From 2017 to 2018, I worked as the Design Director at KDVS, a freeform community radio station in Davis, CA, associated with UC Davis. In this role, I created content for and managed the station's social media accounts, made posters and flyers for station events and fundraisers, curated and designed KDVS's long-standing zine, and helped plan and run station fundraisers. In addition to my work as Design Director at the station, I was also a volunteer radio DJ there for about 4 years, planning, running, and hosting my own shows.

A drawing of a textile loom with text reading Unravelled, Mr. Lawrence and Ivan Martinez. A photo of a radio station, showing stacks of records and several posters for musicians on the walls. A rainbow gradient with white text reading Fall programming begins today.

Background info:

At the time I took over the role, the station's social media presence barely existed. KDVS has been a part of Davis' history for a long time, having been formed in 1963, and it's very dedicated to its role as an educational community institution, so this lack of a consistent social media presence was concerning - we were missing out on a valuable method of communication with our community! Some of my main goals when approaching the managing of the station's social media, then, were to facilitate a method of community communication with the station, encourage new volunteers or interested aspiring DJ's to stop by, spread information about station events, and support station fundraisers. This last note was especially important during the station's two annual fundraisers, as KDVS largely relies on these fundraisers to operate. With no training from the previous Design Director before they left, no clear job duties specified to me, and little instruction from the station manager, I was in many ways starting from scratch with little guidance, and, especially given that fact, I'm very proud of the impact I was able to have during my year in the position. Furthermore, given the lack of information provided to me when I took over the role, I made sure to leave detailed notes for the person who took over as Design Director when I left, and passed along my contact info in case they had any questions for me - and, while I don't know if the information I left behind is still in use now, 4 years later, I'm very happy to see that the station has continued to maintain a strong social media presence since my time there!

An illustration of flowers sticking through the center of a record. The record reads Ghost - Constant Anxiety. A photo of the interior of a radio station, showing lots of records and CD's and walls covered in posters. A photo of the interior of a radio station, showing a narrow hallway filled with shelves of records. Text over the photo reads Thank you from KDVS.


One of the first things I did as Design Director was develop two weekly pieces of content to get us posting and interacting with the community via social media regularly: DJ spotlights and station spotlights, which were posted to KDVS' Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Because KDVS is an educational station, I looked at both regular features as educational content: letting the community know about exciting programming they might not have heard about before with DJ spotlights, and sharing fun facts and history about the station with station spotlights.

A photo of the corner of a room, near the ceiling, showing posters on the walls and the ceiling. An illustration of a red bench, dripping as if made of a liquid. Text above and below reads Red bench radio, DJ Chewy. An illustration of a hand wrapped in metal or fabric, reaching towards a starry sky. Text near the top reads DJ Ortho Jax, Kitchen Cauldron Show.

For the DJ spotlights, I worked with a different one of our DJ's or public affairs hosts each week to create a post highlighting their show and telling folks why they should tune in. Each post featured an illustration I made according to a prompt given by that week's host. The prompts I received ranged from very detailed ("please draw an armchair being picked up by a ufo on the side of the road") to quite open ("please make something anime-ish"). I worked with the DJ's and hosts to create something that was to their liking, and sent them the caption and image I'd be using for approval before publishing them to all of KDVS' social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook), trimming the copy as needed to work around Twitter's character limits.

An illustration of an office with one desk, three chairs, and a bookcase. Text near the top reads Office hour, with a subscript 1. Below that is text reads 1: with professor j. A photo of the top of a wall and ceiling of a room, with both wall and ceiling covered in posters. An illustration of a burger and sunglasses on a background of rainbow cheetah-print, rainbow zebra-print, and rainbow flames. Text near the top reads Autumn Sweater, Gay Fieri.

KDVS is covered floor-to-ceiling in years and years of artwork: posters, flyers, collages, drawings, screenprints, and more. It's an important site with history covering every square inch! It is also, however, located in the basement of a building that, at the time I was Design Director, was largely not in use - save a few parts of the basement. The station can be hard to find, and may seem a little intimidating to potential new volunteers. One of my goals in starting the station spotlight feature was to show off the art of the station in a way that might intice new volunteers to come check it out as one of the most unique places on the UC Davis campus. I also hoped that sharing photos of the station might demistify it a bit for those who maybe found it a little intimidating, and make them feel more confident in coming down!

An illustration of ray guns, space ships, and planets. Text near the top reads Shock, Sasha Van Laur. A purple graphic reading New Volunteer Seminars, public affairs, news, sports, music. July 10th 7-8 pm 14 Lower Freeborn, and July 11th 7-8 pm 14 Lower Freeborn. An illustration of an armchair being lifted up into a UFO on a country road. Text above and to the side reads The Basement, Dr. L'ling.

My favorite parts of the job:

Having been a part of KDVS as a volunteer for several years before taking over as Design Director, it was a real joy to be able to help bring more local awareness to an organization I loved so much. I especially enjoyed being able to help introduce new volunteers to all the good things about the station. I was able to revive the station's zine, KDViationS, for a special edition, after quite a while during which KDVS hadn't been able to produce it due to budget issues. Near the end of my time there, I also organized a number of workshops and seminars focused on art at the station, including one zine-making workshop (at which point we created a little zine library in the lobby), led by me, and one on the history of anti-fascist punk music, led by one of KDVS' long-time punk DJ's.