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A COVID Audio Diary

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Towson University
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Back in March, college students around Maryland headed off for Spring Break. Most never returned to campus. 

Schools canceled in-person classes for the rest of the semester, due to the coronavirus. WYPR's Nathan Sterner teaches an audio documentary course at Towson University, and that course's students have been recording their thoughts over the last few weeks. Now that the semester is ending, they’re compiling those diary entries into chronicles of the early COVID era. This one was done by graduating Senior Sam Stubing.

"If radio were a two-way visual medium," WYPR host Ashley Sterner would be able to see listeners every weekday between 5 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Each weekday morning Ashley serves up the latest Maryland news and weather delightfully interspersed with the occasional snarky comment.

Listeners may also hear Ashley's familiar voice during the day as they guide listeners through what's known as continuity breaks until midday. Ashley is known to add audio flair on Sheilah Kast's morning show, "On the Record." They may also infrequently fill in for Tom Hall during the "Midday" radio program. They are a pitch hitter and often contributes to fundraising and "additional tasks where assigned."

When not working inside the WYPR studios, Ashley can be found teaching a class on how to produce audio documentaries for Towson University. In their spare time, they can be seen running around Baltimore neighborhoods or hiking around Maryland natural vistas.

Before coming to WYPR, Ashley spent 8 years with WAMU in Washington D.C. where they worked nearly every job in the radio station. That spanned from part-time receptionist to on-air host but also included experience in promotions, fundraising, audience analysis and program production. They've also served as a fundraising consultant, assisting dozens of public radio stations nationwide with on-air fundraisers.

Originally from rural Pennsylvania, Ashley has called Charm City home since 2005.