When Alberto Pimienta, ’12, walked into the David Letterman Communication and Media Building for the first time, he was amazed. He looked around and saw the new facility and ultra-modern, technologically loaded student-run radio station—WCRD-FM 91.3
His father looked over to him and said what he and his family were all thinking. “I think this would be a good fit for you.”
He instantly agreed saying, “Yes, why not?”
Pimienta’s visit to Ball State wasn’t quite typical. He and his family traveled to Ball State from Maracaibo, Venezuela, a city near the Caribbean Sea, to visit his cousin. It took only three hours for him to realize that he wanted Ball State to be in his future.
“Since the moment I walked onto the campus, I felt comfortable. I knew it would be a good decision for me and for my future,” says Pimienta.
He knew that he wanted to study telecommunications and that no school in Venezuela would even come close to the opportunity to study at Ball State. In fact, he knew the program was one of the best in the world.
“This was the only school I applied to. It was either Ball State or Venezuela.”
On the Air
The day he received his letter of acceptance was life-changing. He was elated. Beginning in January 2009, he left South America to start an incredible experience in Indiana.
Immediately, he became involved in student organizations. Starting at WCRD in entertainment news, he learned quickly, and others noticed his natural ability and skill in reporting and producing. Then he became involved in NewsLink Indiana as a writer and eventually became a reporter and an anchor.
By his sophomore year, he was a programming director at WCRD, managed 70 on-air personalities, and had his own show. It didn’t take long for student leaders and faculty members to want Pimienta’s personality and multimedia skills to be integrated into other productions. Zachary Perlinski, ’11, who revamped Connections Live on WIPB-TV, brought him on board. Now, he is both executive producer and a cohost with Katie Hargitt.
Hargitt, ’13, telecommunications, is inspired by Pimienta’s work ethic and has learned from him while working together.
“Alberto is preparing to go out and take on the world,” Hargitt says. “When we go on-air for Connections Live, he helps boost my confidence because I know I have to work harder to match his abilities, but he also makes me want to work harder.”
“Ball State has been amazing,” Pimienta says. “I never imagined that I was going to be doing this when I first came here. The opportunities are there, if you have the will to do it. The faculty are not only your professors. They want to see you advance and be a better person.”
Prepared for the Future
Pimienta describes himself as a positive person who is friendly and loves to talk. This will serve him well in the future. His effervescent personality and Latino ethnicity have been magnetic, not only on campus but in internships.
In the summer of 2010, he interned at Fox 59 WXIN-TV, Indianapolis working with reporters, the main anchors, and production crew. In the summer of 2011, he had the opportunity to work in Washington DC for Voice of America, which reaches 141 million people around the world and broadcasts in 44 languages. In the Latin America division, he produced content in Spanish for TV and radio.
The first week on the job, he was asked to edit an immigration story that went on the air for El Mundo al Dia. From then on, he was on air creating packages that were viewed from Mexico to Argentina.
“I lived 15 minutes from work in DC. It was surreal to jog by the White House,” Pimienta says.
For his final semester, he is excited to be a part of Sports Link, an Emmy-winning production. With a glimmer of expectancy in his eyes, he speaks of his future career—understanding the opportunities are numerous.
“I’m definitely prepared. I knew that this is what I wanted to do, but I can’t believe I’ve been able to do it so quickly.”
Tim Pollard, chair of the telecommunications department, sees a bright future for him.
“Alberto leads the way in terms of the type of student we are looking for in the Department of Telecommunications. He’s engaged in his classes, works in our immersive learning opportunities, NewsLink Indiana and WCRD, and presents himself well to the world,” Pollard says. “I cannot think of a better person to go out and represent Ball State, the College of Communication, Information, and Media, and telecommunications than Alberto Pimienta.”
Pimienta acknowledges there will be challenges ahead just like taking a giant leap in coming to the United States, yet he’s confident he’s made the right decisions.
“You find what you look for, and I’ve found it.”
College of Communication, Information, and Media
Department of Journalism
Department of Telecommunications