Erin Hotchkiss Keeps Drury On The Air
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Graduation Year: 2019
Erin Hotchkiss didn’t always know that she wanted to go into communication, but after transferring to Drury she realized where her passions lay. Previously a student in the traditional arts, she decided she pursue a Strategic Communication major and explore the field. She has previously worked as the Communication Intern for the Downtown Springfield Association and now helps lead KDRU, Drury’s student-led radio station.
Erin has always had a passion for using audio to communicate, saying that she became involved with KDRU after wishing to start a podcast. She enrolled in the radio class in the fall of 2016, her first step in becoming involved with KDRU. The station received its FM license on September 26th that same year, opening up the station to the surrounding Springfield community for the first time. Erin was excited by the prospect of expanding to the local community and dove in.
How did Erin become so involved? She asked.
“I wanted to have more responsibility at the station and [KDRU] was ready to let me get into it,” Erin said. She served as the PR and Branding Manager in her first year, doing graphic design and social media promotions. She now serves as the General Manager responsible for overseeing the station.
Erin doesn’t only work as a manager, though. She also mans her own radio show “Timewarp Thursday,” a 60s and 70s-themed blast to the past. Her throwback theme was inspired by her own interest in the era and the desire to switch things up at the station.
“I started collecting vinyl in the eighth grade,” Erin said, explaining the roots of her fascination with the genre. She enjoys music that is “from before I was born,” and appreciates getting to share her favorite tunes with her listeners.
As a transplant to Springfield, Erin was eager to learn more about the community and found her niche in KDRU. Through the radio station, she’s been able to build connections with nonprofits, businesses, and city officials. She credits KDRU with her ability to find common ground with any person and have a constructive conversation, a talent that’s evident in her interview skills. Erin has interviewed nationally known Meador Center speakers like P. J. O'Rourke, Sarah Kendzior, Tom Nichols, and Carl Bernstein.
Of all her favorite parts of working at KDRU, Erin most likes getting to see her fellow students grow and prosper. “I love getting to see people power through even when they’re nervous, seeing them overcome any personal barriers they have.” She notes that she’s seen herself grow so much in her time at the station as well, and sees how well her experience will benefit her even after her time at Drury.
Story by Payton Stringer, Student Digital Content Specialist.