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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Good to know our Hawks

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The recording space is set up with show notes and microphones (Photo by Jeffrey Martin ’04, ’05, M.A.).

University-based podcast series focuses on faculty research.

Over the past semester, the Office of Marketing and Communications at St. Joe’s began a community-based podcast series titled “Good to Know.”

This podcast, with its debut episode released on Jan. 12, focuses on a different faculty member each week in a 10-25 minute segment about expertise in their field where they have recently completed research, regarding a topic that is contemporary, or is just simply interesting.

Jeffrey Martin ’04, ’05, M.A., senior associate director of University Communications and host of “Good to Know,” vocalized the importance of showcasing the professional work being done at St. Joe’s.

“It’s our mission here in the office of marketing and communications to promote St. Joe’s and all the great things we do,” Martin said. “One of the most important parts of that is to promote the great work being done by our faculty. We’re always looking for an interesting way to do that, and over the last semester, we came up with an idea to do a podcast where we featured faculty research.”

Though the podcast is still in its initial stages, Martin explained that it’s the university’s goal to highlight professors of both the Haub School of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences right from the beginning.

The first guest of “Good to Know” was Jennifer Tudor, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, regarding her research on the effect sleep deprivation has on the protein synthesis required for proper memory formation and the importance of getting a full eight hours of sleep.

“I’ve only been on campus for a year-and-a-half, so I was honored to be considered,” Tudor said in an email correspondence. “My lab focuses on several different areas, but my sleep research is most relatable and accessible. Almost everyone experiences times when he or she is sleep deprived, so it was an easy choice.”

While “Good to Know” has primarily focused on faculty research in the first five episodes of the series, the committee hopes to delve into what research students are working on in the near future.

“We are certainly open to the possibility and excited about the possibility of interviewing students with any research that they’ve done,” Martin said. “It’s just the timing of when we came up with the idea for this, it happened to align with a bunch of faculty early on, but if there’s a student who has done some interesting research, we’d love to interview someone from there one day.”

Student presence is still seen in the behind the scenes aspects of the podcast. Austin Sbarra ’18 created a special arrangement for the show’s theme song.

“I got an email from Jeff [Martin], he said he wanted theme music [and] he wanted it to be an arrangement of our alma mater, so he wanted something based on already written alma mater,” Sbarra said. “My focus in jazz piano and jazz, which jazz involves a lot of taking a song and making different versions of it, so jazz musicians will all play the same song, but in different ways. And the whole time I was doing this, Jeff was giving me what he was hearing at the time and I’d do my best to reflect that.”

The unique style of “Good to Know” allows for the St. Joe’s community to get a glimpse of the wide variety of research to learn from in a short period of time.

“I was an English major here, and got my Masters in Writing Studies – that’s my expertise, but to be able to hear the professors talk so passionately, I learn a lot from them and how good they are as teachers,” Martin said. “They can explain it [their research] really well in just those 20 minutes. You can get a good grasp on what their research is in a short amount of time, and I think that’s remarkable.” 

As podcasts are becoming increasingly popular in today’s culture, “Good to Know” arrives on campus at the perfect time.

“I’m actually a big fan of podcasts, so I was pretty pumped when he [Jeff] told me the university was coming out with their own,” Sbarra said. “I’m a communications secondary major and I’m taking a class on podcasts right now. I’ve loved every episode so far, and not going to lie, I get a little kick out of hearing my credit every time too.”

Despite this being her first podcast, Tudor described how the short, overall discussion of her research is just enough to engage the community.

“I learned years ago that if I can deliver one point or one idea well to an audience, that one salient idea will last for a long period of time,” Tudor said. “It is a great way to get a ‘snapshot’ of the all the amazing work that is done on campus. If you listen, you may learn something new.”

“Good to Know” is available to listen for free on many platforms, specifically iTunes and the St. Joe’s website.

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