Take Note

Shidan Majidi directed and co-produced the documentary “Me, the ‘Other,’” which has won numerous awards. The film addresses issues of hatred and prejudice, telling the stories of twelve individuals from diverse backgrounds attending colleges and universities in Michigan.

We talked with Majidi about his documentary, how to overcome prejudice and what it means to be the “other.”

Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor is an associate professor of history at Smith College, whose work includes the paper “The Etymology of the N-Word: Resistance, Language, and the Politics of Freedom in the Antebellum North.” She recently visited Penn State Altoona to speak about her research. And, she spoke with WPSU's Anne Danahy about the history of the N-word, how she discusses it with students and what it meant to her father, the comedian Richard Pryor. 

Bryan Stevenson is a renowned lawyer and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization that “is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.” The Equal Justice Initiative represents prisoners who may have been wrongly convicted, unfairly sentenced or otherwise mistreated by our criminal justice system.

Srdja Popovic is an activist and author of the book “Blueprint for Revolution: how to use rice pudding, Lego men, and other non-violent techniques to galvanise communities, overthrow dictators, or simply change the world.” Popovic was a founder of the student movement “Otpor!” or “Resistance!” The movement helped oust the Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic, who was later charged with war crimes. Popovic served in the Serbian parliament and in 2003 founded Canvas, a nonprofit focused on teaching the use of nonviolence to promote human rights and democracy.

State Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman
Min Xian / WPSU

WPSU's Anne Danahy spoke with state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman about issues ranging from recreational marijuana to the prospects of raising Pennsylvania's minimum wage. Corman represents the 34th district, which includes Centre, Mifflin and Juniata counties and parts of Huntingdon County. He has served in the Senate since 1999, and won reelection last year. In 2014, Corman became Senate majority leader, making him second in command in the Senate.

John Champagne standing
Penn State

WPSU's Anne Danahy talks with John Champagne, a professor of English at Penn State Behrend, the Erie campus, chair of the Global Languages and Cultures program and this year's Penn State Laureate. They talk about politics in art, the difference between meanings and messages in art, and the role of art in fascism.

Powell Watts described her novel as "'The Great Gatsby' set in rural North Carolina, nine decades later, with desperate black people." Stephanie Powell Watts is a writer and associate professor of English at Lehigh University. Her debut novel, "No One Is Coming to Save Us," won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work and was the inaugural selection by Sarah Jessica Parker for the American Library Association's Book Club Central.

We talked with Powell Watts about representation in literature and how her debut novel draws on F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby."

A retired four-star general, 2004 presidential contender, author and commentator, Wesley Clark is now starting a nonpartisan organization. The goal of Renew America is to encourage people to find common ground by promoting public and political discourse.

WPSU's Anne Danahy spoke with Clark about the organization, what he thinks needs to change in politics and how Americans can help make that happen.

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.

Photo: Penn State Law

David Frum is a senior editor at The Atlantic magazine, and a former speechwriter for George W. Bush.  He's a conservative, a Republican, and a fierce critic of President Trump.  His latest book is "Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic," which is out in paperback on October 9th.  In the book, Frum talks about the factors that led to the rise of Donald Trump, and other leaders like him around the globe.

Frum spoke with WPSU while visiting Penn State for a talk at Penn State Law.

Brian Southwell is director of science in the public sphere at RTI International. We spoke with Southwell about communicating science, whether fact checking works and the idea behind his weekly radio show and podcast, “The Measure of Everyday Life.”  

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.

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.

Richard Biever and Tammy Miller.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

WPSU's Carolyn Donaldson talked with FUSE Productions' Producing Artistic Director Richard Biever about the theater company's upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim's "Merrily We Roll Along." He was joined by community leader Tammy Miller, who is part of an auxiliary project, "Dreams Don't Die," where community members share stories of pursuing their dreams.

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.

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.

photo: courtesy of Scott Sackett & Paul Lamont

On Thursday, January 4 at 8:00pm, WPSU-TV will broadcast the PBS documentary, “Lake of Betrayal: The Story of Kinzua Dam” about the history of the Kinzua Dam in Warren County, Pennsylvania. 

Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.
National Museum of African American History and Culture

Lonnie Bunch is the founding director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. Bunch's career in museums spans nearly thirty years. Prior to his current position, Bunch worked at the National Museum of American History, the California African American Museum and the National Air and Space Museum. WPSU's Cheraine Stanford talked with Bunch about the ten years it took to create the National Museum of African American History and Culture and its importance to the American story.

This week, Patty Satalia talks with the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania’s 5th congressional district, Kerith Strano-Taylor. 

She’s an attorney from Brookville, Pennsylvania. She called her first congressional bid in 2014 a “dry run.” She’s owner of the Taylor law firm and director of her local school board. She’s running against incumbent Republican Glenn Thompson, who first won his seat in 2008.   

(Photo: WPSU)

David Folkenflik is Media Correspondent for NPR News. His stories are heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Here & Now, as well as on on NPR's website and mobile platforms.  He joined NPR in 2004, after a decade as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, where he covered higher education, politics, and the media.

Business Insider has called Folkenflik one of the 50 most influential people in American media.

Folkenflik is author of the book Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires.

Lewis Goldstein
Penn State/Flickr

    

How is organic food changing the landscape of food production? We talk with the vice president of brand marketing for Organic Valley, Lewis Goldstein, about his unique company and why they think everyone should know what’s in their food.  

Editor's Note
Jan. 7, 2016

We originally said organic food is grown without the use of pesticides. Organic farmers can use pesticides from a restricted list approved by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). 



Russell Gold
Joel Salcido

Russell Gold is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and the author of “The Boom.” The book covers the history of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the United States and the characters who made it what it is today. Gold spoke about the evolving technology of fracking, which has included the use of everything from napalm to nuclear bombs; the controversy about assigning “The Boom” to Penn State freshmen; and Gold’s parents’ story about leasing their land in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania.   

Shoba Wadhia, author of "Beyond Deportation"
Erin Cassidy Hendrick / WPSU

Under U.S. immigration law, one of the most widely used but misunderstood concepts is prosecutorial discretion. Simply put, that’s the influence immigration officials have on the outcome of a deportation case. It allows authorities to grant “non-priority” status to some illegal immigrants – hoping to use their limited resources to target the more dangerous individuals.

Carol Sanford
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Carol Sanford is a business consultant who has worked with organizations from Google to DuPont to Colgate Palmolive. She’s the author of “The Responsible Business” and, most recently, “The Responsible Entrepreneur.” She spoke with WPSU about what it means to be a responsible entrepreneur and how that’s actually better for business. 

Kristine Allen

Actress and filmmaker Anna Martemucci grew up in State College.  She was a contestant on the STARZ reality show called “The Chair” which filmed her as she directed her own film, “Hollidaysburg.”  It’s about college freshmen from Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania who come home for a Thanksgiving holiday.

WPSU’s Kristine Allen talks with Martemucci about her career, her film, and what it’s like to be on a reality show.

Although he didn’t coin the term microaggressions—that’s the word used to describe hurtful, often subtle racial and ethnic slights—Derald Wing Sue has literally written the book on the subject.  Sue is a professor of psychology and education at Columbia University and the author of Microaggressions in Everyday Life.  Sue visited Penn State to give a talk on microaggressions in higher education. 

Jonathan Jansen is the first black president of the University of the Free State in South Africa. A gifted speaker and writer, he’s earned a formidable reputation for his commitment to reconciliation in a racially divided society. We’ll talk with him about the notorious Reitz video that sent shock waves throughout the world, about reconciliation and about the future of Mandela’s rainbow nation.   

More on Jonathan Jansen
 

University of the Free State: Jonathan Jansen

What do you get when you mix a Masters of Fine Arts and a Medical Doctor? The answer is Dr. David Teplica, a Penn State alumnus who uses his unique combination of talents in the Fine Arts and Plastic Surgery to bring about a better understanding of human anatomy. We'll talk with him about how photography has made him a better surgeon, and vice versa, about the need for gender-specific plastic surgery, and about what he's learned from his decade's long study of identical twins. 

On August 4-7, State College will host the 18th National Autism Conference. Today on Take Note we talk with Dr. Daniel Notterman about the current state of autism research. Dr. Notterman has just stepped down from the position of vice dean for research and graduate studies -- and professor of pediatrics and biochemistry -- at Penn State College of Medicine. He’s going to Princeton University, where he’ll continue his research into the causes of autism. WPSU’s Emily Reddy talked with Dr. Notterman about where we are in our understanding of autism.

Pete Hatemi
Kristine Allen / WPSU

Pete Hatemi teaches Political Science, Microbiology and Biochemistry at Penn State. His research explores the complex connection between evolution and our political attitudes. He speaks with WPSU’s Kristine Allen.

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