A place where University of West Georgia students actively engage in experiential learning – WOLF Internet Radio, the university’s student radio station – has recently gained international recognition after receiving the 2020 Bret Michaels Spirit of College Radio award.
The award, presented by 2020 college radio ambassador Bret Michaels (lead singer of 1980s hair band Poison) and the College Radio Foundation, recognizes the outstanding and spirited efforts made by college radio stations around the world.
Shawn Isaacs, general manager of the WOLF Internet Radio at UWG, said he’s extremely proud of the progress the radio station has made over the years.
“This international recognition reminds the staff here at the WOLF that we are leading our students in exactly the way we need to lead,” Isaacs said of the award, which comes to the WOLF for the third time in nine years. “It is thrilling to be honored for an award named for legendary rocker Bret Michaels, as he is synonymous with college radio’s glory days.”
Out of the nearly 600 stations that participated in 43 countries, only 10 stations were chosen. UWG is one of only four stations in the United States to be recognized, with other recipients hailing from countries like Sweden, Costa Rica, the Philippines, and Italy.
The awards are overseen by the organizers of World College Radio Day (WCRD), which seeks to shine a spotlight on college radio stations embody the passion and mission of college radio.
Isaacs said the station makes a conscious effort to keep operations up to industry standards in order to give students a meaningful experience that can be valuable after they graduate from UWG. Additionally, students engage in experiential learning in areas such as public relations, journalism, marketing, sales and website design.
“Alumni routinely remind us that where they are in the industry is because of the opportunities given to them here,” he said. “In fact, up until the COVID-19 pandemic, the station had a member of UWG’s alumni at each single radio station company in Atlanta. This award reinforces this work and proves we are not merely a radio station, but a powerful influence to all who join.”
Student Adrianna Bodruk, majoring in mass communications, expressed how much the award means to her as a member of the WOLF team.
“Winning this award shows us students that our hard work is being recognized and is paying off here at the station,” Bodruk said. “Knowing I am a part of something that has been honored with a national award for its success gives me more confidence in my future. With The WOLF Internet Radio, I can gain the necessary skills and knowledge to help me achieve my goals. I am more confident than ever that they can heIp make my future bright.”
Fellow student Camryn McGregor, also in mass communications, agreed, saying the award is an “amazing representation” of the work all WOLF Internet Radio students do to spread the station’s awareness on campus.
“We have worked hard to show that The WOLF was for all students on campus,” McGregor said. “It highlights how far we’ve come and just how important we are to the station.”
Isaacs said the award will be useful in recruiting prospective students to the WOLF specifically and UWG generally, as well.
“This recognition is a glowing example to the current students that their work is seen and heard and worthy,” Isaacs said. “It also tells future students that this is the best there is and there is no question on where to go.”