New College students have been an integral part of WSLR Community Radio since it’s foundation in 2005. The New College Student Alliance held the license for the low power radio station until 2009 when the New College student body voted to transfer the license to WSLR, Inc, a nonprofit entity that had been established to operate the community radio station. An agreement was reached between WSLR and the New College students, whereby students would retain a seat on the WSLR Board and on the programming committee; the station would continue to offer student internships and encourage student programming; and the station would remain in geographical proximity to the college. Over the years that relationship has continued to flourish and over 100 New College students have taken an active role in WSLR. This year New College students Becca Hadwen, Danielle Campbell, Jacob Wentz and Omar Guerrero formed the core of the WSLR News Team.
For the Fall semester, WSLR was approved to participate in the Sarasota-Manatee Arts & Humanities Internship Program funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Danielle Campbell, a second year transfer student majoring in urban and international studies, was selected to fill this position. Through the internship Danielle was able to become more familiar with the local community and connect with elected officials, local activists, and concerned citizens in Sarasota. Danielle loved going into the studio, conducting interviews in the field, and working with purpose as she learned from her co-workers. She appreciated the effort that WSLR has made to safely continue to produce news reports and radio shows during the pandemic.
Omar Guerrero will graduate from New College of Florida in the Spring 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. As an intern for WSLR, he produced weekly stories for the Critical Times radio show, wrote articles for the quarterly Critical Times newspaper and helped with content distribution. Omar enjoyed the collaborative dynamic of the WSLR News Team, and the opportunity to engage with, and create stories for, the community. One of the main reasons Omar wanted to intern with WSLR was to help bring light to social issues and injustices. As a huge music fan, especially jazz, he loved spending time with the studio’s record collection.
Jacob Wentz graduated from New College of Florida in May of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in international studies and economics. With his Fulbright Scholarship postponed due to the pandemic, Jacob was grateful to find a meaningful outlet for his talents. Partially funded by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, his stories have focussed on how COVID-19 has affected the Florida Suncoast area. You can listen to some of his stories here: https://www.criticaltimes.org/
Becca Hadwen is a third-year student at New College of Florida, where she is majoring in sociology and Spanish. After completing two internships with WSLR, she was hired as the part-time News Coordinator. In that position, she reports on local stories, hosts the weekly News Team meetings, helps train new members of the team, and produces the Friday news broadcast. One thing she’s learned while working at the station is how important it is to present information in a way that allows listeners to make their own decisions. Breaking down complicated information and making it accessible to her audience is one of her biggest priorities.
Tune in to the Critical Times Local News Broadcast on Fridays at 6pm (and re-airs Mondays at 9:30am) and on alternate Wednesdays at 6:30pm. Paid and unpaid internships with WSLR are available for the Spring semester. To learn more you can email email@example.com or call 941-894-6469.