Interim President Melinda Treadwell is the host of WKNH’s radio show The Campus Corner, and on Wednesday she began her second year of the show’s recording with guests from Chartwells Higher Education Dining. The marketing director Caitlin Howell and the operations controller Bonnie Blanchard spoke of Keene State’s new dining services provider with Treadwell.
Following the interview, Treadwell said, “I was very happy with it. To be able to learn more about Chartwells and their philosophies around local food, and around ensuring that our students have not only variety, but also the dietary requirements were being met was really informative for me. I hope it was for anyone who was listening.”
“The show is really about people, how they got to Keene State, and then telling their story. For our students, I want to ask ‘What’s your major? Why are you drawn to that? What has the experience been like for you?’ Just so students can talk through their academic journey and their student development, the fun and cool things they’ve done, which I learn so much of,” Treadwell said.
Treadwell began the show with the intention of engaging with students by exchanging stories with them. “I want the students to know me. It matters to me, being a president, that the students know I’m available for them. That is a major part of who I am, and it’s the only way I want to do this job. Hearing from students about the radio show’s great, but no one’s tuning in. It’s not really helping. I will take the lead of our students, because I’m wanting to follow where the students want me to be as far as connecting and being available.”
Beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday mornings, it was a surprise who her target audience was. “Our audience is supposed to be the entire campus. A lot of our staff tune in, and our faculty may listen in as they’re getting ready for lecture because it’s only a half-an-hour in the morning. I don’t think we’re catching a lot of our students, because most of them are either in class or not up yet,” Treadwell said.
Treadwell, expecting to explore new methods, said, “We’re moving toward a podcast option as well, so we can link it to the President’s website page, and folks could go to the different mediums: social media, written pieces that we’re putting out and the radio broadcast so that we have an archive.”
Treadwell’s main focus with her radio show are KSC students. “Do students like it? Is it helping them tell their stories? Do I have enough of a broad cross-section of our students’ experiences? [The show] is a vehicle to get me connected to the students and the community, but also for them to tell their story,” Treadwell said.
Looking to the future, Treadwell hopes to continue her show indefinitely. “As long as there’s interest, I want to do it. I think this is part of the question ‘Does this serve a purpose?’ I mean, it’s great for me. I get to meet students and learn about them. It helps me sharpen my message of what Keene State is delivering for students. So, I will do this as long as I can, as long as people are interested, as long as students are willing to talk to me.”
Daniel Siletti, a junior film major who has his own Monday afternoon show on WKNH, As The Reel Turns, weighed in on how he would like to see engagement with President Treadwell. “Being the leader of something, whether it be something as small as a college, or as big as a town, she could maybe interact with students on a whim sometimes. Where I come from in Concord, New Hampshire, you could be walking down Main Street and bump into the mayor. Maybe she could walk along Appian Way saying ‘How are you doing?’ or ‘How are classes going?’”
The Tuesday host of AAAAH! Real DJs at 9:00 a.m. and senior secondary education and history major Evan Carpenter has been involved with WKNH since the end of his freshman year. “Since then, I have had several shows on the air, and I now serve as the Co-General Manager alongside my friend Peter,” Carpenter said. “During President Treadwell’s show, a WKNH E-Board member always joins her and her guests in the booth to ensure that the broadcast goes over well and complies with FCC regulations. During her show, I adjust the music and voice levels, and put on the scheduled PSAs.”
“If you would like to get involved with WKNH and maybe even help President Treadwell, go to our website at WKNH.org. We’re always looking for new student and community voices to bring new ideas to the town of Keene, or just to play some good music,” Carpenter said. “Also, keep your eyes out for future WKNH events at the Night Owl Cafe, and other concerts on campus.”
As someone who worked with Treadwell on her radio show both last year and now this year, Carpenter said he hopes to see the president’s show go onward. “Personally, I think President Treadwell’s show is a great way for students to learn about what is going on on campus, and to hear from the important students and faculty. I would be very happy to see her show continue, and to help out in any way I can … President Treadwell does a great job reaching out to the students through on-campus clubs and organizations. It means a lot to have her support,” Carpenter said.
Amanda Bevis can be contacted at