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"Where Are They Now?" Featuring Jason Hess

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What is/are your job title(s) and role(s) now?

I am a Children’s Librarian for Forsyth County Public Library in Winston Salem, NC. I spend a lot of time finding kids books about dinosaurs and pretending to be an airplane.

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

Webmaster, one year

What school were you in and what was your degree at UNCW?

Creative Writing: Nonfiction, MFA

What do you remember most about your time at HQR? 

I most remember how welcoming everyone was, and how willing you all were to throw me right into the middle of things. I really loved the chance to dabble in a little bit of everything. I learned some about the tech that keeps the station up and running, how to work with volunteers, how to use Drupal (sounds like a Pokemon, but it’s not) for web publishing, and a bunch of other things!

Any funny or exceptional memory or experience you can share?

Well, I got to interview the author Tim O'Brien, which was a pretty amazing experience. I always had fun working pledge drives! One experience that was great was seeing the band Stray Local play in a local bar while out for drinks with Morning Edition host Jeremy Loeb. We thought they were pretty good, and George must have agreed because he’s now had them on Soup to Nuts Live a couple of times.

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

It really helped me effectively interact with a large and diverse swath of the public. In the public library you never know what question will be asked and what need someone will come to you with. It’s a great job with a great variety of work, not unlike working in a community-focused radio station that broadcasts news, blues, rock, and live recordings, but that also hosts art openings and community events.

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Watch Jason giving a story time during the work-from-home days of the pandemic.

Mary Bradley moved to Wilmington from Los Angeles, CA in May 2007 with her husband Frank and twin baby daughters, Maggie and Kate. In California, Mary had been Drive Director and the producer of Elvis Mitchell's nationally syndicated public radio interview program "The Treatment" for public radio station KCRW for ten years. Mary was raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Boston University. Mary recently served as President of the Board of Directors of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Cape Fear Chapter.