(cross-posted at joshuaramirez.net)
Friends and members of WIRE,
I just wanted to share with you all some exciting news regarding WIRE's trip to the 2014 National Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) conference.
As you may know, WIRE was a finalist in five categories going into the weekend:
1. Best Liner/Sweeper: Justice Wright, Under the Radar
2. Most Innovative Programming: Maya Bloom, Freshman Beats
3. Best Specialty Music Show: Erik Pohl, Movin’ N’ Groovin’
4. Best Website
Best Station in the Nation, by Category:
5. Best Streaming/Online Radio Station
The first three awards were particularly exciting for us, since they were for specific shows put on by our DJs. Although being a finalist is in and of itself a great recognition — it means you are in company of the best in the U.S. — we were all thrilled to see that Justice Wright was able to bring home the award for best program sweeper! In the category with the most submissions, no less!
This win is a testament to his great production skills, which, as a team member working with our Production Manager, will soon bolster content across the entire station. Furthermore, both Maya Bloom and Erik Pohl were also able to bring home awards in recognition of their finalist placement, meaning WIRE now has three nationally-recognized programs under its belt.
But, most exciting of all, WIRE has bested all other entrants and won the award for the best internet radio station in the nation! This is simply an incredible achievement that took many of us (myself included) by surprise. We bested our fellow finalists at UIC, DePaul University, St. Peter’s, and even Simmons, all of which are schools with long-established stations, supported by broadcast programs, and academic departments.
In addition, considering all the time and effort put in on the part of myself and others, we were all quite vindicated in our winning of the best website in the nation! There is still much work to be done on it, particularly with our bare-bones player, but we have a great base to build a digital platform upon. Much of this work will be done in the summer semester, which means that we can look forward to enjoying an even more impressive web presence going into Fall 2014.
Furthermore, beyond putting us at the top of college internet radio, our placement also gave us a finalist award in the best national station outright, which is an honor only two other radio stations share with us.
I simply can’t communicate the pride I feel for my fellow Executives, DJs, and members of the station. It is through their hard work and passion that we have the selection of shows that brought us this recognition, and I am humbled to have been a part of this success. To bring these awards home to WIT is a realization of a desire to provide a compelling platform with which students have the freedom to express themselves and learn all sorts of valuable skills not always taught in the classroom.
And, perhaps to an even greater degree, it is a milestone in WIRE’s path towards becoming a cultural hub for the Wentworth community, and a source of pride and prestige for the institute.
Many thanks are in order for this. To start, I’d like to offer my enthusiastic gratitude to Steve Rossi, WIRE’s Campus Life advisor. Beyond all of the work he has done over the past year for the station (incalculable hours, I am sure), he was the one who organized and facilitated just about every arrangement pertaining to our attendance of the conference - inclusive of the whole three-day weekend he spent with us throughout the trip. He has been an active and supportive advisor, a great advocate for WIRE, and a good friend with which I have shared many laughs. WIRE is very lucky to have him working with us, and for that we should all be truly thankful.
I would also like to thank Paul Lazarovich, who has been alongside Wentworth’s radio efforts for many years. His generosity and advice since my joining WIRE have been invaluable for myself and the station alike, and his contributions to WIRE across his tenure at WIT have helped to shape the image and core values of the organization.
Also, our appreciation goes out to all of the faculty who have worked with us in any measure towards our goals of further incorporating faculty and community participation in WIRE’s broadcasts. As we continue to push for greater active engagement with everyone at WIT, it is you all that jumped at the chance to participate, and visualized what it was our radio station could become, given enough effort.
To our members: This victory is your victory. It was the submission of our program catalogue, including a huge selection of your shows, that the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System ultimately used to judge stations for their excellence, and each and every one of you was a part of that. And without the support of academic programs or dedicated staff to manage and maintain WIRE, it was your passion and care for what you do that brought home the award, above anything else. So take a moment or two to be proud of your work. You deserve it.
And, finally: though we all know that WIRE’s development has only just started, and that there is much to improve and perfect, I think we are finally beginning to see our vision of WIRE's potential come into sharp focus. And that, perhaps, above all else, is what is most worth celebrating.
Thank you, everyone.
- Joshua Ramirez, Station Director, WIRE.