Innovation Fund Report 2022: WESU Speaker Series

Wesleyan students from a range of majors and interests – all with shared interests in utilizing resources in innovative ways to positively impact the greater Middletown community – applied to the Student Innovation Fund.  The fund provided up to $750 for projects that prioritized:

  • Collaboration between student groups, faculty/staff, and/or community partners.
  • Investigation of the impact of our civic engagement efforts.
  • Sharing of ideas and learnings in civic engagement on campus and beyond.

Gabby Guzdek ’22 is a WESU Board Member and organized the 2022 WESU Speaker Series: 

WESU appreciates all of the help and support JCCP has given us! This semester, WESU used the JCCP Innovation Fund grant to host a WESU Guest Speaker Series. For this series, we invited former student and community WESU DJ’s to come speak over Zoom at our monthly all-staff meetings. Former DJs Luke Green, Noah Hutton, and Chapin Montague all volunteered their time to talk with the current WESU staff. During their visits, we discussed their time at the station, their work bridging Wesleyan and Middletown through the station, and how the station prepared them for success today!

As a community organization, our goal with offering the WESU Guest Speaker Series was to further bridge the gap between Wesleyan and the Middletown community by opening up these enrichment sessions to everyone! Our goal was to showcase some of our WESU alums who have gone on to have careers in the arts and have them return to the station (virtually) to share their experiences.

With the funds from the JCCP Innovation Fund grant, we were able to create a series of events that brought together Wesleyan DJs and Middletown community DJs. These funds helped support our technological needs, bring in guests, and host the meetings.

Additionally, these funds will help us in the future as we move back to more in-person events, such as our Record Fair. The WESU Guest Speaker Series was a huge success and would not have been possible without the support of the JCCP. The money from the JCCP Innovation Fund allowed WESU to further our work in offering freeform radio content that offers listeners unique music and public affairs programs. WESU serves both Wesleyan students and members of the Middletown area, and we are committed to continuing to support the interests and needs of our broader community.

The biggest piece of advice we at WESU would give to someone who might want to get involved in the greater Middletown community is to simply just start! There are so many organizations in Middletown or at Wesleyan that offer various ways to become active, hands-on members of the Middletown area. If anyone wants to get involved with WESU, please email our General Manager Ben Michael at or follow us on Instagram at @wesufm!