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Andrew Schilling


KVNO Fill-in Host

KVNO Fill-in Host

I began announcing for KVNO in 2023, filling in as a substitute whenever possible.

But I got my start in radio many years ago, when I was a freshman in college and began announcing on WSND-FM, the student-run classical radio station at Notre Dame. Things were trickier back then in the pre-digital age: we announcers had to dust off and drop the phonograph needle in the right track of 33 RPM albums – and hope that there were no scratches to make the record stick. We learned to pronounce composers’ names and compositions the hard way – by consulting a fat Encyclopedia of Classical Music, or receiving corrective phone calls in mid-program from the program director or sympathetic faculty who were listening attentively. I picked up a lot about classical music by reading the backs of the albums, and hosting programming in opera, the Boston Symphony in syndication, and Morning Classics.

I graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in Modern Languages – German, Russian and French – and then served four years in the Navy as a surface warfare officer on ships that deployed to the Mediterranean. Along the way I picked up Italian while working as the Shore Patrol officer with the local polizia in Italian ports of call. Following my naval service, I earned an MBA in marketing at The Wharton School, and worked four years on Madison Avenue as an advertising account executive.

But I was eager to put my language expertise to use in my work, so I took the foreign service exam – and I passed! That opened the door to a wonderful 24 year career as a U.S. diplomat that brought me and the family to overseas assignments at embassies in Tokyo, Rome, Vienna, Oslo and Warsaw. As the public affairs officer, my principal duties included Embassy press spokesman; overseeing media relations and senior delegation visits; and managing cultural and educational exchange programs sponsored by the U.S. government. It was an exciting experience, and a privilege to represent the U.S. to foreign audiences.

After taking early retirement from the foreign service, I resettled the family to Omaha. I worked as the speechwriter at US STRATCOM, and then at First National Bank of Omaha in corporate risk. Most recently I was the senior director of international business development at the Omaha Chamber of Commerce – until the Covid pandemic hit.

So I pivoted into higher education, and have been an adjunct at UNO since 2021, teaching courses in international business and communications in the College of Business Administration. In March the Department of Marketing & Entrepreneurship surprised me with the Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award for 2023-24.

I keep active in community volunteer organizations, serving on the boards of the Midwest International Trade Association (MITA), the Omaha Sister Cities Association, and the Nebraska World Affairs Council (NEWAC). In August 2020, Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs appointed me as Japan’s Honorary Consul to Nebraska, a position which allows me to keep active in international affairs.

The most important part of this bio is my wife, Tracy. We met in a French class at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, and ever since then, Tracy’s been at my side sharing a life that’s taken us around the world. We have two grown sons, Tony and Jamey.