On Air
Outback Soundhouse Diverse rock sub-genres, typically from the 90s

Alen Ashikian | Public Affairs Director

29 October 2019 Host Spotlight

How did you find your way to KUCI?
Before I even started my freshman year, I went to the Anteater Involvement Fair during Week 0, and as I wandered around Aldrich Park, I saw the KUCI booth. I excitedly signed up for emails, and then went to the first training class of fall quarter.

And how did you let yourself be talked into being KUCI’s Public Affairs director?
I had wanted to get more involved with the station and was already friends with the previous PA Director. I became her assistant and she asked me if I wanted to assume the position once she graduated.

What do you do, as Public Affairs director?
Basically take care of anything related to the talk shows here at KUCI. Making the schedule takes me longer than I thought it would. Other things include combing through emails and seeing which ones could be beneficial to the PA hosts. I’m also working on coordinating show reviews for PA.

What’s the best thing about the job?
Getting to be involved and work with such a diverse group of people of varying backgrounds and interests.

The worst?
Filtering the constant stream of emails.

How does someone host a show—or become a DJ?
Every quarter, students can join the training course. After completing the course, you can apply for their own show for the following quarter.

What’s the training like? Is there a test?
The training class is about one hour, once a week. It covers all of the information needed to become a DJ. Part of the class is completing 10 volunteer hours around the station, which includes 2 internships with existing shows. There is an exam at the end of the quarter. It is multiple choice, as well as an FCC portion.

When is the next training?
The next training open to students would be this upcoming Winter Quarter, 2020.
Due to some changes from ASUCI, moving forward, only people affiliated with UCI Can take the training course and become DJs, in any quarter. So students, staff, or UCI affiliated persons in the directory can be involved with KUCI in any official capacity.

You don’t have a show this quarter. Why?
Last spring quarter I took 23 units, which included teaching a class, being part of a couple of club boards, and on top of that, putting together a show every week.  I needed a break, so I scaled back on classes and decided to put my show on hold for now since I would be taking on a larger role within the station anyway.

Will you be back?
I hope to be, perhaps next quarter. Even after I graduate I would want to stick around.

Tell us about the last show you had.
It was called Meme Roundup and was about internet memes.  More broadly, I discussed current online trends and which bits of pop culture were currently being satirically transformed into humorous images or videos.  I had a co-host in winter, but then for spring I brought on guests to discuss various meme topics with, varying from specific genres of memes to more academic discussions.  And of course there was (some) goofing around as well.

Before I let you go, tell me about your studies at UCI?
I’m a Business Administration major, with an emphasis in marketing.  Besides business, I also enjoy music a lot.  So much so, that I was able to teach a seminar about progressive rock here at UCI, through the UTeach program.  I plan on teaching it again next spring before I graduate.

Now, completely off-topic, what’s in your fridge?
Besides the ordinary eggs and bread, I’ve got some dark chocolate, at least two boxes of cereal, feta cheese, cranberry juice, various fruits and veggies, and probably something that is about to go bad but still has a couple days left.

On your nightstand?
A bottle of water, a lamp, my phone, and my Bible.

Your three favorite books of the last year—or your life, up to you.
1984, Robinson Crusoe, and Lord of the Rings

— October 29, 2019


Barbara DeMarco-Barrett (Public affairs director twice during her 21 years at KUCI) is host of Writers on Writing, Wednesdays at 9 a.m., and a contributor to USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series (Akashic, 2013). Watch the book trailer at penonfire.com.