Nine years ago, a veteran journalist who possessed deep connections with community members at every level joined us as WMUK's local Morning Edition Host. Earlene McMichael was also a regular contributor to the Station’s previously-run WestSouthwest and Arts & More programs. Earlene had been an editor, reporter and columnist for many years at the Kalamazoo Gazette newspaper, where she founded a longtime journalism training program for high-school and college students. She was a radio newsanchor in college. Now, sadly, we must say good-bye!
Earlene will be joining another educational institution, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, as its Marketing Project Manager, effective November 1, where she will be applying her journalistic skills to publications, social media and much more.
We're thankful that you'll continue to hear her voice for a bit more! Her last day is October 22.
Earlene's contributions to our radio station have been profound. Over the years, she has managed to bring to our airwaves interviews with major public figures, both locally and nationally. Among those figures were women's rights champion Gloria Steinem, gender equity advocate Anita Hill, civil rights icon Julian Bond, famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, to name a few. Another notable highlight was a live 40-minute-long onstage interview in 2017 with Sybrina Fulton, the mother of slain teen Trayvon Martin, in front of an audience of hundreds at Chenery Auditorium in Kalamazoo. The interview later aired on WMUK. It was subsequently recognized by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters' annual Broadcast Excellence Awards with a second-place finish in the “Public Radio Best Public Radio Special or News Program” category.
And finally, Earlene took home three awards this year from professional news and broadcasting organizations--one at the state level and two at the national level. The Michigan Association of Broadcasters named Earlene's series After the Protests, What Then? as Best Mini-Documentary or Series in Public Radio Group 1. The same package won Best Series during the national award program of the Public Media Journalists Association (PMJA). The PMJA also awarded her second place for Spot News for a story she did with colleague Sehvilla Mann titled Youth Protest Calls For End to Police Violence.
Please join us in wishing Earlene well in her new endeavors!