Spinning disks and winning awards



atrick Cymbalski, WXOU’s general manager, has evolved with the award-winning radio station.

At freshmen orientation, Cymbalski, a French language and literature major, began his road at WXOU by filling out an application to have his own radio talk show. He first realized his enjoyment for broadcast in his high school years when he did morning announcements.

“It’s a little self-righteous of me, but I just loved the fact that everybody had to be quiet for three minutes a day and listen to whatever I had to say,” Cymbalski said.

Before he even began taking classes at Oakland, he had his own radio show. Throughout his time he has had two, but “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” is the show he’s kept his entire time at OU. The show is on Wednesday from 9-10 a.m.

Although he wasn’t an executive employee at WXOU yet he still spent a majority of his time in between classes at the radio station.

“I knew radio wasn’t what I was interested in professionally, but WXOU gave me a place to be me and that was important. A lot of people have that,” Cymbalski said. “From there it just turned into this being my second home. Being a commuter on a campus like this it’s super important to have some place to go, this was my place.”

During his junior year Cymbalski decided to apply for assistant program director at WXOU.

“What’s really cool is that was about a year and a half ago I welcomed these people in. Now, these people I brought in are here all the time and I love that,” Cymbalski said. “I can just see them be who I was as a freshmen and sophomore.”

In his last year at Oakland, Cymbalski decided to apply for general manager, a title that came with pleasures and pressures.

For the past two years WXOU has earned the College Station of the Year Award, from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Foundation. Cymbalski was determined to keep the tradition alive.

“I came in here to win this award again and that’s exactly what we did,” Cymbalski said. “I’m very excited, but I put a lot of pressure on myself throughout the year.”

Another stressful pressure for him was managing best friends.

“He is easy to talk to and is fun to hang out with, but he can also be a boss when he needs to be,” Ashley Allison, music director at WXOU, said.

Cymbalski found that in order to achieve success, it is necessary to develop two bonds with people; professional friendly and socially friendly.

“It’s amazing working with my best friends,” Cymbalski said. “You can be so much more creative around people you’re familiar with.”

“He’s so professional and cares about presentation and manners,” Joshua Nagy, assistant program director said. “He’s also so much fun to be around. He makes things that are boring or dull, exciting.”

After graduation in April, Cymbalski plans on doing something with tourism. He plans on experimenting with different fields, but is thankful that with his experiences at WXOU he can always have the option of working in the broadcast, as well as other interesting fields.