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Belle Dickerson adds pizzazz and infectious southern charm to WVRU
By Cory Higgs
She clears her throat takes a deep breath and counts to three. “One. Two. Three. Welcome back to public radio WVRU, you guys, and good morning! You’re listening to The Music Store. I have a great show lined up for y’all today! I hope ya enjoy!”
She turns the microphone off, releases a sigh of relief and leans back in her chair, “I still get nervous doing that.”
She wheels her cumbersome rolling chair to face a computer and starts furiously typing in the name of the song she just aired. She works her way down the playlist and finally says, “Whew, ok finally we can talk!”
This energetic southern belle, Belle Dickerson is a Thursday night hit at WVRU radio station. Her shows usually consist of the country music genre, but she hosts The Music Store in the morning which is a mix of genres. Whether hosting her late-night extension or the daytime programming listeners tune in and listen to the talented DJ, as she draws them in with her southern charm.
Belle was born and raised in Franklin County, Virginia, in the small cow town of Hardy. From an early age, she recalls having a strong desire to help people. “I wanted to be a veterinarian growing up, and then I got to school and realized that I would have to go to school for like a hundred years. Then I thought, I’d just be a nurse."
While in Franklin County High, Belle went on a field trip to the local hospital, to the NICU where premature babies are born, and she fell in love.
Belle had decided to be a nurse, focusing her studies on neonatal care. She applied to three universities, and her obvious first choice was Radford, because of its promising nursing programs. She packed her bags and shipped out to Radford University to follow up on her desire to “help them babies grow and get better.”
“I was all signed up for my nursing classes, and I first saw a WVRU flyer hanging in my dorm building and thought, wow, what is this? I ended up going to the interest meetings, the workshops, then passed the test, and here I am.”
WVRU is a public broadcasting station here on the Radford campus, the station's airtime is dominated by its student staff, who run its various programs. This allows the students to air content of their choice. The station seeks to give students a professional broadcasting experience that can be used on future resumes and as experience.
Dickerson stuck with WVRU, and eventually, a work-study position became available. “Now I’m the Events Coordinator, and I get paid to listen to music. It’s pretty cool.”
"When I got here, I loved the technology aspect of WVRU, and I had been a news anchor in my high school, so I already had some experience with broadcasting.” Belle had always loved the production side of things, and she enjoyed producing things, but this passion fell into the back of her mind as she pursued a nursing major. In a way, WVRU refocused her love of communication where she could be creative and still reach out to help people.
“I started taking production classes and switched my major to Production Tech, and then I realized I didn’t have a lot of interest in what the higher-level classes had to offer, so I switched to public relations.” Belle realized that public relations wasn't her forte and switched again to an advertising concentration. Surprisingly, she's on track to graduate and has gained countless hours of experience across the School of Communication.
While she tells of all her previous majors, she is gracefully doing a thousand things at once. She is queuing multiple CDs to play; she’s getting her iPod synced up to play a song, all while she types down the show's notes.
“I love it here. It really changed my life and I love my WVRU family.”
Belle is a colorful character, and it doesn’t stop there. She drives for Uber and Lyft; she’s a full-time student, and she has her own YouTube channel. She does it all!
Her channel, Belle Dickerson, is chocked full of tutorials and other various styles of videos. Dickerson says that she plans on starting daily vlogging, to showcase her fast paced and unique life.
She puts away the CDs, packs her bags and draws the microphone to her lips to say: “Ok, that's all I have for y’all today. This has been Belle and thank you for listening to WVRU, the difference on your dial.”