Kevin Ankeny


"I'm in my 18th year teaching broadcasting at SUNY Adirondack. I tell people it was a series of 'planned accidents' that brought me here. Teaching wasn't my career aspiration when I was young. My mother was a teacher and it didn't seem very appealing. I had an uncle who was a newspaper reporter. His job seemed pretty cool. I enjoyed writing and caught the journalism bug in sixth grade when my language arts class created a school newspaper. I majored in journalism in college. I wanted to be a sports writer.

One day, I connected with kids at the college radio station and found I enjoyed the added dimension of turning written words into sound. I liked the challenge of performing without a safety net, too -- live, over-the-air to an unseen audience.

My first radio job was at a 1,000 watt AM station near my hometown during the summer after my junior year. When I graduated, that part-time job turned into a full-time gig at the co-owned FM Top 40 station. My on-air career took me on a 10-year journey to five different stations in three different markets. During my last stop at a regional FM powerhouse, I landed a part-time position managing a college radio station. That lead to developing a radio pro duction course, which the department chairperson said I wasn't qualified to teach because I didn't have an advanced degree! Under somewhat mysterious circumstances, the job advertisement wasn't posted in time, and the dean agreed to let me teach the course. It was fun -- much like on-air radio where every day presents new challenges.

My wife encouraged me to go to grad school and pursue a new career. Nearly two decades later, I still get excited when a new semester begins. Students approach the subjects I teach with their own perceptions, perspectives and expectations. From semester to semester, I witness students growing personally and academically. By the end of their time at Adirondack, many broadcasting majors transform from tentative students to confident broadcasters ready to chase their own dreams.

Some people never find a career they love. I guess I'm lucky. I found two."

Kevin Ankeny
Professor of Radio/TV Broadcasting