For the first time in its 26-year history, Radiate FM welcomed a female general manager to the student-run station. Sheyla Marimon, a junior philosophy and political science major, has been a fan of the station since she was 15 years old. Once she became a Panther, Marimon was interested in getting involved, but wasn’t sure how to go about it.
“One day, I won tickets to a show and I came to Radiate’s office to pick them up from the general manager,” she recalls. “I said I don’t actually want the tickets, but I really want to apply. So he said, no, we already have the tickets for you, so take the tickets.”
Marimon was persistent, applied and was quickly hired by Radiate. Soon after, she got her own show.
“My number one listener was my mother,” she said. “But, I ended up keeping the show for a year-and-a-half. During that time I became a director, and I didn’t want to take on too much. I knew I eventually wanted to be GM.”
Through countless hours of hands-on learning, Marimon would ultimately fine tune her own show, featuring music of the early 2000s, including indie rock and bands such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But her eye was always on the role of GM.
“I quit Radiate for a while because it was a lot of pressure,” she says of applying for the GM position. “Robert Jaross and Alfred Soto, [advisors for the station], were pushing me and said, you have so many great ideas, but you’re so afraid of failing, you don’t even try. I came back more prepared and was ready. They really help me because they tell me that I got the job because I was the best for the job. But it’s intimidating.”
Perhaps the most famous general manager of Radiate FM is DJ Irie, now official DJ for the Miami Heat. As the first female general manager, she definitely feels pressure. But, Marimon says her goal is to set the bar higher for every GM that will come after her.
Today, Marimon’s focus is laser set on raising the bar for Radiate. She says the station is working hard to increase its listenership, provide more DJ services for clubs and organizations on campus and break the stereotype of being the hole in the wall.
While she doesn’t plan on pursuing a career in radio, she says Radiate has taught her everything.
“Radiate’s my home,” she says affectionately. “I’ve met some of my closest friends here, my longtime boyfriend here, I love my sorority and other organizations, but I’ve learned everything through Radiate FM.”
Marimon already has her eye set on Chicago for law school, but she isn’t planning on giving up Radiate any time soon.
“I was elected Student Government Association senator last semester and gave it up for Radiate,” she says. “And I was always scared that, when it comes to Law school, they’d care more about SGA senator versus Radiate GM. But, I don’t think there’s any better leadership role you can get than being here. They give us the leniency to run things as we want. We have a 80 person staff. If something breaks at 4 a.m., I have to be there. I have to make sure that there’s never a curse word out. I have to make sure the office is clean. Sometimes that means I come in and vacuum. This job has given me lots of personal experiences to help me in law school.”
Radiate FM can be heard on 88.1 FM in Homestead and Kendall, 95.3 FM in Greater Miami and 96.9 FM in North Miami and the Biscayne Bay Campus. In March 2011, Radiate FM was certified a Top 25 college radio station by MTVu, voted on by listeners. The station also won the Miami New Times editorial choice Best Miami Radio Station in 2006 and 2012.