Students volunteer at UF’s TV, radio stations following successful open house

Published: October 26th, 2009

Category: InsideUF, Seen & Heard, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Journalism junior Kathryn Stolarz was one of 300 students who recently participated in the University of Florida broadcast stations’ first open house.

Taking a tour of the stations at UF’s College of Journalism and Communications made Stolarz want to pursue her broadcast-news interest, she said. The following week, Stolarz started volunteering at WUFT-TV. She hopes to work her way up to anchor.

“I learned that the television studio offers a very friendly and welcoming environment,” Stolarz said. “They are very willing to train you in whatever your interest might be.”

The stations, which recently restructured into the Division of Multimedia Properties, held the open house to encourage more participation among advertising, journalism and public relations, noted Rob Carr, chair of the open house committee and the college’s director of engineering. In the past, most student volunteers were telecommunication majors.

“Dean (John) Wright wants students to take a more active role in the stations,” Carr said. “When the students leave this college, we want them to be able to step out and be ahead of their counterparts.”

The open house made the stations seem more accessible, said Ben Stearns, a second-year journalism master’s student. After receiving an e-mail about the event, he attended it to look for opportunities to build his portfolio. During the tour he met Donna Green-Townsend, WUFT-FM executive producer, who encouraged him to add multimedia elements to his thesis project.

“It’s made me more open to more electronic modes,” Stearns said. He started volunteering at WUFT-FM the following week.

The stations plan to hold the open house annually or semi-annually. For more information, visit

The college is a national leader in the professional education of future journalists and other communication practitioners. It offers undergraduate programs in advertising, print and broadcast journalism, public relations, and telecommunication; and graduate programs in science/health communication, media law, political communication and international communication.


Rob Carr,, 352-392-5551

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