Jennifer Stayton

Host, Morning Edition

Jennifer feels very lucky to have been born and raised in Austin, Texas. An English teacher at her high school, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, once suggested to the class that they tune in to KUT 90.5 for Paul Ray’s “Twine Time.” She has been a public radio fan ever since.

Her original career path – Psychology – took a back seat to radio after she started volunteering at the Williams College student radio station during her time there.

Jennifer has worked for commercial and public radio stations in news, production, music, and sales in Austin; Syracuse, New York; and Western Massachusetts. She has a Master’s Degree from Syracuse University in Radio-Television-Film. She has won awards from the Syracuse Press Club and Texas Associated Press Broadcasters.

Jennifer has been the local anchor and host of “Morning Edition” on KUT since May, 2004. She is also the co-host of KUT’s “Higher Ed” podcast.

Jennifer serves on the Advisory Committee for KTSW 89.9 at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She is also a member of the Communication Major Advisory Council for Concordia University in Austin, Texas. She is a member of Women Communicators of Austin and serves as a Mentor in the organization.

Her husband Charles, stepdaughter Samantha, and cats Tidbit and Durango are very patient with her early hours and strange schedule!

Ways to Connect

Choosing a major is a rite of passage for higher education students, and it can feel like a – dare we say it –major decision with lifelong implications. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss what could – and sometimes should –go into choosing a major plan of study.

University of Texas System

It may not feel like it, but it's flu season. Though the virus typically reaches its peak in winter, when exactly are you supposed to get your flu shot? 

Dr. Coburn Allen, an infectious disease specialist, physician and associate professor of pediatrics at UT Austin's Dell Medical School, says, like many factors surrounding the flu, it's all about timing. 

A provocative column this year in The Chronicle of Higher Education laments the rise of what the author calls the "promotional intellectual." Dr. Jeffrey J. Williams of Carnegie Mellon University believes the old adage in academia of "publish or perish" has evolved into "promote or perish." In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss promoting one's academic work.

Most people do not necessarily enjoy being told when they are wrong. The formal education experience can at times seem like it is full of those moments - between corrections, grades, comments and evaluations.  In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss ways to correct without rejecting.

High school seniors have something extra added to their workload in the fall semester. Those who are going on to college have to navigate the college application process. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton dissect that annual dash to compile transcripts, test scores, essays and teacher recommendations.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The new school year is well underway, and that means the new football season is, too. And midterm elections are coming up soon. It seems like whether our team or our candidate loses, people have a harder time being good sports – or gracious losers – these days.

The author of a summer op-ed in the New York Times (no, not that op-ed!)  believes girls would benefit from more drilling on math to "break the cycle of dislike-avoidance-further dislike" and help them build confidence in their math skills (which research has shown are pretty similar to boys' math skills).  In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton  discuss the op-ed's call for gender-based additional academic practice and how to undo lingering biases about gender and academic performance.

Remember those old film strips in school that would advance frame by frame, fueled by an annoying beep? Instructional media has certainly improved quite a bit since those days. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss if better videos make for better learning.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

"Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. "

Versions of that saying have been attributed to different people throughout history, but they all carry the same basic meaning: We have a lot to learn from where we have already been. The new director of the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin believes the tumultuous year of 1968 holds many lessons for today.

Julia Reihs/KUT News

People experiencing homelessness in Austin aren't just on street corners asking you for money. There's a less visible population that has some service providers worried.

The episode was originally posted on May 20, 2018.

Business and industry sometimes say they find students are not prepared for work – or the working world in general – when they graduate from college. Liberal arts institutions, meanwhile, say they are preparing flexible and well-rounded students who are ready to tackle anything.

How can this disconnect be bridged? Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I explore the relationship between academia and industry in this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed."

Emree Weaver for KUT

Central Texas students are back in class for the 2018-19 school year. It can be a busy time, searching for just the right notebook and adjusting to earlier alarm clocks and busier afternoons and evenings. But adult caregivers and children are encouraged not to ignore feelings that can crop up during the back-to-school season.

This episode was originally posted on Feb 4, 2018.

A lot of people have input when it comes to formal education: teachers, students, administrators, staff and parents for starters. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss who out of all those groups, though, is actually in control of the quality of the education provided.

This episode was originally posted on Jan. 28, 2018.

Those in higher education have a lot on their minds these days: the new tax law, immigration, affordability, the cost of education and how these things impact teaching and learning. Educators are also thinking about how people discuss those topics.

In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how people with different opinions can have fruitful and thoughtful conversations in and out of the classroom.

Texas A & M Forest Service

A wildfire has burned about 557 acres in Burnet County. As of Wednesday, the Park Road Fire is 90 percent contained, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. The service initially reported about 150 homes had been evacuated, along with Inks Lake State Park and a fish hatchery. Residents returned to their homes Tuesday, and Inks Lake State Park has partially reopened.

This episode was originally posted on Jan. 21, 2018.

We know what it means to "like" something. But does that word carry extra meaning in education and learning? What does it mean when students say they "like" a class or fear a teacher doesn't "like" them? In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore perceptions and realities of "likes" in education.

Gensler/Precourt Sports Ventures

The City of Austin late Friday released the terms of its deal with Precourt Sports Ventures for construction and management of a Major League Soccer stadium in Austin. Precourt owns the Columbus Crew soccer team and wants to move the Crew from Ohio to Texas.

This episode was originally posted on Dec. 17, 2017.

There has been an ongoing debate in education about a staple of the school landscape: homework. Do students get too much? Too little? What role does - and should - homework play in education? In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss all things homework.

This episode was originally posted on Dec. 10, 2017.

"Whaddya get?" That's the question students often ask each other after graded exams or papers are handed back. Competition among students persists in education. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss if that kind of competition is ever productive or useful for learning.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council will have the chance next month to tweak the specifics of a $925 million bond package it approved last month for the Nov. 6 ballot. But the vote was not unanimous, as some council members expressed concern about the accompanying property tax hike.

This episode was originally posted on Dec. 3, 2017.

Puzzlers can be fun and challenging and can also help us think about some of life's bigger questions. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger puzzle through solutions to some especially tough riddles.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

Film producer Harvey Weinstein is now facing sexual assault charges from a third woman. His case has focused attention on some of the darkest manifestations of stereotypical male behavior – racking up large numbers of unwilling sexual conquests. 

Two Central Texas life and relationship coaches say the case has also necessitated a close examination of what shapes the male identity.

This episode was originally posted on Nov. 19, 2017.

T-E-S-T. That word almost always strikes fear in the hearts of students. They're worried about doing well, getting a high grade and comparing their performance to that of their classmates. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore stressful test culture.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Brian Manley is now officially the chief of police in Austin, after serving as interim chief for more than a year and a half. He says he believes he is the right guy for the job, though he admits there is challenging work to do in repairing relationships with some communities here.

This episode was originally posted on Nov. 12, 2017.

Our path through formal education is pretty prescribed through the early years.  But in middle school, high school, college and beyond, students have more latitude in choosing their own classes and course of study. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss who knows best when making those decisions about which classes to take: students? parents? teachers?


Julia Reihs/KUT

Stewart Vanderwilt is leaving KUT and KUTX after 18 years at the helm to become president and CEO of Colorado Public Radio. On his last day on the job, he reflects on his time in Austin, how public radio and the medium in general have changed during his tenure and where he sees the industry heading.

This episode was originally published on Oct. 22, 2017.

In a recent episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger answered a listener's question about how to know when it's the right decision to transfer schools. In this episode, they take that discussion a step further to answer a related and important question: How can students know if they're getting a "good" education? What does it even mean to describe an education as "good"?


Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Center opened in 2008 as the performing arts home for the Austin SymphonyBallet Austin and Austin Opera. Ten years later, it is asking its audiences – and people who don't attend shows there – what they think of the center and how it can do better.

This episode was originally published on Sept. 17, 2017.

Sometimes, a relationship doesn't feel like a good match. You can't put your finger on it, but it just feels like it's time to move on. That feeling can crop up in personal relationships, as well as in our relationships with schools. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger answer a question from a listener who wanted to know whether transferring from one college to another is the right decision.


Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The City of Austin just wrapped up a public comment period on the appointment of interim Austin Police Chief Brian Manley as permanent chief. It's also holding a series of meetings about the upcoming budget and is in the middle of a public comment period on revised cemetery rules.

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