Bluffton University - Woodring communicates academic excellence
Alex Woodring, Sherwood, Ohio
Alex Woodring was like many first-year students when he came to Bluffton three years
I had no idea what I wanted to do, admits the Sherwood, Ohio, native, who sampled
classes in several possible majors. But during spring semester of that year, he started
volunteering at campus radio station WBWH, where he met communication majors who told
him about the department.
The following fall, Woodring took his first communication courses, in radio production
and rhetoric, and found just the right combination of the practical and the intellectual,
Now a senior, he is merging the two in a radio program, Academic Excellence with
Alex Woodring, that debuted in October on WBWH. The station, at 99.3 on the FM dial,
is also streamed online at blufftonconnection.com
His interest in the intellectual aspects of communication was fueled, he says, by
his rhetoric professor, Dr. Gerald Mast. And on the media side of his major, he likes
production, which he has learned from Dr. Daniel Fultz, an assistant professor. The
radio show, he says, seemed like a great opportunity to engage both at the same time.
To that end, Woodring is recording Friday afternoon colloquia at which Bluffton faculty
discuss their research then interviewing them afterward. That material will comprise
some of the programs, as will, he hopes, interviews with faculty about their journeys
on recent sabbaticals and on the academic road to earning their doctorates. He also
plans student-focused shows, including one with volleyball player Jenna Eshleman on
maintaining academic excellence while in athletics.
Woodring, says Mast, exhibits the kind of curiosity about the world and enthusiasm
for learning that professors dream about when they think about engaged students.
When it comes to working with technologies, Alex is as tenacious as he is fearless
and his productions demonstrate both qualities, adds Fultz, also praising him for
the ability to bring the right mix of students together to accomplish big projects.
Woodring does that in part as practicum supervisor (head editor) of Bluffton Connection,
which incorporates an online version of the former student newspaper, The Witmarsum,
Looking beyond Bluffton, he intends to stick with media production, whether radio
or television. But he s not forgoing his intellectual interests, either graduate school
is on his radar within the next couple years, and college-level teaching is a possibility
after that, Woodring says.