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

Courtesy of Jesse McCrum

People keep secrets for a lot of reasons. Imagine not feeling like you could share something fundamental about yourself with the people in your life. That’s the situation for many people diagnosed with a mental illness. They fear the misunderstanding, judgment or rejection that could come with sharing the details of their situation with others.  

Austin Clubhouse provides rehabilitation and support for adults who have severe and persistent mental illness, with treatment that focuses on quality of life issues. Member Jesse McCrum sat down with KUT to discuss his experience and the impact the Clubhouse has had on his life. 

What would you say is the quintessential element of effective learning: Intelligence? Persistence? Skills?  In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss what Ed argues is that key element: change.


Teachers stand at the front of the classroom trying to engage their students, impart information, and make a difference in their students' lives. Do they really get through? What do students take away from their classroom experiences? In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk with a Southwestern University student about the lessons he has learned in the classroom beyond the course material.


Tomoko Bason

Right after the election, there were demonstrations in Austin and around the country against Donald Trump’s win. The protests died down, but some groups felt like their work was just starting -- and they’re not necessarily groups that would call themselves “political.” 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

For the past few months, we’ve been spending time in the area around 12th and Chicon streets in East Austin, reporting on the changes in this part of the city for our On My Block project.

Today we meet Vivian Linden and Kathy Duffy, co-owners and practitioners at Rosewood Acupuncture & Ayurveda on Chicon. The office is the manifestation of a business plan they created in school to provide affordable health care to everyone.

Austin History Center, PICA 18419

“They were very concerned that it would affect the chickens and they wouldn't know when to lay the egg.”

What could shake up things so much that chickens in Austin wouldn't know the right time to do their thing? That recollection from a newspaper article can be heard in a documentary called The Last of the Moonlight Towers, which illuminates (get it?) the history of those iconic towers. Seventeen of the 31 original towers built around Austin are still standing. And though Austin wasn't the first city in the country to get moonlight towers when they went up in the 1890s, Austin is the last city that still has functioning towers.

Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on January 10, 2016.

We are just a little ways into the new year and it's already proving tough to keep some of those well-intentioned resolutions. You know, the usual ones such as exercise more, eat better, or be nicer to people. There is actually a resolution that can be fun and not too hard to keep. In this "best of" episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about learning more - and liking it - in 2017.


That sweater that doesn't fit quite right.  Or a fruitcake with ingredients that are not immediately recognizable. Do your family and friends really need more of these during the holiday season? What about giving the gift of learning instead? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how to encourage people to embrace learning at any age or stage of life.


Do you sense that you understand things better when you read them or hear them? Do you learn better via words or images? Are there really even different learning "styles" at all? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore a listener's question about learning styles.


Most people who get at least a high school education will experience a pretty standard set of courses no matter where they go to school: Math, English, Social Studies, Biology, and the like. But are there things not being taught in schools that should be? What if the traditional academic slate were wiped clean and replaced with a new "road map;" what might that look like? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss some things that could be added to curricula to enhance education - even well beyond school years.


Social media such as Twitter allow people to draw attention to situations and problems that might not otherwise get much focus. It also lets people share information and connect quickly and easily. But what has happened to the value we place on interacting and connecting in person? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the immediacy and emotion of social media and the value of personal interactions.


This 2016 election season has a lot of people talking about leadership: what qualities do we want in a leader, and what kind of experiences can prepare someone to lead? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about whether leadership can be taught and learned, or if someone people are just "born leaders."


Technology means students can take classes in many different modes and venues. They can be together in a traditional classroom, of course, with a teacher. Or, they can listen, discuss, and learn remotely any time and anywhere via online courses and videos.  In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger look at different ways learning can happen, and if one way is more effective than another.


Every student and teacher has likely at some point during the school year looked longingly at the calendar, hoping the days and weeks until vacation would pass more quickly. And who hasn't stared at the clock during a long class, watching the seconds tick by? The traditional school calendar and school day schedule have been around for a long time but may no longer be effective or even necessary. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore the origins of the traditional academic schedule and toss around some different approaches.


A&E Networks

The recent remake of the groundbreaking 1977 mini-series “Roots” has been nominated for seven Emmys this year. To ensure accuracy in depicting the lives of enslaved people, the show enlisted UT-Austin history professor Dr. Daina Ramey Berry to read scripts, ask questions and ensure the production's accuracy – from word choices, to cloth used in costumes, to the breeds of on-screen horses.

"Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape" is the new book released this week from Austin-based journalist Jessica Luther.

Last year, Luther helped break the story about a Baylor University football player on trial for sexually assaulting another student. She argues the college football system as a whole bears much responsibility in cases such as these. And the system is where, she says, changes need to take place. 


Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on December 20, 2015.

Doubt. It can make us question some of our deeply-held beliefs. But is that necessarily a bad thing? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the value that doubt can have for our learning and education.


Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on September 20, 2015.

What happens when you mix together liberal arts and democracy and then throw in a little media coverage? You get a fascinating discussion about the intersection of those three storied institutions.


Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on September 13, 2015.

Have you ever heard of a "value study" in art? It's a way to make a quick sketch of whatever you see and then fill it in with shades of gray. It leaves out detail in favor of broader strokes that capture the essence of the subject. Could this also be a way to tackle a new intellectual endeavor? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher EdKUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger translate this art technique to learning.

Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on November 1, 2015.

There are times when we feel like we just "know" something. We can't necessarily explain why, but we just have a "gut feeling" about it. When is it useful to go with that gut feeling, and when should we slow down and think things through? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about using our instincts and using our intellect.


Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released on October 18, 2015.

Infinity. What does it really mean? Can we count it? If so, how? And can we ever really define or describe it? It seems like there are an infinite number of questions about infinity. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger help us try to wrap our minds around infinity.

Note: This "Best of Higher Ed" episode was originally released October 11, 2015.

No one remembers everything they learned in school, right? We cannot possibly retain all of those facts, figures, and formulas. So, 20 years after we're done with our formal education, what have we taken away from that experience? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger try to answer that 20-year question about education and learning.


Mental illness can be hard to acknowledge or talk about. Two Austinites who are educators and advocates with the National Alliance on Mental Illness want to help people get past that. And they’re focusing on the African American community.

Summer. For students and teachers, that means a break from books, papers, tests, deadlines, and the stress of school. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton talk about the benefits of that break, as well as the advantages of keeping the brain at least a little busy during the summer months.


Arithmetic is just a fancy word for Math, right? Actually, they mean two different things. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton explain what "arithmetic" means; what "math" means; and why it matters to our learning and lives.


Eureka! You know that moment when you feel like you've come up with something completely original? Well, consider this: Is it actually possible to come up with totally new thinking, given all the information that influences our thought? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton respond to a listener's request to compare and contrast synthesized thinking and original thought.


Anxiety seems to come with the territory - at least some of the time - in school. Students worry about tests and grades or about trying to learn material that's unfamiliar or tough. But does anxiety really have to be part of the learning process? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton chill out and discuss the role of anxiety in learning.


A.....B......C.... at the end of the school year, many students are eager to see their final grades. But what is the real value of those grades? What happens when higher and higher grades are awarded for work that may not actually be that much better? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton explore the phenomenon of grade inflation.


If you only had one class left to take in school, what would it be? During this graduation season,  Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton explore what that last class could - or should? - be, and making the transition from formal education to lifelong learning.


In this "Best of" Higher Ed episode, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger reflect on what commencement means and discuss what most students actually take away from their college experiences.  It may not be exactly what you'd expect.


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