Jennifer Stayton, KUT

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

Just about everybody can recall an influential teacher who nurtured and inspired them. But not all great teachers are "warm and fuzzy." In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton explore dealing with fantastic teachers who have challenging personalities.

First-year college student students often encounter tougher classes in a new environment without the familiar supports of home. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton explore strategies for staying on course when so much is changing.

Image courtesy Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

It was a long and winding road to the June 1, 2019, opening of State Highway 45 S. Many residents of southern Travis County were eager to have commuter traffic diverted from neighborhood roads, but environmental groups raised concerns about damage to water quality and wildlife.

Anti-bullying posters
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

"If your community begins to turn against you or that tide turns against you and you feel isolated or pointed out, it can be pretty difficult."

That is the essence of what bullies are trying to achieve. Bullying can be a problem for students of any age – in school and for adults in the workplace. The attacks can be physical or psychological (or both) and can make school or work a nightmare. But understanding bullying on a deeper level can help inform appropriate and effective responses.

This episode was originally posted on Jan. 13, 2019.

Many external factors can impact the quality and effectiveness of a learning experience: the teacher, the other students in a class, the school's resources, and even the student's surroundings and home. But what about the internal factors?

In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the biases learners themselves bring to the information and process.

This episode was originally posted on Nov. 18, 2018.

In school, our reading choices are mostly dictated by what is assigned for classes or from reading lists. But once we are out of school, the decisions are up to us.  In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the joys and impacts of lifelong reading.

This episode was originally published on Oct. 12, 2018.

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.

Big Easy Bar and Grill owner Darold Gordon
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Chef Darold Gordon set up shop in East Austin after moving from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Over the last 15 years, he has seen the businesses and population in the neighborhood change.

This episode was originally posted on Sept. 30, 2018.

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.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A perfect storm of circumstances has helped create what a UT Austin professor calls “the new innovation economy.” What is that?

This episode was originally published on Sept. 23, 2018.

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.

Academia is divided over the wisdom of offering students extra credit on tests or projects. In this episode of the KUT podcast "Higher Ed," KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the utility and merit of offering some extra points for extra effort.

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore
Julia Reihs / KUT

Things have changed in the past year or so in how Travis County approaches some cases involving particular types and amounts of drugs. District Attorney Margaret Moore says the "criminal justice system is a very poor tool to use to address drug usage or substance abuse of any kind."

Luis Perales for KUT

"We need each other in ways that we are not always willing to admit," says Baylor University English professor and Austin-based writer and preacher Greg Garrett.

The 2018-2019 school year saw allegations of cheating in college admissions in the "Operation Varsity Blues" case, while rising tuition costs and student debt levels have the attention of several 2020 presidential hopefuls. In this episode of the KUT podcast "Higher Ed," KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the state of higher education in 2019.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

Movies, fairy tales and other stories often end on a "happily ever after" note when it comes to love and relationships. But during this traditionally popular month for weddings, some experts suggest a more realistic goal might be in order.

How about "evolving ever after"?

The Austin Resource Center for the Homeless
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Mayor Steve Adler is pushing back against criticism of steps the City Council took last week to, as he says, address homelessness more effectively in Austin.

There is more talk in education these days about wellness and more attention to stress, anxiety and other factors that can impede learning. But there is less talk about the ways good learning practices could improve health. In this episode of the KUT podcast "Higher Ed," KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the role of learning and education in wellness.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

"I think the bright spots weren't so much affirmative bright spots as that we avoided some bad things," Austin Mayor Steve Adler says of the 2019 Texas legislative session, which wrapped up Monday.

Spencer Selvidge / KUT

Dr. Pat Crocker, a retired Central Texas emergency room doctor, says one of the struggles of his career was "trying to walk that line between empathy and self-harm." He says he wanted to maintain the human connection of medicine while not identifying too closely with patients' pain and tragedy.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

Plenty of data show that the population of older Texans - and specifically, older Central Texans - is growing.  The numbers certainly tell one story about seniors. But it does not show how our society regards and treats them. Older Americans Month is a time to take a closer look at stereotypes, misconceptions and even jokes commonly aimed at seniors.

A "Higher Ed" listener who teaches English in Osaka, Japan wrote in requesting a discussion of what the listener characterizes as "the tension between servicing the local community near an institution and appealing to international elements (students, partnerships, etc.)." In this episode of the KUT podcast "Higher Ed," KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how campuses view their role in the local community and how that is balanced with farther flung connections.

Montinique Monroe for KUT

STAAR testing is just about over for this school year. The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness have been part of Texas students' lives since 2012, but questions raised this year about the reading test have brought renewed attention to the efficacy of the test – and standardized testing in general.

The pomp and circumstance of graduation brings students, teachers, staff and family together to celebrate achievement and usher students onto their next steps in learning and life. That ritual not only honors students, but also creates a shared opportunity for a campus community to strengthen bonds. In this episode of the KUT podcast "Higher Ed," KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the importance of ritual in education.

Learning is not always easy. Some subjects, concepts and teachers are just plain tough. Mastering that material can be frustrating and even discouraging. In this episode of the KUT podcast "Higher Ed," KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger about how a shift in mindset can help learners at any age harness lessons, power and even joy from those struggles.

A "Higher Ed" podcast listener recently wrote in with an intriguing question for Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger: as a university president, does Ed "see himself as more of a leader or manager? How does he differentiate the two concepts and does he place more emphasis on one area or another?" In this episode, KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Ed about what it means to lead and manage on and off campus.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austinites will have their chance to sing like the Supremes and move like the Temptations starting this Saturday. “Motown: The Sound of Young America” is a new exhibit about the iconic music label opening at the LBJ Presidential Library.

John Moore/Getty Images

John Moore, a special correspondent for Getty Images, lived and traveled around the world for years before deciding to focus his time and work on the U.S.-Mexico border. His frequent requests to photograph Border Patrol agents dealing with families crossing the border went unanswered – until one day last year when he got a call out of the blue.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

"We all have to come in here with humility," Dr. Peniel Joseph says about getting people to the table to talk about racism and equality. "We're all looking for, basically, unearned grace in this conversation."

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