USD Magazine, Winter 2004

From her La Jolla studio, radio host Dana Sturgeon '92 chats with authors and community leaders and shares her Christian values with listeners five days a week.

"I love her, but that's like listening to my grandmother," Sturgeon remembers telling Larson. "Where's the female voice for my generation/" Sturgeon landed a job in the station's advertising sales depart–

ment in February 1995, securing a promise from Larson to put her on the air when she learned the

~ ropes. By July 1996,

Sturgeon had her own Sunday show,"Today's Woman with Dana Sturgeon," which moved to 2-3 p.m. weekdays 18 months later. The show was later re-christened "The Dana Sturgeon Show" to make male listeners feel more welcome. Sturgeon went national last year when she began writing and recording radio commentaries for "The Salem Family Minute," a daily family life feature broadcast nationally on contemporary Christian music stations. She also hopes to branch out into local television and is working on potential show formats. But even if the medium changes, the message - shaped by Sturgeon's strong Christian faith - will remain the same. "Ultimately, the lesson is that God has a plan for our lives," Sturgeon says."I'm trying to show people that we sometimes have to give up our plans and our dreams in order to find His best for us." - Denis Grasska

conversations with friends rou– tinely delved into subjects deep– er than boyfriends and class schedules. She began pursuing her goal with an internship at a local tele– vision show. An internship in the local NBC affiliate's newsroom followed , but Sturgeon soon realized that there were no openings on local television for the next Oprah. So Sturgeon shifted her focus to radio. A life-long Christian, Sturgeon sent her resume to Christian stations across the country, including KPRZ. During her interview with general man– ager Mark Larson, she described her vision of a female talk show that would reflect the concerns of women in their 20s and 30s. At the time, the station carried only one female host - Beverly LaHaye, whose show targeted women ages 50 and older.

watching Oprah Winfrey, she suddenly realized what she wanted to do with her life. "One day, when I was just sit– ting there, I thought, I could do this," Sturgeon says. "I could answer people's questions and actually give them deeper, more faith-based solutions to life's problems." The idea was perfect for Sturgeon, who preferred rela– tionship-improvement books to romance novels and whose

the airwaves were made not sim– ply fo r entertainment, but to be a public service. She offers that." The award was an unexpected surprise for Sturgeon - but so was her career in radio.When she enrolled at USD, Sturgeon planned to major in business administration and attend law school. In her sophomore year, however, she discovered a talent fo r public speaking and switched her major to communication s udies. During her daily ritual of


WINTE R 2004

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