MANCHESTER, Conn. (January 3, 2019) – Recently Manchester Community College’s on-campus radio station celebrated ten years of student-run programming.
In 2008, a group of enterprising members of the student radio club had an idea. Using then state-of-the-art internet technology, they conceived of streaming audio — featuring live music and talk show formats — to their campus community from a website they would create. ICE Radio was born.
The students worked hard turning what started out as a pipe dream into a fully functional, live internet radio station. With the support of the radio club faculty advisor, Communications Professor Albert Kim, the original equipment was funded by a special Connecticut state grant that offers money to higher education programs that directly incorporate new technology.
The station, housed initially in a storage room and then moved later to a surplus office space, served as a real-world, hands-on experience for students. Faculty and staff also got involved, working alongside students to produce music shows, sports updates and current-events discussion roundtables.
In 2013 ICE Radio began broadcasting simultaneously over the airwaves at 1620AM, a signal that expanded to the MCC campus in addition to streaming on the internet. In 2017, ICE Radio launched a free mobile app for both iPhone and Android devices through its streaming partner, RadioFx. ICE Radio has grown into a great place for students to learn all aspects of running a real radio station — programming, producing public service announcements and commercial spots, hosting shows and promoting the college to the community.
Today the station is housed in a modern facility within the Student Services Center and, with the support of Director of Cooperative Education Bob Henderson, it also serves as an on-campus internship site for students interested in the field. ICE Radio sponsors food drives and fundraising events to provide students with service learning and volunteer opportunities. The station also conducts “red carpet” interviews of guests at the college’s annual signature fundraising event, Evening of Fine Food and Friends.
“It’s incredible to think that an entire decade has passed,” Kim said. “There have been so many students involved over the years, and for some it’s become a jumpstart to landing productive jobs in radio broadcasting or media arts.”
For example, Evan Shaw-Mumford ’08, ICE Radio’s first president, graduated from MCC to a station-promotion job at iHeart Radio of Connecticut and eventually secured on-air positions at Lite 100.5 WRCH/Hartford and Kiss 95.7FM and other stations, and then started his own successful deejay business.
“MCC and ICE Radio helped me gain the knowledge, experience and confidence I needed to be successful in radio,” Shaw-Mumford said. “From the first day of my internship at our new internet radio station right on our campus, to the first day as an employee at iHeart Radio, I always felt prepared and ready to fit in with the staff, and I am grateful for that.”
To listen to ICE Radio, visit www.manchestercc.edu/ice or tune to 1620AM when on the MCC campus.