The Next Wave Radio Project

WUOT’s Next Wave Radio Project gives the brightest and most ambitious college students an opportunity to experience public radio journalism from the inside.  Most Next Wave students at WUOT served the station as staff reporters, covering events, researching stories, recording and editing interviews and writing news copy for air. At the same time, the effort introduced a new generation to the passion that drives public radio. 

Below, you'll find the radio stories produced by some of our distinguished Next Wave alumni. Who knows? Maybe one of them will be the next Audie Cornish or Steve Inskeep.

Celeste de la Rosa- Turning A Disability Into An Opportunity

Aug 22, 2013
WUOT File Photo: Matt Shafer Powell

The job interview can be an intimidating experience even for the most prepared and confident candidate, but a job seeker with a disability faces an even greater set of challenges.  They have to show the employer they can do the job, but they also have to overcome any fears and assumptions the employer may have about working with someone who has a disability.  As part of our Next Wave Radio Project, WUOT’s Celeste de la Rosa looks into how some of those job candidates are turning their disabilities into opportunities... 

Lauren Blankenship- Arithmomania Has Twelve Letters

May 16, 2013

Unless you spend a lot of time doing crossword puzzles or tweeting, counting the number of letters in a word might seem like a pointless endeavor.  But for a tiny segment of the population, the urge to count letters is irresistible, sometimes to the point of distraction.  WUOT’s Lauren Blankenship knows a lot about counting letters.  She's been doing it since she could read.  As part of WUOT's Next Wave Radio Project, Lauren filed this reflection...

Katharine Lusky- Pilots 'n' Paws

May 9, 2013

The U.S. Census Bureau says more than 4 million pets are euthanized each year in America because there’s not enough space in shelters. Here in Knox County, the Young-Williams Animal Center had to euthanize more than 60% of the animals they housed last year. But a national charity with roots in Knoxville is trying to change that. Airplane pilots working for the group "Pilots ‘n’ Paws" donate their planes, time and money to fly these animals to people who want to adopt them.

Madeline Brown- Circus Class

May 9, 2013

The Knox County Commission recently approved a $7 million increase in funding for the county school system. Some of that money is earmarked for a program known as the Community Schools Initiative. This collaboration between the county, the University of Tennessee and the United Way attempts to provide poorer schools with a variety of services and techniques to help disadvantaged students learn basic skills.

Missy La Vone- The Healing Farm

May 9, 2013

For more than a million Americans every year, a cancer diagnosis becomes a transformative experience. For Leaf Myczack of Rockwood, it was a catalyst to a healthier, happier life. As part of WUOT’s Next Wave Radio Project, Missy La Vone has the story of a man who declined conventional treatment when he discovered the path to his recovery meanders right through his East Tennessee farm.

Kathleen Schuster- Bilingual Hands

May 9, 2013

Learning English to get by is challenging for many adult immigrants. At least at home, they can use whatever language they want to---that is, unless their kids refuse to speak anything but English. Many immigrant families deal with this language-problem daily and find a compromise. But what if they have child who is deaf or has hearing loss? As part of WUOT’s Next Wave Radio Project, Kathleen Schuster reports on how one local Hispanic family has balanced not two, but three languages.

Kathleen Schuster- Aging Out

May 9, 2013

Since 2007, a non-profit group known as "Computers For Kids" has been giving away laptop computers to various organizations-- like the Boys and Girls Club. And more than 2,000 of them have gone to kids aging out of Tennessee's foster care system. Whether or not the computers are actually helping these at-risk kids is debatable and hard to track. But some have found them to be an important part of the transition from life in foster care to life in the Real World. Kathleen Schuster has this report, part of WUOT's Next Wave Radio Project.



Annie Byrnes- Home Brew

May 9, 2013

When you think of the process of brewing beer, you might conjure images of elephant-sized copper kettles and elaborate networks of pipes.  But here in Knoxville, a group of brewers is making beer on a much smaller scale – in their kitchens, garages, and driveways.  As part of WUOT’s Next Wave Radio Project, Annie Byrnes takes a look at the passion behind the process of making a good brew.

Jennifer Parker- Feeding the Birds

May 9, 2013

The painkiller Oxycontin was introduced in 1995 as a panacea drug for people suffering from chronic, extreme pain.  Among its early users were patients who suffered from cancer, debilitating injuries and severe arthritis.  But before long, recreational drug users began taking it because of its narcotic high.  And they soon found it to be highly addictive.  As part of WUOT’s Next Wave Radio Project, Jennifer Parker spoke to a young Maryville man who now lives his life in the grip of this powerful drug.

Amber Harding- Seniors and Pets

May 9, 2013

Recent studies, like one done by the Baker Medical Research Institute in Australia, have found that owning pets can actually help people live longer, healthier lives.  These benefits can be especially valuable for the elderly.  As part of WUOT's Next Wave Radio Project, Amber Harding takes a look at a program in Knoxville that’s bringing lonely seniors,and lonely pets together.