“The black audience here at UCF was missing a voice,” says Patricia Hartley, on why she started the #LateKnightHype podcast.
The show, which is recorded at Black & Gold Studios on campus, acts as a platform to recognize minority organizations making a difference at UCF.
“[The podcast] has provided a voice for minority student organizations on campus — not just black student organizations, but minority organizations,” says Hartley. “We’ve interviewed the Glee Club, UCF Homecoming, the National Society of Black Engineers, the National Council of Negro Women — a diverse group of student organizations.”
Hartley credits #LateKnightHype for creating a dialogue between herself and minority students who now feel comfortable discussing their experiences at UCF with her.
“I’ve been able to just get some insight from students that they probably may not have shared if not for the podcast,” she says. “The students inspire me more than I could ever inspire them.”
Finding Her Voice
While earning a master’s degree in higher education from University of West Florida, Hartley gained experienced in radio broadcasting. After graduating in 2010, she moved to Orlando and held hopes of continuing an on-air presence.
“I was looking to do some things here in Orlando,” Hartley says, “but there was no opportunity here for me that I was able to snatch up.”
Unable to find an outlet, Hartley decided to create opportunity for herself. A friend suggested she start a podcast. She was introduced to her co-host, Danielle Case, by a student assistant. Both women shared an interest in creating a production that would allow them to amplify their voices, as well as the voices of others. Brainstorming for the focus and name of the podcast began in fall of 2015, and the show was up and running the following spring.
In only a few years, Hartley has watched the podcast’s fan base grow consistently. It’s not uncommon for her to be approached by listeners who see her around campus. The numbers are substantial. #LateKnightHype boasts 2,000+ SoundCloud plays and over 8,000 views on Facebook livestream, according to Hartley. With over 50 episodes, some of Hartley’s favorites feature the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Dr. LeAnne Roberts from the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
Organizations at UCF have taken note of the podcast’s reach and recognize the platform as an effective way to get their name out.
“In Spring 2016 when we started, we reached out to every student organization,” she says. “That fall of 2016, we started to get organizations to ask us if they could actually come on to talk about things.”
Now, as #LateKnightHype approaches its two-year anniversary in March, the podcast is receiving more requests from student organizations asking to be featured than ever before, says Hartley.
The show has played a significant role in both Hartley’s personal and professional life. Hartley, who is the tutorial services and outreach coordinator at the Student Academic Resource Center, recognizes that the students who come to her for academic resources feel more comfortable if they’ve listened to the show. Hearing her voice and personality on the podcast helps to break down the barrier between staff and student.
“After doing the podcast for at least a semester, I had students who were comfortable talking to me as if I was a student,” she says.
A Celebration of Culture
As a black woman, Hartley understands the importance of minority individuals and groups at UCF, as well as celebrating the observance of Black History Month.
“[Black History Month] is a reminder that we do have a deep, rich history here in America,” she says.
Hartley references her mother, grandmother, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and a host of educators and mentors as some of the figures who have acted as influencing forces throughout her life. Even in a world that has often tried to change her, she says she has always been proud of her identity, emphasizing the widespread impact of black culture.
“I’ve never wanted to be anything else. I’ve always wanted to be who I was,” she says. “I’ve enjoyed being a black woman, period.”
To listen to all episodes of #LateKnightHype, visit soundcloud.com/lateknighthype.