Psych Word

Elissa Sanci

An inside look at the voices behind the mic at WNHU’s Friday afternoon show.

Rob Girard (left) and Kristina Gilbertie (right) Co-Hosts of Psych Word at WNHU/ Photo by Erica Naugle
Rob Girard (left) and Kristina Gilbertie (right) Co-Hosts of Psych Word at WNHU/ Photo by Erica Naugle

Rob Girard and Kristina Gilbertie, the hosts of the WNHU’s Friday afternoon show Psych Word, seem as though they’ve known each other forever. Girard and Gilbertie are drug and alcohol counselors who create a fun, fresh atmosphere for their radio show, inviting their listeners in and creating a conversational tone. Since the start of their show in February 2014, they have been featured in the newest edition of “New Haven Living” magazine.

Psych Word, which airs live each Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. on WNHU 88.7, covers a range of topics including mental health, current events, and overall wellness with a little humor and sarcasm mixed in.

Girard is currently a masters student at the University of Connecticut, and the creator of the show and its name. He said he gave the show its name because he felt it encompassed the content—psychology and mental health—and also because he liked the play on words.

“I like that it sounds like psych ward, because a lot times when you’re listening to us, you’re like ‘What? They are nuts!’” he adds, “I kind of go off the deep end sometimes.”

Each show has a theme, and Girard and Gilbertie often have guests that correspond to their themes. Guests have ranged from veterans and pin-up girls—women who make calendars to raise money for veterans—to health and fitness experts.

“We try to stick to a topic each show, but sometimes we get sidetracked,” Girard said. “Sometimes our callers will take us in a different direction.”

Girard explained one of the most popular segments of their show is Rant of the Day, which is where callers are able to call in from 3:10 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. with their “Rant of the Day.”

Co-Hosts of Psych Word at WNHU/ Photo by Erica Naugle
Co-Hosts of Psych Word at WNHU/ Photo by Erica Naugle

Gilbertie, who is also lead singer of the bands Sister Funk and Run Jenny, said that getting listeners involved is one of her favorite parts of being on the radio. “I love being interactive and getting people involved, and we love getting callers to give us their point of view.”

WNHU is the University of New Haven’s non-commercial, official FCC-licensed FM radio station, which broadcasts live from the station, located in the basement of Maxcy Hall.

“I knew that WNHU had been the number one college radio station for years, and I knew that I wanted to try to get a show on the station,” Girard said. “When we got the offer for a live show Friday during drive time, it was like the perfect recipe.”

Girard and Gilbertie stay connected with their listeners through many social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and they even have their own website, psychword.com, where listeners can go to share thoughts, opinions and comments of the show.