BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 27, 2003 - More than 100 professors from Virginia Tech have shared their knowledge and expertise on Virginia's public radio talk show, "With Good Reason," since the show first aired.
"Virginia Tech is one of our richest sources for finding expert guests," said Sarah McConnell, producer and host of "With Good Reason." A diverse guest-list represents Virginia Tech's wide range of expertise; state penologist Bruce Zoecklin has discussed emerging Virginia wines; Nikki Giovanni read her poetry; Martha McCaughey looked at the depiction of violent women in the movies; and Doug Nelson offered a primer on the potential for cell fuel technology. Other recent Virginia Tech guests include Lissa Bloomer, Don Chance, Toni Calasanti, William C. Davis, Gary Griffin, Richard Hirsh, Irene Leech, Matt McAllister, William Ochsenwald, Bruno Sobral, and Dan Thorp.
"One of Tech's greatest missions is outreach," said Paul Lancaster, Broadcast Media Coordinator for Virginia Tech. "Through communicating with the public and sharing ideas on public radio, Tech professors fulfill the university goal."
"With Good Reason" is an eclectic blend of timely and engaging features and interviews. Weekly programming is drawn exclusively from the faculty of Virginia's public colleges and universities, including the community colleges. "I think of each program as a condensed college freshman seminar brought to citizens for free," McConnell said.
As "With Good Reason" celebrates its 10th year, McConnell is most excited about the boost in quality the show is getting from Virginia Tech graduate Sean Tubbs ('95). Tubbs was hired in August as associate producer. "He can do everything," McConnell says. "He was an active contributor to the operation of the award winning WVTF news department, and he's good at tapping the intellectual gold mine of interesting guests from Virginia Tech." McConnell and Tubbs are joined in the weekly production by executive producer Andrew Wyndham and publicity coordinator Amy Marshall.
"The show was born in precisely these same kinds of tight budget times," McConnell said. In the early 1990s, people in higher education were seeking creative ways to fend off the state's budget ax. One Virginia college administrator thought it vital to give scholars a voice, and to publicize that voice so the public and elected officials alike would not think of higher education as an inhuman entity. "People were thinking about colleges as being campuses and buildings. I was after a way that the public would see professors as people ... whose knowledge did have applications in ways the public wasn't noticing," said Michael Marshall, director of academic communications at the University of Virginia law school, who serves as editorial adviser to "With Good Reason." "We got a variety of colleges to come together for a common purpose, to engage in lively, interesting discussions."
"With Good Reason" is produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities for the Virginia Higher Education Broadcasting Consortium. The half-hour public affairs program airs on all Virginia public radio stations as well as WAMU-FM in Washington D.C. and WETS-FM in Tennessee. Locally, the program airs every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on WVTF -FM and every Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. on WVRU-FM. Previous shows are available on-line in real audio, bringing Virginia Tech expertise to the entire world.
February 26, 2003