April Baker of Fort Defiance, Va., a senior majoring in English in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, says she was looking for something to fill her fall schedule as the spring semester came to a close when her boss at University Unions and Student Activities encouraged her to apply to be the voice of Virginia Tech’s Hokiecast.
Hokiecast is a three-to-five minute weekly podcast that airs every Monday by noon on the university’s website. In the podcast Baker informs students about the weather and events for the upcoming week. It includes everything from Hokie football to information about upcoming career fairs. Baker says she likes to keep a variety of news on Hokiecast, but likes to emphasize certain events and opportunities that are not given much attention.
She also says she believes that there are many opportunities offered for students at Virginia Tech, but not many people choose to participate or have knowledge of such opportunities. She has taken it upon herself to inform her fellow students on what is happening around campus.
Baker, who likes the arts and outdoors, says she chooses the material that should be included in the podcast based upon her own interests, but also leaves that task up to the student population. She is the first to create a Facebook page for Hokiecast where students can submit events to be listed on the weekly podcast. Baker says she looks at online event calendars, table cards from dining halls, and flyers around campus to help gather other topics for the show.
The information she gathers about the upcoming week is taken home where she formulates a script for the Monday morning recording session which usually takes a few tries before the final product is ready to air.
When Baker is not working on Hokiecast, she is involved with other media in the department. She works with University Relations on spotlight videos for the Virginia Tech website. Baker says the two have helped her excel in her major.
“I want to take English and make it more than just reading a book,” she said. Baker says she likes working on her own and learning more through interviewing people for various stories.
Although she is heavily involved with extracurriculars, Baker says she still finds time to relax and hang out with friends. As an outdoorsy type, she likes to take trips to the Cascades and the river when the weather permits.
Baker leads by example when she says people should be more involved on campus. Along with her media work she is also a rank captain for the piccolos in the Marching Virginians, the soundtrack for the Hokie football season.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.
Tim Sweet, a junior from Newtown, Pa., is majoring in communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.