Southeast Missouri State University

Chicago Radio Major Lives Fast and Furious


Life is fast and furious for Southeast student and Chicago, Ill., native, Shnithia (Pepper) Newton.  Shnithia, known best as “Pepper” by her close friends and co-workers, is currently completing a 180-hour internship for three ClearChannel radio stations in Chicago as part of her degree requirements.  She is interning at WGCI-FM, the number one rated station in the city, V103-FM and WGRB-AM.  

Shnithia spends her time in the sales department, assisting account executives with anything they may need help with, putting together PowerPoint presentations, sitting in on important sales meetings and traveling with the account executives on their sales calls.

Shnithia also had the opportunity to assist with promotional events sponsored by the stations.  She worked VIP tents at the LL Cool J concert, the Faith Evans concert and at Taste of Chicago.  Shnithia says she also hoped to help with the All Star Basketball games and Chicago Idol, featuring Grammy Award winners Kanye West and Fat Joe.

“The stations have a lot of events, and I am very excited to be a part of it all,” she explained.  “The station has a real family atmosphere, and everyone is great to work with.”

In addition to her success in Chicago, Shnithia also was the only student chosen recently as a recipient for the “FastStart to Radio Sales Success Minority Scholarship Program” sponsored by Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).  Only 25 individuals from across the country are chosen each year for the highly competitive scholarship.  As a winner, Shnithia will receive full tuition for RAB’s Radio Training Academy in Dallas, Texas, which she will attend this fall.

While at Southeast, Shnithia works at the campus radio station, KDMC, Rage 103.  Shnithia says she treasures the bonds she has made with the staff and their advisor, Dr. Bruce Mims.

Aside from the radio station, Shnithia volunteers as a den leader for her seven-year-old son’s Tiger Cub Scouts. 

She enjoys spending time with her son and participating in activities with the rest of her den. 

“We go to wrestling shows and camping,” said Shnithia.  “I really enjoy just hanging out with the kids and being a positive influence on their lives.”

Shnithia, who is a non-traditional student, says she enjoys walking downtown by the river with her son and eating waffle cones from Port Cape. 

“I waited a long time before I decided to go to college,” she explained.  “I would have to say it was one of the best decisions I could ever have made.”

Shnithia will graduate in December with a degree in communications and an emphasis in radio.  She plans to attend graduate school and is currently considering Columbia College in Chicago to pursue a master’s degree in communication. 

Shnithia said she feels Southeast has contributed to her success by providing opportunities to attend conventions and make contacts with individuals who are active in the radio industry.  

Her best advice for future Southeast students is to make the most of college, and learn as much as possible.  Shnithia also suggests being friendly to everyone because you never know who you will end up working for in the future.