A Kid In a Candy Store….With Kayla Harmon
“OH MY GOSH I LOVE HIM!” Those are the words that came out of my mouth as soon as I read that headline. It was just Chuck and me in the station (thank goodness because I literally screamed,) and Chuck said nonchalantly, “Why don’t you email his agent and see about getting an interview with him?” Yeah okay let me just email my favorite Christian rapper whom I listen to every single day, the two time Grammy award winner, 7 time Dove award winner and just see if he’s up for an interview. Yeah, okay. I did though, and about a week later, I received an email from his agent whilst at the OVC tournament. Again, I screamed.
After multiple emails back and forth, we finally had a time that fit both my class schedule and Lecrae’s tour schedule (no big deal, right?). On Friday April, 8th at 10 that morning, the phone to the station started ringing. My hands were literally shaking, but I made sure to keep my voice steady, “WUTM this is Kayla Harmon…” It was his agent. I was so disappointed because I mean, I’m not trying to interview her? A little after talking to her she said, “Okay, let me get Lecrae on the line!” OH YES HERE WE GO! As soon as Lecrae got on the phone and said, “Hey Kayla, what’s up?” I felt my face turn red, my hands started shaking again, and I had a smile that spread over my entire face… “Hey Lecrae!” I said a little too eagerly I’m sure. We just talked for a few minutes and then after I finally calmed down, the interview started. It was the most amazing thing I have ever done, like, better than visiting Harry Potter World (barely). By the end of the interview I asked Lecrae a question about his Snapchat and made him laugh. Talk about feeling like a 15-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert! To say I was/am still a fan girl over it is an understatement. What an experience and memory to add to my senior year here at WUTM.
AP Awards 2016…With Ashley Shores
I love going to school at UT Martin, but when you work at a radio station, you end up having to travel a lot to go to awards shows. Now, don’t get me wrong, winning definitely helps those 5 AM wakeup calls, but they do get old after a while. This time, I avoided that awful, early morning call time. I live in Nashville, so when our team announced that we were going to the AP awards at Vanderbilt, I decided to go on home and sleep while they woke up before the sun rose. I avoided that drive in a fifteen passenger van for three hours there and back. I missed some stories and laughs but it was all worth it to catch some extra zzzz’s.
WUTM was very successful in the awards portion of our adventure. We took home a total of fifteen awards, four of which were first place honors. Ashleigh Burton and Tori Seng won first place in both radio and television for their documentary “Danger in the Shadows,” and Kayla Harmon, Jared Peckenpaugh, and Chuck Hammer took home first place in best sports talk show with their new show “The Bench.” I always stand in awe of the incredible talent I am surrounded by each day at WUTM, and I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.
WUTM Takes NYC…With Tori Seng
Photo-bombed pics with Matt Lauer and Al Roker: check. Visited the top of the Empire State Building: check. Won Best College Radio Station for Under 10,000: double check!
Let me start off by saying the trip to New York City for the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Conference was an eye-opening adventure. For a girl who grew up in a small Kentucky town, the 100-plus-story skyscrapers, millions of people and the every-man-for-himself driving mentality was a culture shock. But after spending only a few hours in the city that never sleeps (seriously… it NEVER sleeps), I couldn’t help but fall in love with the fast-paced, high-energy metropolis.
While in the Big Apple, my co-workers and I along with Dr. R did a lot of sightseeing. We went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, walked around Times Square, visited the top of the Empire State Building AND Top of the Rock, appeared on the Today Show and went to three museums. We mastered the metro (subway), were only really lost twice and cleaned up at the 2016 IBS Awards.
The Saturday night of the awards ceremony was a nerve-wracking but totally exhilarating experience. Chuck, Ashleigh, Sydney, Dr. Robinson and I joined hundreds of other college radio staff members anxiously awaiting the results.
WUTM placed 1st for Best Spot News. Chuck won Best Program Director, Kayla: Best Sports Director, and my name was called for Best News Director! Just when I couldn’t feel any prouder and more excited, WUTM was named Best College Radio Station for Under 10,000 students! Overall, we were finalists in 20 categories. All of the hard work, long hours and multiple late-night pre-IBS cram sessions paid off!
Needless to say, WUTM’s trip to New York City a little over two weeks ago was a resounding success! I am truly blessed to have been able to share this experience of a lifetime with people who’ve become family to me. This trip was the most fun I’ve ever had and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.
WUTM Taking SEJC by Storm….With Sydney LaFreniere
The day started early. Really stinkin’ early. That 5 a.m. wakeup call was nasty. I know that there are many people (even college students) who make the early bird special their daily routine, but not this kid. Thankfully, past me was looking out for future me, and I had the foresight to prep my coffee maker. Unfortunately, wearing heels at 6 a.m. is not exactly my idea of a good time.
I showed up to the meeting spot and was greeted by a very enthusiastic Dr. Robinson who informed me of my duty for the day: driving. I had planned on making up for the early morning and sleeping the entire trip, but the new whip was worth the small sacrifice. My job was to follow Chuck who was leading the way in another car. I was a reasonably decent driver. I almost killed us only, like, twice. One time it wasn’t even my fault. Ultimately, we did make it to Clarksville safely. I think Dr. Robinson wanted to kiss the ground upon our arrival, but he was able to maintain his composure.
Immediately the WUTM staff and I were very impressed with how great the Austin Peay Communications staff members were. They were extremely nice and helpful! Having such friendly, helpful people made the whole experience much better. I would also like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to the brilliant person who decided to include maps of campus in the goodie bags. For those of us attending the conference, it was great to be able to see what was available and where it was. A gluten-free pass was included with my bag. It was awesome that they were able to accommodate me and my weird diet.
The Austin Peay State University campus is BEAUTIFUL. Everything is immaculately clean, it is very organized, and the architecture and landscaping is simply gorgeous. Well done, Austin Peay. They also had solar umbrellas. I’m not sure what they power, but that is such a great idea!
The strangest thing I saw during our entire trip was a mannequin man attached to the wall. It was supposed to look like he was painting. I have no idea who he is or why he’s there, but maybe I just need some context. I will say that he scared me the first time I noticed him.
The highlight of the awards banquet (other than winning Best College Radio Station in the South, of course) was Ashleigh Burton’s question when she saw a plate of white balls on the banquet table: “Is that butter, or white chocolate?” unfortunately, none of us took advantage of a potentially hilarious opportunity. We should have told her that it was chocolate.
I don’t know how many people can say that they get to go to work and be around some of their best friends. It is never boring at the station, and these people make it a daily adventure. My WUTM staff is my family. We are a great machine of a team that works well together and always supports each other. I’m so thankful to have had such a fantastic experience with these guys, and I’ll miss them to pieces when I graduate. I can only hope that I’ll be lucky enough to have such great coworkers again. Thanks for another win, guys. You’re making my last year with you the best one yet.
Meeting the Legendary Dr. Jerry Punch…With Chuck Hammer
A couple weeks ago ESPNU came to campus for the UT Martin vs Belmont men’s basketball game. Usually when a network comes in for a sporting event they send announcers that are based out of Nashville, and to be honest, they probably couldn’t find Martin on map. This time was different Dr. Jerry Punch, who has been in broadcasting for 30 years, was chosen to do the game. Dr. Punch is someone I grew up watching as a NASCAR pit reporter but through the years has also done football and basketball.
To be honest when I asked if I could interview him I expected a big NO, but instead he was more than happy to meet with me. The stories he shared with me were amazing and really inspired me that if I continue to work hard then I could also make it to the “big time.” It was a great experience, and the experience taught me no matter how big you make it, always make time for others because you never know what it might mean to them.
Danger in the Shadows….With Ashleigh Burton
Hey guys! You probably hear me on some commercials, know me from my Friday night Show “Skyhawk Street” where I do wacky and tacky things for three hours, or see my endless tweets and Facebook postings about my random thoughts (poop).
I tend to be silly and light-hearted as much as I can, but there is a serious topic that needs to be talked about. If you know me, you know I am never serious, so I must mean business! An issue that many people do not want to talk about, or think is possible, is sexual assault. I set up interviews with Jenifer Hart, a certified counselor on campus at Student Health and Counseling Services, Deputy Chief Ray Coleman at Public Safety, and a victim to discuss a multitude of things about sexual assault.
I wrote, filmed, edited, and produced this 10 minute documentary titled “Danger in the Shadow:” An in depth look at sexual assault at UTMartin. This topic is something that strikes a chord with me, and I believe people need to be more aware!
Some things in this documentary may be disturbing to some members of the audience.
A Week of Hell
So it is Intercollegiate Broadcasting System competition time- in other words, every staff member is currently living in Gooch Hall. You know this is a serious problem when someone brings a whole case of Monster energy drinks and says, “Atleast we’ve got fuel.” People are writing with in their own blood, speakers are crackling by themselves, and the ghost of Gooch Hall is proving that doors to studios can lock by themselves. Yes, there are 100 contest entries in the making at this point (and if that number changes, I have a feeling a body count will come up soon). So here’s to WUTM’s competitive spirit. May we live long enough to prosper once audio has officially been filed.
Interviewing an Upcoming Star
Our very own ‘Awkward Ashleigh’ got the chance to interview up and coming pop sensation Katie Steel. Steel is a Florida native with rich vocals and an awesome, funky style that is all her own. (I mean, two-toned hair and monochromatic tights are totally her thing.) Katie is also an anti-bullying advocate. She has recently released her cover of Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” and her album is set to drop in early 2016! Awkward Ashleigh said that her humility and humor will make Katie a star.
Arkansas, Or Nah
Seven and a half hours each way, 6 bathroom stops, one hole-in-the-wall hometown diner, and a confusing tie-line later, the Hawk is back from from the UTM v University of Arkansas game. AND we had a successful broadcast regardless of stipulations.
Just think of us as your grandparents because we walked uphill both ways while fighting the cold and rain. Kayla’s backpack check, my missing wifi connection (and rough relationship with AT&T), and Robinson’s want of “Woo Pig Sooie-ing” made for a sarcastically delightful trip.
However, we survived, and though the Skyhawks lost, they’re still winners in our hearts. (Place corny quote from Remember the Titans here.)
Touring the Kiddies
So maybe they’re not literally “children,” but high school seniors seem like babies to us, growing to one day join the likes of the coffee-junkies, last-minute-cramming, final despising college students. And as we showed them around the station, allowed volunteers on air, and talked about what our staff does, we got to know plenty of ’em. We want to say thank you to the local school that visited. We enjoy feeling important every once in a while.
This is How we Do IT at WUTM
We just wanted to remind everyone that it’s homecoming week; it’s Captain Skyhawks birthday; and we’re here to be the best house party DJs Martin could ask for. (I mean, we are Best in the South afterall.)
Between Laf’s hard work on our banner and Toshya’s work on decoration, coordination, and radio life itself, WUTM showed up and showed out. Seriously, did you hear our 90s themed playlist from 10:00-12:00. You could’ve stopped by and done the macarerena with us or picked up a coozie.
If you didn’t, you missed out. #sorrynotsorry Imma let y’all finish and celebrate, but WUTM is the best. Okay, peace out. *drops mic
Miss Tennessee (THE Hannah Robison) Stops By
“I heard she wakes up and animals come to her room to help her out, just like a Disney film.”
“One time, she said ‘Bless you,’ after I sneezed… It was awesome.”
And though we’re referring to Mean Girls, Miss Tennessee is much nicer and prettier than Regina George. Tori had the pleasure of interviewing her for For the Record. And she gave some more flawless responses to Tori’s questions. (This is in reference to her performance at the Miss America pageant, and in case you’ve been sleeping under a rock, she gave the most educated answer of any competitors.)
Oh, and she let me hold her phone. I haven’t washed my right hand since.
College Radio Day: Wooting for WUTM
In case you didn’t already know, October 2nd is National College Radio Day! And who better to hear it from than the ears (and eyes) of UTM’s very own radio station, the Hawk (as a bird majestically caws in the distance.
Not only did we have the mayor, Randy Brundige, come in and give us an awesome proclamation, but we also had Dr. Ogg and the Chancellor in our studio!
I mean, it’s pretty awesome to be the hub of Tennessee on this great holiday- but seriously, the air of prestige in our staffroom was enough to make you strap on tie and talk with a British accent to feel more dignified.
Thanks for listening folks! And don’t forget: We’re kind of a big deal.
When Stars Collide… With Awkward Ashleigh
Yeah, that’s right I got to meet the celebs: Sanctus Real, Joan Jett, and Joe Nichols. And you might be thinking to yourself, “Ashleigh, how did you not poop your pants?”
And I would answer you by stating that I did, in fact, come scarily close. BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT!
The point is that I will never wash my right hand ever again because it is now holy. And of course, hugging a rock ‘n’ roll hall of fame member is pretty ballin’ as well.
So with all of this being said, I am now a secondhand celeb. If you wish to talk, call rep (I guess that would be my boss, right?) first.