Ben Castle

Experiences Outside Classroom Led Alum to Public Radio Career

He's KQED's National Sales Coordinator Thanks to Experiences at KDVS and Campus Art Gallery

Editor’s note: This alumni success story is presented here as it was first published in the College of Letters and Science Magazine in December 2016.

Combining a love for radio and art, Benjamin Castle ’14 (bachelor’s degrees in art history and psychology) now leads sales for San Francisco public radio station KQED

Castle’s first foray into radio came early in his time at UC Davis, where he not only hosted a show on student-run KDVS, but also was the station’s business and underwriting director for three years.

“I loved the radio station and wanted to see it stay around — and that’s what the business side makes happen,” said Castle, a native of San Diego. In addition to pursuing a double major and running the business end of KDVS, Castle founded Davis Art Salon, an organization that reached out to the local arts community to create exhibitions at the university’s Nelson Gallery [which closed in 2015 to make way for the Manetti Shrem Museum.]

Art gallery ‘incredibly rewarding experience’

“Working with the Nelson Gallery was an incredibly rewarding experience and gave me another opportunity for community outreach, which was something I was already doing with KDVS,” Castle said. 

Castle’s job as national sales coordinator for KQED includes setting rates, coordinating and communicating with salespeople, entering orders, advising on Federal Communications Commission guidelines, and creating the KQED “Happenings” newsletter. 

Liberal arts education helped him excel early in career

Castle says his extracurricular work at KDVS and the Nelson Gallery taught him how to reach out to the larger community, and his liberal arts education exposed him to a wide range of ideas, helping him excel early in his career.

“In the workforce, you never know exactly what you may be doing,” he said. “Few people end up doing what they dreamed of when they were 5 years old. A liberal arts education exposes you to many ideas, but more important are extracurricular opportunities and the ability to turn them into a career.”

— Jeffrey Day, content strategist for the College of Letters and Science