Carla Eckels

Director of Cultural Diversity, news & engagement | 'Soulsations' Music Host

Carla Eckels is Director of Cultural Diversity for news and engagement at KMUW.  She's been an award-winning announcer/news producer for KMUW 89.1FM, Wichita Public Radio for 21 years. Carla also produces a R&B and gospel show Soulsations, Sunday nights at 6 on KMUW.  She also hosted Joyful Sounds, a Sunday morning gospel radio show on Q92FM.  Prior to KMUW, she was the local host for NPR’s Morning Edition at WYSO public radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio and co-hosted a nationally syndicated Gospel Countdown Radio show in Cincinnati. Carla also was program director for KIBN, 90.7 The Inspirational Black Network in Wichita. 

In January 2018, she was honored with the Drum Major Award at Wichita State University's MLK Unity Walk.   In April 2016, WSU presented Carla with the exclusive honor of the Wayne Carlisle Distinguished Service Award, The Carlisle Award is presented to an unclassified professional who models the standard of extraordinary service exhibited by the late Wayne Carlisle.

Carla has reported on national news stories such as the Hesston Shootings, BTK serial killer case, Roeder trial, Greensburg tornadoes and the 1958 Dockum Drug Store sit-in for NPR.  The Dockum feature was the number one listened to story on KMUW’s website in 2007.

Aileen LeBlanc and Carla Eckels have been awarded a prestigious national 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for their news feature looking at the return of ant-abortion demonstrations to Wichita. Eckels is the recipient of two Edward R. Murrow regional awards for her reporting including a 2015 award for her story on Shockers Men's Basketball: A Candid Look. Carla also won a Public Service Announcement, 2nd place: “A Wichita Basketball Coach Overcomes Depression” in 2017 and a 1st place Kansas Association of Broadcasting award in 2015  for her story on Bipolar Disorder and 2nd place for DJ Personality Aircheck for Soulsations.  Carla has annually emceed the Wichita River Festival and Black Arts Festival gospel music segments.

From 2004 to 2007, Carla hosted the number one gospel radio show on KSJM 107.9 JAMZ. She is the recipient of the Best Disc Jockey award voted on by subscribers of The Community Voice Newspaper.

Carla is a graduate of Wichita State University with a degree in communications. Her greatest joy is her family. She is married to Wichita and WSU Football Hall-of-Famer, Reuben Eckels and they have two children.

Ways to Connect

Ferran Rodenas / Flickr

On a 6-1 vote, Wichita City Council members approved an economic incentive grant for NetApp Tuesday, an information technology company that plans to expand in Wichita.

An estimated 418 new customer service employees are expected to double NetApp’s workforce over the next 5 years. The company also plans to invest $86 million in new equipment.

Wichita’s Economic Development Director Allen Bell told the council NetApp had opportunities to expand in other states such as North Carolina, but chose Wichita to grow their customer support center.

Kansas has the 4th highest Sudden Infant Death syndrome or SIDS rate in the US, and it’s even higher for black children.

An area group organized community baby showers to be held in Wichita Saturday, to promote good health and safe sleep for babies.

Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer Tuesday issued a proclamation at the City Council meeting recognizing “A Healthy Baby Begins With You Day”.

SIDS Network Director Christi Schunn says the infant mortality rate in Kansas among black infants is the highest in the country.

Wichita State University

On July 1, John Bardo became the 13th president of Wichita State University. 

He previously served as the chancellor of West Carolina University for 16 years.

KMUW's Carla Eckels talks with President Bardo about his ties to WSU and formulating a strategic plan for the future.

The City of Wichita anticipates a quarter million dollars in projected hotel cash flow from the city-owned downtown Hyatt as part of the proposed 2013-14 budget.

Wichita City Manager Bob Layton gave an overview of the proposed budget as part of a formal public hearing during Tuesday’s city council meeting.  Layton told council members one issue that helped shape the budget has to do with the Hyatt.

“This budget anticipates for the first time, a revenue flow to the city from the Hyatt operations,” said Layton.

European airplane maker Airbus Monday announced plans to double investments in the US at the first Air Capital Supplier Summit in Wichita.

Senator Jerry Moran and Airbus Americas Chairman Allan McArtor hosted the event.

Moran says the partnership between Airbus and Kansas suppliers is aimed at growing the aviation industry in the state through more contracts with the France-based aircraft maker.

Airbus has an engineering center here in Wichita with more than 350 employees, making the Wichita facility the company’s largest engineering center outside of Europe.

Half of the Kansas Board of Education’s 10 seats are on the ballot in this year’s elections.  The August 7 primary will most likely settle the race in Wichita’s 8th district. Both Republican candidates say they’re ready to serve.

At a recent forum in Wichita, 70 year old incumbent, Walt Chappell, explained why he’s running for a second 4-year term on the state school board. Chappell told the crowd it’s important to provide relevant education to every child.

Advance voting begins Thursday at 15 satellite sites in Sedgwick County including The Center for Health and Wellness, Bel Aire City Building and the Sedgwick County Zoo. 

Election Commissioner Tabitha Lehman says voters can take advantage of the opportunity before the August 7 Primary.

“Voters can start going to any of our satellite sites today beginning at noon and those will be open until Saturday at 4pm and the voters just need to make sure to bring their government issued voter ID,” says Lehman.

With the August 7 primary approaching, voters will have the opportunity to hear from some of the candidates.

The Wichita Voter Empowerment 2012 Committee will sponsor a Community Candidates Forum at a church near Wichita State this Sunday.

Candidates running for office on the National, State and Local level have confirmed their attendance at the forum.

Several candidates will participate in a question and answer period after their platform presentations.  A meet the candidate reception will follow. 

Press courtesy photo

A ground breaking event was held Wednesday to build new headquarters for the Kansas Leadership Center and Kansas Health Foundation Conference center in downtown Wichita. 

The 3-story building will feature a 200-seat town hall meeting space, offices and classrooms and an unfinished 3rd floor for future expansion. 

KLC’s Ed O’Malley says the building is designed as a flexible, functional space that contributes to developing more engaged leaders in healthier communities. 

Carla Eckels

Meet Megan McCurdy.

“Here we go ladies and gentlemen! What do you want to give?”

The 29-year old auctioneer conducts a recent charity auction at Wichita’s Botanica Gardens.

(Auctioneer chanting.)

Megan will compete Friday in the 2012 International Auctioneer Championship in Spokane, Washington.  It’s not her first time though, she was named first runner up in the final round of vigorous competition last year.

“Well, it’s intense. I will say that,” says McCurdy.

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