Cheraine Stanford

Cheraine Stanford is the Content Strategy Director at WPSU, responsible for developing the station's original productions across digital, radio and television. She is also a moderator and on-camera host. For many years, Stanford was a journalist, producer, director and writer with a career spanning print, web, TV and independent film.

Her work has garnered a George Foster Peabody Award, four Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards, a CINE Golden Eagle, a Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Award and several Mid-Atlantic Emmy® nominations.

Her productions include the multi-platform projects Women in Science Profiles (WisciFiles) and Water Blues - Green Solutions, the television documentaries Holding History and As Long As We Dance, the web series Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings and The Geospatial Revolution and the multimedia project African American ChroniclesShe is the narrator of Why We Dance: The Story of THON.Stanford is the past Chair of the PBS Digital Media Advisory Council. She is an interviewer and host for the radio program Take Note and a moderator of the Penn State Forum Speaker Series. Stanford was a 2016 Next Generation Leadership Senior Editorial Fellow and a 2011 CPB/PBS Producers Academy Fellow.

Before joining WPSU, she worked on several projects with her filmmaker icon Albert Maysles at Maysles Films in Harlem, New York, including the ESPN documentary Muhammad and Larry. Stanford also served as Production Coordinator for the election road-show series for Washington Week with Gwen Ifillworking with her mentor and friend, Gwen Ifill.

While earning her Master of Fine Arts in Film and Media Arts from Temple University, Stanford served as the Assistant Director for The Maid, a short narrative film that premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. She earned a prestigious Future Faculty Fellowship and taught video production to undergraduates. In addition to creating her own work and teaching production courses to undergraduates at Temple, Stanford taught video production and media literacy to Philadelphia high school students. She has spoken at media education conferences at Harvard University and the Alliance for a Media Literate America and presented her work at conferences around the country and the world.

Stanford began her career as a reporter and staff writer for the Charlotte Observer newspaper in North Carolina. She is a cum laude graduate of Duke University and a native of Jamaica.  

Ways to Connect


You’re listening to WPSU’s Health Minute, a collaboration with Penn State’s College of Nursing.

The new coronavirus, which has sickened thousands and killed more than 80 people in Wuhan, China, has now been confirmed in the United States. It can cause fever, severe illness, and pneumonia. 

The CDC does not expect a large outbreak in the U.S., but they’re monitoring everyone who recently visited the now quarantined Wuhan region. 

Shih-In Ma
Cheraine Stanford / WPSU

Shih-In Ma is a social justice advocate who works to promote diversity and inclusion in Centre County. 

The State College native and Penn State alum, left a corporate career at IBM to begin a journey of spirituality, self-reflection and meditation. Her journey has taken her around the world and included spending four years in India with Amma, who's known as the hugging saint.

Shih-In Ma teaches meditation and shares opportunities for others to gain better insight and understanding of those around them.


Take Note: Lacresha Berry On Bringing Vulnerabilities Into Her Art And Her One Woman Show, "Tubman"
Min Xian / WPSU

Ben Wideman is the campus pastor for 3rd Way Collective. He helps Penn State students grapple with big questions that lie at the intersection of faith, peace, and social justice.

Wideman talked with WPSU about his Mennonite background, how he came to do this work, and what it means to find a third way in a country that often wants us to choose sides.

Lacresha Berry talks about her most recent show, "Tubman," with WPSU.
Courtesy of Lacresha Berry

Lacresha Berry is a singer, actor, writer and educator living in Queens, New York. Her work infuses her life experiences into a broader, historical context. She received her BA in Theatre from the University of Kentucky. Her most recent one woman show, "Tubman," reimagines Harriet Tubman, the famous underground railroad conductor, as a 21st century student in Harlem, New York. 

Berry talked with WPSU about why she think Tubman's story still resonates with today's audience and how her career in teaching influence her art work, and vice versa.


Carol Thomas Cissel in ministerial robes and stole.
Carol Thomas Cissel

Carol Thomas Cissel is the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County in State College. She served in various roles at Unitarian Universalist congregations in Maryland, California, Washington, Oklahoma and New Jersey for more than 15 years.

She believes that social justice work is at the core of the church. She's passionate about travel, art collecting, family, interfaith activism and building community. 

Mark Focht is the Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer for New York City Parks.

He previously worked in Philadelphia for more than 15 years, including serving as First Deputy Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.

He talks with us about his passion for improving the quality and accessibility of urban environments and how green spaces help our health and well-being.

Shawn Morelli
Min Xian / WPSU

Penn State graduate and retired U.S. Army Major Shawn Morelli took up cycling after an explosion during her service in Afghanistan caused brain trauma, blindness in her left eye and severe damage to her spine and neck.

Seria Chatters is the director of diversity and inclusivity for the State College Area School District.
Cheraine Stanford / WPSU

Seria Chatters is the first-ever director of diversity and inclusivity for the State College Area School District. She draws from both her personal and professional experiences to inform her work.

Before taking her current position, she was an assistant professor in Penn State's Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling and Special Education. 

Chatters talked with WPSU about her first semester on the job and what she hopes to accomplish in the position. 


Charlene Teters
Jason S. Ordaz

This interview originally aired July 20, 2018.

Charlene Teters is an artist, activist and educator whose artwork challenges the stereotypical portrayals of American Indians in American popular culture. She holds multiple degrees, including a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois, where her activism against the use of Native Americans as sports mascots first began. Teters is a member of the Spokane Nation and is the academic dean at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. WPSU’s Cheraine Stanford talked with her about her work. 

Recent MacArthur Fellowship award-winner Dominique Morisseau.
John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Award-winning playwright, poet and performer Dominique Morisseau was recently named a recipient of the 2018 MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the genius grant, for her work bringing the lives of those on the margins to center stage. 

Morisseau has served as a co-producer and story editor for the Showtime series Shameless. She also worked with Penn State graduate theatre students to create Blood At the Root, a play inspired by the controversial "Jena Six" case. 

Evelyn and Jim Piazza.
Min Xian / WPSU

Jim and Evelyn Piazza ignited a national conversation about the dangers of hazing on college campuses after the death of their son Timothy in 2017.

The 19-year-old died from injuries sustained during alcohol hazing at the Penn State chapter of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

The couple has turned their tragedy into action, starting a foundation in their son’s honor, advocating for stricter legislation and penalties for hazing, and calling for increased oversight and rule enforcement for fraternities and sororities.  

Danielle Dormer at the WPSU studios.
Min Xian / WPSU

This episode of Take Note is part of "State of Emergency: Searching for solutions to Pennsylvania’s opioids epidemic." State of Emergency is a combined effort of newsrooms across the state to draw attention to programs, therapies and strategies that are actually showing promise in the fight against this public health crisis.

John Urschel is a PhD candidate in applied mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is the author of several peer-reviewed papers.

Urschel is also a former offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens and the Penn State Nittany Lions. He graduated from Penn State with a bachelors and master’s degree in mathematics all with a 4.0 grade point average.

He was also awarded the William V. Campbell Trophy in 2013, which honors the top college football scholar-athlete in the nation. In 2017, he was named one of Forbes’s 30 Under 30 in science.

Danielle Dormer at the WPSU studios.
Min Xian / WPSU

Danielle Dormer is a mother and Army veteran in long term recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. She uses her experience to help Penn State students, serving as the Assistant Program Coordinator for the Collegiate Recovery Community. She is also earning her Masters of Education in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at Penn State, where she completed her undergraduate degree in 2017 earning a 4.0 GPA and the Outstanding Adult Student Award. She spoke with WPSU's Cheraine Stanford for Take Note.