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Cover of the spring 2003 SFSU magazine. Geography Professor Max Kirkeberg and students tour of San Francisco's Western Addition.

 

SFSU Magazine Online, Spring/Summer 2003, Volume 3, Number 2.

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Alumni & FriendsAlice Radio DJ Sterling James with a big smile holding an iguana and leaning against her microphone.

 

Alice DJ Riding High

Sterling James (B.A., '95) is cruising over the Bay Bridge, heading toward her home in Albany after finishing a 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift at Alice@97.3 FM.

The sultry-sounding disc jockey, whom listeners have come to know during the last seven years for her sassy one-liners and interviews with Sting, Seal, Alanis Morrissette, and Lenny Kravitz, is chatting on a cell phone about her days at SFSU. During the mid-1990s she had a weekly on-air slot and was the promotions director at campus station KSFS.

"I learned how to work with the local radio reps and produce my own show," said James. "I was spinning vinyl back then."

While still a student, James landed an internship at now-defunct "Classic Soul" KSOL and within two years went from part-time DJ to "The Morning Show" producer. She left when the station went to an all-Spanish format.

"There is no doubt that the fact that I had a BECA degree from SFSU helped me get that job," said James. "Whenever I speak at job fairs I'm always stoked to say that I went to SFSU."

The DJ visits Professor Rick Houlberg's broadcasting classes each year, giving students the latest buzz inside the music industry.

"She exemplifies the hard work necessary to survive the business these days," Houlberg said.

James was promoted to the mid-day lunch shift at Alice last year after paying her dues for six years on the 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. shift. Out of college less than a decade, James knows she's lucky to have such an incredible job—and she never had to leave the Bay Area to find it.

"I can't believe I get paid to do what I do," she said. "I'm waiting for the reality police to come along."

-- Adrianne Bee

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