One of the many things that the pandemic has taught us is, how to find new and creative ways to stay in touch with each other. At 81 years of age, Dr. Ralph “Doc” Anttonen is not very tech savvy but felt the need to stay in touch with the students at Millersville University’s WIXQ campus radio station; So, he enlisted the help of Millersville graduate, Shane Garcia ’19, to help him start a podcast. In May of 2020 the idea of “Scholastic Transmission: A College Radio Podcast” was born.
Anttonen is a former faculty member of MU, an advisor for WIXQ and has had his own radio show with his wife for over four decades, so not being able to go to the radio station because of the pandemic was hard on him. “Doc is someone who thrives off of human interaction,” says Garcia.
Even after retiring, Anttonen would still come around the radio station every day for lunch. He really dedicated himself to not only the radio station, but also to helping the students at Millersville. The two stayed in touch when Garcia graduated, so it was only natural that when Anttonen approached him and said “Shane, I have a crazy idea. I have no idea how to do it, so I’m going to need your help doing it.” Garcia jumped at the opportunity to help him put the show together. Anttonen relies on Garcia for anything technology related and refers to himself as simply a “talking head.”
“I was there for 35 years and I just wanted to help people,” says Anttonen.
“Doc believes that college radio is more than just about people who want to get into radio. It’s about all people from different types of majors coming together to do it as an extracurricular activity with the common love of their own personal interests and putting that out there for the people to hear,” says Garcia.
The Scholastic Transmission podcast seeks to provide listeners with the tools to preserve and promote college radio. The show features tales and describes what it takes to make a successful college radio station. It also includes stories from college radio alumni. The podcast discusses everything from how to finance your college radio station to resolving conflicts at your college radio station. Of course, there are stories mixed in about Anttonen and Garcia’s time at WIXQ. New episodes of the podcast drop every Wednesday.
“Anybody who loves college radio, just heard of college radio or just want to learn more about college radio; it’s just a means to connect with people and talk about why radio is so important and so needed during a time when radio might not be the most popular medium like it used to be 15, 20, 30, 40 years ago. It has a deeper importance than just the media connection, it has a stronger connection for the students developing the personality, developing leadership skills, and we wanted to put that out there to let people know why college radio is truly important, and people should preserve and promote it in their own right,” says Garcia.
You can find the Scholastic Transmission wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts and stream music. Class is dismissed.