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. 

In April 2016, Wichita State University 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

Sunday, February 4

Sunday on Soulsations singer/songwriter, producer PJ Morton.  He’s a keyboardist for the band Maroon 5.  He also has gospel roots, singing and producing music with his father Bishop Paul S. Morton.  The New Orleans native’s debut solo release, Gumbo, garnered him 2018 Grammy nominations for Best R&B album and for best R&B song "First Began." 

PJ Morton’s take on hip-hop, R&B, urban music…

"I just think it's very important music. It's music that we feel very deeply, and I think people are in need of connection right now. We want to fill each other right now because the world is a bit crazy. And I think it's music that goes straight to the heart. I think that's why it's called Soul music at the root of it, because it gets straight to your soul. And that's whether we're partying or we're saying something serious. I think anytime we do that, it comes from a real place, and I think that's needed today."

PJ Morton on NPR’s All Things Considered — interview aired January 28, 2018

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Advocates are pushing for Kansas lawmakers to establish a task force to develop and implement a state Alzheimer’s plan.

Kansas is the only state in the country that does not have a strategy to deal with the progressive disease.

Medicaid costs to care for the 53,000 Kansans living with Alzheimer's is $420 million a year. That number is expected to increase 30 percent by 2025.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Roughly 2500 skaters are in Wichita this week to take part in the largest U.S. Figure Skating competition of its kind.

Among the teams competing in the Midwestern and Pacific Coast Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships are the Rose City Crystals, from Pasadena, California.

The team, made up of 27 female skaters, arrived in Wichita at 4 a.m. on Wednesday hoping to see snow. It’s the first time they’ve traveled outside of California.

Sunday, January 28

Sunday on Soulsations, we remember legendary South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela. He passed away in Johannesburg on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at the age of 78.  The trumpeter's global hit "Grazing In The Grass" was released 50 years ago. Masekela produced more than 40 albums. He is known for his song that’s considered the anti-apartheid anthem, "Bring Home Nelson Mandela," recorded in 1986. Masekela returned to South Africa after Mandela’s release in 1990.

Courtesy photo

The head of the Kansas NAACP is requesting that the entire state Legislature take part in cultural competency sensitivity training after a lawmaker made disparaging remarks about African-Americans at a town hall meeting in Garden City earlier this month.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Students and community members braved the cold Wednesday night to participate in Wichita State’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Walk.

Staff from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion began the walk at the Red Bud trail south of campus followed by a program at WSU’s new Experiential Engineering building.

Sophomore Sarah Myose said she participated in the walk as an effort to become more involved in the community.

Sunday, January 21

Sunday on Soulsations we remember gospel music icon Edwin Hawkins. He died Monday at the age of 74. Hawkins is widely-known for his arrangement of the hymn “Oh Happy Day.” The song, recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers, became an international hit in 1969.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Wichita State University is holding a final event Wednesday night to commemorate the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Sunday, January 14

Sunday on Soulsations new soul/funk music from Mr Jukes. 

Kansas House Rep. Gail Finney says she expects the state Legislature will beef up a law related to swatting after a recent incident in Wichita that left one man dead.