Community Post: Interview with community DJ Ken Shultes
Ken Shultes, a Dickinson alum and the man responsible for reaching Dickinson’s carbon neutral goal, brings his work with him to his radio show each week. Ken’s Sustainability Jam Hour focuses on current climate change issues, and emphasizes the actions we can perform to help our environment. He believes that music is a useful tool to explain these current events in a fun, interesting way.
Ken graduated Dickinson College in 1989, and has lived in the Carlisle area almost ever since. For 18 years, Ken managed facilities here at Dickinson, but in the past three years he has been the Associate Vice President for Sustainability and Facilities Management. He is in charge of directing the college to reach its 2020 goal of carbon neutrality, in which the college will reduce 25% of its emission due to heating and cooling buildings, along with other actions. This is a huge responsibility, and requires the action of every student, faculty, and staff member. Therefore, Ken uses his radio show as a means to remind people of their responsibility to our environment and Dickinson’s climate conscious pledge.
Climate change and global warming are heavy subjects, so Ken hopes to make it a fun and approachable conversation through his choice of music. Three years ago, when the Sustainability Jam Hour first started, Ken maintained a small list of songs that he thought connected to sustainability, climate change, and nature. But as time went on, he found a multitude of songs that reflected what he believes in. By now, he can argue for almost any song’s connection to sustainability; it’s quite impressive. Although each song relates to climate change in some way, genres differ immensely throughout Ken’s show. His show features a little bit of everything, like classic rock, alternative, show tunes, kid’s music, and indie pop, although he admits he has not been convinced enough to play much heavy metal. Ken has three children who inspire his music tastes and open his mind to songs he previously did not consider seriously. After playing a couple songs, Ken spends a few minutes talking and reflecting upon what he believes these songs connect to, whether that be a certain action we should all be taking, such as turning off lights when we’re not using them, or current events that will affect our ability to properly reduce our impact upon the earth. Ken sprinkles in important, educational facts along with his music, creating a fun show that has an crucial purpose and a strong effect on its listeners.
Ken is appreciative of his time here at WDCV, as it is a creative release in the middle of his work day. He finds the Sustainability Jam Hour to challenge his ability to talk about climate change in a fun way, to make it an approachable subject for his listeners. He welcomes music as a tool to further this conversation. These days, any song he hears automatically tests him to find a connection to climate change, and he hopes his listeners can develop an ear for sustainability as well!
Listen to Ken’s show, Sustainability Jam Hour, on Mondays from 10 am to 11 am, and learn how you can reduce your impact upon the earth!
If you have any questions, email Julia Ormond at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!