It may seem unlikely that the host of the campus' sports talk radio show would also be developing a show about poetry and short stories, but senior Kourtney Risher, with his trademark drive, wouldn't let that stop him.
Senior RTV major Kourtney Risher is developing a show on the campus radio station, KUOZ FM-100.5, that will be focused on poetry and short stories.
Originally from El Dorado, Ark., Risher, a senior radio/television/video (RTV) major, came to Ozarks to utilize the support offered by the Jones Learning Center (JLC), Ozarks’ program for students with documented learning disabilities.
"I’ve always had trouble in high school dealing with my ADHD," Risher said. "When I was choosing a college, I knew that Ozarks was a school that would help me through that. I knew I would have the best chance of succeeding here."
While glad to have access to the JLC, Risher was most intrigued by Ozarks’ RTV program.
"When I realized how cool the RTV program at Ozarks was, I knew it was something I would want to be a part of," Risher said.
Nearly four years later, Risher is a student producer, manager of the university’s radio station, host of his own sports talk radio show, "SportsSoup," and in the process of developing a second show on KUOZ FM-100.5 focused around poetry and short stories.
"Ozarks poetry and short stories is really something I hope will get off the ground. I’ve wanted to put something like this together for a while. I write poetry myself, and there a lot of people on campus who like to write poetry and perform their work. I want this show to be a way to let people share their work. I just need people to volunteer to be on the radio," Risher explained.
Risher’s latest project is yet another feature in his list of impressive achievements, which he hopes will help him land a job in radio after graduation. Risher, however, is quick to give credit where credit is due.
"I feel extremely prepared to work in the field after graduation," he said. "[Director of Broadcasting] Susan Edens is probably the best teacher I’ve ever had. She gets you ready for the real world. She teaches you how to hold yourself accountable and present yourself well. She gives you constructive criticism, but she doesn’t bring you down. She puts you through a lot so you can be ready later, but she does it in a way that is very caring."
Risher recalled a particularly meaningful moment during his time with Ozarks’ RTV department.
"Last year, the RTV department threw a party for some graduating RTV majors," he said. "Not only did we honor those who were graduating, but we honored those who had contributed throughout the year. It was my first year as manager of the radio station, and Susan Edens presented me with a plaque that listed my name along with the past managers of the station. I thought that was so cool. I was so honored to be on that plaque. It was a proud moment for me."
Risher also credits the staff of the Jones Learning Center for helping him succeed at Ozarks.
"The staff in the JLC are so amazing. They understand what my disadvantages are, and they give me the help I need to overcome them. They help me every day through whatever obstacle comes up, and they do it with such compassion. They have become family, because I’ve gotten to know them so well and they’ve done so much for me," Risher said.
Risher is confident his choice to attend Ozarks and his decision to be a part of the university’s RTV program has prepared him for his future.
"My education has been very valuable. I’ve been challenged, and I’ve been helped. I’m proud to be doing well in school and contributing to my program however I can," Risher said.