Inaugural Class of KALW Audio Academy Graduates with a Flair for Storytelling
By Martha Sessums
The 17 graduates of KALW‘s Audio Academy’s first year had a fitting graduation ceremony. They spent nearly 10 months learning about how to find their voice to tell stories through sound, and their graduation was all about stories. Their stories.
Producers, editors, reporters, hosts, announcers, engineers and other professionals from KALW’s staff introduced each graduate, then spoke about what they brought to, and learned from, their experience at the radio station.
Like how Jasmin Lopez has a professional attitude that spurs her to make contact with her stories, including the little known rodeo subculture in the Bay Area. Having Audio Academy on her resume helped her get a job at Making Contact, a National Radio Project show.
Or Laura Flynn, who wants to bring voice to people who don’t have a voice (perfect for radio) and believes that you do it right or don’t do it. She will also join the National Radio Project show “Making Contact.”
Then there’s Todd Whitney, who has great style and warmth and really cares about telling his stories. And he talks street, makin’ it swanky, ‘cause that’s what’s up. He has been hired as community outreach/reporter for the next “Sights and Sounds of Bayview” project called “Boom and Bloom in Bayview.”
And if Rhian Miller and Kristina Loring are going to record a story – called tracking – they make sure their lips are in on the game. Try Mac’s “Candy Yum Yum” lipstick. Its bright pink color makes them want to track better.
How Liz Mak, who asked so many questions, that her mentor ended up learning the radio profession better, because when you have to teach something you learn it better yourself.
Or David Boyer, the first Audio Academy student to have his piece aired, and continues to lead with ideas outside the box. His Audio Academy project, “The Intersection” is being launched, and KALW is the incubator.
The commencement speaker was Roman Mars, the host and creator of the radio show “99% Invisible.” He told the graduates that there will be successes and failures in their careers, but that their job as storytellers was to be creators and producers of interesting things.
Holly Kernan, KALW News Director, said to the graduates, “Together we really did grow something brand new this year. We all bloomed as reporters and creators of stories, and we will keep a little bit of you in our newsroom.”
I could go on and on about these great graduates, so I will in other posts. One thing I learned is that there is a growing caché to having the KALW Audio Academy on your resumé. It helps these graduates rise to the top of a stack of resumés. Cause that’s what’s up.