Erica Snowden-Rodríguez (Akron, Ohio)
Since moving to Ohio in 2005, Erica has led an active career as a performer and teaching artist in the region of Northeast Ohio. In addition to the Akron Symphony Orchestra, they are the principal cellist of the Erie Philharmonic and former principal cellist of the Canton Symphony. They perform in a variety of chamber music and recital settings within the community and abroad. Erica has toured nationally with Sphinx Virtuosi, a chamber orchestra comprised of the nation’s top Latinx and African-American string players, and has appeared as a performer and lecturer at many of Cleveland’s cultural and medical centers, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Mixon Hall, and the Cleveland Clinic. In addition to an active performance career, Erica is a music educator, having served on the faculty at The University of Akron School of Music from 2013-14 and at the Cleveland State University Department of Music from 2014-16.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 09/14/2020.
Lead is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant that causes numerous adverse health effects in children, particularly neurological and neurobehavioral deficits, lower IQ, slowed growth, and anemia. Childhood lead exposure has also been linked to impulsive behaviors, which, in turn, are associated with a host of negative health outcomes and behaviors. Those at highest risk for elevated blood lead levels are persons living in substandard housing, which are often inhabited by racial minorities and socioeconomically disadvantaged persons. This talk will discuss findings of the interplay of lead, concentrated disadvantage and public health outcomes such as sexually transmitted infections and instances of crime. In addition, we will address the power of geospatial modeling techniques to estimate lead exposure risk for communities.
Erin Heist (Juneau, Alaska)
Born and raised in Juneau, Alaska, Erin Heist plays guitar and sings bluegrass, old-time, Cajun, and country music. She performs in a duo with her husband and in a honky-tonk, old-time band that plays at bars, festivals, or local events. She works for the State of Alaska and considers music a very important part of her life. She is very involved in Juneau’s folk music scene and praises the sense of community music brings to the city, particularly through the Alaska Folk Festival.
Interview by Raquel Paraíso, 09/23/2020.
Publication and reporting bias are well-documented in the scientific literature. Increased data and code sharing, and access to other sources of information such as Clinical Study Reports (CSRs), address concerns about the non-reproducibility of individual studies. Ironically, greater transparency has given rise to new problems. That is, systematic reviewers and meta-analysts can choose from among dozens of effect sizes that could be included in their analyses. Initiatives that increase validity and reproducibility in individual studies also create opportunities for bias in research synthesis and clinical guideline development. Scientists could adopt new methods to avoid cherry-picking at all stages of research and evidence synthesis.
Fawziyya Heart (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Fawziyya Heart is a singer/songwriter based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Born and raised in the city, she has been influenced by the Philly music scene. Her music is a funk-infused blend of jazz, blues, and soul with anthemic lyrics calling for social change and self-transformation. Fawziyya has performed, recorded, and written several songs with global house music collective World Town Sound System alongside Grammy award winning percussionist Pablo Batista (Alicia Keys/Grover Washington Jr). In 2020, Fawziyya prepared for the release of her debut EP, featuring her own original songs and an array of Philly talent. The songs on the EP are produced by Philadelphia’s legendary Chuck Treece, who remixed songs for Amy Grant and Sting, and played bass on “The River of Dreams” by Billy Joel. Trap Rabbit’s Logan Roth has co-arranged the songs and added his distinct sound to the tracks.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 09/26/2020.
Fay Victor (New York City, New York)
Brooklyn based Fay Victor is an improvising vocalist, composer, lyricist, and educator working with musics that are improvisational and conversational in nature. Victor has released critically acclaimed albums as a leader, including Barn Songs (Northern Spy Records, 2019) and SoundNoiseFunk-Wet Robots (ESP-Disk, 2018). She has worked with musicians including William Parker, Roswell Rudd, Nicole Mitchell, Archie Shepp, Marc Ribot, and Tyshawn Sorey. Touring nationally and internationally, she has performed in venues including Whitney Museum and The Museum of Modern Art (NYC), The Kolner Philharmonie (Germany), De Young Museum (SF), The Winter Jazz Festival (NY) and the Bimhuis (Netherlands). She was the 2017 Herb Albert/Yaddo Fellow in Music Composition and a 2018 recipient of a month-long Headlands Center for the Arts residency. As an educator, Victor teaches her own singing classes and workshops and serves on the faculty of the New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music.
Interviewed by Tamar Sella, 09/14/2020.
Joe Fitter teaches finance in the prestigious Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, where he is also director of the Strategic Finance Academy. He talked with On Topic about what we should be doing to make sure our household finances are in good order with the rapidly shifting economy. Don't cash in your 401Ks, DO make sure you've got several months of emergency money available to you, evaluate your discretionary spending and more. It's all On Topic with IU and Joe Fitter.
Where strong Alabama activist roots meet inadequate wastewater infrastructure, you find the work of Catherine Coleman Flowers. What began as a fight for improved environmental health in Lowndes County has stretched to connect those fighting for environmental justice across the nation with necessary resources.
In this episode, Catherine talks with host Janet McCabe about the pervasive issue of wastewater, how it intersects with climate change, and what it's going to take to solve these problems.
Check out her new book, Waste: One Woman's Fight Against America's Dirty Secret
Video bio of Bob Forbes, inducted to Indiana Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2020;
Bob Forbes started broadcasting WBOW-AM in in 1947 in Terre Haute, Indiana, while still in college at Indiana State Teachers College. In 1948, Forbes joined WTHI-AM when it first went on air. WTHI-TV then launched in 1954 as the 10th Hoosier television station; Forbes was WTHI-TV’s first and only sports anchor at the station until he retired in 1985. He was the longtime voice of the Indiana State Sycamores, including the Larry Bird-led NCAA runner-up basketball team in 1979. Forbes was inducted into the Indiana State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984 for his broadcasting career and into the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association Hall of fame in 2006. He died in January 2005 and was inducted posthumously to the Indiana Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
--Words from the Indiana Broadcast Pioneers
Fred Mayorga (Miami, Florida)
Nicaraguan musician Fred Mayorga was born in Nicaragua in 1987. He is now based in Miami, Florida, where he emigrated in June of 2000. At the age of 12, he learned how to play Marimba de Arco, Nicaragua’s iconic traditional instrument. In Miami, Fred performs widely throughout the area and is studying music production.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 10/15/2020.
Fred Riedel (Gresham, Oregon)
A retired schoolteacher, Fred Riedel is the bandleader, guitar player, and singer for the blues band—swing style—Blues Battalion. The group plays cover tunes as well as original tunes mostly written by Fred. Blues Battalion is John Johnston (keyboard), John McKenney (bass), Shelley Lenz (vocals), Cardo Bonjourno (drums), and Fred Riedel (guitar & vocals).
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 10/06/2020.
Vanderford (Buffalo, South Carolina)
Growing up in Buffalo, South Carolina, Vanderford first learned to play the mouth harp, or harmonica, from his grandfather, who played “old mountain songs” on the instrument. Initially, Vanderford blended the country style of his grandfather with the sound of the Chicago blues. However, an encounter with the Piedmont blues of Arthur “Peg Leg Sam” Jackson would forever change Vanderford’s musical style. As a knowledgeable cultural historian and traditional performer, Vanderford is highly sought after for his performing and recording talents. Vanderford received the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award in 2010.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 10/14/2020.
In the finale of our first season, we talk with environmental attorney Barbara Freese about her new book Industrial Strength Denial and learn about the mechanisms behind corporate climate change denial.
G. Elliott Morris is a data journalist at The Economist and writes mostly about American politics and elections, usually by engaging in a close study of political science, political polling and demographic data. He is responsible for many of The Economist’s election forecasting models, including their 2020 US presidential election forecast.
Gaelynn Lea (Duluth, Minnesota)
Musician Gaelynn Lea won NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest in 2016, and not long after she hit the road with her husband Paul. So far she has toured in forty-five states and nine countries, performing original songs and traditional fiddle tunes. Gaelynn Lea has appeared in several major festivals over the years, including SXSW, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and the Reykjavik Arts Festival. She has also opened for well-known bands such as Wilco, the Decemberists, LOW, the Jayhawks, and the industrial rock supergroup Pigface. In addition to performing and recording, Gaelynn also does speaking engagements about Disability Rights and accessibility in the arts. She uses her music as a platform to advocate for disabled people and to promote positive social change. In recent years, she has shared her perspective on PBS News Hour, The Moth Radio Hour, The Science of Happiness Podcast, and through two widely-viewed TEDx Talks. Gaelynn Lea is currently working on a memoir about her touring adventures and disability advocacy.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 10/19/2020.
Gao Hong (Northfield, Minnesota)
Gao Hong, a Chinese pipa player and composer, began her career as a professional musician at age twelve. She graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, where she studied with pipa master Lin Shicheng. She has received numerous awards and honors. In 2019, Gao Hong became the only musician in any genre to win five McKnight Artist Fellowships for Performing Musicians. In 2018, she became the first Chinese musician to win a Sally Award from the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. She has performed throughout Europe, Australia, Argentina, Japan, Hong Kong, China, and the United States, and has world premiered numerous pipa concerti with important orchestras. She has been featured as both pipa player and composer in important festivals in the U.S. Her composition for solo pipa, “Flying Dragon,” won the 2012 Global Music Award of Excellence-Solo Instrumental (Gold Medal). Since her arrival in the U.S. in 1994, Gao Hong has presented hundreds of educational workshops for elementary through college-age students and has been on the faculty of Metropolitan State University and MacPhail Center for the Arts. Currently, she teaches at Carleton College in Minnesota. During the COVID pandemic, Gao Hong released two CDs, Hunting Eagles Catching Swans (Chinese Pudong pipa music featuring Gao Hong and her master, Lin Shichen) and From Our World to Yours (ARC Music in U.K.).
Interviewed by Raquel Paraíso, 10/21/2020.
Gerardo Meza (Lincoln, Nebraska)
Gerardo Meza is a first-generation Mexican American, the son of immigrants who settled in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1960. He has been creating art since childhood and has worked professionally as an artist for most of his adult life. As a songwriter and musician, he has performed with his band the Mezcal Brothers for the past twenty-two years as the primary songwriter, lead singer, and rhythm guitarist. In 2016, the Mezcal Brothers were inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame. He has toured extensively in the U.S. as well as parts of Europe since 2000 with the Mezcal Brothers. For the past ten years, Gerardo Meza has taught art at Lincoln Public Schools’ Arts & Humanities Focus Program High School.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 09/29/2020.
Germán Marcano (Miami, Florida)
Venezuelan cellist Germán Marcano lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife. Marcano has had many roles over the years, including as principal cello with the Simón Bolívar Symphony. He was also a regular guest soloist and conductor with Venezuela’s main orchestras. Marcano has held teaching positions at the Simón Bolívar Conservatory (El Sistema), Emil Friedman School, the Simón Bolívar University, and the Mozarteum School in Caracas. He has given masterclasses at Grand Valley State, Andrews University, the San Diego Youth Orchestra, the University of Iowa, Louisiana State University and the Madison Cello Institute in Wisconsin, Colombia, and Ecuador. He has premiered works from renowned Latin American composers. Among his publications we can count editions of important Venezuelan cello works and three commercial recordings, two of them devoted to folk Venezuelan music. Marcano holds degrees from the University of Surrey and the Guildhall School of Music (England), and a master’s and DMA from the UW-Madison.
Interviewed by Holly Hobbs, 10/07/2020.