Humans of JCU: Trent Kay Maverick

Matt Wilson, The Carroll News

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Trent Maverick is the director of WJCU, John Carroll’s radio station, as well as a full-time professor in the Tim Russert Department of Communication and Theatre. She teaches audio production and media performance and hopes to teach an advanced audio production course during the upcoming fall semester. These classes offer students knowledge in different aspects of radio. Maverick began her career in radio, and uses that experience to guide her work as director of WJCU, where she creates a strong connection with students who are passionate about working in the world of radio.

Maverick grew up about two miles from John Carroll and attended Beachwood High School. As a local, she loved listening to WJCU in her free time. At the age of sixteen, she headed off to college at Simon’s Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where she received her B.A. in linguistics.

During her senior year, she took some programming courses, these led her to the field of communications. After graduation, Maverick decided to move back home in order to figure out the next step of her life.

She decided that she wanted to be a teacher, and to do this she went back to community college and received credits in math to pursue her teaching career. She applied to graduate school at Stanford’s teacher education program, where she studied for one year and then worked for three.

While at Stanford, Maverick she joined KZSU 90.1 FM, the college radio station, that she joined on a complete whim by going to a last-minute information meeting. She became the music director after she did a morning show from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. and stuck with them for four years until she moved back home after she graduated with her M.A. in teaching. Maverick then taught math and computer science at an all-girls middle school in the local area. Later, she signed a contract with Google and served as a curriculum designer postgrad. All of these positions, including taking on the position at her college radio station, helped mold Maverick into the person she is now at John Carroll.

Maverick then took a different turn and applied to Japanese Exchange and Teaching. She was a teaching assistant in Nigada where she taught English at Japanese public schools for one year.

She moved back home and had a variety of jobs, such as a curriculum worker at for one year, then worked at Hathaway Brown in computer science for one year. During all of this, she got involved with WJCU and did a summer radio show because she missed it from KZSU. She then took a part-time operations manager position at WJCU in order to get an opening into John Carroll. “I fell into this job. If you look at my richly patterned resume, I would not have guessed this is what I would be doing, just from doing all of the volunteer work at KZSU to now,” Maverick stated.

“College students are capable of creating and making really high-quality projects, which is really cool to see,” Maverick continued. She loves helping “plant the seed,” then seeing where the projects and ideas end up.

She now teaches audio production and media performance, which focus on how to edit audio files, how to sound professional on-air and include practice opportunities in different performance environments. In the fall, she hopes to teach an advanced audio production class. “It would focus on audio journalism and podcasting. I would love this to happen,” said Maverick. She wants to create a class that provides more real-world radio interviewing experiences and hopes to see it come to life soon.

When asked about her connection between being a professor and being the director of the radio station, she stated, “It is pretty much the same thing [because] in order to be an effective director of a college radio station, I have to get the students to operate most of the station.” Her focus is on the connection between the students in her classes and the trust she places in them at WJCU.  “The real challenge is to delegate,” she continued, which requires a lot of patience and is a huge time requirement.

“I am trying to give the students as much as possible, in the sense of opportunities to be leaders, create content and actually run the place themselves. That is my goal as director,” stated by Maverick when asked about her connection to WJCU.

Maverick also mentioned that Radiothon at WJCU, their yearly fundraiser, starts Friday, Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. and goes until Sunday, Feb. 17. During this 10-day span, members of WJCU ask the community and their listeners for donations to help the station make continuous improvements. The goal this year is $50,000 , which will go towards a new production board in the on-air studio as well as a lobby renovation to make the station more inviting.

Maverick found her way to John Carroll after much searching, but nonetheless, she arrived here, and many students are thankful that she became such an integral part of the JCU community.

Trent Kay Maverick poses with Julie Hullett’18  and Zach Chapman’19.