A collaboration between Morehead State Public Radio, WMKY (90.3 FM) and MSU’s Spanish program is helping the community by translating news stories from the radio station from English to Spanish.
Paul Hitchcock, general manager of MSPR, said the station has been offering Spanish language versions of public service announcements for a couple of years and started offering Spanish versions of statewide news stories from the public news service, Kentucky News Connection, about a year ago. The idea of expanding to include local and regional news translations was brought up earlier this year at a meeting of the radio station’s Community Advisory Board. Hitchcock reached out to Louise Mason, coordinator of service-learning at MSU, who then reached out to Professor of Spanish, Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett. The three discussed ways to make MSPR news more accessible to Spanish speakers and decided to have students in Zavala-Garrett’s Advanced Grammar and Literature class do the translations. Students who translated the stories were:
- Paola Basaldúa from Somerset, a senior double majoring in biomedical science and Spanish.
- Larkin Danis from Mt. Sterling, a senior double majoring in Spanish and marketing.
- Holly Hendrix, a sophomore from Hebron with a double major in Spanish and global studies.
The course is part of MSU’s Level UP program, ensuring students have the opportunity to engage in high-impact experiences like undergraduate research, education abroad, service-learning, or an internship through courses that build students’ communication, professionalism, critical thinking, and teamwork skills.
“MSPR is very excited to partner with MSU’s Service Learning and Level UP programs. We’re honored to provide this educational tool for the students who have worked diligently in translating the stories,” Hitchcock said. “I’m extremely grateful for the support from MSPR’s Community Advisory Board and the leadership of Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett and Louise Mason. We’re proud to offer this extension of MSPR’s continued service to the community and region, especially the Hispanic and Latino community.”
The story translations are posted along with the English versions on MSPR’s website and are archived at https://www.wmky.org/noticias-en-espanol. Hitchcock said he’d like to see MSPR offer more Spanish language news in the future, such as a weekly Spanish-language newscast comprised of local and regional news, additional public service announcements in Spanish, and a regular Hispanic/Latino music program hosted by MSU students or members of the local Hispanic/Latino community.
Zavala-Garrett said the project serves the dual purpose of giving the students practical, real-world experience while providing a needed service for the area’s growing Latino community.
“It seems the Latino community is growing each year in Morehead, and the new generation is becoming bilingual,” she said. “Some sawmill workers are temporarily here by themselves or with their families. Many attend bilingual religious services; they prefer reading the news and listening to the radio in their mother tongue. Having bilingual resources for them is a positive way to welcome them and make them feel part of this amazing community.”
To learn more about MSPR, visit www.wmky.org.
For more information about the Level UP program at MSU, visit www.moreheadstate.edu/levelup.
To explore language programs at MSU, visit www.moreheadstate.edu/study/languages, email [email protected] or call 606-783-2134.
Photo Caption: Students prepare to translate news articles in a studio at MSPR. From left: Larkin Danis, Paola Basaldua, Dr. Itza Zavala-Garrett and Holly Hendrix.