A team of student researchers dedicated hundreds of hours over a full academic year to produce “50 Years in Your Ear: Documenting Five Decades of WONC History.” It was the basis for an oral presentation at the 2018 Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research and an 80-minute-long audio documentary.
The students listened to hours of digitized broadcasts and interviewed 22 alumni. They reviewed countless archived newspaper articles. Peter Schiller ’18 learned the late Gael Swing, the College’s eighth president, pushed the button to move the station from mono to stereo broadcasts. Rudy Ruiz ’19 discovered that Hillary Clinton called into a “Newsmaker” show for a short interview on September 24, 1992. Jared Roberts ’20 looked at the development of sports coverage and the successes of alumni who have made careers in the field. Claire Svehla ’18 (pictured above) researched the early history of the station and Gianna Scheuneman’20 spoke at the Rall Symposium about the influential role of WONC in the lives of more recent alumni and current students.
Brandon Herman ’20 (pictured right), who proposed the idea a year ago, edited the project into the final documentary, which was advised by Steve Macek, professor of communication.
“I am incredibly proud of the work the students did researching, writing and producing this documentary,” said Macek, “It was a fitting way to commemorate WONC's 50th anniversary.”