Meet Our Interns
Kaya Sakamoto –
Kaya Sakamoto was born and raised in Santa Monica, California. She fell in love with the idea of working in radio while attending community college and soon began interning at her local public radio station, KCRW. Since then she transferred to UC Berkeley where she studied the cross section between society and the environment, spending a semester in Chile to gain a more multicultural understanding of sustainability. During her time at Cal, she also volunteered with KALX as a news reporter and again at KCRW as a morning news intern. Outside of radio, Kaya loves to be doing anything outdoors, from hiking and backpacking to climbing or even just relaxing on the beach. Combining her interests in radio and the environment, Kaya hopes to pursue a career in environmental journalism.
Prema Jackson –
Prema Jackson was born and educated in Michigan, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Dramatic Arts from Eastern Michigan University. Deeply involved in the civil rights struggle of the times, she soon realized that the depth and intensity of her anger and frustration would only lead to her incarceration, institutionalization or death. She understood that in order to be a true catalyst of lasting change, she would have to find a core of deep peace which could weather any storm.
Prema chose theater as her vehicle for change, after which a series of mystical events led her to her own path to peace. Proceeding along this path, she is committed to sharing whatever peace and inspiration may be found – with respect for all people, all religions and all life on earth – as we continue our efforts to create a more just and equitable world.
Peter Stickney –
Peter Stickney is currently a KPFA operations intern.
He has always been interested in how things work. He has been involved in audio production since he was in grade school. From church and school productions. Including full choir, orchestra and drama productions. Later adding videography and live streaming to his toolbox.
His first editing project was at the age of 13. He took an 8mm film and a cassette tape with interviews that were on the film. He created a synced audio master with music when there wasn’t dialogue on the film. Most recently he has been working on a project Faces of Our Elders – doing video interviews of senior citizens. Collecting their wisdom and stories before they are gone forever.
mikO Tolliver –
Instagram & Twitter: @mikotolliver
My name is mikO and everything I do is so amazing. I’m a songwriter and produce videos. I’m from the Bay Area and work as a freelance artist. I have a degree in English from Mills College and released 2 independent albums. For KPFA, I’ve been working on a music program, “ORCA,” that provides tours and live performances from the KPFA live engineering studio. I produce videos including the station’s 70th anniversary video. My music program, ROCK STAR GUITAR ACADEMY, has taught after school music and gives performances. I work as a voice actress and write grants for a web series. I’m also working on learning documentary filmmaking.
Tanaya Landry –
My name is Tanaya Landry. I’m from Salinas, Ca. I moved to the Bay Area in 2016 to finish my degree in Communication Studies at Cal State East Bay. After a year in school, I realized I wanted to keep learning about audio. One of my teachers, Kevin Pina, introduced me to KPFA. I reached out about an opportunity to intern and now I’ve had the opportunity to intern with KPFA twice.
Kyle Gustafson –
I’m Kyle (they/them), a reformed chemical engineer putting my technical skills to work in community radio!
Benjamin Tyson –
The huge vision for me is to become an audio engineer. It’s been an obsession of mine since I was in middle school around the same time I first stepped foot into the bedroom studio my buddy, Dan Wallace, recorded out of. Dan was a very talented Christian music producer and strictly recorded Christian artist. I learned from Dan the basics of recording and cleaning up vocals.
Fast forwarding after high school, I snagged an internship at Youth Radio learning Photoshop basics. That was a huge opportunity to be inside Youth Radio because you had access to all these people that were writers, programmers, and audio engineers open to take young interns under their wings. After Photoshop class, I would sit in on Brandan AKA (1- O.A.K) recording of other interns and just observe. Later on, I assisted Brandon and a couple of other interns in the recording of Youth Radio’s first Mixtape.
Currently, I’m enrolled in the Operations Department Training Program at KPFA. So far we’ve learned how to record our own podcast, edit radio shows, and right now, we are learning audio engineering basics from David Ogilvy and how to create a podcast from Kevin Pina.
Jose Gonzalez –
My name is Jose Gonzalez and I am a participant in KPFA’s Operation Department Internship Program. My family immigrated to Oakland from Mexico when I was a small child and I have called the Bay Area “home” ever since. I graduated from Alameda High school and worked at Fenton’s Creamery for almost 10 years before I made the difficult decision to pursue other opportunities. I enjoy taking photos, filming and editing YouTube videos, listening to radio shows and seeing live music. After finding a path to adjust my legal status, I decided to pursue further education. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Studies and am now searching for opportunities to realize my dream of working in the field of radio. I love spending my free time with my family and my 12-year-old rescue Chiweenie, Bambi.
Darlene Pagano –
Twitter and Instagram @BauboLaughing
I’ve been a KPFA listener since 1975. I woke up that first morning in town to a radio set to 94.1fm and what I heard was NOTHING I had ever heard on radio before. (It was a song about how “Vietnam will win”. It took me a verse or two to realize the praise was given to the bravery of NORTH Vietnam. Wow!!) I pretty much never changed the dial. I had moved to the Bay Area from Dade County FL (now named Miami Dade Co.), a back-back-back water conservative locale, hoping to find “my people” of progressive thinkers and committed social change activists. And find them I did. For the next 42 years I worked in collectives, cooperatives, progressive businesses and worker-owned shops, I lived my dream life managing book stores, and then moving on to activist non-profit work in Racial Justice. Over the years I had been a guest a few times on KPFA because of my work and had briefly been recruited to work behind the scenes on a monthly Feminist book review program. (I edited tape which involved Headphones, a cutting block, razor blades and sticky tape.) Moving ahead now to my approach to retirement age, and being asked repeatedly as to what I was going to do “after”. The answer came effortlessly: I want to produce radio shows and KPFA is the place to do so.
Jordan Christopher Hankston –
I’m a 22 years old who was born in Hayward California, and have lived in Oakland California ever since. The city’s Skyline high school is where I discovered my passion for music production, engineering and audio in general. While attending community college I began to seek out internships to gain more experience with audio in a professional setting, to which KPFA delivered.
“The staff of KPFA are without a doubt some of the most kind, dedicated and passionate people I have met, this is reflected in the supportive work environment of the station. In my time as an Operations Department intern I gained invaluable experience as an on air sound engineer, refined my skills as audio editor and became acquainted with a plethora of recording equipment and Digital Audio Workstations. Now a student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, I feel that the experience I gained at KPFA played a direct role in my selection for the university’s competitive electronic music program.”
Shan Hathaway –
Shan joined KPFA’s Operations Department as an intern in 2019. Since graduating, he can usually be found helping current interns clean background noise out of their audio, taking classes, or editing one of several podcasts he helps produce as a side business.
“The Operations department is one of the the most excellent groups of people I have ever been a part of and the technical skills I acquired helped me start my own small audio business, whatever you’re looking to accomplish KPFA is a good start.”
Stephen Wells –
Stephen Wells is currently a student in the Master of Science program in Recording Arts (Emphasis in Media Forensics) at the University of Colorado Denver’s National Center for Media Forensics. After 20 years in his previous field, Stephen felt it was time for a change. He also felt that audio needed to be a part of such change. Stephen reached out to KPFA for an internship position to help him weigh some options. The internship helped to bring into focus his new direction: part multimedia and part forensic science. Stephen holds two undergraduate degrees.
In his spare time, Stephen enjoys playing and recording music, the noise from which his wife nobly endures. And, he enjoys recreational ski racing with said wife, who is known to beat him gleefully down the hill.
“KPFA customized my internship program to match my capabilities and needs. The staff was authentic, enthusiastic and encouraging, and the program was well organized and quite challenging. Highly recommended!”
Other interns who have participated in our program