Humans of CSI

On the Air with Michael Ivany

A Look Into WSIA’s Personnel Department

By: Lauren M. Silverman

Mike on the air at WSIA. Credit: Michael Ivany

Have you ever listened to the radio and worried about the number of staff members the station had? Or have you heard a DJ and wondered if they’ve been properly trained and on-air certified?

Probably not. And it’s Michael “Mike” Ivany’s job as WSIA’s Personnel Director to make sure it’s never a concern.

WSIA, the College of Staten Island’s FM radio station, is an organization with a flurry of moving parts. Personnel, one of the station’s several main departments, is responsible for the recruitment and management of all staff members.

Ivany was initially drawn to WSIA after hearing about it from the station’s News Director, Seamus Hughes: “My friend Seamus would tell me great tales of foolishness about the radio station and stories of how family-like the members were. I was curious to find out for myself what it was all about.”

His interest in music, however, began with a dynamic love for both Top 40 and classical genres. 

“Ironically,” says Ivany, “at WSIA we have neither Top 40 nor classical music. We have alternative music. Alternative music is everything in-between. It’s the essence of college radio.”

Ivany has a variety of responsibilities as the Personnel Director. Personnel deals with the station’s recruitment efforts and, according to Ivany, acts as its HR department. He plans and oversees recruitment activities including tabling and conducting workshops for prospective members.

Workshops are a critical part of entry into WSIA, as they highlight important rules that all station members must follow.

“After the workshops to become a member,” says Ivany, “students must take a quick exam to ensure they understand the [Federal Communications Commission, or FCC] guidelines and WSIA bylaws.”

WSIA’s entry exam is also created and administered by the Personnel Department. 

Ivany is responsible for scheduling all station-related events, including staff meetings, and is also in charge of disciplinary procedures for both FCC and station infractions. It requires constant communication with all staff members, including the directors of every other department. 

“I work with each department head to ensure that members are doing their work and the station remains clean and productive,” he says. 

As Personnel Director, Ivany meets every prospective member and guides them through the process of joining WSIA, from filling out an application to completing station work as a certified on-air DJ. 

His favorite part of being Personnel Director is making connections with new members and helping them develop into successful DJs. 

“I enjoy that members look up to me when they need assistance and I can be there to help them succeed,” he says.

Ivany was appointed Personnel Coordinator soon after joining the station. The Board of Directors noticed his high level of commitment and quickly agreed to vote him in as Coordinator until he had enough seniority to become a Director.

“During my first week of being a member I stayed late on a Friday afternoon to clean the entirety of WSIA,” recalls Ivany. “The place was spotless! Then I began running and scheduling meetings and workshops. It was as if I blinked, and suddenly the full staff of WSIA had decided to vote me in as Personnel Director.”

According to Ivany, WSIA is an excellent place to learn new skills that are not only enjoyable, but are useful and transferrable for a variety of careers. It is also a place to call home. 

“Here at WSIA, we have so many opportunities for learning new skills and leadership opportunities that fit beautifully into any resume you need. You also have the opportunity to join our perfectly insane family.”

WSIA currently has about 30 members. Despite its growing size, says Ivany, you’d be surprised at how close-knit they are. 

Ivany runs his own on-air show on Wednesdays from 6-8pm and Saturdays from 12-3pm. He plays a variety of genres in the station’s alternative format including metal, rock, punk, and pop. 

“If you’re bored and studying on a Wednesday night or just waking up and preparing for your Saturday night partying, I highly suggest you tune into 88.9 FM or online and jam out to my organized chaos!”

Categories: Humans of CSI, News

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