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Posted by on Apr 19, 2016 in ACE Learning Center, ACE Partners, ACE School Report, Continuing Education | 0 comments

Motto for KALW Audio Academy Grads – “You Really Should Record That”

By Guest Blogger Ben Trefny, News Director, KALW Public Radio

A few months ago, I published part of an email from one of KALW‘s former trainees, Carolina Andrea Hidalgo Espinoza, about the work she’s been doing since she left the station. The note she shared with me about producing a daily talk show in Santiago, Chile inspired me to check in with Audio Academy graduates to see what they’re up to these days.

Of course, many are still connected with KALW. Liz Mak (’14), Jeremy Dalmas (’14), Liza Veale (’15) and Hannah Kingsley-Ma (’15) are line producers and contract reporters for Crosscurrents, so we see them on a weekly basis. Chris Hambrick (’15) works in KALW’s development department, now, and she’s the producer of Sights & Sounds of the Bay Area. Ted Muldoon (’15) is the sound engineer on that project, and he does extra work for the station mixing stories for Crosscurrents, remixing 99% Invisible for broadcast and producing FSFSF. Colin Peden is managing our My Mixtape project and continuing his engineering training with our news department. Raja Shah (’15) is developing a weekly podcast for Crosscurrents called The Bridge; it will be launching within the next month. And David Boyer recently started work on his next series of stories for The Intersection.

I’ve heard back from several others who have spread around the country. Here are what some of them have to say:


Rachel Wong (’14)

I’m still going full force in my design research career, but I have the desire and intention to make more audio pieces when my schedule allows. These days I always find ways to work with audio in my job, and often record audio for fun, or with particular projects in mind. I was able to attend the Hearsay Audio Festival in Ireland last year, which was inspiring and wonderful. It’s not easy to make time to pursue a new skill, so I’m very appreciative of how the Audio Academy provided a structure that allowed me to stay focused, disciplined, and productive over the course of the program. Now, even when I have a long hiatus from working in audio, I live with a little bird in my ear whispering, “You should really record that.”

Thanks and all best,


Todd Whitney (’14)

I’m out in New York producing podcasts for Audible. We’re putting together a bunch of different projects right now and I’m floating between them, picking up different responsibilities for different projects. It’s good because it breaks the monotony of focusing on one story/project. The stuff I’m working on now are ~40 minute stories instead of news features ~7 minutes so I’m flexing a different set of radio skills. But the reporting skills I finessed at KALW are proving to be a help for things I’m working on.

Hope you and the squad are doing well!


Jasmín López (’14)

Things are going well for me in New Orleans. Besides all the love and joy that my nephews bring, I have started some collaborations with other journalists/artists here. One project that I’m working on is looking at issues for deaf people in Louisiana prisons. It will air on Making Contact before the summer, but my collaborators and I intend to take this beyond that. The stories that came out of the initial project are endless.

Another collaboration is looking at a disappearing community along “cancer alley” in Louisiana. The community is surrounded by oil/chemical refineries. We’ll tell the history (that includes a slave revolt) and present story through it’s few remaining residents.

Another project that came my way is a documentary that touches on health care access issues in private detention centers in LA, but it also tells the story through the detained man’s daughter and what she went through. If all goes well, I’ll be there when they reunite in Mexico.

I’m still working on Project Luz as much as I can. And, soon I’ll run radio workshops with a community of day laborers in NOLA. I managed to get them some air time to share last summer and the low power fm stations offered them a weekly show!

Oh, and I got a gig with WWNO. I think I might be their first Latina reporter/producer! I won’t even get started on my personal story projects. One that you’ll hear this summer 😉

Stay tuned, and please let me know if I can do anything for the Audio Academy!

Sending love from New Orleans,


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