KAPU: A Working Classroom

by Andrew Wheeler '06

When Gugliemo Marconi found a practical use for radio waves in 1896, he never could have understood the immense possibilities and applications for his invention. Today, radio is a multi-billion dollar business that is at the forefront of politics and pop-culture. For many colleges and universities, it has also become a powerful teaching tool for those students wishing to go into the world of radio. Azusa Pacific University is no exception to this, with the student-run radio station KAPU. “The radio station was instigated, started, and built by students,” said Paul Creasman, Ph.D., associate professor of communication and adviser for KAPU. “In April of 1999, KAPU went on the air, but it was totally a student effort starting with [alumnus] Jason Seeba and a core group of about three other students.” “KAPU provides a place for students to learn how to run a radio station," Creasman said. "KAPU is an academic program, so its first purpose is to give students practical, hands-on experience with radio,” This hands-on experience has helped numerous students to get jobs in the radio industry after they graduate. Mike Benton ’04, the media relations manager and broadcaster for the Stockton Thunder, is a former KAPU broadcaster. “It all started there with KAPU, and me doing all type of sports, helping me put together a demo tape. I think KAPU really helped me out, basically sharpening me as a versatile broadcaster.” The station has also given invaluable experience to those currently involved and just getting started with KAPU. “I’ve always been interested in broadcasting, and so far, KAPU has been a great opportunity,” said Rob Schwandt ’09. “The whole radio experience has been just wonderful so far, and I really think its going to build me up for a great start in whatever medium I pursue when I graduate.” “It’s liberating to be able to express yourself through radio, and having people enjoy your music,” said Claire Sawyer ’06. “It’s a great outlet for me to express myself over the airwaves, and is something that wouldn’t normally be open to me as a college student,” Adam Cozens ’06 said. KAPU can be heard in campus residence halls at 104.7 FM, in the Shire Mods at 530 AM, or globally on the World Wide Web at kapuradio.com.