Emily Reddy

News Director

Emily Reddy is the news director at WPSU-FM, the NPR-affiliate public radio station for central and northern Pennsylvania.

In addition to leading the news staff, Reddy creates news stories that air during Morning Edition and All Things Considered and serves as the lead producer of WPSU’s radio series This I Believe, BookMark, and Story Corps. She sometimes fills in as an on-air host.

Reddy’s work has been recognized with a regional Edward R. Murrow Award and multiple awards from the Public Radio News Directors Association, Inc. and the Pennsylvania Associated Press Media Editors.

She also teaches a news writing and reporting class at Penn State.

Reddy originally got hooked on radio as a volunteer reporter and news anchor for WMNF, a community radio station in her hometown of Tampa, Florida. She then went to grad school to pursue this passion professionally.

While at Boston University, Reddy produced segments for the daily news magazine show Here & Now. She also served as a general reporter in Washington D.C. for WAMU and as capitol correspondent for WNPR.

She earned a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in comparative literature from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

She lives in a 150-year-old former one-room schoolhouse with her husband Jonathan and her daughter Zoë.

Contact her at ereddy@psu.edu.

Dean Lindsey on day 19 of his recovery from COVID-19.
Dean Lindsey

A couple of weeks ago, we talked with State College resident Dean Lindsey, who said he was one of the first people in Centre County to have a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Lindsey is the senior pastor at State College Presbyterian Church.

WPSU checked in with him again to see how he’s doing now. 

TRANSCRIPT:
 

Emily Reddy: Dean Lindsey, thanks for talking with us again.

A map from the Pennsylvania Department of Health showing COVID-19 cases by county as of April 7, 2020.
Pa Department of Health

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 jumped by 11 in Centre County to a total of 55 and Elk and Jefferson County reported their first cases meaning every county in the state now has at least one confirmed case, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. 

With Tuesday’s DOH updates, the total number of confirmed cases in Pennsylvania is 14,559. That’s an increase of 1,462 from Monday. 

The report also marked the largest single day’s deaths, with 78 more reported since Monday.

The State College borough hung banners about the census before Penn State switched to remote learning for the rest of the spring semester.
Min Xian / WPSU

April 1 is Census Day. That means it’s usually where you live on April 1 that you give as your address when you fill out the census

But coronavirus means Penn State students who would usually be in State College are spread far and wide. Penn State and the U.S. Census are trying to get word out that students should still be counted at their school address.  

Map of PA counties with stay-at-home orders as of March 28, 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf extended Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order to include Centre County on Saturday as the number of cases in the county and state continues to rise. Wolf didn’t give specific reasons why Centre County was added, but the order is part of efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

The Department of Health announced the number of confirmed cases in Centre County is now at 15. The expansion of this order brings the total number of counties up to 22 and also includes Beaver and Washington Counties. 

 

Dean Lindsey shared a picture on Facebook on March 21, 2020 of the items on his bedside table in quarantine in his State College house.
Dean Lindsey

The number of cases of COVID-19 has been growing across the state and on Friday the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported the first confirmed case in Centre County. By Monday, that number was up to three. WPSU’s Emily Reddy talked with Dean Lindsey, who says he’s one of the first positive cases in Centre County. Lindsey is the Senior Pastor at State College Presbyterian Church in State College. 
 

Emily Reddy: Well, first, how did you catch COVID-19?

The YMCA of Centre County is assembling bags of food to hand out as a part of its Anti-Hunger Program. They're putting together the bags at the Moshannon Valley YMCA gym and distributing them at 14 drive-through locations around the county.
Mel Curtis / YMCA of Centre County

In response to coronavirus concerns, organizations in central Pennsylvania are finding new ways to make sure vulnerable members of the community get fed. In Centre County, both State College Area Meals on Wheels and the YMCA of Centre County are making changes to their normal processes.  

Durrwachter Alumni Conference Center building
User:Ruhrfisch - https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8138315

Lock Haven University, Juniata College and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford are all moving to online instruction due to coronavirus concerns. All three are currently in spring break and will temporarily suspend classes next week while they prepare to move classes online starting March 23. 

State High building
Min Xian / WPSU

All schools in the State College Area School District will stay out of session for students until March 20, 2020 because of coronavirus concerns, superintendent Bob O’Donnell informed parents in an email today. 

“At this time, we believe that is the right step to take for the health and safety of our SCASD families, employees, and the community at large — especially to protect our students and employees who are immunosuppressed or at greater risk due to age and other reasons,” O’Donnell said.

Penn State associate professor Dr. Darryl Thomas and professor Dr. Gary King, who wrote "More Rivers to Cross: A Report on the Status of African American Professors at Penn State University."
Min Xian / WPSU

A new report titled "More Rivers to Cross: A Report on the Status of African American Professors at Penn State University" finds that there's a shortage of black faculty at the university and offers some reasons for why that is.

Penn State professor Dr. Gary King, and associate professor Dr. Darryl Thomas prepared the report with the input of other black faculty.

U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham visited State College to meet with local government and university officials.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham visited State College Wednesday to talk about efforts to get people to take part in the count. He is visiting dozens of universities and met with Penn State president Eric Barron before visiting nearby census headquarters to talk with local government officials. 

Dillingham said they are still hiring census takers and that the coronavirus won’t stop canvassing. 

Documentary filmmaker Judith Helfand in the WPSU studios.
Min Xian / WPSU

In 1995, one of the deadliest heat waves in the United States killed 739 people in Chicago. Why was the death count so high? And why were the deaths concentrated in poor, mostly African American neighborhoods? In her new documentary "Cooked: Survival by Zip Code," filmmaker Judith Helfand says it wasn't the heat that killed these people, but generations of institutional racism. 

Project Drawdown Executive Director Jonathan Foley and Director of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment at Penn State Tom Richard.
Penn State

We hear a lot about global warming, but not necessarily about how effective different proposed solutions actually are.

We talked with Tom Richard, the director of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment at Penn State, who helped organize the first ever Project Drawdown conference – which looked at the top 100 actions to reverse climate change.

And we talked with Jonathan Foley, the executive director of Project Drawdown, about the conference and the book it’s based on.  

TRANSCRIPT:

Tom Dann has now been in recovery from opioids for more than four years. He and his wife own and work together at Alleycat Quiltworks in Bellefonte.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Maintaining recovery from opioid use disorder can be incredibly difficult, but long-term recovery is possible. Learn more about what researchers, communities and government agencies are doing to treat opioid use disorder and support individuals in their recovery journey.

Penn State Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Glenn Sterner speaks to the audience at the Share Your Opioid Story event in State College.
Sam Newhouse / WPSU

WPSU has a new podcast: “Overcoming an Epidemic: Opioids in Pennsylvania," where we explore evidence-based solutions to the opioid epidemic.

Over seven episodes, WPSU reporters Anne Danahy, Min Xian and Emily Reddy look at what researchers, communities and government agencies are doing to try to treat and prevent opioid addiction. Today, you’ll hear two episodes, one on rural opioid care, but first, an episode on stigma.

Author Jamie Ford in Seattle.
Jamie Ford

Author Jamie Ford explores his Chinese heritage and the history of his hometown of Seattle in his novels.

His debut novel, “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” tells the story of two young friends during the time of WWII’s Japanese internment camps. It was a New York Times bestseller and won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature.

His most recent novel, “Love and Other Consolation Prizes,” follows a boy and his two love interests during Seattle’s 1909 and 1962 World Fairs.   

Tricia Stouch fights stigma by talking to groups about her daughter Pamela's addiction. She gave one of these talks recently at Schlow Centre Region Library in State College through the Share Your Opioid Story project.
Sam Newhouse / WPSU

Researchers agree that addiction is a disease. In this episode of Overcoming an Epidemic: Opioids in Pennsylvania, we'll look at how personal stories are being used to fight stigma. And how understanding genetics and the origin of the opioid epidemic might play a role in reducing stigma.

TRANSCRIPT:

Emily Reddy (Narrator) – If there’s one word that comes up over and over again when talking about the opioid crisis – and really any substance abuse issue – it’s STIGMA. Tricia Stouch knows all about it.

Penn State professors Esther Obonyo and Erica Smithwick will be speakers at the Project Drawdown conference Sept. 16-18.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Penn State will host the Project Drawdown conference Sept. 16-18. It’s based on a book that outlines the 100 top actions to reverse climate change.

We talked with two conference presenters about “Drawdown” and the research they’re doing into fighting global warming.

Cumer Family / via AP

One of two mass shootings this weekend has claimed the life of a central Pennsylvania student. Nicholas Cumer, who was killed in the Dayton, Ohio shooting, was a graduate student at St. Francis University in Loretto. He completed his undergraduate degree at St. Francis, and was pursuing a graduate degree in the university’s Master of Cancer Care program

According to a statement from the president of St. Francis, Father Malachi Van Tassell, Cumer was in Dayton doing an internship with the Maple Tree Cancer Alliance.

The YMCA's Travelin' Table bus will be giving out meals and helping residents of Centre and Clearfield Counties access other services.
Carolyn Donaldson / WPSU

A repurposed school bus painted with fruits and vegetables on the side will soon be traveling through Centre and Clearfield Counties to feed kids during the summer.

 

At an open house yesterday, Centre County YMCA President Scott Mitchell said the organization’s Travelin’ Table bus will provide services to outlying areas that can’t get to the Y’s summer feeding sites. 

 

“We’re going to be able to provide food, education, medical screenings and medical support to these families and also help them navigate where to get those services,” Mitchell said. 

Several hundred people showed up for the funeral of Osaze Osagie at State College Alliance Church.
Min Xian / WPSU

Speakers at the funeral of Osaze Osagie talked about his smile, his hugs and his deep faith in God. Several hundred people attended the funeral on Saturday of the 29-year-old black man shot by State College police on March 20. 

Attendees were given a white rose as they entered State College Alliance Church. 

The crowd filled the 500-seat worship space and more than 100 people watched the service through a video feed in the lobby of the church. A band sang worship hymns. 

John Zesiger, superintendent at the Moshannon Vally School District, says he makes drills more realistic by getting rid of the orderly lines and having some students not where they're supposed to be.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Moshannon Vally School District Superintendent John Zesiger said to make intruder drills more realistic they’ve added some complications. 

“We block exits,” Zesiger said. “We have some students who are not where they're supposed to be. So that the staff and the students have to kind of think on their feet and say, ‘Geez, here’s where I'm supposed to go out, but I can't get out that way.’ And they look for the next best option.”

Corl Street Elementary, in State College, is receiving extensive renovations, all done with safety in mind.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Martha Sherman has two kids at Mount Nittany Elementary School in State College. On a recent morning when she was dropping them off, office staff wouldn’t let her go beyond the front office. She wanted to walk her son Zane to his kindergarten class, but his school, like many others, has a safety policy that says parents can’t do that.

Timothy Piazza's parents as they entered the courthouse in Bellefonte on Sept. 1, 2017 during preliminary hearings against Beta Theta Pi fraternity members.
Min Xian / WPSU

The parents of Timothy Piazza are suing 28 former Penn State Beta Theta Pi fraternity members for wrongful death, negligence and conspiracy. The 19-year-old pledge died after falling down the stairs at a drinking event at the fraternity on Feb. 2, 2017.

Fraternity members waited for nearly 12 hours to call for help after the fall. They carried Piazza to a couch, where they slapped him and poured liquid on him to try to wake him. Later Piazza stumbled around the fraternity, falling more, and in the morning they found him cold and rigid.

Franklin Zimring from the University of California, Berkley, Vesla Weaver from Johns Hopkins University, and Michael Walzer from the Institute for Advanced Study.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

A recent conference by the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State brought researchers into the Ethics of Policing to State College.

Franklin Zimring, from the University of California, Berkley, studies police use of lethal force in the United States. Vesla Weaver from Johns Hopkins University studies how contact with the criminal justice system affects political engagement. Michael Walzer from the Institute for Advanced Study studies the differences between police and soldiers.   

State College borough planning director Ed LeClear in front of one of the houses sold through the Neighborhood Sustainability Program.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

It’s just a short walk from the municipal building in downtown State College where Ed LeClear works as borough planning director to a two-story brick house on Foster Avenue with a “For Sale” sign out front. The blocks surrounding it are full of apartment buildings and fraternities, but this block is mostly single-family homes.

The State College Borough’s Redevelopment Authority bought this house, removed the permit that allowed owners to rent it to students and is reselling it as a part of the Neighborhood Sustainability Program.

Pam and Toby Short with the letter they brought to State Sen. Jake Corman asking him to help pass redistricting reform.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Redistricting advocates in Centre County are making a last-ditch effort to change how Pennsylvania’s Congressional districts are drawn.

It’s a week past an unofficial deadline to keep redistricting reform on track for 2021. That’s when maps will be redrawn.

But a group from “Fair Districts PA—Centre County” went to Senator Jake Corman’s office in Bellefonte on Thursday to urge him to keep working. The state constitution says the bill must be passed and advertised in newspapers by August 6.

Lance Shaner speaks out against the change in zoning code at the Patton Township council meeting.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

The Patton Township Board of Supervisors has approved a new mixed-use development zoning code. The change likely opens the way for the controversial Patton Crossing development to move forward.

For nearly three hours Wednesday night, residents voiced mostly concerns about the new Mixed-Use Overlay District, or MXD2. Patton Township resident Rick Maher objected that it seemed the zoning was created specifically for one development.

“This MXD2 ordinance is being tailored with the Patton Crossing property in mind," Maher said. "It’s not right and it stinks!”

The Beta Theta Pi fraternity house where Penn State student Timothy Piazza was fatally injured in Feb. 2017.
Min Xian / WPSU

These stories made up WPSU's submission for the Public Radio News Directors Inc. award for Continuing Coverage. WPSU won second place in PRNDI's Division C for stations with 1-to-3 full-time news staff members.

Fraternity Charter Revoked Following Student Death

Penn State Fraternity And 18 Members Charged In Student's Death

Republican gubernatorial primary winner, Scott Wagner, and Democratic lt. governor winner, John Fetterman.
Marc Levy/Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

In the Republican primary for Governor, Scott Wagner beat out his challengers. The Pennsylvania state senator and waste-hauling millionaire will face Democratic Governor Tom Wolf in November. Polls have Wagner well behind Wolf, though he’ll have 6 months to try to change that.

Iraqi citizen Basim Razzo and Penn State professor Sam Richards.
Min Xian / WPSU

In a TED Talk at Penn State in 2010, sociology professor Sam Richards put forward a challenge of empathy. He showed the audience a picture of two captured Iraqi insurgents and asked them to put themselves in these men’s shoes – to think about their lives, their families and why they were fighting.

Not long after, on the other side of the world in Iraq, Basim Razzo saw that video and got in touch with Dr. Richards. Razzo has since been a frequent speaker at Richards’ classes – via Skype – and now Richards’ students have raised the money to bring Razzo to Penn State.   

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