"Where Are They Now?" with Laura Hunsberger
In this series, we're catching up with some of WHQR's past Graduate Fellows.
Next up is Laura Hunsberger. Laura was the Member Services Fellow from 2010 - 2012.
What is your job title and role now?
Part-Time SAHM/Part-Time Library Assistant in the Reference Department for Lexington County Public Library. Since 2018 I've been able to stay home with my young children and work part-time at the local library. My role in the Reference Department includes community outreach, planning programs for adults, and helping library patrons with computer and other tech literacy.
What was your position at WHQR and how long were you here?
Membership Intern. I worked in Membership for two years from 2010 to 2012, which at the time encompassed various elements such as fundraising, outreach/events, social media, and grant writing.
What school were you in and what was your degree?
UNCW Creative Writing Program; MFA in Nonfiction (2013)
What do you remember most about your time at HQR?
While my internship was in primarily an administrative and outreach role, I had opportunities while with HQR to learn how to report and produce pieces for broadcast. The news staff provided training and support that allowed me to come away with a rich, well-rounded experience that opened doors for my future career and life. I also made some fantastic friendships with other interns, staff, and volunteers!
Any funny or exceptional memory or experience you can share?
I worked overnight with the news team during Hurricane Irene in 2011. I remember sleeping on the floor of the Membership office after working into the early hours of the morning on pitches for NPR's National newscast. My apartment at the time was not particularly sheltered from the weather conditions, so I actually felt safer staying at the station; however, I didn't want my dog to stay alone in my unsafe apartment so "JoJo" joined us for the night. Anyone who remembers me from around Wilmington knows that my small dog was infamously yappy, and she gave the station manager a scare when he almost sat on her in a chair she had claimed.
How did your fellowship impact your future and where you are now?
Because of my work at HQR, I was hired by South Carolina Public Radio in 2012 to work as a production assistant on NPR-acquired programs "Song Travels with Michael Feinstein" and "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz." The variety of experience I had at HQR, from working on the NEA grant cycle for "A Season's Griot" to learning production and voicing skills with the HQR news team, made me an ideal fit for a career in public media, where staff members often have to wear multiple hats. I worked for South Carolina Public Radio full-time until 2018, expanding from national programs to the station's news team and assisting in the administration of a major grant from the CPB. I am especially proud of an initiative to digitize the archives of "Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz," which I continued through 2019 for the ETV Endowment of South Carolina.
Anything else you'd like to add?
When I decided to transition to part-time work at the library, my time at WHQR again became invaluable. My role with the library draws from my outreach and programming experience in the Membership Department. While I had my sights set on a news role with WHQR originally, it was truly serendipitous that I got to work Membership instead. Not only did it equip me to work in public radio, it also gave me the versatility to work in other fields of media arts and nonprofit/public service.
To catch up with other past WHQR/UNCW Graduate Fellows, click here.