“Where are they now?” With Jason Hess

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What is/are your current job title(s) and role(s)?

I’m a children’s librarian at the Forsyth County Public Library in Winston Salem, North Carolina. I spend a lot of time finding children’s books about dinosaurs and pretending to be an airplane.

What was your position at WHQR and how long were you here?

Webmaster, one year

What school were you in and what was your degree at UNCW?

Creative writing: non-fiction, MFA

What do you remember the most from your time at HQR?

I especially remember how welcoming everyone was and how willing you were to throw me in the middle of things. I really loved the chance to touch a bit of everything. Learned about the technology that keeps the station running, how to work with volunteers, how to use Drupal (sounds like a Pokemon, but it’s not) for publishing on the Web, and many other things!

A memory or a funny or exceptional experience that you can share?

Well, I had the opportunity to interview author Tim O’Brien, which was quite an amazing experience. I’ve always enjoyed participating in pledge campaigns! A great experience was seeing the band Stray Local play at a local bar while having a drink with Morning Edition host Jeremy Loeb. We thought they were pretty good, and George must have agreed as he’s had them on Soup to Nuts Live a few times now.

How has your WHQR/UNCW scholarship impacted your future and where are you now?

It really helped me interact effectively with a large and diverse audience. In the public library, you never know what question will be asked and with what need someone will come to you. It’s a great job with a wide variety of work, much like working at a community-focused radio station that plays news, blues, rock, and live recordings, but also hosts art openings. art and community events.

Watch Jason give a story hour during the work-from-home days of the pandemic.


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