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

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

South by Southwest will soon leave in its wake thousands of exhausted panel- and partygoers. It will also leave behind thousands of people who worried that no matter what events they attended, something better was happening down the street. The same thing will happen during spring break. Someone else is always headed to a more fun or satisfying destination.

The idea of "helicopter" parenting may not have a formal definition, but we all have a pretty good sense of it when we encounter it: parents who seem to control and hover too closely to many aspects of their children's lives, often to the detriment (and sometimes embarrassment) of those children. In this episode of the KUT podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton take a discussion about helicopter parenting to a live audience of - yes - parents and students at Southwestern.

KUT/X General Manager Debbie Hiott says there are "goods and bads" to working at the same place for 28 years. After her time at the Statesman, Hiott says she knows the Austin market and media landscape, but is still learning the ropes of radio.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Debbie Hiott started at the Austin American-Statesman as an intern in 1990 while she was still a student at what was then Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University). After 28 years in reporting and editing jobs at the Statesman, Hiott has taken over as general manager of KUT and KUTX. 

Hiott told KUT that although this is her first job in radio, she is committed to the stations' missions.

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

A fatal package bombing at a North Austin home on March 2, 2018, was thought to be an isolated incident. Instead, it turned out to be the first of five bombs that would go off over the next few weeks. The bomber later killed himself in a separate explosion.

One year later, KUT is revisiting the serial bombing and its impact on the city.

Safe spaces. Trigger warnings. Disinvited speakers. These campus issues got the attention of a "Higher Ed" podcast listener who wrote in asking about what he has observed to be the proliferation of them. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton address a listener's question about campus controversies.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

At around 7 o’clock on the morning of March 2, 2018, 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House was killed when a package bomb left on the porch of his North Austin home exploded. The bomb turned out to be the first of five bombs that would go off over the next few weeks, killing 17-year-old Draylen Mason and injuring five others. The bomber later killed himself in a separate bomb explosion.

One year later, KUT is revisiting the investigation, and the impact and aftermath of the bombings.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

"History is being wiped away in Austin," the Austin History Center's African American Community Archivist and librarian says.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin Independent School District Superintendent Paul Cruz said he hopes the Board of Trustees will approve a plan Monday night to begin the process of evaluating which schools will be closed or consolidated in the face of declining enrollment and a big budget gap. But some board members fear it’s all happening way too quickly and without adequate public input.

KUT talked with the district in depth about how it is going to proceed.

For many people, goal-setting is an annual ritual perhaps fueled by the New Year and a commitment to make personal or professional improvements. But creating truly meaningful and achievable goals is a more complicated undertaking than simply tossing together a life "to-do" list. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton answer a listener's question about learning to craft and meet relevant goals.

Earth's millions of years of existence are divided into different time periods that chronicle its geological development. You may remember studying those in school. (Cenozoic era, anyone?) But what is impacting earth right now? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the call for an "Age of Humans" designation to acknowledge the impact of people - and how to study that.

"Teacher's pet." "Know-it-all." "Brown-noser." These are just some of the terms students lob at each other in (and out) of school - especially at students who demonstrate strong mastery of a subject or are enthusiastic in class. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton  explore how and why those labels are used and why they might not pack the punch they used to.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The Austin City Council last month approved an independent review of how the police department handles sexual assault cases. Mayor Steve Adler, who voted in favor of the review, says he has confidence in Police Chief Brian Manley and the work of the department. But, Adler says, he wants to get at the core of what he calls the "greatest challenges" facing the department in completing sexual assault investigations.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The introduction of dockless electric scooters to Austin's streets has come with its share of growing pains. Nine months since they were first introduced, you can see hundreds of scooters parked on the side of the street — especially in Central Austin.

But what exactly are the rules for riding scooters in the City of Austin?

What comes to mind when you hear the word "mentor"? Perhaps a bespectacled older teacher or other professional offering sage advice to a younger student? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton  discuss what makes a good mentor (and it doesn't necessarily have to do with age or specific experience).

Central Texas certified life and relationship coaches Junice and Rock Rockman say people have been making some form of new year's resolutions for thousands of years without questioning the effectiveness or benefits of that practice.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

We are about a month into 2019. And this is about the time when our commitment to those well-intentioned New Year's resolutions starts to diminish. Don't worry. This is not a pep talk about getting back on track. And it is not a reprimand either about failing to stick with resolutions. Consider it a green light to ditch those resolutions and consider other more effective ways to make positive life changes.

What does "curiosity" mean, exactly? Most definitions center around the desire to know something. So is curiosity just the act of asking lots of questions, or is it something deeper? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss curiosity, wonderment, and if any question is ever a silly one.

Julia Reihs/KUT

Chuck Smith stepped down in December as CEO of Equality Texas. He had joined the organization in 2003 and first served as a volunteer at the organization's Lobby Day. Have rights for LGBTQ people strengthened in those intervening 15 years? Well, Smith says, yes and no.

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; 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.

Wait, you mean adding a couple of descriptive words to a particular situation, puzzle or problem can help lead to clarity and a solution? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss this thought-provoking practice.

Image courtesy of txcourts.gov

There are more than 3,000 judges in Texas - and in the Lone Star state, they are elected. In the midterm elections, Democrats took control from Republicans in four of the state's 14 appeals courts. Will Texans notice this shift in the balance of power? 

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The song says "It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year."  But for some, the holiday cannot come and go soon enough because with them come the holiday blues - that feeling of anxiety and depression that can surge at the holidays. But what about more persistent mental illness? How do we as a society handle that?

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The end of the year is a traditional time for gift-giving — lots of gift-giving. Americans typically spend between $800 and $1,000 on holiday gifts.

Holiday shopping can be fun and enjoyable, but why do some of us excessively spend and stress-out trying to acquire and give the "perfect" holiday gifts?

Ever feel like you want to ask a question, but you hold back because you think the question is stupid or you will look silly asking it? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss getting past those barriers that keep us from asking what's on our mind.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Just this week, C40 renewed the City of Austin's membership for three more years. C40 describes itself as "a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change."  So, how is Austin doing in reaching its goals to address climate change and manage the impacts that are already here?

In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss a provocative question: does it really matter where you go to college? The answer can be complicated, and it partially depends on what you are looking for.

There has been a lot of talk in recent months about creating and maintaining healthy and respectful environments – especially in the workplace. But what about in the classroom? In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the keys to keeping the classroom an open and respectful place.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The anticipation of holiday gatherings can be a tense time for some. Unresolved disputes among family members or friends can make for difficult times together during what is supposed to be a festive time of year. But what if one short phrase could help dissipate some of that tension?

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.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Former Austin City Council member Laura Morrison is challenging Mayor Steve Adler this Election Day. Both candidates talked with KUT about why they are running and where they stand on some pressing issues in Austin.

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