Founded around six years ago, UA Live is not only a club, but an unexpected way for students to begin their morning. Announcements are broadcast to the school community along with tweets and fun segments like “Spotlight Spin.”
Mr. Gregory, UA Live’s club moderator and a faculty member at Ursuline for the past 10 years, was present at UA Live’s beginning.
“I had already been talking about getting a broadcast program together when Ms. Kane stopped me in the hall, and said she wanted to start streaming intramurals. So that was the catalyst. Then Ms. Bauer and I did some research and started putting pieces together,” he said.
Mr. Zamora, Assistant Director of Research and Educational Innovation and math faculty member, combined these ideas with a student starting a broadcasting club, and UA Live was born.
UA Live was first streamed in the attendance office at Ursuline, in Ms. Clark and Ms. Bailey’s space, which was originally Mr. Zamora’s office.
“He (Mr. Zamora) was instrumental in the development of UA Live,” Mr. Gregory said. “I would love to give him a special nod. Back then it was UA Fridays Live: we only had a Friday morning show. We would rearrange his office and put it back right after. It was called Studio Z.”
For a while, UA Live was almost nomadic, having a mobile broadcast from a different classroom every Friday. Briefly, UA Live moved to the Journalism room, but due to limited space, the club began broadcasting from Ursuline’s rotunda.
“That really helped boost our visibility. When I heard UA Live get a mention in the valedictorian’s speech that year, I knew we had become a real fixture. We got some merch, stickers, started branding and we really took off,” Mr. Gregory said.
Then, a change hit when Ursuline switched to virtual learning.
While most would think this would be an obstacle for the morning show to overcome, UA Live used this as a beneficial time to boost their streaming to everyday.
Viewership skyrocketed as many people, even outside of current Ursuline students, became avid UA Live fans.
Now, UA Live has its temporary home in the FFC with co-hosts Kat Weber ’23 and Ava Mychel Rodriguez ‘24, sports broadcaster Ryan Bomersbach ‘24, producer Jillian Spears ’23 and program manager May Atwell ‘24. Sometimes even a live audience joins the cast and crew!
More excitement awaits as the future of UA Live is still growing.
With its new broadcast studio, which will be located off the lobby area in Ursuline’s new auditorium. UA Live is ready to receive the upgrade, they have worked for.
“We desperately needed broadcast programs,” Mr. Gregory said. “Also, we are growing beyond club status and need a home. We can’t really get industry level experience or work on studio techniques or station management without a home.”
When it came to designing the studio, Mr. Gregory was also an essential contributor to this process.
“There is so much to be excited for! I can’t wait for all the opportunities we will have for program scheduling along with the level of professionalism that we can present. There will be so many opportunities for students to be involved. It is a completely different world than how we have been working. This is something that students can really make their own and produce content they are proud of,” Mr. Gregory said.
As for his subsequent plans for the show, Mr. Gregory has many ideas.
“I also have a goal to make UA Live not just the announcements. I want to expand to include entertainment too. We have a Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV channel, so Ursuline content is available in everyone’s homes along with Netflix…I would love a partnership with the film making class. I want it to be a vehicle for students to have a creative digital method of expression that is sanctioned by the school and is widely accessible, a school alternative to YouTube and TikTok. We need to add more sports coverage, student vlogs and film making projects,” he said. The studio will be ready sometime in the near future, but as for now, tune into UA Live every morning at 8:40 a.m. at ursulinedallaslive.org.