Shedding Light on Black Excellence: Taylor Tunstall
By Tristan E. M. Leach
107.7 The Bronc is an integral part of Rider University; The music, the shows and the involvement in the community draws people to the station. At the center of it all is a dedicated executive board that keeps everything running smoothly. For senior Taylor Tunstall, this is the place to be.
Tunstall, a broadcast journalism major, is the general manager of the station. When Tunstall toured Rider she wasn’t sure if she wanted to be a journalism major or a broadcast journalism major; however, one conversation would help place Tunstall on a path she had no idea was there.
“I remember I went on the tour, and when the open house was over my parents were like ‘Let’s go into the radio station, just talk to somebody’ and I talked to an alum and it was really cool,” said Tunstall.
Tunstall started doing a show for The Bronc her freshman year called “Tay Talks.” Although she was a bit nervous at first, Tunstall embraced her new found passion; however, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the show, and both Tunstall and The Bronc were put on pause.
As life began to return to campus, Tunstall started to do her show again little by little. This involvement caught the attention of general manager, John Mozes.
“I was talking on air and John said, ‘I want you to get more involved.’ So, since my sophomore year, I’ve been on executive staff,” said Tunstall.
Tunstall and her fellow executive members were voted on by the student staff involved at the radio station. Mozes encouraged Tunstall to run for promotions director, which she would be for her junior year, and that’s just what she did.
For a year, Tunstall made sure that there was music at all the big events on campus such as open houses, admitted students days and more student exclusive events such as “Midnight Breakfast.” The dedicated executive member worked hard to make sure that the energy was good and that everyone felt welcome.
After a year in the position, Tunstall moved up to assistant general manager, where she excelled. When it was time for the previous general manager to depart for Rider’s Semester in Los Angeles program, Tunstall stepped up to the challenge.
“It’s [the responsibilities] a lot. I’m the liaison between John and the students. I’ll send emails. I schedule all the student shows, all the training. If people have issues they can come to me to fix it or our chief student engineer to fix it,” said Tunstall. “My job is to know every role of the station. If someone steps out, I can go in to fix it.”
On top of everything else, Tunstall is a face for The Bronc. Tunstall and her fellow executive board members make sure to be present at every open house and admitted students day. Meeting people and getting to know them makes Tunstall’s job even more enjoyable.
“As a senior and seeing freshmen come in and they’re nervous and I’m like I was there before too. Building their confidence and telling them ‘You can do this! It’s really fun!’ A lot of people get stage fright but no one sees you, it’s just talking,” Tunstall said with a chuckle.
Tunstall’s kindness and encouragement is noticed by all of her fellow staff members. Naa’san Carr, a junior political science major, is the programming director. Carr has his own show entitled “Black Love, Inspiring Black Culture.” Carr has been with the station since his freshman year.
Tunstall and Carr met during Carr’s freshman year, but did not become close friends until they both ended up on the executive board.
“I was new to the radio station and she was new to the radio station and we were listening out for each other,” said Carr. “She was my first listener. It’s kind of a bittersweet moment.”
Since that fateful moment, Tunstall and Carr have kept their shows going and continue to build up the reputation of the station. Tunstall makes sure that the station is in a perfect condition and hopes to see some awards for The Bronc this semester.
After graduation, Tunstall hopes to work for a major radio station or broadcasting company. Her end goal is to have her own show someday and hopes that her work will allow for more young people to break into the world of broadcasting. Tunstall is ready to use her voice to make the world a better place.
This article is part of the Shedding Light on Black Excellence, a February series by The Rider News to showcase impactful Black figures at Rider University.
Logan VanDine and Caroline Haviland are copy editors for The Rider News and work for 107.7 The Bronc. Neither had no part in the editing and writing of this story.