The University of Nevada, Reno's student-run Wolf Pack Radio station has partnered with Student Services this fall to give University students the chance to tell their unique stories. Each episode of the podcast is an hour long, filled with interviews that range from 15 to 20 minutes featuring unique stories from various students around campus.
The idea to create the podcast was hatched by Shannon Ellis, vice president for Student Services, who wanted to find an organization on campus to create a weekly podcast. Ellis was directed to Wolf Pack Radio and the two organizations formed Nevada Stories. Wolf Pack Radio chose to partner with Student Services because Caroline Ackerman, general manager of Wolf Pack Radio, believes there is a bit of a divide between Nevada administration and the student population, and Wolf Pack Radio wants to contribute to ending that divide.
Although the interviewers of the episodes will begin to switch to members of Wolf Pack Radio, Ellis was able to conduct the first few episodes of Nevada Stories, including an interview with KaPreace Young who identified as a "teen mom."
"The interview was really inspiring; this student had to deal with a lot of hardships to get to where she is today," Ackerman recalled. "While not every interview is with a student who had to overcome a lot, every story is impactful in a different way. The interviews really highlight the similarities between administration and students, despite a generational gap."
Ackerman explained that the project's tagline, "every student has a story," really embodies the mission of the podcast. She further explained how the Nevada Stories project is meant to impact the University.
"This podcast is mostly targeted toward faculty," Ackerman said. "A lot of changes are happening on campus, and in my opinion, it is important for faculty and administration to get to know the students that are impacted by these changes."
Wolf Pack Radio contributes completely to the production of the podcast as they choose the students to interview through an application process, record the interviews, and then edit the interviews. However, they try to keep the interviews as raw and natural as possible, only editing out unnecessary sounds and adding background music. Student Services provide suggestions of people to interview.
"Today's student at Nevada is very different from most of the faculty and staff who teach and serve them," Ellis said. "We will be better instructors, service providers, mentors and advisors when we hear what it's like to be a student here in their own voices."
When searching for students to interview, Ackerman said the Wolf Pack Radio team enjoys looking for students who understand themselves and who are comfortable in their own skin and their stories.
"I personally enjoy interviewing diverse students working hard to make a difference in the community," Ackerman said.
In the future, each Nevada Stories episode will begin to follow a theme and area of focus. For instance, during the election season, the team based the episode's theme around elections, focusing on student lobbyists and political activists. Next semester, Wolf Pack Radio and Student Services are planning to maintain production of Nevada Stories episodes to continue to give students a way to voice their unique stories.
For more information regarding Nevada Stories or to apply to be interviewed, visit the Wolf Pack Radio website.
Listen to the first four Nevada Stories episodes now: