KCSB Advisor and Associated Students Associate Director for Media Elizabeth Robinson will retire at the end of the fiscal year. After 31 years of employment at the University of California Santa Barbara, Robinson will surrender her love of work as overseer to various aspects of Associated Students’ media source programs.
“One of the most exciting things [that] I love the most is when new people, not always students, come to the radio station and they see what is possible to do [with radio] and they get excited about it,” Robinson said. “All of that enthusiasm of people who come to the station and get excited about doing work here is my favorite thing.”
As a social worker, Robinson never thought about getting involved with radio as a career, but teaching anthropology at a community college brought her to KCSB. Robinson made her first radio debut in 1981 as a guest-star on a talk show before temporary employment for committee investigating, and then finally as a full-time programmer.
As KCSB just marked their 50th anniversary at UCSB, Robinson reminisced about the many people who worked with the radio station, from the very beginning to the present, who came to join the celebration.
“There were people who came back whom I hadn’t seen for years or more and of course people I didn’t know at all,” Robinson said. “People who come in excited and they come back… people who hadn’t been here since 1963.”
Robinson enjoys every aspect of her career working with radio and does not wish to give it up easily. However, she’s looking forward to spending time with her family in Michigan and the chance to work in her garden before returning to archive at KCSB part-time. Robinson remains confident that the station will still be running hard without her and remaining open with its programming.
“[KCSB] is a place that values everybody’s voice,” Robinson said. “Obviously we can’t get everybody on the air, but the idea that everyone should be able to have access to broadcasting if they want to is very important and it’s an important value that we have. So you don’t have to have a ‘radio voice,’ whatever that means… and you don’t have to have training; we do all of that. When you hear yourself, it’s empowering. It’s not just some talking head somewhere else that gets to form opinions, we all have values and things to say and that’s what we do here is give people an opportunity to say what they think or share music they appreciate and so on. So it’s really open in the idea of KCSB radio.”
Robinson stresses that KCSB remains a place to “protect and grow independent media” and “give people access to information and to the arts in ways that are not always determined by whether or not they’re going to make money.”
KCSB plays a wide array of programs, including all genres of music-international, “weird,” reggae, hip hop, as well as news, comedy and sports shows. With Robinson continuing on to her next adventure in life, she leaves KCSB and all of the fans at UCSB and elsewhere this final note:
“It’s been a fabulous job. It’s been a great deal of fun. One of the things I tell people is that I know things about music that people who are about to retire are not supposed to know about music. And that comes from being in an environment where there are vital, young people working which keeps me vital, and that’s why I don’t want to give it up entirely. I think that’s really important. If I had had a dream job, I would have never have dreamt this, but it really has been a dream job working with here and with the people here and I will truly miss it.”