Making Waves

How Nick Langan '20 CPS, '22 MS, turned his passion project into an academic endeavor that landed his work on the cover of Radio World magazine.

By Megan Walsh-Boyle

a phone screen displays a map from the RadioLand mobile app
A free mobile app called RadioLand, designed by a Villanova graduate student, allows users to find “listenable” FM radio stations based on their location in North America. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Landing on the cover of Radio World magazine in November 2022 was a dream come true for Nick Langan ’20 CPS, ’22 MS—especially because his Villanova master’s thesis earned him that spot.

Langan designed an app called Radioland as the thesis project for his master’s degree in Software Engineering. Released for Android and iOS in February 2022, the app improves the radio listener’s experience by locating “listenable” FM radio stations from any given location in North America.

“I was so fortunate to have had an opportunity to pour time into something I love as an academic endeavor," Langan says. In addition to being featured as the cover story in Radio World, his project took home second place at Villanova’s 2022 Three Minute Thesis competition, which allows master’s and doctoral students to develop and showcase their research communication skills.

The New Jersey native who once operated an internet station out of his basement can’t imagine a time when he wasn’t obsessed with radio. But it wasn’t until Langan enrolled at Villanova that he started to realize radio could become more than just a hobby.

While pursuing his undergraduate degree in Information Systems in Villanova’s College of Professional Studies, Langan joined the University’s student-run radio station, WXVU, as operations manager in 2019. He brought experience, expertise and enthusiasm that have proven instrumental in helping WXVU grow and become more relevant in an increasingly digital landscape.

From there, Langan found opportunities to pursue his love of radio inside the classroom as a master’s student in Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “What has been so wonderful about my time at Villanova is not only have my professors helped me find my way, but I’ve been able to connect all my interests into this ultimate labor of love,” Langan says.


On Air with WXVU

Villanova radio expands its reach, attracting new audiences and accolades