When highlighting successful Lander University mass communications alumni, one graduate's voice can be heard across the country every day.
Her professors remember her as Ashley Ferry, who graduated from Lander University in 2010. But her fans know her best by her on-air name, Brooke Taylor - an assistant program director at iHeart Media and host of the afternoon show for WEBG FM, Chicago's BIG 95.5.
While she's based in Chicago, Taylor also hosts a night show on KWBL in Denver, and weekend shows on KNIX in Phoenix, WPOC in Baltimore, and iHeartCountry Custom, which covers over 100 stations in the United States. "In total, I record 15 shows a week," said Taylor, "which is why I love the technology of radio. I can be in Chicago while hosting a show in Denver. It's the coolest thing!"
When she's not on the air, Taylor spends her time working on "show prep," including local and national news, country music news and looking at the latest album releases. She can also be seen in iHeartCountry Weekly Round Up, which covers the top news stories of the week in country music.
In addition to weekend shows, Taylor also works concerts when they come to town, even conducting live interviews with artists before and after the shows.
"Radio is a 24/7 job," Taylor said. "We don't get a spring break. We usually don't have a lot of holidays off, and it's really one of those jobs where you have to love what you do or you'll get burned out. It's tough, and very time-consuming, but I'd take this over a desk job any day."
Taylor insists that it wasn't the time spent sitting in a traditional classroom, but the time spent behind the microphone that truly prepared her for a successful career in radio. "You can't just 'teach' radio," she said. Instead, her passion was fueled by professors "actually letting you go live on the radio, go out and film news stories, come back in and edit a package and put it together yourself."
"It's really the best way to learn," she said.
This story is featured in the Fall 2019 edition of Lander Magazine. Read more at www.lander.edu/magazine.