While Jerry Swanson has been attending UAF for five years, this is his first summer in Fairbanks, and he’s spending it as an on-air announcer with KUAC FM. Last semester Jerry was an intern and now he’s evolved into a student worker, filling in wherever needed as an FM host.
Jerry, who grew up in Australia, Seward and Montana, is studying for a film degree at UAF. After his internship, he wanted to stay. This is his first job in radio, though he has done sound work on film sets and recorded his own album of guitar music when he was a high school student.
“I’m looking for experience in sound,” he said. “KUAC is a nice mix. You have to stay on top of things but it’s also very relaxed.”
His goals are to find a career in sound or music. “I don’t hate the idea of staying in Fairbanks unless a better opportunity takes me elsewhere,” he said. When he isn’t on air or creating music, Jerry enjoys hiking and backpacking.
Lori Neufeld, KUAC FM volunteer coordinator and music director, said, “Jerry is a tech-savvy student willing to learn new skills. This is a winning combo for KUAC and our internship program. He knows his way around a sound stage/studio. He came to us with a good knowledge of running sound, i.e. setting up microphones, stands, cables and recording.”
She said when she introduced Jerry to radio announcing, he was a little timid at first but quickly gained confidence with practice and became a regular voice on the KUAC airwaves. “Jerry is quick to pick up new editing software and tech devices. A project that might take me two hours because of interruptions can take Jerry under an hour because he’s a fast study,” Neufeld said. “I’m happy to have Jerry stick around KUAC. He’s a reliable student worker and we value his eagerness to learn and apply his knowledge he gained from interning here in FM.”