Loyola Magazine

Northern lights on northern radio waves

Former WLOY student calls Nome home

The idea of moving across the country to accept a volunteer fellowship at KNOM Radio in Nome, Alaska, was daunting.

“It was Alaska, after all—so far away and dark and freezing cold and unknown,” said Katie Kazmierski, ’18.

She found herself turning to Loyola’s Jesuit values for inspiration to face her fears.

“Loyola taught me that some of the best things in life are the scariest,” said Kazmierski, who is originally from Manalapan, N.J. “We need to run toward that fear and make ourselves vulnerable in order to reach our full potential.”

In her fellowship, which continues through September, Kazmierski is a producer, on-air DJ, and reporter for KNOM Radio. She has interviewed senators and congressmen, traveled to remote areas to talk to listeners, and worked with many native communities in Alaska.

“My Loyola education gave me the tools to realize I might not fully understand communities unlike myself, but to approach them with compassion, patience, and love,” she said.

Those are skills Kazmierski learned while serving as the community program director and volunteer DJ at WLOY.

“WLOY taught me that good media revolves around serving the community,” said Kazmierski, who earned her degree in global studies with a minor in communication specializing in journalism.

While at Loyola, Kazmierski participated in the office of student engagement’s Road Trip retreat; studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa; co-founded Rival Loyola, an online newspaper; volunteered with the Center for Community, Service, and Justice; and participated in the Environmental Action Club.

“Loyola really felt like a community with many resources through other peers and professors, providing many avenues for growth beyond the classroom,” she said.

Photos courtesy of Katie Kazmierski, ’18.