Faces Of NPR: Joe Chau

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Joe Chau: The Basics
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Faces Of NPR is a weekly feature that showcases the people behind NPR, from the voices you hear every day on the radio to the ones who work outside of the recording studio. You'll find out about what they do and what they're inspired by on the daily. This week, we are featuring Joe Chau.

The Basics:

Name: Joe Chau

Twitter Handle: @RealJChau

Job Title: Multimedia Specialist

Where You're From: Richmond, VA

An Inside Look:

You're a Multimedia Specialist. What does that mean?

Multimedia Specialist is a part of IT Strategy that focuses on researching, managing, testing, and implementing communication technologies here at NPR headquarters. My role is being the liaison between Audio Engineering, Service Desk, IT Infrastructure, and Telecom. I also oversee the technical aspects of special events in Studio 1 and the conference areas.

What were you doing before NPR?

I was working as a contractor for the Department of Homeland Security assessing information security systems.

How did you get started here? Or What advice do you have for someone who wants a job like yours?

I had become a huge NPR fan and listener as my time in D.C. metro area traffic grew. Once I finished my Master's Degree in Intelligence Technologies, I decided the time was right to apply for a technical position at NPR. Despite having no experience working in news or media, I was fortunate enough to be offered a position.

The best advice I have for someone is to take full advantage of any opportunities given to you.

What are some cool things you've worked on?

Working on the T-Pain performance here in Studio 1 was really exciting. We had special stage lighting installed and streamed the live event online.

Another one of my favorite moments was working on the Invisibilia: Season 2 Facebook Live premiere event. It featured live music, a shadow puppet show, and a panel discussion. Everyone worked really hard to make it happen, and it all came together nicely.

What's your favorite #nprlife moment?

The NPR Staff BBQ was fantastic! The lobby looked like it was ready to host a barnyard hoedown and catering served up delicious BBQ dishes.

Favorite Tiny Desk?

I had no idea who RDGLDGRN was when I wandered up to the 4th floor to see them perform. After I hearing their first song, I was hooked and immediately became a fan.

What's on your desk?

I have a bonsai tree, named Twiggy. The NPR award "Newcomer of the Year" I won recently. A small collection of KidRobot Street Fighter vinyl figures. A little souvenir from my recent trip to Jordan. And two baseball caps, 49ers and SF Giants.

First thing you do when you get to the office?

I water Twiggy and listen to the latest NPR Newscast.

Do you have any pets?

Yes, a rambunctious 1 ½ year old chocolate lab named Penny.

Favorite places in Washington D.C.?

A really good place to go for dinner is the Blue Duck Tavern, just north of the GW metro. They also have a great brunch menu. Another cool place to hang out is The Phillips Collection in Dupont. The first Thursday of every month they host Phillips after 5, which is basically a bar event inside the art gallery.

What do you love about public radio?

I love the personal stories that are told on public radio. In a radio story, I feel a sense of openness and intimacy that is rare in other media.

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