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"Where Are They Now?" with Michelle Crouch

In this series, we're catching up with some of the UNCW/WHQR past Graduate Fellows. 

Next up is Michelle Crouch. Michelle was the Member Services Fellow from 2012-2014. 

What is your job title and role now?

Assistant Director, Sponsored Programs, Swarthmore College. In my role, I work with humanities faculty to find and apply for research and sabbatical grant funding.

What was your position at WHQR and how long were you here?

I was the Membership Fellow from 2012-2014.

What school were you in and what was your degree?

UNCW Graduate School, MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction)

What do you remember most about your time at HQR?

I enjoyed the bustling environment of the station -- there was always something going on and lots of quirky personalities in the mix! I loved working with our volunteers (special shout-out to Lindsay McG and Merritt & Mindy!). Staffing the gallery receptions was a highlight. I don't think I could work full time in event planning, but once in a while arranging flowers and pouring wine is a nice change of pace. Pledge drives, of course, were always memorable, especially when everyone got a little loopy from sleep deprivation towards the end. And I still think about Barbara Bush's famous Brunswick stew sometimes.

Any funny or exceptional memory or experience you can share?

One of my favorite experiences was when George went out of town and let me host Smooth Landings for a few days. I had a lot of fun putting together the playlists and using my best radio voice. A listener called in to the feedback line to compliment the show, and I've always treasured that memory!

How did your fellowship impact your future and where you are now?

My position at WHQR, and Mary Bradley's mentorship, led directly to where I am now. I gained experience in nearly every aspect of fundraising. From the radio station, I was hired at the Office of University Development at Duke University. In 2019, I pivoted to grants administration, and the fact that I had worked on the grant-funded A Season's Griot program was valuable experience in that realm. Working with faculty is challenging and intellectually stimulating, and it's a great day job for a writer.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I'm working on a book, so when it's published I hope you'll have me back for an interview! 

To catch up with other past WHQR/UNCW Graduate Fellows, click here.