WMCX’s show “Nuestros Sonidos Latinos” won the 2020 Intercollegiate Broadcast System’s (IBS) first place trophy for best foreign language broadcast. The win makes Monmouth University the first university radio station outside the state of California to achieve the honor. The IBS annual conference, which honors outstanding stations among college and high school media, was held on Friday, March 6, and Saturday, March 7 in New York City’s Hotel Pennsylvania.
Frank Domenico Cipriani ’17M, specialist professor of Spanish communication, noted that “Nuestros Sonidos Latinos” has been nominated for the past three years since the category was introduced—the only radio show to be consecutively nominated. Other colleges and universities nominated in this category this year included Nassau Community College; California State University, Long Beach; and Goshen College.
Students Karla Avila, Denisse Quintanilla, Paola Sosa, and Jessica Jacho took home the awards, although they did not attend the conference in person due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak.
Quintanilla, a sophomore, has been working for WMCX for two years as a co-host. Quintanilla said, “When we found out we won this award it was such an incredible feeling. I am immensely proud of this show and the people that make it up.”
“Since I started at Monmouth, WMCX was my home where I learned so much about radio and would have the time of my life doing something I really loved,” Avila added. Avila, a senior, has been a co-host for three years.
“When I found out that our show won, I couldn’t believe it. We were always so close each year, and we would give our all and now it has all paid off. It’s a great way to say goodbye being it is my senior year,” said Avila. “I loved sharing with others my culture, my language, my personality, my charisma, my music, as well as informing them nationally and internationally on different topics, giving them incredible interviews from musicians, poets and writers to regular people with inspiring stories.”
The show encourages involvement from all students of Hispanic heritage, even those who don’t speak the language, Cipriani explained. “It’s a great way of re-acquiring your heritage. Once I recruit students, I suggest potential interviews, but the current students are very good at that. I also look for internship and industry connections for the students, regardless of major, discuss programs, follow up and bring the pre-broadcast empanadas,” Cipriani said.
Cipriani, who has been working with the students for five years, was invited to present a panel discussion at the conference on the challenges of creating and promoting radio shows for ethnic communities. Cipriani had planned to have students Avila, Quintanilla, and Sosa as panelists, but travel plans had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.
Cipriani discussed the challenges in producing a foreign language show during his presentation, noting a lack of diversity on campuses prompts students to discuss the challenges they face on air.
Cipriani said that a Spanish communication major is something he hopes to bring to campus, adding that Monmouth would be one of only five such majors in the country. “We will have some incredible offerings, great internships, and exciting prospects of things to come. These could include dubbing and voiceover work, work on animated PSAs [public service announcements] with a company now responsible for content on Cartoon Network, and my big dream—a network of college radio stations throughout the Spanish-speaking world.”
Students have had internships with Roc Nation and Romeo Santos, Radio Amor and Gloria B, Univision in New York City, as well as Telemundo in New York and Philadelphia.
Avila said, “The entire Spanish department I consider mi familia, my family, each and every one of them. More importantly, Professor Maginn, Professor Cipriani, and Professor Barrea. Each of them has a special place in my heart forever. They all see so much more in me beyond what I see in myself, they encourage me daily in every interaction I make with them. Another special professor for me is Professor Hokanson in the communication department, she is such a beautiful spirit that inspires me. She always reminds me how great I am and that touches my heart.”
This year, “Nuestros Sonidos Latinos” has been able to leverage IBS success to land several celebrity interviews, including Johann Vera (La Banda), Aimée Miranda (La Voz), and Latin Grammy award winner Hernan Romero.
“Nuestros Sonidos Latinos” airs Wednesday nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Visit WMCX’s website for more information.
Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, Inc., (IBS) is a nonprofit educational association and foundation founded in 1940 and serves as a resource for nonprofit education-affiliated high school, college, and community tv/radio stations and streaming/webcasters. IBS hosts radio conferences all over the country, presenting over 250 seminars annually.