Photo by Autumn Walter |CIGAR| Monica holds the position of RIU2 Program Director, along with hosting her show on 90.3 WRIU FM Thursdays 1-3 p.m..
Jamming out to the rock and alternative music she grew up on is where you can find Monica Conway on Thursdays. Conway is a fifth-year student studying Public Relations. She is also an executive board member at WRIU, the campus’ student run radio station. She began working for the University of Rhode Island’s radio station her sophomore year, after hearing about it through friends.
“I started out as an RIU2 DJ my sophomore year,” Conway said. “One of my best friends had gotten involved, and a bunch of my other friends were involved and had shows. It was an awesome way to just have an hour of my week, to play music and talk about whatever I wanted to talk about.”
Conway is the program director of RIU2, the online-only version of the University’s radio station. With this, she trains and works with students who will work towards having their own slot during the broadcast each week.
“RIU2 is the online-only version of WRIU, so it’s a student station. It is a great way for students to learn the basics of radio, and the ins and outs of broadcasting,” Conway said. “They have, typically, hour-long slots to start. I train students… mostly freshmen… I teach them the rules of the station, how to use the soundboard, how to broadcast, how to make playlists.”
Having grown up with a love for music, Conway uses the music she has listened to her whole life to choose the songs that she plays during her time on the radio. She broadcasts during a “student freeform” slot which allows her to choose any genre of music for two hours.
“I typically stick with the rock genre, meaning alternative and 90s, for the first hour. Then, I go into classic rock for the second hour… and I talk a bit about music, because it is something that I love and I grew up on,” Conway said.
Working for RIU2 and WRIU is a great way to develop skills that Conway finds unique and interesting, and hopes many incoming freshmen will as well.
“It is a skill set that not everybody has, and it is a really awesome thing to learn about. I listen to the radio all the time, I am not one of those people who put on a playlist on my phone… but when I get in the car I always turn on the radio, especially now that I work for a radio station, I turn it on all the time,” Conway said. “There’s just something about listening to a set that someone chooses or that people call in for, that is more personal, and I really like it.”
Looking back on her experience with the radio station, Conway is grateful for her past four years and everything she has learned from it.
“It is one of the greatest things that I decided to do,” Conway said. “I kind of fell into it… and all of the sudden I’m just here and a part of something that is so great and so important… It has really been an awesome way to learn how to be an effective adult, getting real world experience while still being a student… I’m really happy that I’ve done this here.”
Catch Conway’s show on Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on WRIU, 90.3 on the FM dial.