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Radio People Award $500 Scholarship to Mississippi College Student Victor Barnette

Mississippi College student Victor Barnette receiving a $500 scholarship from the Radio People on April 29 at their studios in Ridgeland, Mississippi.

Victor Barnette would love to own a radio station in Alaska someday, and enjoy the fantastic snowy mountain scenery along with the fishing in the 49th state.

But before he lands his dream job thousands of miles away from the Magnolia State, the Mississippi College communication student wants to work in the radio business for as long as he can.

The Radio People are helping Victor achieve success by giving him valuable experience as an intern this year and awarding him a $500 academic scholarship Monday.

The former Terry High football player cut his teeth as an undergraduate at MC’s campus radio station, STAR 93.5. At the same time, he starred in leading roles in theatre productions at the Christian university such as “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.”

In recent months, Barnette is also plugging away for the Radio People’s stations to produce spots, tackle events around metro Jackson, such as the Blair E. Batson Hospital radio-a-thon, and do whatever is asked.

“Victor is a different caliber of intern,” says Traci Maughon, brand manager for the radio stations based at Highpoint Drive in Ridgeland.

“His desire is to do anything he can to be in the business,” adds the former manager and morning personality with the Christian radio station on the Clinton campus. “He’s such a good team player. His production skills are advanced.”

Seeking a bachelor’s degree in mass media communications with a minor in theatre, Barnette originally wanted to play football for the Mississippi College Choctaws. He made it through the sweltering summer workouts during his freshman year, but discovered radio was a far bigger passion off the field, so he gave up playing the sport.

Working as an intern for the Radio People “is definitely a step out of my comfort zone” after working at STAR 93.5 and its contemporary Christian format, Barnette said.

The Radio People umbrella includes stations like Y101.7 that plays Jackson’s hit music, the down-home country sounds of U.S. 96.3, the variety of Mix 98.7 plus Jack FM.

So far, it’s all been good for the MC student’s three-month internship that will total 16 ten-hour weeks. “He hasn’t done anything stupid,” Traci joked.

In the USA’s radio business that can spin out of control at times and cause unhappy listeners to suddenly switch stations, that’s saying something.

Known as “Jill” to her listeners on Jack FM, Maughon says she enjoys working with Barnette because “he’s teachable and has a great attitude.”

Expecting to graduate from Mississippi College with his bachelor’s degree in August 2014, Victor Barnette becomes the second MC Department of Communication student in two years to receive a scholarship from the Radio People.

The 21-year-old Harrisville, Mississippi native is a talented undergraduate whose versatility stretches from theatre to broadcasting to athletics. “He can do all of these things,” says Department of Communication Chairman Cliff Fortenberry, who joined the scholarship announcement at the radio studios.

Scholarships such as these give college students an opportunity to work towards their goals in the broadcasting business, Fortenberry said. “The Radio People are very generous.” It’s fortunate, he said, that the company has chosen to become a partner with Mississippi College.

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