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.

Ways to Connect

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.

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

This story originally aired on March 21, 2019.

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.

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. 

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

This story originally aired on March 18, 2019.  

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.”

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. 

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.   

Jovan Weaver, principal of Wister Elementary School.
Jessica Kourkounis / WHYY

Season two of the Keystone Crossroads podcast “Schooled” looks at one elementary school in Philadelphia that sparked debate when the district turned it over to a charter organization. WPSU’s Emily Reddy talked with the host of “Schooled,” Kevin McCorry, who followed the school through its first year as a charter school under principal Jovan Weaver.

Author Sunil Yapa.
Franco Vogt

Sunil Yapa’s book “Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist” was the Centre County Reads book for 2018 and a finalist for the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Yapa is a State College native who graduated from Penn State in 2002 with a degree in economic geography. He got his MFA at Hunter College. WPSU's Emily Reddy talked with him in front of an audience on the Penn State University Park campus.

A steady stream of community members arrived to tour the new high school building throughout Saturday morning.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

A few thousand people showed up for the State College Area High School open house on Saturday. Community members toured the new building, many for the first time.

Nick Gibson, a senior at State High, led tour groups through the new building.

“Oh, I love the new school,” Gibson said. “I think it’s just a fantastic building, and it’s only half done. The outdoor auditorium will be really cool. But everything I’ve seen so far I love.”

The novel “Spoonbenders” by Daryl Gregory tells the story of a family of psychics… who aren’t doing very well. You’d think a bunch of people with supernatural talents could use them to get ahead in life, but the three adult siblings in the Telemachus family are instead constantly stymied by their powers.

Penn State Child Study Center director Karen Bierman and SCASD superintendent Bob O’Donnell.
Sarah Khalida / WPSU

Bullying is an issue in K-12 schools across the country. Live on Facebook and armed with questions submitted ahead of time by parents, we talked with a school official and a researcher tackling the issue here in central Pennsylvania.

Bob O’Donnell is superintendent of the State College Area School District and Dr. Karen Bierman is director of the Child Study Center at Penn State and a professor whose 35 years of research focus on prevention programs that promote self-regulation and positive peer relations. 

You can watch the full Facebook Live interview here: 

PASA's "Farming for the Future" conference advertisement.
PASA

This year is the last that the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture – or PASA – will hold its annual conference in State College.

PASA has hosted its winter conference at the Penn Stater Conference Center and Hotel for most of the event’s 27 years. Executive Director Hannah Smith-Brubaker said PASA was happy with the Penn Stater, but after a recent review the hotel more than doubled the cost to host the event.

Farmland on the road that runs between Titusville and Corry School Districts.
Kevin McCorry / Keystone Crossroads

In the past, the Keystone Crossroads reporting project, which WPSU is a part of, has looked at the issues facing education in cities. Kevin McCorry is the education reporter and the editor of the project.

The State College Area School District's board of directors has approved changes to the school day. The board voted 8-to-1 to lengthen the elementary school day by 44 minutes. The current day length is one of the shortest in the state, and the change is meant to give teachers more time for core instruction. Superintendent Bob O'Donnell called it "a monumental step forward, having a lasting impact on generations of our community’s youth."

Nathan Geiger holds a sign outside Rep. Glenn Thompson's office.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

A group gathered outside Representative Glenn Thompson’s office in Bellefonte Monday to protest the proposed Republican tax overhaul.

Nathan Geiger, a graduate student at Penn State, held a sign that said, “GT: Listen to Your Community. Vote No.”

Geiger organized the group of about 15 protesters who gathered on the side of the road outside Glenn Thompson’s office. Geiger says the proposed tax bill would triple his taxes.

Dr. Holmes Morton
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Dr. Holmes Morton is a Harvard-trained doctor and McArthur “genius award” winner. He has dedicated his life to working with the Pennsylvania “Plain” people and is working to build a new clinic in Belleville, Pennsylvania. This largely Amish and Mennonite community about 40 minutes southeast of State College deals with a number of genetic diseases that are Dr. Morton’s specialty. Dr.

In this May 1966 file photo, a U.S. Air Force C-123 flies low along a South Vietnamese highway spraying defoliants on dense jungle growth beside the road to eliminate ambush sites for the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.
Department of Defense, File / AP Photo

Fifty years after the Vietnam War, some veterans are still dealing with health effects caused by Agent Orange. A law clinic at Penn State is working to get veterans the help they need.

John Gority, from Duncansville, remembers getting up close and personal with the herbicide “Agent Orange” when he was in Vietnam.

“All the vegetation was kind of like wilted and slimy and I’m touching it and smelling it and I’m like, what is this stuff?” Gority said. “I didn’t know anything about Agent Orange or spraying to kill vegetation or anything like that.”

In unofficial election results, Democratic candidate Don Hahn has won the State College mayor’s race with 54 percent of the vote. Michael Black ran on the Republican ticket, but he’s actually a Democrat as well. He got 33 percent of the vote. Ron Madrid, running as an Independent got 13 percent of the vote.

For judge of the court of common pleas in Centre County, Democrat Brian Marshall won with 54 percent of the vote over Republican Ron McGlaughlin.

Also on that court, Judge Pamela Ruest received a “yes” vote for retention with 80 percent “yes” votes.

Beta Theta Pi fraternity building
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Penn State has announced disciplinary measures for 32 students in relation to the death of Beta Theta Pi pledge Timothy Piazza.

Nineteen of the students withdrew from the university before the disciplinary process finished, Penn State stated in a press release Tuesday. Their transcripts will be marked with a “conduct withdrawal” notation.

Seven students received disciplinary actions ranging from probation to expulsion.

Six students were not charged with violations.

The State College Area School District has proposed changes to the school day. The elementary school day would be longer, and middle and high school would start later.

To talk about these proposed changes and some of the research behind these recommendations, I’m joined in the studio by superintendent Bob O’Donnell, and Penn State researchers Dr. Anne-Marie Chang, who studies the effects of sleep on cognitive performance, and Dr. Ed Fuller, who’s Director of the Penn State Center for Evaluation and Education Policy Analysis.    

Paul Johnson and Stanley Snyder.
Min Xian / WPSU

As a part of WPSU’s radio, TV and web project “The Vietnam War: Telling the Pennsylvania Story,” we’re bringing you oral history interviews with Vietnam veterans.

Paul Johnson and Stanley Snyder – who live in Altoona and have been friends since 7th grade – talked about serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War.  

George Montgomery and John Gority.
Min Xian / WPSU

As a part of WPSU’s radio, TV and web project “The Vietnam War: Telling the Pennsylvania Story,” we’re bringing you oral history interviews with Vietnam veterans.

John Gority and George Montgomery talked about their time in the Vietnam War and their experiences with Agent Orange.  

Lynsey Addario is a photojournalist whose work appears in the New York Times, National Geographic and TIME Magazine. She’s covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Darfur, the Congo and Libya. In 2009, she was awarded the MacArthur Genius Grant and the Pulitzer Prize. The Pulitzer was as a part of a New York Times team for coverage of areas of Afghanistan under Taliban rule. Addario’s book “It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War” was the 2017 Penn State Reads selection. WPSU's Emily Reddy talked with her in front of an audience at Schlow Library in State College. 

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