Dlhalper has had such a fantastic journey in the world of rock music! She has seen so much through her broadcasting career and has even rubbed elbows with music celebrities ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Rush. She is a true humanitarian who spends time helping an autistic child and encouraging and supporting underprivileged children – in between classes. Dlhalper found us while doing her doctorate and never left. Thanks to the gentle persuasion of C.Hainsaw, we are privileged to have her as a Supervisor at Answers.com. She has made almost 4,000 contributions, with over 1,000 of them being answers!
What is your first name? Donna
What is your occupation? I am a professor and an author.
What is your Answers.com username and how did it come about?
My username is Dlhalper. It is my first two initials, and my last name. It is short for Donna Lee Halper. I wanted to capitalize my initials, but they ended up lowercase. I decided to just leave them that way.
Where in the world do you hail from and what makes this place special?
I come from the greater Boston area. I love Boston. We have lots of amazing historical places, awesome libraries and museums, and excellent ice cream. These days, I live in Quincy which is seven miles south of Boston and the birthplace of two U.S. presidents.
How did you discover Answers.com?
Around 2006, I was searching for something online (I truly do not recall what), but the search led me to an incorrect answer that I found on Answers.com. I wondered how to correct it, and gradually began doing more corrections as my schedule permitted. At the time, I was busy studying for my PhD. Once I finished my degree, I had more time to answer and correct more questions.
What enticed you to join our community?
I come from a media background, working first as a radio announcer, journalist, and researcher, and later as a media historian, author, and professor. Since I used to do a lot of proof-reading and fact-checking, whenever I see incorrect information online, I find myself wanting to fix it! Now that I am a full-time professor, it is even more irritating because I know how many students “google” something and cite it without checking if the source is accurate. For students, getting to an answer first often takes precedence over getting that answer right. As I became more familiar with how to get the best results from online research, I decided that I might be able to contribute something to Answers.com.
What is your favorite thing to do on Answers.com?
There are two things I really enjoy. One is correcting wrong answers—not because I am some know-it-all, but because when I can fix an answer, I feel I am contributing to Answers.com’s reputation for accuracy. I also enjoy some of the advice questions, like those from kids who want to meet Justin Bieber, or who wish they could get some girl or guy to like them. We were all young once and we all had crushes on some celebrity. It is nice that kids feel they can come to us with their questions and get taken seriously. Services like Answers.com did not exist when I was growing up, and in a very impersonal society, a friendly and accurate answer can really make a difference for someone.
If you were inviting someone to join Answers.com, what reason(s) would you give them to become a part of our community?
It’s fun! It’s also challenging or at times even frustrating, but more often than not, it’s fun and very gratifying, especially when you finally track down an answer that was difficult to find. You can answer as many or as few questions as you’d like, and not only can you focus on what you know, but you can also learn something new in the process. Answers.com lets you help other people, and you can do it from the comfort of your home, your laptop, smartphone or whatever device you choose. I definitely recommend it.
Being patient. Some of the answers are sarcastic or rude or the person who answered obviously thought that he or she was being clever. I try to be tactful and remind myself that some of the people doing this are kids and yelling at them won’t teach them to do it the right way.
What life accomplishments are you proud of?
When I was a kid, options for women were still limited, and I was told by many people that I’d never be anything in life. As it turns out, I was the first female DJ at Northeastern University in Boston, and one of the first women hired everywhere I worked during my radio career. While in radio, I discovered the rock group Rush (they later dedicated two albums to me). I am the author of five books and many articles. I got my PhD at the age of 64. I am a big sister and I just celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary!
What is your favorite type of music? What is your favorite band or artist?
I am a rock and roll fan. I love classic rock because I used to play it on the radio, but I also love some of the current music. I enjoy folk, jazz, and even some country. Obviously, since the members of Rush are my friends, they are my favorite band, but I also appreciate a wide range of artists having been a DJ and a music director. I am more song oriented than artist oriented. If a song has excellent lyrics, that’s a big plus. Pop music is still the soundtrack of my life.
What is your favorite song?
Two songs have special meaning for me: “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty, and “Working Man” by Rush.
What are your special interests, hobbies, or collections?
I collect stamps, as well as old books, magazines, postcards, and memorabilia that pertain to the history of broadcasting. I love to read – both online and in hard copy – and I love good conversation. I am also always on the lookout for new places to find home-made ice cream!
What is your favorite quote and why?
“You are not expected to complete the task, but neither are you expected to walk away from it.” Ethics of Our Fathers, the Talmud. I like this quote because it reminds us that although we may not be able to achieve every goal, we can’t use that as an excuse to not even try.
Who or what is your inspiration in life?
- One is Arnie Ginsburg. He was a DJ I loved when I was growing up who defied the stereotype of his profession with his loud squeaky voice.
- My mother, who was probably the most patient and spiritual person I ever met.
- I was also inspired by a professor in college who encouraged me to pursue a career in radio.
Where is one place in the world you would love to visit and why?
I would like to visit the Congo where I am supporting an adorable 9 year old whom I’ve been sending to private school since she was 5. Few girls in the Congo are able to get a good education, and when I read about how her family really wished she could be educated, I offered to help. The family and I have been friends ever since. It would be fun to finally meet all of them.
Do you want to add anything? Additional comments:
My thanks to the Supervisors who served as my mentors. I hope I’m making you proud of me!