When Sheila Cowley saw a need for quality, student-created content for MYRA – Make Your Radio Active – the student radio station at St. Petersburg College, the adjunct instructor jumped in head first.
Cowley began her first semester at SPC in the fall by teaching an Audio for Broadcast course in the Music Industry/Recording Arts program at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus. Now students are creating content for the station.
“Our aim is to fill the MIRA station with new original content that constantly reflects what’s happening at SPC,” said Cowley, who worked at WMNF radio for nearly 25 years. As operations manager, she oversaw the equipment, facility, training, FCC compliance and engineers.
For the MYRA radio station, she wants to produce announcements, feature interviews, live broadcasts and public service announcements. Students in her class have already produced station IDs and promotional spots for the Palladium Theater and are crafting features about the Music Industry/Recording Arts program to draw prospects to the workforce program.
“All the work in the class is practical and hands on, since radio’s a skill you only develop by doing,” Cowley said. “There’s no sitting around. While there are some really good written references, really everything we do is listening and working.”
In September, SPC students toured WMNF to see the transmission process – an experience that will help prepare them for the Society of Broadcast Engineers’ exam so they can earn certified radio operator credentials in the future.
“The skills you learn for radio – writing for broadcast, broadcast production standards, editing for length and content – those are skills that serve you well in many fields, including film and video,” Cowley said.