Lindsey Whissel Fenton

Senior Producer/Director

Lindsey Whissel Fenton is a senior producer/director at WPSU. An award-winning storyteller, she has explored a wide range of issues through her work in public media.

She is currently producing and directing Speaking Grief, a multi-platform public media initiative aimed at creating a more grief-aware society. 

In 2017, Fenton co-produced and directed A Time to Heal, a public media documentary that explores the impact of the Vietnam War on the lives of those who fought, protested, or prayed for their loved ones to come home alive. You Can’t Say That, which she produced, was among eight U.S. programs selected to screen at the 2013 International Public Television Screening Conference (INPUT) conference in El Salvador; it was also honored with a Mid Atlantic Emmy Award. Some of Fenton's other projects include  Pennsylvania Folklore: Woven Together and World on Trial: The French Headscarf LawShe also serves as a host for the WPSU-FM series Take Note

Fenton earned her bachelor’s degree in Cinema and Digital Arts from Point Park University and her master’s degree in Learning, Design, and Technology from Penn State. In 2012, she was one of four professionals selected by Rotary International District 7350 to serve as an ambassador for its Group Study Exchange to Ukraine. 

Fenton practices Shotokan karate and holds the rank of Nidan (second degree black belt). She also recently discovered a passion for rock climbing. A native of Buffalo, NY, Fenton currently resides in Central Pennsylvania with her husband. She is the proud dog-mom to Birch, an 8(ish)-year-old Maltese who was rescued from a puppy mill by Pets Come First.

 

Contact her at lindseywf@psu.edu.

As an End-of-Life Doula, Oceana Sawyer helps people die in a context of love, grace, and beauty. She draws upon her training in expressive arts, meditation practices, and integral counseling psychology, among other things, to help her clients create a conscious—even pleasurable—death experience. Oceana talked with us about what it means to be an End-of-Life doula, her own experiences with death and grief that led her to this vocation, and how we can learn to die as consciously as we live.

Lennon Flowers is passionate about creating spaces where “humans can be human.” In service to that goal, she co-founded The Dinner Party—a platform that connects grieving 20- and 30-somethings. Today, The Dinner Party has more than four thousand active members that gather at local tables in more than 100 cities and towns around the world. Lennon talked with us about her own experience with grief, the unique challenges of experiencing loss in early adulthood, and how The Dinner Party Works. 

Erin Bagwell is a stay-at-home mom, filmmaker, and blogger. Her latest documentary, Year One, offers an intimate look at the first year of motherhood through Erin's eyes. She talked with us about the film, about how becoming a mom challenged her identity, and about her experience with postpartum depression.

For more from this interview:

To watch the Year One trailer, click here.

Joyal Mulheron describes bereavement as an “invisible public health crisis”—and she’s working to address it. She founded and serves as executive director of Evermore, a non-profit aimed at improving the lives of bereaved families through research, policy, and education.

Casey Affleck won an Academy Award for playing a grieving father in Manchester by the Sea and has explored the grief experience in other roles. He uses his celebrity to bring awareness to the plight of grieving families as a victims’ advocate. 

 

Taylor Mickal

Daniella Zalcman is an award-winning documentary photographer whose work focuses on the legacies of western colonization. We talked with her about her work sharing stories of indigenous peoples in North America, about the legacy of coercive assimilation, and about why we need to spend more time thinking about who is responsible for telling our collective stories.

Watch Daniella’s Penn State Fall Journalism talk here.

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Dr. Tara Pixley and award-winning photojournalist and professor. Her work focuses on rethinking visual representations of gender, race and sexuality. We talked with  her about her work covering the Black Lives Matter movement, about the lack of diverse representation in the news media , and about the line between documentation and exploitation. 

To view some of Tara's work, click here

For more from this interview: 

FULL TRANSCRIPT:

Cristina Chipriano, LLCSW-S, is the director of Spanish Programs and Outreach at Bo’s Place, a bereavement center in Houston. She’s developed trainings and workshops for peer bereavement centers across the country that are seeking to provide culturally competent, bilingual grief support for bereaved families. Cristina is a board member for the National Alliance for Grieving Children, a leading non-profit in the space of children’s grief.

Jenn Hepton spent a decade struggling with infertility.

She endured multiple miscarriages, had to terminate her twins for medical reasons, and suffered the stillbirth of her daughter, Loey. 

She now uses her experience to help others as a certified life + parenting coach and grief awareness educator

We talked with her about her motherhood journey, about the trauma she didn’t know she was carrying, and about how she found purpose in her pain. 

Kim Ruocco is the Vice President of Suicide Prevention and Postvention for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, better known as TAPS, an organization that provides comfort, care, and resources to those grieving the death of a military loved one. She is the surviving widow of Marine Corps Major John Ruocco, who died by suicide in 2005.

Mack Brady was two weeks shy of his ninth birthday when he died unexpectedly from a blood infection on New Year’s Eve in 2012. In the time since, his parents, Elizabeth and Christian Brady, have both used writing as an outlet for their own grief and as a way to help others who are grieving. 

Click here to read some of Elizabeth’s essays. 

Read an excerpt from Christian’s new book, Beautiful and Terrible Things: A Christian Struggle with Suffering, Grief, and Hope:

 

Dr. Tashel Bordere is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her research focuses on grief and loss among African American youth. She’s authored numerous publications focused on black youth affected by homicide, gun violence, and race-based trauma and has identified the term suffocated grief to describe when normal grief reactions among marginalized populations are not only dismissed, but punished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Caitlin Photography

Megan Devine is a psychotherapist, grief advocate and author of "It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand." She's the founder of Refuge in Grief, an online community that helps people understand grief and navigate loss.

Interviewer Lindsey Whissel Fenton worked with Devine on WPSU's multiplatform project Speaking Grief.  

The opioid epidemic has been described as the worst public health crisis in Pennsylvania.

Jason Snyder has both professional and personal experience with the battle against addiction. He is currently the regional director of outpatient services in Eastern Pennsylvania for Pinnacle Treatment Centers. Snyder previously served in the Wolf administration, where he oversaw the Governor’s Centers of Excellence.

This interview is a part of the statewide Battling Opioids project.

Marisa Vicere is the founder of the Jana Marie Foundation.
Shawn Henfling / Captured Chaos

After losing her sister to suicide in 2011, Marisa Vicere founded the Jana Marie Foundation in her sister’s honor.

The State College-based non-profit aims to educate and empower young people in the Centre County region and to build awareness about mental well-being and suicide prevention.

Vicere talked with WPSU during National Suicide Prevention Month about the foundation and her sister. 

Jeff Daniels
Luke Pline

Emmy Award-winning actor Jeff Daniels is known for his roles in movies like "Terms of Endearment," "The Purple Rose of Cairo," and "Dumb and Dumber" and for TV shows like "The News Room," "Godless," and "The Looming Tower."

He’s starred in a number of theatrical productions, both on and off Broadway, and was nominated for Tony Awards for his roles in "Blackbird" and "God of Carnage." Daniels founded The Purple Rose Theatre Company in his hometown of Chelsea, Michigan.

He’s also a prolific songwriter and musician. 

Don Voigt is a retired a research associate for Penn State’s Ice and Climate Exploration group. During his career, he logged 18 seasons in Antarctica, seven in Greenland and two in Alaska. We’ll talk with him about his research with the Penn State Ice and Climate Exploration, his experiences at the ends of the earth, and his advice for aspiring scientists.  

Karen Washington is a community activist and the co-owner of Rise & Root Farm in Chester, New York. She’s been working to improve city living and promote urban farming since 1985.

WPSU's Lindsey Whissel Fenton talked with her about the importance of access to fresh, quality food, about some of the challenges facing 21st century farmers, and about getting community projects off the ground.

Tommie Smith, Wyomia Tyus and Dr. Harry Edwards.
WPSU

At the 1968 Olympics, gold medalist Tommie Smith took the podium and raised his fist in what became one of the most iconic sports moments of all time. Wyomia Tyus dedicated her '68 gold medal to Smith. Sociologist Harry Edwards helped organize the protests.

WPSU's Lindsey Whissel Fenton talked with Smith, Tyus, and Dr. Edwards about the lasting impact of the 1968 Olympic games.

Lindsey Whissel Fenton / WPSU

Wade Davis is a former professional football player turned writer, public speaker, and educator. Davis, who publicly came out as gay in 2012, is the NFL’s first LGBT inclusion consultant.

He also works with other professional sports leagues and Fortune 500 companies to build more inclusive corporate cultures and address issues related to sexism, racism, and homophobia. As part of his work, he urges viewers to reconsider their definitions of "masculinity." 

Ky Dickens filming "Zero Weeks."
Ky Dickens

Ky Dickens’ 2017 documentary “Zero Weeks” explores the paid leave crisis in the U.S. Dickens debuted the film at the “White House Summit on the United States of Women” hosted by Oprah and Michelle Obama. She spoke with WPSU’s Lindsey Whissel Fenton about the film, which screened recently in State College.

Tina Williams Brewer with a collection of her story quilts.
Mark Stitzer / WPSU

Tina Williams Brewer is a Pittsburgh-based fiber artist who specializes in making story quilts. Her work has been displayed in more than 50 major venues in the U.S. and at international venues such as the U.S. Embassy in Ghana. Known for her artistic exploration of African-American history, her quilts often focus on family, women and children, and spirituality. Brewer is one of four artists profiled in the WPSU-TV program “Pennsylvania Folklore: Woven Together,” which airs on WPSU on Thursday, Dec.