the game; and so much more!

  • A few weeks ago, as a staff, WRMU volunteered at an animal sanctuary in Salem, OH called Alchemy Acres. We spent the day playing with the animals at the shelter, and it inspired us so much that we organized a campaign to raise supplies to donate to Alchemy.
  • We also participate in different campus events where we try to win money and accept donations to donate to our charity, the Alliance Food Pantry.
  • This past weekend, we traveled to Hartville, OH and did a live broadcast from Maize Valley, where they were having a breast cancer awareness weekend. Aside from our broadcast, we were able to enjoy Maize Valley’s activities.
  • For the past three years, my best friend Shannon (who also works at the station) and I went to Stark County Board of Elections and broadcasted each year’s election results live as they came in — we were right next to real media outlets as they were receiving the information with us!
  • Mount Union holds the Schooler Lecture every year where famous speakers come to speak to the community. Since the WRMU is media, we are able to not only attend and record the lecture, but we are able to attend the media press conference before the lecture as well as be a part of the fancy dinner beforehand.

These are just some examples of what WRMU does on and off campus. So, next time you think of WRMU and think of music, know that there is so much more than just music!

On the grind

On the grind

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Hello readers :]

I haven’t posted a blog since July, which seems like just yesterday! I can’t believe this Saturday is already October 1.

School started and got rolling as quickly as usual with tests, papers, projects and meetings.

The year is going quite well (as expected). I’ve been keeping myself busy with the school newspaper, The Dynamo, the campus radio station, WRMU and our chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), among other things.

While all of that sounds like a huge workload — especially on top of classes — it really is not. I enjoy being involved in these great organizations on campus. They all have given me great hands-on experiences that I can include on my resume. With graduation coming so soon (in 8 months to be exact), all of these experiences are really helping me prepare for the job search and the real world. Mount Union does a great job helping students find and pursue their interests.

Throughout this semester, I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on the organizations I am involved with and what we do!

 

Back at Mount for the last time

Back at Mount for the last time

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This is definitely quite different from when I wrote my last post.. I’m now moved back into Mount!  I moved in last Thursday and had the day to get a bunch of work done at the radio station and unpack.

Friday was our retreat at the radio station that we have each year as the fall semester begins.  Since I’m the new Program Director, I was in charge of planning and organizing the retreat.  Basically the idea behind having that event is to get all of the newly hired directors together for a bonding experience, get ideas out in the air for the semester, start planning certain aspects of the radio station for the semester and to go off campus for a learning experience.

Every year that I’ve done the retreat since I’ve been at Mount, we always visit a big commercial radio station.  While this is usually educational, I feel like most of us have either visited a big radio station already or it’s just hard for us to relate to them.  These big radio stations have large budgets and people in their staff that have been working in the field for 20-30 years while we are all new to the field and trying to use this as a learning experience.

My idea this year was to visit another college radio station.  That way, their directors as well as ours could share ideas with one another and maybe ask some questions that we wanted answered and improve each of our stations based on the meeting.  We went to Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio.  We had lunch with their directors first and then spent the rest of the time chatting about our stations.

I love WRMU, I’m sure you can tell from my blog so far, and I am always so happy to share with anyone all of the cool things we do throughout the year at the radio station.  I think for both stations, the day went well.  We had conversations flowing and I think we all learned a lot.  They even said they want to come to Alliance and visit our radio station sometime this semester! So I will probably be setting that up and we are all excited to have them as our guests and show them where we work.

So far, classes are going well too.  I’ve been through 3 days of school and I’m pretty sure I like all of my classes this semester :]  I love school and I love learning new things so I’m happy to be back in the classroom.  Also, it’s my last semester so it’s a little bittersweet.  I’m very excited to graduate and get a job but I love Mount, classes and my friends so I’ll definitely be sad to leave.  I guess that just means I’ll have to make the most of my last semester!

Hope everyone is having a great start to their new school year.  Have a good week!

-Shannon

Hard work and passion

Hard work and passion

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My trip to Columbus this past weekend brought much excitement and honor. As I mentioned in my last post, I took a road trip with my mom down to Columbus for the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters awards that took place at the Hilton in Easton.

Mark Bergmann, WRMU’s station manager, met us there and we were able to sit at a table together with people from a radio station in Dover. What’s cool about that radio station is that one of the reporters is a Mount Union alumnus. Her name is Jessica Eggan and I met her last year at these same awards.

Here’s some background about this event: newscasters, writers, photographers and producers from TV news shows and radio stations are given awards for their work during the previous year. Once the professionals submit their work in December, a panel of professionals in another state judges the works. (I think they do it this way so there is no bias). Since the title of the event has ”Ohio” in it, you can assume that the awards are for professionals in the State of Ohio but it also includes West Virginia as well.

Last year at this ceremony, I won my first Associated Press award for a three-part series I produced on global education at Mount Union. I won second place in a category called “Best Documentary or Series.”

Going into the awards this year, I knew it was possible but kind of unlikely that I would win first place in any category. I am afterall, the only college student that was present for the second year in a row. All of these people in attendance are professionals in their field; some have been doing this for decades. It is simply an honor even to win second place.

However, this year I didn’t win second place. As the announcer arrived at my category, he announced the second place winner first … and it wasn’t me. Mark and my mom just looked at me with open mouths because they knew that must’ve meant that I won first place. A couple seconds later, we heard, “… and for first place in best feature reporting, Shannon Brys from WRMU in Alliance for ’Take Back the Night.’” Woah.

Yes, you can say that I may have been the only person at these awards that had tears in my eyes after I received my award. I could not believe that I just beat out professionals from around the state. This is also exciting for me because I set another record for Mount Union.

I am the first student to ever win two professional radio awards, and now I am the first student at Mount that has ever placed first. :]

Hard work really does pay off and it’s awesome when your hard work is also something that you love doing. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to go into the radio field after I graduate from the University but I have such a passion for it and I will continue to be involved in it until I leave Alliance in December. I’m also the program sirector this upcoming semester (which is the same thing as being president of a club) and I’m really excited to teach new students what I already know. :]

Have a great week everyone!

-Shannon

Island Fridays and Associated Press

Island Fridays and Associated Press

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Ahh, it’s been such a nice week so far. Not only is the weather beautiful but also I finally got to see my fellow blogger and best friend, Samantha. We met up yesterday halfway between our hometowns and it was so good to catch up. :]

Even though it is Friday, and I should be about to have a relaxing weekend, I will be doing the opposite. Today, I am working a double at Winking Lizard and it’s “Island Friday.”  That basically just means that we’re supposed to dress like we’re in Hawaii. The first time I worked a Friday I wore a lei and a bright pink shirt. I think today I’m going to wear a huge yellow flower in my hair :] That’s one thing that I really do love, hair accessories. I have a TON of them!

Tomorrow, I picked up a morning shift at Bob Evans and then I will be working at the Winking Lizard at night. It’s okay though because I really do enjoy working and making money.

SUNDAY, I’m going to Columbus!! I’m so excited. I’m driving down with my mom and we’re meeting Mark Bergmann there. He is the station manager at WRMU, our campus radio station. We’re all going down there for the day because it is the Associated Press Awards. I know that I won either first or second in my category, but we have to attend the awards to find out which one I actually received.

This awards ceremony is really exciting because it is all professionals in the journalism and broadcasting field. They are people from news channels and radio stations that have really great pieces of news and are receiving awards for them. Last year, I was the only college student present at the awards and I wonder if this year will be the same… This year is also exciting because I am the first Mount Union student ever to win two Associated Press awards and that makes me extremely proud. Of course, I wouldn’t be where I am without the help of my radio and journalism professors but it is pretty cool to be a part of history. :]

Well, that’s all for now, I’ll write after the awards to let you know how it went! Have a great weekend!

-Shannon

 

I LOVE the weather

I LOVE the weather

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Ahhh, the weather was so gorgeous today. It was UMUpalooza, which was the four-hour live music event hosted by WRMU that Samantha and I have been writing about the past couple weeks. It actually went really well. All the bands that performed did a great job and I think the people that came were really satisfied with the event. :]

I loooove when the weather gets nice out because I migrate from The MAAC to running outside around campus. The MAAC is short for the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex, which basically is our rec center.  I love working out there and it really is nice. My freshman year, we worked out in this tiny building that was called “The Body Shop” because the new place was being built. That is almost humorous to think back on that because the new workout center is so nice. There are a bunch of flatscreen TVs that you can watch while you’re working out, and all of the equipment you’d assume to see at the gym.

In high school, I ran track, cross country and danced, but I didn’t want to run when I came to Mount. The teams are so serious about the sport (which is how it should be), but I’m just more of a recreational runner now. I do road races here and there but I just love running to clear my mind and get fresh air. The dance team here looked fun when I first came here and I did try out my freshman year but was cut at the last second.  They told me to try out again but I never did because I got involved in too many other things.

It’s fun just being able to workout and run when I have time and not having to run whenever I’m SUPPOSED to. I ran this morning before class for an hour because it was just sooo nice out. Around 60 degrees is perfect for running because it’s warm but not too hot! Hope this weather stays nice so I can keep running outside and then just go to The MAAC to use the weights. :]

-Shannon

WRMU makes an impact

WRMU makes an impact

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As I’ve mentioned before, WRMU is one of my biggest priorities here on campus. When you first think of a campus radio station, you might just picture a DJ going on air and playing music. Sure, that is somewhat correct, but here at Mount, our radio station is so much more.

Freshman year I stared out volunteering as a part of the WRMU staff. I knew I wanted to get into public relations so I spent time helping the station’s public relations director. As soon as it was time to apply for a director position, I had my application filled out and turned in. Unfortunately, a qualified senior had already taken the public relations director spot, so I was placed as the sponsorship director for my sophomore year. My job was to work with community business and try to, well, get sponsors for our radio station.

Finally, this year, I was able to move up and serve as WRMU’s public relations director. I spend my time promoting the station through fliers, clothing, social media and more.

Above all that, one of my favorite things we do as a station –  and something that I help out with a lot – is our events. Last year, we held (what we hope to continue annually) a meet-n-greet for our late night radio shows, and we had one this year too! A lot goes into planning these events. We find sponsors, get prizes, have raffles, design t-shirts – and the list goes on and on. Each of our events have been a success in our eyes.

This semester, however, we are trying something new. We are holding the first ever “UMUPALOOZA!” It has been an idea we’ve been poking at since last spring and we finally took action and are going through with it. We’re having student musicians play all day in the quad (some bands and some solo acts). We’ll be having pizza from our usual (and favorite) sponsor, Gionino’s Pizzeria and we’ll have games, food and more.

(No, this is not a plug for the event — buuuuut, if you wanna come, it is Thursday, April 14 in the Quad from 4-9 ish. — see what I did there?)

I really admire how a small group of students can put together such a large and exciting event. We all dedicate so much time to planning and throwing these events for the campus community.

Not only is the whole process a great time, we learn so much about event planning in general. From promoting to setting up, finding talent and getting sponsors, everyone has to lend a helping hand.

All of the hard work we all put in to the station has led us all to grow extremely close. WRMU has weekly director meetings and staff meetings every other week. We volunteer in the community, have director dinners, attend other campus happenings, DJ other organization’s events and so, so much more.

I am or have been involved in many other organizations on campus, but the bond WRMU members have with one another is one of the best.

-samantha

Late Night Jams with Shan and Sam

Late Night Jams with Shan and Sam

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Hi everyone!

We have a radio show that is called “Late Night Jams with Shan and Sam.” We usually just shorten it and say “Late Night Jams” though. :]

It is on every Tuesday from 10 p.m. to midnight on WRMU 91.1. And, there are a few different ways to tune in.

  • -Listen on the radio if you are in the area … the dial should be set at 91.1 FM.
  • -You can listen online anywhere.
  • -If you’re on campus, you can turn your TV to channel 2, and we will come through your TV set! :]

If you’d like to call in during our show to say hi or to make a request, the phone number is (330) 823-3777.

Our tagline is “Keep on Shammin’” because we combined Shan + Sam to get SHAM, get it ? :]

Feel free to ask us any questions you have, and be sure to tune in on Tuesdays!!

-Shannon and Samantha