Originally from the Dean Blog
If you have ever tuned into Rowan Radio-WGLS at 7:00 a.m. for The Early Bird Special, then you’ve heard the energetic yet inviting voice of Waldy Diez. As the host of the morning show and student station manager, Waldy has her hands full, but you would never know with the smile she keeps on her face. In addition to her leadership position at Rowan Radio, Waldy has a host of other jobs and responsibilities, including writing for The Whit and being the social media coordinator for news outlet, SNJ Today. It’s safe to say that Waldy is a ‘Jill of all Trades’.
Waldy, originally from Hammonton, NJ, is a December 2013 graduate of Rowan University. She was a journalism major with a double minor in Spanish and international studies. Her decision to go into journalism spawned from her love of writing, particularly research papers and book reports, and her undying curiosity about everything around her. “As I got older, my passion for writing grew with the assignments I received throughout school,” Waldy said. It was that passion, paired with her desire to share her craft with others, that led her to journalism. She wasted little time in shaping her future; Waldy met often with her advisor, journalism professor Mark Berkey-Gerard, about her career aspirations before she even began taking classes at Rowan. “Waldy is ambitious and hardworking,” said professor Berkey-Gerard. “Rarely do I encounter a student who is focused at that early stage in their education.”
As a student, Waldy took advantage of every opportunity she could to improve her journalistic skills. She began writing for The Whit, Rowan University’s student newspaper, as a freshman, reporting on a variety of stories happening on and around Rowan’s campus. As a writer for The Whit, she started a weekly column, “Commuter Crossings”, which offers helpful tips and advice for commuter students at Rowan. As a commuter student herself, Waldy knew her column would be useful for those who share similar experiences. In addition to her work at The Whit, Waldy also had the opportunity to intern at the Courier-Post, where she worked on a range of stories from hard news to features. While working on her journalistic writing skills, Waldy sparked her interest for radio broadcast journalism.
During The Whit‘s summer hiatus, Waldy decided to take her talents to Rowan Radio-WGLS. She began volunteering there during the summer, after completing her freshman year. She started with filling in shows when a host would call out or taking opportunities for small spots on different shows throughout the day. After that summer, Waldy began working regularly at the radio station and quickly made a name for herself. Her hard work during the summer did not go unnoticed; she became the news director at the station that following fall semester. “[Waldy] gained the respect of her peers because of her ability to develop the news department and display an admirable work ethic,” said Derek Jones, Interim Station Manager at Rowan Radio. She held the position of news director for two years before she was elected student station manager. “I live at the radio station,” said Waldy. “If you ever want to find me, that’s where I am.”
Though she has accomplished many things throughout her college career, Waldy does not allow herself to relish in those accomplishments alone. She began applying for graduate school programs to further her journalism education. She applied to Columbia University and Syracuse University. While some people may shy away from applying to such prestigious universities, Waldy embraced the opportunity. “I thought, ‘If I get in, great and if I don’t, great,’” she says. ”But it never hurts to try.” Waldy was accepted into both schools, to no surprise of those who know her and her work ethic. “She isn’t intimidated,” says professor Berkey-Gerard. “If she doesn’t get an opportunity…she just looks for the next one.”
After her commencement ceremony in May, Waldy plans to continue her education as an instructional associate and full-time student at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She will be working towards her masters degree in broadcast & digital journalism. “I just can’t sit still,” Waldy said. “I have so much to share with the world and I’m just getting started.”
As she moves forward in her journey, Waldy says she will always remember what the faculty, staff and students of the College of Communication & Creative Arts have taught her. “I tell everybody that this was the best decision I have ever made in my life,” Waldy said. “I would not be who I am today without everything I have learned at Rowan and as a student in the College of Communication & Creative Arts.”
All of Waldy’s work can be found on her personal website, waldymdiez.com.