Juwan Wilson, Staff Writer
WPNR 90.7 Pioneers Radio is a student-operated radio station that broadcasts on a variety of formats.
In 2011, WPNR was voted into the top 25 best college radio stations in the country. Since then, WPNR has helped connect the Utica College community and the Mohawk Valley area through music, news and sports.
The person who is responsible for this success is Professor Doug Croft. He will tell you that WPNR’s achievements are mainly because of the students who put countless hours into making the radio station like none other at the college level.
Croft, a 2003 UC graduate, did not love radio from the start. It was his love and passion for listening and finding new music that led him to radio. Croft’s love of music started early on in life.
“There was always music being played in my house and I loved the sound,” Croft said. “I never liked it when it was quiet.”
Professor Croft’s love for sports is another reason why he fell in love with radio. When Croft first arrived as a visitor to UC, he was not sure of what he truly wanted to do with his life. He owes UC a lot for who he has become.
When Croft first witnessed a disc jockey at the time of his visit, he would have never thought to take the opportunity to get on the airwaves. The experience he shared in the station stayed with him and it was there he knew this is what he wanted to spend his life doing. It takes a long time to figure out what type of person an individual is, which is why it is a true show of how great of a man Doug Croft is.
“It was very easy to see how much passion and love Professor Croft has for his students,” public relation major Jerry Bolivar said. “He looks to give his students not just the tools to succeed in the real world of radio but the same experience that was given to him when he first stepped foot in the radio station. He looks to fuel the small pilot of flame that is within us. It’s so hard to explain the feeling you get when he speaks about being on the radio.”
Croft has expressed that WPNR has so many growing parts that this year is all about growing up in those main young departments. For example, the new launch of its new application that can be download on the Apple app store and Google Play store.
Croft also expressed that WPNR is for everyone if you are looking for a great way to express yourself or find yourself; WPNR is the place for you. You never know it might just turn out to be right where you needed to be.