Marcy native Alexandria Dodge ’17, whose well-known voice can be heard throughout the Mohawk Valley as a radio personality for Kiss FM 97.9/105.5 and Bug Country 99.7/101.1 FM, would never have guessed her time at SUNY Poly would lead her to such an exciting career in her hometown.
While a student at Whitesboro High School, Alex attended Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES where she was inducted into the Career and Technical Education Center’s Honor Society in 2013. Students were required to maintain a grade point average of at least 90, earn a high academic average at their high school, and demonstrate excellent attendance.
Outside the classroom, Alex enjoyed making YouTube videos and began interning and volunteering for KISS FM as a sophomore in high school with one goal in mind after graduation: “I was like ‘Get me out of my parents’ house’,” she joked.
After graduating in 2013, Alex was determined to find a college and program where she could apply her combined interest in social media, graphic design, video, radio and communications.
“My mom and I had looked into SUNY Poly, but I was dead set on going away,” she said. “I only applied to two other schools.”
She was accepted to both of those other schools, and ultimately decided to attend one them and not pursue her dreams at SUNY Poly. While SUNY Poly remained in the back of her mind, she spent her freshman year at the other school studying graphic and media design—a decision she later regretted. She decided to transfer to SUNY Poly before the start of her sophomore year.
“I wish I went my freshman year,” she said. “I’m still in debt because of that year.”
After researching SUNY Poly’s programs, Alex enrolled in the Computer and Information Design (CID) B.S. after learning it provides a pathway to multiple careers including graphic design, social media strategy and communication management.
“Everything was kind of hidden, and I didn’t realize how many concentrations were available,” she said. “That major just had so much variety.”
As a new transfer student to SUNY Poly, Alex soon joined the Wildcat Women’s lacrosse team where she remained a student athlete throughout her senior year. Around this time, she found part-time employment for KISS FM where she had interned as a high school student.
Going into her senior year, Alex began training to be an on-air host during late-night weekend shifts amidst a busy schedule of lacrosse practice and classes.
“I started producing their show, and I was doing that from 5:30 a.m. until 10 or 11 a.m., and then would go to lacrosse practice and class,” she said.
Shortly before graduation, Alex was also hired to produce a show for their third sister station, Talk 100.7 FM.
“I was still working part time with them until about October and they brought me on full time.”
In August 2018, she began working again for Bug Country 99.7/101.1 FM and now balances all three stations.
“I wasn’t anticipating getting hired in radio and was just focusing on the graphic design side of things,” Alex said. “I like that I get to do a mix of things at my job—I get to do video editing and graphic design so it’s the best of both worlds.”
Her time at SUNY Poly, she said, allowed her to hone in on experiential learning relevant to her specific interests while making the connections necessary to be where she is today.
“I really learned who I was and was able to gain valuable experience.”