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

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."

Allegations of cheating and bribery in connection with college admissions have brought renewed scrutiny to just how that process works. In this episode of the KUT podcast "Higher Ed," KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger to get his response to the story and his take on maintaining integrity in the process.

Many people may regard "vocation" as a job, employment or occupation. But the word's Latin root (vocare meaning "to call") speaks to a deeper definition related to a passion or true calling. In this episode of the KUT podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr.

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?

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