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Radio stars

Humanities and Social Sciences preps new generation of on-air personalities

Student Life

By Janet Harron

There must be something in the water.

Current students and recent graduates from Memorial’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences are dominating the province’s airwaves this summer promoting events and activities.

Effective communication

Rebecca (Becca) Chaytor is starting the fourth year of her communications studies degree (with a history minor) in September and is the head “roadie” for K-Rock 97.5 this summer.

“I wake up every morning so excited to go to work and check out all the amazing events Newfoundland and Labrador has to offer,” said Ms. Chaytor, who believes her coursework has been instrumental in learning how to get messages across to the public as quickly and effectively as possible. The worst thing about my job is that it is only on the weekend. I truly wish I could do it every single day.”

Rebecca (Becca) Chaytor
Rebecca (Becca) Chaytor

This is her second summer working in the position. This year she’s really looking forward to helping promote the New Branch Music Festival being held in Carbonear Aug. 26-28.

Storytelling skills

Paddy Wadden and Miranda Antle both graduated with their BA degrees in May.

Mr. Wadden is the summer cruiser team member at OZ FM and completed an internship with Rogers TV while a political science student. That work experience and the critical thinking and storytelling skills he honed as a student directly relate to his summer job. He’s enjoying meeting interesting people, introducing bands at concerts and is eagerly anticipating the George Street Festival from July 28-Aug. 3.

Paddy Wadden
Paddy Wadden

“Alan Doyle is playing on my birthday—it’s going to be an absolute time!”

Ms. Antle recently graduated with a degree in communication studies and sociology with a certificate in criminology.

“I loved the communications program, it allowed me to study my interests such as media, social media and how messages are interpreted,” she said.

As the roadshow host for 99.1 Hits FM, Ms. Antle attends events all over the St. John’s area, meets listeners and gives out prizes.

“This job is an amazing experience. It allows me to practise my skills that I’ve learned in the classroom.” –Miranda Antle

“This job is an amazing experience. It allows me to practise my skills that I’ve learned in the classroom and the people I meet along the way make it so great,” Ms. Antle said. “I cannot wait for Atlantic Fest on Labour Day weekend. It’s one of HITS FM’s major events and is featuring Selena Gomez.”

Gzowski intern

The 2016 CBC Radio Peter Gzowski Intern is English and psychology graduate Laura Howells. Prior to receiving the prestigious internship, she worked for CBC on a freelance basis as a digital reporter while also acting as news editor of The Muse newspaper.

Laura Howells
Laura Howells

As part of her summer internship, her stories run the gamut from a Labrador doctor accused of professional misconduct to lighthearted features for the St. John’s Morning Show. She also recently did a televsion story on the Canada Post strike.

“Humanities gives you a better insight into humanity in general,” said Ms. Howells. “And critical thinking is really what journalism is all about.”

VOWR a ‘time machine’

Kenny Purchase is another communications studies student who is getting real-world experience behind a microphone at VOWR Radio.

Kenny Purchase
Kenny Purchase

“Studying media and how it works definitely ties into the functionality of a radio station as a media platform. The knowledge I’ve gotten from my courses has benefited me in understanding the importance of radio,” said Mr. Purchase, who adds that his approach to on-air broadcasting has been heavily influenced by his studies at Memorial.

“With records ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Hank Williams, AM static, turntables and analog broadcasting equipment, VOWR is definitely one of a kind.”–Kenny Purchase

As program assistant for a station that has been in operation for almost a century, Mr. Purchase enjoys the sensation of stepping into a time machine each time he shows up for work.

“With records ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Hank Williams, AM static, turntables and analog broadcasting equipment, VOWR is definitely one of a kind,” said Mr. Purchase, who has been working at the station for over a year and is interested in working in public relations in the music industry.

VOCM roadie

Finally, current political science student Raylene Mackey is the summer roadshow host for 590 VOCM. Tops on her summer event list are the Brigus Blueberry Festival, the Tely Ten (it’s her third year in a row singing the national anthem to kick off the event) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival.


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