CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — A podcast focused on exploring the journey behind scholarly and creative pursuits across Penn State is set to launch its second season in mid-October.
Titled, “From Concept to Creation: Uncovering the Making of Scholarly and Creative Accomplishments,” and co-hosted by Jennifer Jarson, head librarian at Penn State Lehigh Valley (PSU-LV) and Kate Morgan, instructional designer at Penn State World Campus, the podcast is dedicated to uncovering the mysteries of inquiry, research and creative work to make their paths and processes more transparent and approachable.
The podcast allows Jarson and Morgan to speak with Penn State students, faculty, and alumni about their creative and scholarly research processes in greater depth.
“We’re not just interested in learning about the final polished product, but the journey of how people got there,” Jarson said. “We want to make everything involved with research and inquiry more transparent to make it more accessible. If we can uncover this awareness and discuss things like how to cope with unexpected twists and turns or even failure, we believe everyone will feel more empowered and more engaged to participate.”
Jarson and Morgan got to know each other when both worked at PSU-LV.
“We talked about doing something together that would enhance the campus. We started talking to the faculty about information literacy and digital literacy and what was missing in their classes. We thought, ‘Let’s break down the separation between people with these great accomplishments and students who feel they don’t have a voice or a path,’” Morgan said.
They held a series of in-person events focusing on panelists and their journey toward accomplishing a goal (whether scholarly or creative). The feedback was tremendous, they said.
“We left our first panel and said, ‘Wow.’ There were so many things we wanted to capture,” Morgan said. The reception they received from the in-person events showed a clear interest in these discussions.
“Turnout for and engagement in those panels was beyond anything we could have imagined or hoped for. And our entire line-up of panelists in the in-person series was LV students, faculty and staff,” Jarson said. “So the way the in-person panel series was received by the campus is a large part of what motivated us to transform the format into a podcast and bring the idea to a larger audience. The PSU-LV community helped launch us on this path.”
Jarson and Morgan wrapped their first season of the podcast and will roll out Season 2 with new episodes starting on Oct. 9 and dropping weekly.
This season’s guests include Tobey Field, Mary Wilson and Ethan Davies, undergraduates in engineering at UP, talking about their experiences with research as undergrads — in their courses, in the College of Engineering MCREU program, and in their Engineers without Borders club (Tobey and Ethan started their Penn State careers at LV); Chris Millet, director of learning design at Penn State World Campus and doctoral candidate at Penn State discussing the delicate balance of juggling a busy job, family and demanding program, and his journey returning to the classroom; Christopher Shelton, assistant professor of clinical psychology and director of the Virtual/Augmented Reality Lab, and Remington Orange, sophomore at Penn State Behrend, reflecting on their mentoring relationship and the exciting world of VR; Ellysa Cahoy, education librarian and co-director of reference services in the Penn State Libraries, talking about her work as a librarian helping mentor and support graduate students, her own research, and her work as the editor of portal: Libraries and the Academy; and more.
“After every episode, I’m inspired,” Morgan said. “It’s so much fun to talk to these people and learn about their journeys.”
Undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, across Penn State are welcome to submit their story ideas for upcoming episodes. “From Concept to Creation” is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.
Those who want to share stories about their own research and inquiry journeys, or to submit ideas for a topic or guest, contact Jarson and Morgan at [email protected].