Jeff Shelly is Felician’s Multi-Media Communications Specialist and Station Manager of Radio Felician University - the 24/7 internet-based, student run radio station serving as the voice of Felician University of New Jersey.
The station, which went off the air for about a year and a half, is coming back in a big way with membership now open to all students, not just Communications majors.
“There is so much potential in this seemingly small piece of Felician. Radio Felician provides countless opportunities to our community members for creative programming; not to mention the various industry-related learning opportunities for our students," Dr. George Abaunza, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, who never gave up hope for reviving the station, said. "It would have been a tremendous shame to allow this to simply go away.”
Abaunza worked closely with radio engineer David Plotkin over several months to refurbish the studios and update the equipment.
This is radio for the 21st century, so instead of “spinning records” in the old sense of the word, students learn the latest on how streaming audio works. “I think this is a great way for students to learn the business of radio, how to present a radio show, not only a music show, but also news, talk, sports, public affairs, and other types of entertainment,” says Shelly.
Shelly caught the radio bug himself while an undergraduate at Rutgers University. After an award-winning career in television news, including a long-time stint with Time Warner, he eventually earned his BA in Communications from Felician University.
For him Radio Felician University is a win-win for any student interested in media studies. “If you're a journalism student, and you want to learn how to conduct an interview, and how to take that raw interview, and piece it together into a news piece, we can teach you how to do that. You can learn it, apply your craft and get better at it.”
Shelly sees Radio Felician as more than just a learning lab for students. He’s currently working with the University’s libraries to invite students, professors, and people from the greater Felician community to read works for a short story and poetry project called Sunday Storytellers.
And even though Radio Felician University is not a real radio station in the traditional sense, Shelly says it’s being run like one.
“Last year we decided that even though we weren't broadcasting we were going to follow FCC rules and regulations for content, and for the use of the station. We’re not only a public service to the University, but to the community at large as well," he said, adding that it will come in handy as the public abides by safety precautions to stay indoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Felician professors, administrators, and staff read poetry for a program that aired St Patrick’s day, so the radio station is just one way Felician is staying connected in a positive way in this difficult time.”
Shelly also worked with Andrew Fellows, director of Campus Ministry at Felician to produce a series of Lenten Reflections. “Radio Felician has been a great blessing especially during the COVID-19 pandemic in helping spread awareness about mission driven programming, especially with our Lenten Reflections," Fellows said. "The feedback from many of our community members has been very positive, with many noting that hearing the Lenten Reflections read aloud allows a unique opportunity to slow down and process how our faith is calling to us each day.”
In addition, the University aired a Veteran’s Day ceremony in its entirety on Radio Felician, as well as a ceremony honoring former US Secretary Jeh Johnson when he received Felician’s 2020 Martin Luther King Legacy Award, and a reading of the Red Wheelbarrow Poets most recent book of poetry. Most recently Shelly interviewed 2019 graduate and New York Mets farmhand L.T Struble along with two of Struble’s Felician teammates Danny Healey Jr. and William Kazura.
So far, Radio Felician University has a handful of student members, and now due to COVID-19 must rely on its automatic playback system they’ve dubbed “Felician Phil” to fill the airtime 24/7 with Alt-Rock Music. Shelly says he looks forward to the time when he has a dedicated group of students involved and “they can develop that culture of getting things done, so I can just be a manager and push the resources where they are needed.”
To listen to Radio Felician University right now, click on this link http://edge.mixlr.com/channel/oozbc or visit felician.edu, click on “Campus Life” then click on “Clubs And Organizations” then click on “Radio Felician University.”