Hofstra station celebrates World Radio Day with global simulcast

By Rebecca Williams

Student-run Radio Hofstra University paired up with stations in Taiwan, the Philippines, South Africa and others last weekend to celebrate winning the 2021 World Radio Day Award, presented by the Academy of Radio Arts and Sciences of America. The combination of live interviews, pre-recorded segments, and music from around the world took over the airwaves of the Long Island area.

Hofstra University students filled the halls of the Lawerence Herbert School of Communication, anticipating and preparing for what would be the largest broadcast in Radio Hofstra University history.

WRHU, the student-run station and home of one of Long Island’s largest student news teams, celebrated World Radio Day on Feb. 12, 13 and 14 with a simulcast heard around the world. The station’s chief technical engineer, Andy Gladding, collaborated with established stations, including Bush Radio 89.5 in Cape Town, South Africa, Taiwan’s FM100, GGFM in the Philippines, and many more.

Gladding brought them on, but student reporters, DJs, editors, and broadcasting personalities made the show. WRHU staples, like Station Manager Catie Egan, were both behind the scenes and on the air. Egan aired features with Richie Cannata and Liberty Devitto, two members of Billy Joel’s rock band The Lords of 52nd Street.

“I’m so proud to be part of such an amazing station,” Egan said. “To be part of an Executive Board where WRHU is the first student-led radio station to receive the World Radio Day Award is truly remarkable. This award is a true testament to every single staff member’s hard work at WRHU.”

Involved members certainly put in hard work, with some students arriving on campus as early as 6 a.m. and not leaving until past 10 p.m. that night. With the assistance of General Manager Bruce Avery, Operations Manager John Mullen, many local community volunteers, and Professionals in Residence Sara Hendricks and Pete Silverman, WRHU spread radio holiday joy throughout the world.

Shayna Sengstock, WRHU’s student technical director, spent her time making sure the broadcast ran smoothly. After setting up throughout the night, she returned for a full day ahead. Sengstock connected other stations with WRHU, ensuring the simulcast was available for all ears to enjoy.

“It was amazing being able to play a role in making that broadcast possible,” Sengstock said. “It taught me how to work together with a team to put on a worldwide broadcast.”

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