NYC to WRG: Oliver joins KSTK FM
Shady Grove Oliver, a graduate of Columbia University in New York City, is the newest reporter to grace the airwaves of KSTK FM.
A world traveling, multi-lingual expert in comparative religion and intra-professional relationships in the medical field is now calling Wrangell home as the news reporter for KSTK FM.
Shady Grove Oliver, a graduate of Columbia University in New York City with a Master’s Degree in Narrative Medicine and undergraduate studies in foreign languages and comparative religion, began work at the community supported Alaska Public Radio Network station on Monday, Jan. 7.
Oliver, who has spent a number of years in broadcast journalism, is no stranger to Southeast Alaska, having spent time working at KCAW in Sitka. It was during her time in Sitka that she experienced a memorable story that not many others could – or would ever try – to undertake.
“I was working as the morning host in Sitka,” Oliver said. “There was this one story where we got a call about some wild bears that had wandered into an enclosure at the Fortress of the Bear. It was a mom and three cubs. I got the news tip and I couldn’t reach the news director or the reporter, so I decided to go out there and report it.”
That’s when Oliver said she had an experience that most would find “un-bearable.”
“The newspaper and TV reporter left, and I was out there by myself and just hanging around when this guy from the Fortress came over and asked me if I had ever straddled a bear,” she added. “I said ‘no,’ and he said, ‘come with me.’ So I went into the enclosure where this bear was tranquilized and snoring, and I actually got to straddle and hug a tranquillized bear. It smelled like fish.”
Oliver also related what she felt was her news philosophy, given her move to small-town Alaska from the bright lights and big city rush of New York City.
“In a town this size you really have to be willing to listen to all the people around you,” Oliver said. “It’s a very tight-knit community and it’s the kind of place where coming in as the new reporter I want to take the time to really know the community and push for stories.”
Cindy Sweat, the development director for KSTK added that the station was glad to see her on-board and lucky to have her.
“We are really excited and happy to have her on board,” Sweat said. She is a high quality reporter with enthusiasm and she is familiar with Southeast and Coast Alaska Radio. She came highly recommended after her internship at Raven Radio in Sitka and they had nothing but great things to say about her.”
Oliver is fluent in Spanish, German and Dutch, with a touch of Italian and Chinese as well as part of her language abilities.
“I’m looking forward to staying here in Wrangell and doing my best to be a part of the community,” she added.