Hidden within Manning Hall, down the northeast hallway sits a 12 foot by 12 foot soundproof room where students broadcast their voices over the airwaves.
KTAI-FM 91.1 is Texas A&M University-Kingsville’s, and the Coastal Bend’s, only student-run radio station.
“It is really one of our hidden gems a lot of students don’t know about,” Dr. Steven Tallant, president of TAMUK said. “I am really proud of KTAI; it is student run, student produced.”
In the past five years KTAI, has added more genres of music, including EDM [electronic dance music], country, and DJs “live in the mix.” These include biomedical major Demarcus Kelly, communications major Jasey Limon, and political science major Johnny Garcia.
Station manager, and communications major, Rami Garza says the station has evolved in the past few years.
“[Five years ago] KTAI had two mics, ‘up-to-date’ equipment, and phone based remotes,” Garza said. “Now we have four mics in the booth, with three computers in the booth that our DJs utilize, and we do remotes in clear high def with a DJ in the mix 90% of the time. We always try and keep our equipment and teaching skills up to industry standards.”
Though KTAI is only 100 watts, reaching out to all of Kingsville, Bishop and as far as Riviera, the station has a wider audience than those listening in their car.
“We have three high capacity audio web streams that allow anyone on a PC, Mac, and any smartphone to listen in high definition,” Garza said.
Tallant called KTAI the best laboratory on campus and is a resource most universities don’t have.
“It gives students room to learn and to grow,”
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Tallant said. “It’s a great opportunity to do something that is applying your academics and doing it while you’re an undergraduate.”
Communications major Gladyz Lozoya joined KTAI as a student DJ last fall.
“I want to be involved in radio whether it is on the mic or in the background, so when I found out TAMUK had KTAI I signed up as soon as I could,” Lozoya said. “It’s an opportunity to really put yourself out there and meet a lot of cool people in the process.”
Since 2011, KTAI has been involved with RadioFlag, a social media website for college radio stations, won “Best College Radio Station in the Nation” for the inaugural College Radio Day in 2011, and last fall they were a featured station on mtvU’s College Radio Countdown.
“Our passionate students and knowledge of technology drive the success of the station,” Garza said. “Our support from the staff and faculty also drives the success that we encounter. They push us to do more and more.”