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

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.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The school year is almost over for Central Texas students, and many people are ready to get away on a summer vacation. But imagine a completely different kind of vacation - from smartphones.

Photo by Jorge Sahueza-Lyon/KUT News

Remember that old adage about what happens when we assume something? (Hint: break the word down into smaller parts and you'll get it!). Seriously, making assumptions can impact how we approach and learn information. Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I spend this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed" exploring why we make assumptions; how they affect learning and problem-solving; and how we can approach education with a more open mind.

Courtesy of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas history is already full of pretty rowdy tales. But one Austin-based author decided to make it a little rowdier with a work of historical fiction about Republic of Texas President Mirabeau Lamar and his rival Sam Houston.

Commencement speeches: Some are boring and not very memorable; some are inspiring and stay with graduates for years to comes. During this 2018 commencement season, Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I spend the episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed" discussing the good, the bad and the memorable from commencement addresses.

The end of the school year is a busy time for students, faculty, staff, and families. Finals exams are looming; seniors may be on the hunt for a job; and many students have to say goodbye to friends and teachers. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and I discuss the origins of stress; the role it can play in education and learning; and how to successfully manage it (both in and out of school).

Julia Reihs/KUT News

A man drove a rented van down a Toronto sidewalk Monday, killing 10 people. Last month, a bomber terrorized Austin with a series of apparently random attacks that killed two people and injured four. These and other incidents we hear about in the news can elicit a variety of emotional responses, including fear.

Lynda Gonzalez for KUT

Update: The Austin City Council approved ECHO's Action Plan to End Homelessness at its April 26 meeting.

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The original story follows.

The number of people in Austin who are homeless has increased by 5 percent since 2017, new figures show.

The Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) reports there are 2,147 people of all ages living on Austin's streets, up from 2,036 in 2017.

A college student requested a "Higher Ed" discussion about meaningful student-teacher relationships – both how to form them and how those relationships could impact grades and behavior. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how students and teachers can best engage each other to ensure that dynamic goes well.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

What kind of job did the media do covering the Austin serial bombings earlier this year? That depends on which media you are talking about.

Asking for help can be difficult or embarrassing sometimes, and for a variety reasons we don't always do it when we should. But the truth is, everyone needs help sometimes, including students - who can occasionally  use a hand with a tricky subject. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the most effective ways to ask for and use help in education.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk has been on the job since Feb. 12. He says the city has a track record of growth that most other cities would envy, but needs to work hard to meet the challenges that growth presents.

One of higher education's biggest challenges in the coming years may be to prepare students to flourish in a world with many careers and positions that don't now exist. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how higher education can be ready for this new reality.

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for Williamson, Caldwell, Hays, Guadalupe, Bastrop, Comal and Travis counties until 1:30 p.m. today.

Earlier this morning, parts of Central Texas saw as much as 1 to 3 inches from an initial band of storms, and the National Weather Service says the affected counties could see an additional 1 to 3 inches of rain through this afternoon.

Students and young scholars may not have had as much time in the classroom, but that doesn't mean their work lacks insight, value and rigor. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the valuable contributions younger learners can make, and how society can better regard and embrace their thinking.

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