Adison Godfrey

Graduate Assistant

 


Adison Godfrey is a graduate assistant at WPSU-FM. She serves as the associate producer of WPSU’s radio series This I Believe and BookMark.

Adison graduated from Penn State in May 2016 with a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Spanish. After graduation, she taught English at a public university in Latacunga, Ecuador, through a Fulbright grant.

Adison is now back at Penn State pursuing her M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction. In addition to working at WPSU, she teaches College Preparatory English 11 and Creative Writing at State College Area High School.

 

Abdalaziz “Aziz” Alhamza is the co-founder and spokesperson for Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, a group of civilian journalists who worked to expose the crimes of ISIS in Raqqa, Syria.

We talked with Aziz about how life in Raqqa changed when ISIS came to power, why he continued this work despite increasing danger and what life is like in Raqqa today.

 

Best-selling author Mohsin Hamid spoke at Penn State Altoona on Tuesday as part of their Distinguished Speaker Series. His most recent novel, “Exit West,” was selected as Penn State Altoona’s Common Read for this year.

“Exit West” tells the story of two refugees, Nadia and Saeed, who flee a nameless country on the brink of civil war. During his keynote address, Hamid talked about the connection he sees between migrating and growing old. He tried to focus on this commonality in the novel, rather than on the ways refugees are different.

Monday about 30 men and women gathered outside Penn State’s Allen Street Gates in State College to show solidarity with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Rally participants chanted and took turns brandishing a megaphone to share their own stories.

Justine Andronici, a lawyer who works with victims of sexual assault, spoke about being drugged and raped when she was in college. Like Ford, she chose not to report. She believes Ford’s allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.

The cast of "Results Will Vary*" during a summer preview performance in Eisenhower Auditorium.
Patrick Mansell / Penn State

Penn State students are back at the University Park campus. Last week, nearly 300 freshmen attended “Results Will Vary*,” a theatre performance that put a new spin on student orientation. The show explored issues students might face and resources the university has to support them.

When I first saw PBS’s list of 100 books vying for the title “Great American Read,” I wasn’t sure which one I would vote for. There were so many books I loved on that list; I wasn’t sure I’d be able to pick just one. Little did I know I’d end up voting for a book I hadn’t read yet.

Tomi Adeyemi has been hailed the next J.K. Rowling. She’s the author of the best-selling young adult fantasy “Children of Blood and Bone.” I’m all for the comparison if it encourages people to read the 24-year-old’s gripping debut novel, but I actually think it deserves to stand on its own. I devoured this book.

As Alyce Ritti sat in the recliner in her bedroom, Camille-Yvette Welsch shared a poem she wrote inspired by Ritti’s life (see poem below).

Welsch met Ritti 15 years earlier, when she was writing an article about Ritti’s art. Poems from Life brought them back together.

“Oh, I have tears of joy,” Ritti cried after hearing Welsch’s poem.

Welsch laughed. “I’m glad. I’m glad.”

 

There are some books I read and don’t think about much afterwards. They just don’t leave a lasting impact.

But “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid stayed with me.

Lisa Ko, author of "The Leavers."
Lisa Ko

Author Lisa Ko's debut novel, "The Leavers," won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction and was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award. The novel explores issues relating to immigration and identity after Polly Guo, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to work one morning and never returns home. Her 11-year-old son, Deming, is placed in foster care and eventually adopted by a white family that changes his name to Daniel.

Twenty years ago, Penn State professor Michael Bérubé wrote a book about raising his young son Jamie, who has Down syndrome. Jamie is now 26 years old. Michael has written a follow-up book, “Life as Jamie Knows It: An Exceptional Child Grows Up,” which explores Jamie’s growing independence, his difficulty finding a fulfilling job, and more. WPSU’s Adison Godfrey talked with Michael and Jamie about the book.

I tend to gravitate toward books by authors I’ve read before. But after seeing Emily St. John Mandel’s “Station Eleven” hailed a must-read multiple times, I decided to go out on a limb.

I’m so glad I did.

Cheryl Bazzoui is a writer from Bradford and a frequent reviewer for WPSU’s BookMark. She recently released the novel “Pressure Cooker Christmas” under her pen name, Ann McCauley. WPSU’s Adison Godfrey talked with Bazzoui about her writing.

A portrait of a refugee child, Hanna, is on display in the window of the Corner Room in downtown State College.
Min Xian / WPSU

 

State College resident Penny Eifrig spends part of each year living in Berlin, Germany. As Berlin accepted refugees in 2015, Eifrig got involved in the cause. Her involvement led to the photo series “They Have Names,” which has been on display in downtown State College since Nov. 3. WPSU graduate assistant Adison Godfrey talked with Eifrig about the photo exhibit and her work with refugees.

Adison Godfrey: Thanks for talking with me.

Celeste Ng’s latest novel, “Little Fires Everywhere,” revolves around a central question: what makes a person a mother?

Russell Frank is a professor of journalism at Penn State, a contributor to StateCollege.com and a former columnist for the “Centre Daily Times.” He has compiled a selection of his columns from the past 20 years into a book, “Among the Woo People,” which comes out on Sunday. WPSU’s Adison Godfrey talked with Russell Frank about his book.

AG: Thanks for joining me.

RF: My pleasure.

Dr. Jill Biden speaks at podium.
Stuart Ramson / AP Images for UN Foundation

 

Many know Dr. Jill Biden as the former Second Lady of the United States. But during Biden’s talk last night at Penn State, she gave the audience a glimpse into her personal life.

Biden shared struggles like losing her son to brain cancer and a friend to breast cancer.

Nancy Chiswick says she was inspired by Biden’s stories.