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Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative Holds Second Annual Meeting


The Amateur Radio Club at Yale University (W1YU) was the host for the 2nd annual Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative (CARI) forum at the ARRL New England Division Convention, September 8–10, in Boxboro, Massachusetts. ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, who — in light of the increasing number of reactivated and newly formed radio clubs at colleges and universities — has been a prime mover behind the League initiative, opened the session. Four presentations by participating institutions followed.

Sean Barnes, N3JQ, of Harrisburg Academy, a prep school in Pennsylvania, led off the presentations by sharing how ham radio fits into the curriculum at his small private school, where all physics students earn their Technician licenses while studying electromagnetics. Barnes said he recently compiled a matrix of 329 collegiate Amateur Radio stations for CARI, and he spent a portion of his presentation explaining the methods he used to create the database, as well as plans for its use and future maintenance.

Scott Westerman, W9WSW, from Michigan State University, outlined many simple things collegiate radio clubs can do to promote their clubs and increase membership. Undaunted by the fact that Hurricane Irma caused the cancellation of his travel plans, Westerman addressed the forum via Skype. Westerman’s own website is dedicated to Amateur Radio club growth.

Captain Matthew Sherburne, KF4WZB, and a contingent of smartly attired US Military Academy cadets, took the stage to recount the revitalization of the West Point Amateur Radio Club. Sherburne emphasized the importance of installing cutting-edge technology in the club shack when setting up a new station, and making sure there’s plenty of power to meet present and future equipment needs. He also discussed the delicacy of installing antennas at historical properties such as West Point.

West Point Club members and cadets Jonathan Morton, KE8EBT; Logan Leahy, KD2MWT; Michala Wyrsch, and Christina Harris shared their experiences as members of the club, including remote operations.

Case Western Reserve University Amateur Radio Club Faculty Advisor David Kazdan, AD8Y, Treasurer Nathaniel Vishner, KB1QHX, and Vice President-Secretary Rachel Boedicker, AC8XY, discussed the University’s Amateur Radio activities. Amateur Radio at Case is intertwined with the electrical engineering curriculum, and Kazdan spoke about the role of the faculty advisor in the collegiate club and the importance of working collaboratively with the engineering faculty to promote and grow a collegiate club.

Kazdan’s wife, Laura Gooch, N8NFE, accompanied the CWRU group on the trip to Boxboro. Kazdan also won the Saturday night banquet door prize of an Elecraft KX2 transceiver.

The forum concluded with a round table discussion about the state of college Amateur Radio, moderated by W1YU President Scott Matheson, N3NFP, who earned his Amateur Extra-class ticket at the convention. Participants shared challenges and ideas regarding what works and what doesn’t when rebuilding a collegiate club. Remaining mindful of the students’ ownership over the club was a recurring theme, students need to drive its direction and activities, while the role of the faculty advisor is to facilitate. — Thanks to the Amateur Radio Club at Yale University (W1YU) via the CARI Facebook page




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