Contributing Writer: Kaitlyn Ebert
The students, faculty and staff of Eastern Illinois University’s Graduate School take great pride in their ability to be innovative.
So when the opportunity to extend that innovation to the public emerged via an EIU Graduate School podcast presented itself last fall, people flocked to the idea.
Today, the “EIU Innovate” podcast boasts six episodes featuring EIU graduate school faculty members representing a collection of areas across campus—each highlighting the research and innovation occurring in their respective programs.
“Eastern Illinois University comprises a wonderful assortment of professional and knowledgeable subject matter experts,” said Dr. Ryan Hendrickson, dean of the Graduate School. “Giving them an open forum to share and showcase their expertise and opinions creates a fun, organic learning experience for us and for our listeners.” The podcasts, he adds, are a unique way to get to know faculty members, while also promoting a collection of the university’s perpetually growing and evolving graduate programs to students interested in similar research opportunities.
Hendrickson hosts the podcasts himself. His discussions with leaders in different EIU graduate programs extend to the latest independent and shared research and scholarship being produced by current graduate students and faculty. The people and topics are diverse, allowing the podcast’s guests to share the most recent personal and departmental accomplishments in a variety of subjects.
Available podcasts include conversations with Dr. Jay Bickford, associate professor and graduate coordinator of elementary education; Dr. Heidi Larson, associate professor in the graduate program in counseling and student development; Dr. Britto Nathan, professor of biological sciences; Dr. Kathleen O'Rourke, a professor of family and consumer sciences and the graduate coordinator for the aging studies program; and Dr. Danelle Larson, associate professor of music education. The latest podcast—episode six—introduced Dr. Chris Laingen, associate professor of geography. The conversation covered a wide expanse of formal and informal topics, including pheasants, old red barns and sustainable energy, as well as Dr. Laingen’s new book and expansive research agenda.
Each “EIU Innovate” podcast ranges from approximately 20 to 30 minutes each, and can be found on streaming music services such as iTunes, Spotify, Player FM, and SoundCloud by searching “EIU Innovate.”
Photo: Dean of the Graduate School Dr. Ryan Hendrickson (left) hosts Dr. Jay Bickford to record the first episode of the EIU Innovate podcast in 2017.