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Three questions with Jennifer Stayton

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Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Chances are, Jennifer Stayton’s been part of your morning routine for years. After all, the Native Austinite has been anchoring “Morning Edition” on KUT since 2004.

One of her earliest introductions to public radio was Paul Ray’s “Twine Time” while she was in high school. Eventually, she decided to focus on a career in radio after volunteering at her student radio station during her undergraduate studies at Williams College. She went on to earn her master’s degree in radio-TV-film from Syracuse University.

Her path to KUT includes working for commercial and public radio stations in news, production, music and sales in Austin, Syracuse, and Western Massachusetts.

When she’s not on the air, Jennifer is producing and co-hosting KUT’s “Higher Ed” podcast, and volunteering in the community.

Connect with Jennifer on Twitter @jenstayton

Three questions with Jennifer Stayton

What are you listening to these days?
Honestly, I listen to KUT almost all of the time I am listening to something, whether that is driving around town or hanging out at home. News – especially domestic political news – develops so quickly and frequently these days, and I am always interested in a deeper analysis and discussion of those developments. Public media is the main source I trust for that. On the weekends I enjoy "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," which almost always makes me laugh out loud.

If you came to our house you would also likely hear some Broadway tunes (current family favorite soundtracks include "Hamilton" and "Cats"). We also get heavy doses of whatever the James Bowie High School Outdoor Performing Ensemble is working on (my stepdaughter is a rising Junior and marches flute).

Read anything interesting lately?
I am very fortunate that for both work and for the monthly author interview series I host ("Coffee with the Author" at St. David's Episcopal Church in downtown Austin) I get to interview many of Austin's talented authors, so I usually have at least one or two books from local authors going at a time. Right now, I am about to dive into the latest from Jeff Abbott (Blame). I never thought of myself as a spy/thriller/action novel fan but Jeff's books are well-written with captivating stories and characters. I am also about to start the most recent book by Greg Garrett (Living with the Living Dead: The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse). Greg writes about the intersection of religion and popular culture in an accessible and thought-provoking way.

My "extra-curricular" book right now is The Lady and the Panda by Vicki Constantine Croke. Ruth Harkness traveled to China in the 1930s, captured a panda cub in the wild, and brought it back to the United States. I adore all things panda and perhaps am a bit envious of her proximity to that exotic and adorable animal.

What are you loving about the ATX lately?
NOT the heat! I am a native Austinite but still act like the summer heat is some kind of nasty surprise each year. I am always on the prowl for a good iced decaffeinated Americano; I have had yummy ones recently at Mozarts and Crema. By the way, I think Crema has some of the most dangerously delicious sweets in town.

I just started a term on the Board of Directors of Women Communicators of Austin and am enjoying getting to know my fellow Board Members, as well as work on ways to deliver professional development and networking opportunities to communications professionals in town.

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