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Window to West Chester: Ali Castronuovo

Walking with Ali Castronuovo around the West Chester University campus is an entirely sociable experience, there are waves, there are hellos, there are hugs. Everyone knows Castronuovo – and for good reason.

A third-year Media and Culture major with a focus in production and a minor in history, Castronuovo is a former Sykes Student Union employee, Treasurer for the WCU History Club and a DJ for 91.7 WCUR FM The Curve, on top of being the station’s Programming Director.

Following in the footsteps of her older brother, Castronuovo came to WCU from Bucks County, PA, “College is stressful in general, being in your 20s is stressful but WCU feels like home… I love West Chester, I think the area is beautiful, our Media and Culture program is wonderful, I just like being here,” she explained.

When it comes to being a WCU student, Castronuovo has more than made her mark on the university. As the Programming Director for WCUR, she’s in charge of making schedules for the entire general and executive staff. In a process that took over two weeks, Castronuovo arranged a timetable around the needs of 138 people, all while ensuring that the station would have enough covered broadcasting time. In general, she says that she’s here to help the station.

“Anything that our General Manager [Mike Quin] needs! I’m one of the first people that someone can reach out to if they need something or if anything goes wrong. Mainly, I’m here to make sure that everyone has a good experience.”

Regarding the WCU History Club, Castronuovo started her freshman year off as the T-Shirt Chair and has since moved up the ranks to Treasurer. She communicates regularly with the SSI office to ensure that the budget is together and functioning; a process described as “tedious but fun,” due to her love of the club and the SSI’s Laura Sheehan.

“Being in the History Club, I like the amount of freedom that we have. With it being completely student-run, we go on a lot of trips and I love being immersed in the history… for WCUR, it’s just awesome. You get to broadcast your voice to everyone. It’s a very unique opportunity that only a fraction of West Chester students have or even know about. Once every week I get to enforce my music taste onto the entire West Chester area!”

One of Castronuovo’s favorite parts of her WCU involvement? Meeting people. “Oh my god, I know so many people!” she said with a laugh. “I’m very active, I know a lot of people but I spend most of my time at the station. When I worked at Sykes, I got to know everyone in Student Affairs and so much of the administration. And even now, I love to help people – I’ll help out wherever anyone needs it.”

Undoubtedly, when it comes to her on-campus experience, Castronuovo’s passion lies in WCUR: “It’s the voice for the West Chester students, it really is whatever whoever is on-air wants it to be. Having your own show is just a really cool experience; it’s a time to put yourself out there to the world. I just love it so much!”

Every Monday, Castronuovo’s program, “The Ali Show,”runs live from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on 91.7 WCUR FM. “It’s the first show on Monday mornings, and I try to make it as fun and upbeat as possible. Middle school jams, anything that will make you dance! For anyone who’s listening, and for myself, I want it to be happy and a great start to the week. I really believe that if you start your week out that way, it should continue to be good.”

“It’s wonderful to walk around campus and not feel like you’re surrounded by strangers. You meet so many people doing what I do, it makes the college process easier. Honestly, I got involved with WCUR because I needed something to do, but I really, truly found my people here.”

Emma Bickerstaffe is a third-year English major with minors in journalism and antrhopology. EB891492@wcupa.edu

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