WPRK Brings Unique Sounds and Diverse Voices to the Airwaves

March 04, 2011

Photo by Christian Kebbel

Moments before she’s scheduled to go on air, Casey Korge (Class of 2013) is hardly aware that she’s about to be on live radio with no script prepared. Growing up, her father was a radio DJ, so she knows that she’s got this one in the bag. “As long as I’ve got my playlist prepared before I go on air, I don’t worry too much; everything else tends to happen naturally, and that’s part of the fun of live radio,” Korge said.

This relaxed attitude is part of what makes Korge such a qualified assistant station manager at WPRK 91.5; with over 120 DJs and a music library that fills an entire room, there is never a dull moment at the College’s radio station. But Korge and the station’s director staff (composed of 15 students) don’t let that stress them out. Despite a multitude of responsibilities every day, such as maintaining schedules and programming, meeting FCC requirements and scouting new local bands and Public Service Announcements to play on air each week, the WPRK staff cherishes the spontaneity of live radio.

“Over the past four years, there has not been a boring minute in working with the WPRK family,” said Jerrid Kalakay, the station’s general manager. “The station has an incredibly active, inspiring and exciting atmosphere that is impossible not to love.”

With a variety of staff members, including DJs from the Winter Park community, Korge believes that community involvement is one of WPRK’s greatest attributes. “Over half of our DJs are from the Winter Park community, and we are required to play music from a local band at least once per hour, so the ties we have in the community are pretty strong,” said Korge. “It’s nice to have a voice on air that people listen to regularly as a source of entertainment, and I really value the ties that we’ve made with the local bands; College radio stations are really their main outlet for air time, and their sounds are what gives us our unique sounds.” Korge has been on the air for four semesters on Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m. and mostly plays alternative music and local bands that she likes and wants to expose her listeners to.

Korge’s show isn’t the only one stepping out of listeners’ usual territories. Radio personality Justice hosts a weekly talk show called “Outloud Orlando: The Homo Happy Hour” on Tuesdays at 4 p.m. The show, featuring Justice, Rob the Actor and Bobby the Gayest Man in Orlando, is one of five designated talk-shows on WPRK and aims to break stereotypes and shares stories about all types of people. “My show is important because it shows that you can’t put people in a box,” Justice said. “For instance, I’m a masculine, legally educated, Christian gay dude who reads comic books – you can’t categorize that!”

The show hosts a variety of guests each week who discuss their feelings and emotions and who are never afraid to be honest with their listeners. “It’s a credit to Rollins that WPRK has had the only Gay issues GLBT news information show on FM radio for the last 17 years,” said Justice. “A lot of other terrestrial radio stations might shy away from the content and subject matter of our show but Rollins College, WPRK, and the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership has embraced it. People come to college to learn and when they listen to our show (whether they’re straight or gay), they are definitely going to learn something.”

WPRK’s variety and commitment to equal opportunity has not gone unnoticed. The station was recently nominated and made it to the Top 10 nominees for the Sixth Annual mtvU Woody Awards. (The sixth annual show will be broadcast live Wednesday, March 16 at 12 a.m. (ET/PT) on MTV, MTV2 and mtvU.) The awards recognize industry leaders and pioneers in college radio. The station was nominated by record company promoters that work closely with the WPRK staff, and shows just how much WPRK is valued throughout the college radio circuit.

“It has meant a lot to us to make it this far in the competition,” Korge said. “It’s a great validation of all of the hard work that we put in on a weekly basis, and it’s nice to know that people appreciate it. It’s also an exciting way to represent Rollins on a national level while in competition with so many large schools.” Rollins was the smallest college amongst the list of nominees, which speaks volumes to the impact that the WPRK staff has had on the community.

WPRK’s is always looking for more student involvement. Kalakay believes that involvement with WPRK offers students a large range of skills, from management and leadership, to communication abilities and a greater connection to the Winter Park community. To get involved with WPRK, contact Jerrid Kalakay at jkalakay@rollins.edu; or feel free to stop by the radio station at any time, located in the basement of Mills Memorial Hall.

By Sarah Hartman (Class of 2011)

Office of Public Relations & Community Affairs
For more information, contact news@rollins.edu.

Copyright © 2012 Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789  407.646.2000

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