Welcome Home S2E5

We want to do our best to have as many folks as possible feel at home. Here is a transcription of the episode if you don’t get the chance to listen.

INTRODUCTION MUSIC BEGINS TO PLAY

ANNOUNCER – Welcome Home. From Simmons Radio: The Shark and The Simmons Voice, this is Welcome Home. A show about news, culture, and stories that impact Simmons University. No matter where you are we’ll keep you updated on what’s happening at home.

Iz Indelicato  – Welcome back to another week here at Simmons Radio: The Shark and the Simmons Voice. You’re listening to Welcome Home, our collaborative podcast. My name is Iz Indelicato. And I use they or she pronouns.

Katie Cole  – I’m Katie Cole, I use she/her/her pronouns.

Sarah Carlon- And I’m Sarah Carlon and I use she/her pronouns.

Iz Indelicato- So let’s jump right into it with the breaking news that we got this week in an email from President Wooten about the fall 2021 semester. Katie?

Katie Cole  – Yes, so President Lynn Perry Wooten, announced in an email March 25, to the Simmons community that Simmons is actively planning on having in-person classes, on campus events, and at capacity residence housing for the upcoming fall 2021 semester. This is similar to another email announcement that we had earlier in the semester where they said that they were intending to bring students back to campus in the fall. This is a little bit more concrete because it outlines a lot more about planning for the fall semester. So basically, here’s what we know so far, Wooten says that she wants all students back on campus, if possible, Wooten talked a lot about the upgrades to Simmons that they’ve made and health and safety measures. So she said that to ensure the health and safety of the Simmons community, the university has installed a new HVAC system in the main college building and inspected all of the ventilation systems on academic campus will offer quote, readily available PPE, and have strict cleaning and disinfection measures.  In the email she also said that she encourages members of the Simmons community to get the COVID vaccine when they’re eligible. And said that vaccination is vital to the return of on campus activities. But at this time, it’s not required that students be vaccinated to come back to campus. So here’s a quick rundown of the highlights. Basically, in the email she said we want in person learning but it was unclear if Simmons will be using a hybrid learning model or continue to use the online campus platform 2U. She said that study abroad remains cancelled for the fall. She said that the Holmes Sports Center will be open for quote, recreational use, and that more details will be coming in the coming weeks. She said for athletics, Simmons plans to hold in person training for all athletic teams, including preseason training for all fall teams starting in August. And that the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, GNAC is what it’s called, has yet to make their final decision on team competitions. And in terms of international students, she said that the Center for Global Education will be reaching out to international students for updates on the fall semester soon. So that’s that’s what it’s looking like. How are we feeling?

Iz Indelicato  – Honestly, when I first got this email, I was really sad. I think I’ve just been on autopilot for so long. I know that other graduating seniors like myself could speak to that a little bit just kind of trying to keep on keeping on finished my senior year as best as I can, you know make the best out of it. But when I got that email I I was really sad. It kind of all caught up to me that after May you know I’m no longer a Simmons student and I can’t I won’t be able to return to campus as a student but at the same time I’m also really genuinely excited for incoming students and current students who get to go back and kind of experience that you know, a little bit of a college experience and I’ll be excited to see what that looks like.

Katie Cole  – Yeah, and there’s gonna be a lot of renovations to campus. They also said in the email that One Simmons campus renovations have been happening in students absence, so a lot of the spaces are going to look different, including a new Student Media Center for the Simmons Voice and Simmons Radio: The Shark and Sidelines too I believe, and members of the student media. So Sarah, you are always welcome to come back and visit the new Student Media Center.

Iz Indelicato  – Can you just like live in there?

Sarah Carlon  – No, you guys seriously, I’ve been joking around about this, but I’m just gonna be like the attic ghoul at the Media Center. I’m just gonna be up there banging pots and pans. I’m just gonna be like, Oh, that’s Sarah. She’s our she’s our attic ghoul.

Iz Indelicato  – I, I’m feeling strange about the email. I feel like that’s the only word I have because I feel like this is sort of like the most concrete information we’ve got in terms of what what things are going to be like in the future from Simmons throughout this entire pandemic, yet they’re still so so so, so many questions. And I know that in President Wooten’s email, she said that more information would be coming out in the upcoming weeks. And I’m sure there’s still so many things that the university itself is trying to figure out. But I have a lot of questions in terms of hybrid learning and what this might look like for people who are high risk. I mean, I’m sure that these are all things that they’re thinking about. And I know that it’s, you can’t like run through everything and in such a quick email, but these are definitely questions that I still have and hope, hope to have answered whether in emails in the coming weeks or with us student journalists, unfortunately, having to bother some administrators to have them answer our questions. I’m sorry, in advance. 

Katie Cole  – I’m not sorry.

Sarah Carlon  – Oh, yeah. No, me neither.

Iz Indelicato  – We promise we’ll get you on for game shows eventually.

Katie Cole  – Well, yes. Speaking of how this semester is going to look and what’s coming up for the fall. We’re only well, we’ve recently just past the halfway point of this semester. And Sarah, you spoke with some of our professors here at Simmons about how the semester is looking for them. Can you tell us a little bit about what professors are seeing?

Sarah Carlon  – Yeah, definitely Katie. So like you said, we’re just wrapping up March. And that means that we’re two months into the semester, but honestly, it feels like it’s really flying by. At The Voice we’ve done a lot of coverage about this weird remote space that we’re learning in from the point of view of the students but for this piece, I spoke to three professors about their experiences wrapping up the second month of our second full semester online. I spoke to Professor Mukherjee in the economics department, Professor Golden and the English department, and Professor Scotina in the statistics department. Although these faculty members are in very different fields all spoke to the fact that they were able to take what they had learned from last semester about being a remote professor and form their classes for this semester. Professor Scotina spoke to the fact that last semester, he did a mix of synchronous and asynchronous work with lecture videos, activities, and then a weekly live session. But for this semester, he has pivoted to entirely synchronous, which he’s found has worked really well for his classes. He also spoke about breakout rooms, which I think we’ll all be happy to know professors find just as confusing and sometimes unhelpful as we do. He said that he relied too much on breakout rooms last semester. But now what he does is he has a Google Doc shared with the class and he’ll give them a problem to solve like a graph to plot. And then once they’re done, they put it in the doc, and then they can all really discuss together rather than relying on students breakout rooms to dig into the problem, which I think we all can agree it can be kind of awkward sometimes. You know, when you’re in a breakout room with some people that you don’t really know that well, and it’s kind of quiet and then you’re like, “Okay, wait, what are we supposed to be doing?” It’s good to know that professors are thinking more about this and kind of how to use breakout rooms consciously. For Professor Golden, she said that she’s really been having fun creating lecture videos and engaging PowerPoints for her classes. She spoke to the fact that she kind of found a new skill in video editing. Over the summer in tandem with 2U training seminars that all faculty attended she studied online teaching pedagogy, and has been thinking really deeply about making her synchronous and asynchronous work not only engaging in and of itself, but aesthetically engaging as well. In her research, she found that the sweet spot for recorded lectures tends to be between 10 and 15 minutes, so she’s been trying to keep her lectures in that time period. She also said that she has been utilizing fun YouTube lectures as well from professionals in the cinema studies world for her two cinema studies courses this semester. TED Talks as well as digital oral history archives have also been a helpful way for her to provide asynchronous content that is both engaging and also just not her talking. She’s also done remote lectures at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, which I think is super cool. They’ve been doing remote Lecture Series throughout the pandemic, and she’s been participating in that as well. For Professor Mukherjee she said that she was really happy with how last semester went and how the semester has been going. She used the student surveys from last semester to inform her on what needs to be tweaked in her classes. And she spoke really highly of her students and their ability to communicate with her what they need to succeed. For example, She said she checked in with her students toward the end of last semester, just kind of a general well being thing and everyone basically said they were feeling Zoom fatigue, hardcore, something she related to. She said they had a group discussion on ways to re-energize themselves and improve their learning experience. Out of this they mixed up class a little bit by adding video and newspaper discussions relating to course content. Some students even shared articles they had found with the group which fostered really great group discussion. All three professors also spoke to the quality of their students, and how they’ve been really impressed with the hard work they’ve seen throughout their classes even during the conditions of the pandemic. Professor Scotina in particular pointed out the impressive projects coming out of his higher level data science classes, how the intro to stats students have really risen to the challenge of the class, which as Scotina said is not an easy one. Professor Golden also wanted students to know that professors are trying their best, something that Scotina and Mukherjee agreed with. You know, professors are experiencing burnout just like their students. They’re dealing with outside factors from school just like their students. And although Professor Mukherjee did know that she believes hybrid learning is here to stay even in a post COVID world all three professors really miss the close interactions they used to have with their students. As Professor Golden put it, quote, we’re only human. So I did something a little bit lighthearted and maybe a little silly. I asked all three professors if they could describe their experience being a remote teacher in three words. For Professor Mukherjee she said her three words were ‘excellent learning experience’, because she believes that online learning is going to basically be here to stay even post COVID in some capacity, most likely hybrid with some in person in some online, she was really grateful to have this experience to kind of hone her skills as an online professor and take advantage of the resources Simmons provided through 2U to do so. For Professor Golden her three words were ‘visual,’ ‘stressful,’ and ‘new.’ ‘Visual’ and ‘new’ for her are kind of the new ways of engaging with the course content and making sure that her students are also engaging with it while being cognitive of you know, course overload and burnout and workload overload that kind of thing, stressful, unfortunately, I think all of us can relate to this, we all would probably describe the last year as stressful. For Professor Scotina his three words were ‘weird,’ ‘interesting’ and ‘rewarding.’ The biggest thing he’s come to appreciate is the students. Students have a full course load he noted and the classes he teaches are kind of challenging, but they work really hard. He said quote, obviously I knew my students were great, but during remote learning, they really haven’t missed a beat.

Katie Cole  – That makes me really happy. Thank you for doing that story, Sarah. And I loved hearing the three words because I feel like that’s something that students are asked too, like describe your semester in so many words, and it’s good to hear the professors kind of are in the same boat and struggling along with us and learning along with us you know, because sometimes it’s easy to easy to forget that professors are also humans, even though they’re wiser than us theoretically, it’s it’s nice to know that.

Iz Indelicato  – We’re Yeah, we’re all new to this. We’re all in the same boat.

Katie Cole  – Yeah. As High School Musical says, we’re all in this together. 

Iz Indelicato  -*Singing* we’re all in this together.
I think something that’s been comforting to me throughout the pandemic, whether it be like with students or, or professors, or parents, it’s that we are all collectively going through the same thing. Because I feel like at first I was like, Oh, why Boston? Why us? And it’s like, no, why, why everyone why the entire world. And I think at least for me, I feel like I’ve learned to sort of be better with extending compassion and grace and also being able to hold two opposing views at once being like kind of frustrated about certain things, but also being able to kind of pivot and see the other side a little bit more. So I hope that that continues past the pandemic, I think that it will and I also hope that hybrid learning continues past the pandemic, because I feel like it just works, it works well for me, and I think for accessibility and giving students options who might not necessarily otherwise be able to be in the class however, however many hours per week that classes normally are in person.

Katie Cole  – You know, like a buzzword this whole year has been resilience, and like being able to like come back from the challenges and everything like that. And like that’s reflected a lot in the professors talking about kind of managing through the pandemic. And it was it was the one of the main topics of the Simmons Leadership Conference that just happened this past week. So if I may segway…

Iz Indelicato  – Please do take us away.

Sarah Carlon- Okay. Miss Katie Cole with the smooth transition. 

Iz Indelicato- That was a good one. I’m proud of you.

Katie Cole  – Thank you. I try my best. So the Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership hosted its 42nd annual Leadership Conference this past Tuesday, on March 23. And the conference was hosted virtually for the second year in a row. Being that this was a virtual event this year, there was a chat box on the side and it was constantly running, people were constantly messaging. And as the conference started, I saw people from across the United States check in saying hi from Massachusetts, hi from California. And I also saw people from countries like Germany, Ireland and Canada check in in the chat box, which I thought was pretty cool. The hosts of the conference stated in their opening remarks that over 6,000 people were in the attendance of this virtual conference this year. So as I touched upon the theme of this year’s conference or the themes I should say were resilience and authenticity and all of this speakers keynote panel and otherwise mainly focused on those two topics. So the big the big four the main keynote speakers of this event where Tiffany Dufu who is an author and activist who focuses on the advancement of women and girls, Dr. Tererai Trent a world renowned advocate for gender equality education who has spent time helping rebuild schools in her home country of Zmbabwe, Jenna Bush Hager co-host of Today with Hoda and Jenna and the daughter of former president George Bush, and Mindy Kaling an actress a comedian, writer and producer who is well known for her role as writer and actor of the hit tv show The Office. Along with the keynotes there were a series of panels where some of the biggest donors for the event had women of their company come speak and round tables on the topics of the conference there was also a talk with Lynn Perry Wooten who as you mentioned before is the president of Simmons University. Tickets for the event cost upwards of $400 Susan MacKenty Brady the CEO of the Simmons Sniversity Institute for Inclusive Leadership said in a statement to the Voice that the proceeds from this event go towards supporting Simmons’ operating budget and initiatives so this is stuff like student scholarships, leadership programming and facilities management. This was also the first year that the Helen Drinan Visionary Leadership Award was handed out so this was created in 2020 after former Simmons University President Helen Drinan retired and it’s to honor someone who is a women leader who quote embodies our vision of manifesting equity in leadership in our lifetime and that’s according to the Simmons University Institute for Inclusive Leadership website. So former president Helen Drinan actually was virtually there to give out the award and this year’s inaugural award went to the ceo of Boston Children’s Hospital Sandra Fenwick she is the first female ceo of Boston Children’s Hospital and under her leadership Boston Children’s Hospital was named the number one children’s hospital in the United States for seven years in a row by the US News and World Report. She talked a lot about in her acceptance speech being the only woman in the room in medical staff meetings and board meetings and where her leadership has taken the hospital and dedicated the award to the generations of women and her family that’s kind of a quick rundown of everything that happened.

Sarah Carlon  – Thank you so much for reporting on this Katie it sounded like a really phenomenal conference and I love that more students were able to be involved this year like Mack introducing Tiffany Dufu that’s so freakin cool. I also love that not only with the online environment where you know undergrads and other students, faculty, alumns are able to participate more and for free which is great I love that with the online environment we were able to include more people like you said you know people checking in the chat from Germany, Ireland, Canada, across the US and California I just think that’s really cool and speaks to you know the advantages of having this kind of online environment for this type of thing.

Katie Cole  – Right right exactly and in past years there have only been a limited number of students who have been able to attend because of the cost but also because students weren’t just included as much but students were definitely included in this one students were able to attend for free. Mack Mackenzie who is a Simmons senior in the public relations and marketing communications department actually introduced to the first keynote speaker Tiffany Dufu and a lot of people in the chat box were commenting and saying that Mack’s bowtie was really cool which it was it was really cool.

Iz Indelicato  – Okay you guys I think that does it for this week thank you so much for tuning into Welcome Home the student-driven podcast by Simmons Radio: The Shark and the Simmons Voice.

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ANNOUNCER – Welcome Home was created and produced by Iz Indelicato, Katie Cole, and Sarah Carlon. Our editors are Iz Indelicato and Katie Cole. The theme music for this podcast was created by Matthew Harrison, aka Matty Sun. The cover art for this podcast was made by Carly Dickler.  Special thanks to everyone who contributed in the making of this podcast through writing articles, conducting interviews, creating segments, and so much more. This has been a production of Simmons Radio: The Shark, and The Simmons Voice.

A Conversation with Jake McKelvie

Laurel Auth
You just released the album on November 6, it’s your first full length album in a while, right?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, since 2014.

Laurel Auth
Were you writing it during the pandemic? Or have you been writing ever?

Jake McKelvie
No, it was actually recorded, like, two years ago.

Laurel Auth
Really?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah. So it was kind of just sit in there collecting dust for a while. And even prior to recording it. Most of the songs have been written out, you know, at least a year prior to that, in most cases with maybe one one exception. So, yeah, pretty much all the songs are, like three to six years old at this point.

Laurel Auth
Oh, my gosh, I had no idea. So I was gonna ask you what it was like recording during the pandemic, but you didn’t. So what was it like just releasing an album in general during the pandemic? Because it is weird times right now, and I know that you guys are a band who play a lot locally. And you tour a lot, huh?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I mean, that’s kind of why we chose to eventually just release it digitally last month, because, you know, we, like I said, we recorded a while ago already and, you know, the hope would have been the initial plan would have been, we would have gotten physical copies made, and, you know, proper release show, and then some, some amount of touring around that time, too. And so once we finally got everything in place for that to theoretically happen, you know, then the pandemic stuff started. So, you know, everything, obviously, it’s fun on the back burner at that point, and we weren’t practicing for you know, we’re basically not practicing still. And so, yeah, we kind of just decided, at some point, well, if clearly, we’re not going to be able to do any sort of release show or anything for quite a while, so why not? This thing’s already old. So let’s just put it up, you know, online at least, and then we can just sort of get the physical stuff, you know, situated in time. But it felt less pressing, you know, under the circumstance, so. So yeah, basically, we just kind of like, put it, put it online, and just just for the sake of doing something with it, and not feeling like it was just, like, the thing that was already old to us was never gonna actually, you know, become anything. That’s what it was starting to feel like so. Yeah. So it’s been fine. I mean, you know, working out I guess, there’s nothing really to judge that against you know, it’s just like, the people that already like our band seem to like it well enough. And that’s nice. And, you know,

Laurel Auth
yeah, in my opinion, why I wanted to like talk about it at Simmons is it’s just your music is, in general, I feel like it brings a smile to my face. It’s very warm, fuzzy music. And even though your lyrics are pretty, in my opinion, pretty complicated in depth, you’re or maybe not, but from the outside.

Jake McKelvie
I’m glad it seems that way.

Laurel Auth
But otherwise, like both of your songs are danceable and fun. And I feel like that’s what people need right now. Seeing you guys live I know is a great time. Do you have plans to do a big, like post release show eventually?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I mean, ultimately, you know, whenever we’re able to do that again, we’ll you know, we’ll do it. But we don’t have any plans just because it’s obviously everything’s very up in the air still. So I I don’t anticipate it being anytime soon. But yeah.

Laurel Auth
Yeah. And it’s also difficult because some of our favorite Boston venues are closing down too.

Jake McKelvie
I know. Yeah, I know. That’s a bummer. And I don’t know not much to watch to add to the Yeah,

Laurel Auth
it’s just a bummer. The usual the usual places like I haven’t heard about O’Brien’s update recently. But have you guys played there for sure. Right?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah. Yeah, it’s definitely like one of the kind of go to places I do. I follow Ryan, who’s like the booking guy there we’re, you know, social media pals, and I see him still posting somewhat often about just on an O’Brien’s in a general way and it’s it seems like things are still you know, hopefully on track for them to remain but that’s that’s just what I’m gleaning from like vague social media things so I can don’t quote me on that. Yeah.

Laurel Auth
I mean, the DIY scene in New England right now is something that is, I mean, everywhere, not just New England is something that is, I watch a lot because I do booking and it’s difficult to watch. A lot of bands right now just aren’t releasing anything or dropping off the face of the earth. So it’s also cool that you guys released this now. Do you have any local bands that you’ve been particularly into lately, just so I can spread the word? Any projects you’ve been hearing of?

Jake McKelvie
Geez, man, I don’t know, like I have been sort of off the radar also, just in terms of and not super on the pulse of that our drummer plays in another band called happy just to see you. I know they just put out this thing for yesterday, or two days ago, Friday was the latest band camp day and they put out this or they were featured on this compilation of local ish bands doing TV theme songs.

Laurel Auth
I saw that they did the Cheers theme song. So good.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I listened to that they did a really good job. So yeah, I mean, that band is we’ve been friends with them for a while, but I hate to like not really having an answer. Otherwise fair, but yeah, I’ve been not super super with in terms of that stuff. And it’s,

Laurel Auth
there’s not much to be with right now.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah. Cuz like yeah, it’s, I mean, like you said, people are sort of just seeming to fall off the face of the earth. And it is a weird thing to think, you know, when things kind of resurface, how many of those people are still going to start playing shows and being in bands, you know, to the same extent that they were previous? Hopefully, most of them like yeah, I don’t know, it is a weird thing to just be like, I don’t know how many people I know that have been involved with this sort of stuff will remain that way. You know, a year from now after having been stagnant for like, the better part of two years, you know, it’s kind of odd.

Laurel Auth
Yeah it’s, what how you think your band is going to return to normal? Or do you think Have you been writing at all still or just hanging out?

Jake McKelvie
Mostly hanging out. I don’t Yeah, I haven’t been doing a tremendous amount of writing or anything, but I certainly assume that our band will will still you know, be very active once we’re able to start again. Like I have the thought and I think there’s actual reason to believe this I don’t think it’s too far fetched but I like to think that we’re our band is one of those bands that just always exists you know, not not necessarily in a super prominent way but I feel like we could be that type of band where we just kind of you never break up and even if we don’t you know play constantly we’ll still we’ll still be there

Laurel Auth
That’s true friendship and I you guys definitely are a staple around here I’m I’m when I first entered the music scene in the area I’m 21 so when I was working I actually I bar tended one of your shows once at Union and I knew about you guys pretty quickly so I feel like you guys are a staple in the in at least the scene around here. I’m excited to to hear you guys play once again. And I also noticed I was looking at your Spotify and you have a ton of streams on your on your previous full length LP is do you hope that the new one is gonna just exponentially top pop it out or?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, we you know, we just got to keep keep piggybacking on our previous success was riding our own coattails to the top

Laurel Auth
your song mini monster has 83,000 streams. That’s that’s that’s pretty good. That’s a classic.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, that’s, that’s that’s been our, you know, our hit if we were to have one. That was it, I guess. But yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I haven’t been doing a tremendous amount of like, I mean, I’ve been making occasional posts about the album, I didn’t really do a great deal of press, you know, anything. I sent a couple emails to people I sorta know saying like, Hey, here’s our new thing if you’re interested, but yeah, I don’t know, I sort of just don’t know, I’m hoping people here. You know, as however, however the word gets to them. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, like I said, I, it seems like, we have a small, but fairly devoted sort of core group of people that, you know, we’ve just become familiar with, as, you know, like, fans slash, friends, we see it shows over the years and the people I’ve heard from in that realm, you know, have had nice things to say about Yeah. So, you know,

Laurel Auth
Something I remember every time I’ve seen you, as people are always singing along with you. And that’s so fun. That’s the best energy to have at a show. So, I hope that the new album will be like that for you guys. One day.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I hope so too, I mean, it’s funny, because, you know, again, like, the songs are mostly pretty old at this, or, you know, they’re several years old. And so most of them, we’ve been playing in shows for that amount, same amount of time. And so some of them, you know, a couple people have come in saying, like, Oh, it was interesting to hear the song recorded after, you know, hearing you play it it’s on an acoustic guitar for a few years, you know, or, or just, you know, after hearing the band play a, you know, live, you know, hearing how it’s changed, you know, over the years or what have you, but, um, so, yeah, I don’t know, I, I, I guess they’re the reason I’m mentioning that just because I use some of the songs I feel like have become staples to some degree, you know, like, the Live Set. And so it’s kind of funny to sort of have these songs like we’ve been playing for years and then presenting them down the road is like new songs when they’re, you know, when they’re just not.

Laurel Auth
Well, what is your favorite not new new song to play off the new album? Would you say?

Jake McKelvie
well, I think that the first song on it is actually the, the newest in terms of like, that. The first song is called the clot the wobble, and

Laurel Auth
it’s super fun.

Jake McKelvie
Thanks. Yeah, that’s the one that was sort of written and, you know, arranged to whatever degree we have to arrange songs, you know, like, the, the, the, the latest, you know, leading up to recording. So, yeah, basically, we, I remember, when we went into start recording, like the, we had gotten together, like the day before, to do one final practice, and that song was still kind of a new song. And it was sort of a last minute addition to, you know, the set of songs that we knew we’d be recording. In that one, we were still kept we, we made like a last minute, you know, chord change that sort of, you know, had a considerable effect on like, the core. You know, the song like it was one of the one of the chords we changed, and at the last minute, and that’s just a long winded way of saying that, I guess that song is the is the least old out of the bunch you know, still still felt exciting to play to, to a degree but I think all of them I mean, you know, it’s they’re all it’s just fun to play, so I don’t necessarily get sick of playing any individual song. I wouldn’t think

Laurel Auth
How would you self describe your genre?

Jake McKelvie
Um, I mean, as just a very generic catch all term. Yeah, actually just say indie rock, but, um, yeah, I don’t know. It’s sort of like I have you. I feel like the word like I’ve used the word like goofball to like it’s got like a goofball-ness to it in this sort of somewhat silly, but

Laurel Auth
I think that’s what makes it so great. And so listenable.

Jake McKelvie
You know, bouncy to Yeah, it’s like it’s but it’s guitar music like it’s just kind of guitar rock. Music I guess, ultimately. Yeah.

Laurel Auth
Yeah. And when you tour you are usually just yourself, right? Just, you

Jake McKelvie
um, yeah, kind of became that way at some point, just purely due to like scheduling or just because I was able to more than my bandmates were so, yeah, more often than not in terms of actual sort of proper touring, it became just, mainly just me, you know, like an acoustic guitar. And then, you know, we’ll get like a, maybe a couple of weeks of full band touring in the year outside of all the weekends and one awesome things we do. Yeah.

Laurel Auth
What has been your Do you have like a favorite show? Ever? That’s gonna be my.

Jake McKelvie
Um, I mean, I don’t have I can’t say there’s like, there’s one in particular. You know, there’s, there’s a handful of sort of, I don’t know, memories that pop up just in terms of exciting, you know, they were they were fun. Because, because there is a lot of a lot of people dancing or singing rowdy. I mean, yeah, I mean, any of those sorts of scenarios where there’s, you know, a few people singing along or what have you. I mean, it’s, that is the very gratifying thing. You know, cliche, though. It may be it’s, it’s, it always feels really good. And so yeah, there’s been a lot of scenarios like that where it’s just been people. There’s a couple people that like, that’s, that’s great.

Laurel Auth
Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of people love to see you play my favorite show. I mean, I love your original music, as I’ve mentioned, but my favorite shows definitely that I missed this year where Halloween shows big bummer. That those didn’t happen. I also saw your Halloween show last year where you guys played? Like, I think you played like dad rock or something. I can’t remember.

Jake McKelvie
Oh, yeah.

Laurel Auth
Those shows in general.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. We were sort of loosely. Yeah, we just sort of happened to have a handful of those, like classic rock covers in our repertoire. So we decided to turn that into our covers. But yeah, I mean, I definitely. Part of the reason he, like no particular things popped in my head is because it’s been has been kind of like, not at the front of my mind in that, in that sense lately. But yeah, I also just tend to things like that we’ll all come up with an answer. Like as I’m falling asleep. That’s the one I should have mentioned, that was fun.

Laurel Auth
Well, I mean, productivity and creativity in general, during times like this are insanely difficult. I wouldn’t expect very many songwriters to be coming up with new stuff right now. And if you are go you like, That’s hard. So I’m sure it’s all gonna sound great at the end, and I have not mentioned the rest of your band yet. So you have Matt bacon on drums. And then what is the name of your bass player again?

Jake McKelvie
Nick dhruba.

Laurel Auth
Nice. And do they help you? So do they? Do you mostly write the songs and then they come in and help you fill in the rest? Or do you work all together as a band?

Jake McKelvie
Um,yeah, it’s pretty much the case that I write the songs and then just kind of, yeah, show them then I’ll it just play it for them. Generally, you know how to practice and then they’ll just sort of, yeah, they’ll build. they’ll write their parts and yeah, fill in the gaps and whatnot. Yeah, that’s pretty much how it’s always gone. We just sort of, sometimes I’ll send like a demo ahead of time, and you know, I’ll email them a demo or something, but either that or just Yeah, just play it a couple times a practice, and then we’ll just kind of just keep trying to play it until it morphs. And there was a song.

Laurel Auth
I think that’s a great way.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, I mean, it’s I, I don’t really know of another way. I mean, I guess we, I don’t know that we’ve really made a great effort of like, writing a song together, necessarily. I guess we’ve dabbled in that, to a certain degree. I don’t, I don’t find that to be my most effective way of doing things like that. Probably just added self consciousness if nothing else. But yeah, I don’t know. We just kind of just kind of try to try to turn the scraps into a song, I guess.

Laurel Auth
You do well.

Jake McKelvie
Well, thanks. I appreciate it. Yeah, sometimes we’ll have there’s there’s been a fair number that haven’t quite made the made the cut, or will be sort of playing, you know, trying to play it and then we’ll, we’ll finish and I’ll like, in my head, I want to have this like, I’m just gonna step back and close my eyes and just kind of like, envision what the missing pieces here. And then, but it never quite works out that way. And then I’ll, you know, just kind of have this, like, I don’t really know if this is a good song, or I don’t know if this is gonna become a song for us. So I don’t know. They can’t all be they can’t all be around ones, I guess.

Laurel Auth
Yeah, they can’t. That’s true. Well, do you have anything else that you want to say about the new album or anything? Or?

Jake McKelvie
Um, no, I don’t know. I, you know, it’s, it’s there if you want to. If you don’t want to, then it’s you never have to. You never have to load it up on your computer if you don’t want to but we’re, we’ll have the physical versions floating around in the coming months. If all goes according to plan, so yeah, right. Right now, it’s just still just the digital stuff. But if Yeah, people are are hankering for the hard copy. You know, they’ll be here sooner than later.

Laurel Auth
You’ll probably released that on Bandcamp. Maybe?

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And then you’re

Laurel Auth
streamable on Spotify and Apple Music and all that.

Jake McKelvie
Yep.

Laurel Auth
Nice. Well, it was great talking to you, Jake.

Jake McKelvie
Yeah, same here. Laurel, thanks for asking.

Welcome Home S2E3: A Slow Return to Normalcy – Transcribed

INTRODUCTION MUSIC BEGINS TO PLAY

ANNOUNCER – Welcome Home. From Simmons Radio: The Shark and The Simmons Voice, this is Welcome Home. A show about news, culture, and stories that impact Simmons University. No matter where you are we’ll keep you updated on what’s happening at home.

Sarah Carlon  

Welcome back to Welcome Home. My name is Sarah Carlon, and I use she/her pronouns.

Katie Cole  

My name is Katie Cole. I use she/her/hers pronouns.

Iz Indelicato  

And my name is Iz Indelicato. And I use they or she pronouns. We’ve got a very exciting episode today, lots of things to talk about. So we might as well jump right into it.

Katie Cole  

Yeah, let’s jump right into it. So there are signs that things are returning to somewhat normal on Simmons’ campus. The Simmons admissions office has begun offering in-person tours for prospective students in-person tours began March 2. I spoke with the director of admissions Kate Innes about this and she said there has been a lot of interest from families wanting to take tours. Currently, tours are only offered to admitted students because they are making their college decisions soon. And they want to see the physical space on campus before they commit. Innes told me they put a whole host of safety measures in place to protect both the Simmons community and the visiting students. Tours are limited to one family per tour. Visitors are required to double mask and tour guides are fitted with N-95 masks. They also bought little microphones for the tour guides to wear so that prospective students can hear them while keeping six feet apart. Innes said that they also had to create a new route for tours. This is because admissions didn’t want visitors to cross-contaminate with students on campus. And also because Simmons is currently undergoing construction. So the new route takes visitors into the Park Science and Palace Road buildings and around the quad on academic campus but not really into any other buildings because a lot of them are under construction. Visitors also tour the residential campus. As you know students are currently living on residential campus so the interim director of Residence Life Amelia McConnell said that the University had to be very intentional about the tour routes and protocols that they put in place to keep students safe. Tours are allowed to go around the residential quad and into Simmons Hall, which is currently completely unoccupied by students.

Sarah Carlon  

How many different tour guides are there? Are a lot of Simmons students being tour guides or is it just a few? 

Katie Cole  

Yeah, so they have about four to six tour guides being both Campus Ambassadors and staff from the admissions office. I actually spoke to a current Campus Ambassador Hayley Arnold and she is a senior she’s been a Campus Ambassador since her sophomore year. And she said that she’s really excited to give tours again, because this is going to be her last sense of normalcy on Simmons campus because she’s graduating this year. So this is going to be basically like the last regular Simmons thing that she gets to do. She said that maybe like last fall, if you had told her that her last normal thing would be giving tours in her senior year, she would have been really disappointed. But now she’s kind of accepted that things have completely changed. And you have to change what you are excited about and you have to shift your baseline, you have to change your goals.

Iz Indelicato  

Yeah, no, sort of what you said about Hayley’s sort of like the disappointment that she would have felt last fall, but now kind of heralding in the new the new wave of Simmons students. So that’s definitely an interesting point. 

Katie Cole  

Yeah, I think a lot of students – Innes said that there are a lot of students who are really interested in being on campus and they haven’t even opened it to the larger community of prospective students. They’re just talking to admitted students right now. So there’s definitely a lot of interest to see what the physical space of Simmons is all about, especially if there’s a chance that we could be in person in the fall.

Iz Indelicato  

Katie, going off of what you said about the excitement that folks have to be back on campus on March 5, Res Life, sent an email announcing that Simmons would be allowing 30 more students to come live on campus, and an interview that I had with interim director of residential life Amelia McConnell, she explained that the decisions for more students to be allowed on campus has always been an option. So as Katie reported earlier this year fall semester that residence halls will be opened to 50% capacity, meaning around 500 students. So currently, there are 180 students living on campus, and McConnell explained that as people’s circumstances have changed, and we’ve gotten into the spring semester and have adapted a bit more students may feel better about living on campus, or are more excited to live on campus, which is why they opened up those 30 spots. Junior student, Ailia Rochefort moved on to Simmons campus before the start of the spring semester because she wanted to be in the city and sort of have more of a college experience. And she’s currently living in suite style living. And she thinks that Simmons is doing a good job in terms of COVID safety, and that the protocols are pretty easy to follow. And it seems like students are taking things seriously. So I asked her if she had any concern about if more students came on campus if that feeling of safety or protocols would change. And Ailia said that she’s not feeling that way, and Amelia McConnell also said that with the system that they have in place, and how well it’s it’s been going for students and how well Simmons students are following the protocols. She’s not concerned about that either. And something that I found pretty interesting is that during the fall semester, there were over 80 conduct reports for not following COVID-19 guidelines. And there were far less students than the 180 that are on campus right now. So adapting sort of protocols and figuring out the best methods for keeping students safe on campus seems to be proving effective. And it’ll be interesting to see if those 30 on-campus spaces which are on a first come first serve basis will fill up as we are in the middle of March. And there is only a half a semester left. So it will be definitely interesting to see what happens with that.

Katie Cole  

Yeah, I really wonder if students are going to kind of take up that opportunity to live on campus again. For me personally, it’d be a hard sell to move halfway through the semester. But I will be really interested to see if some students take take the opportunity.

Sarah Carlon  

I feel like also there’s a lot to be said for Internet access too, and just kind of having your own space. Where I’m living at home right now, I do have my own room. I have my own workspace, but some folks can’t always say the same. So I can imagine that it would be good to have like your own workspace in your own area and dependable internet access. We kind of opened this episode with it seems like a sense of normalcy is starting to come back, which is definitely really exciting.

Iz Indelicato  

Sarah, as you said, we are seemingly sort of headed to a place of normalcy. Vaccine rollout is definitely something that people are looking forward to. And again, the warmer weather just kind of allowing for us folks in New England to be able to socialize with one another. And this is very exciting information and things to look forward to especially as we are at the one-year mark of the COVDI-19 pandemic and everything really shutting down. However, as we as we reach this point there are those feelings of hope, but according to experts that I spoke with, we could be seeing a widespread anniversary reaction. An anniversary reaction is defined as a “unique set of unsettling feelings, thoughts or memories that occur on the anniversary of a significant experience, according to Psychology Today. These anniversary reactions can manifest in multiple ways… emptiness, irritability, anxiety, an overall sense of feeling unsettled, and so much more, it can really manifest differently for different people. Dr. Hugo Kamya is a professor at the Simmons School of Social Work, and his scholarly and practice interests include trauma in children and families and health disparities. And he said that it’s not uncommon for people to have an anniversaryanni reaction of one kind or another to traumatic events such as this pandemic. While, external reminders such as seeingnews, notifications, or things on social media make it nearly impossible to be unaware that we’re at this one year mark, the interesting thing about these anniversary reactions is that your body can just kind of know based off of the weather and the time of year and the season. So I think that’s definitely something that’s super interesting to keep in mind. And experiencing these feelings of trauma being recreated for the first time can be distressing, which is why identifying the cause is an important part of coping and getting through the reaction.

Sarah Carlon  

It’s just funny how you said how Dr. Kamya noted that like even changes in the weather can bring about stuff like that, because I know a couple days ago, I was outside doing yard work and I got like this wave of sadness, and not like nostalgia, but I was thinking of myself a year prior probably to that exact day doing the same thing and just kind of being unaware of like what was going to happen and having a lot of anxiety and confusion and fear around the pandemic. You know, we still didn’t quite know what was going on. So it’s just interesting that even the weather like stuff like that, March, it’s simultaneously like, “yes, it’s gonna be warm and spring.” But also, I was getting these memories like, Oh my gosh, a year ago at this time, I was just basically trying to cope.

Katie Cole  

Yeah, Sarah, thank you so much for sharing that. I really appreciate it. And I know that we had put up a poll on our Instagram story or a question sticker on the Voice’s Instagram story to ask students how they were feeling about hitting this one-year mark of the pandemic. Iz can you share some of the responses that you found most pressing?

Iz Indelicato  

Yeah, absolutely Katie. We got a bunch of different responses. A lot of the the key words that we got were grief, isolation, things feeling surreal, anxiety, sadness, nostalgia, exhaustion, kind of all all across the board. And Dr. Kamya said that not only are our feelings, negative feelings that people feeling about the pandemic at its core, but it’s also everything that has come along with the pandemic in this past year, which he said was sort of a domino effect as as this has impacted people’s finances, home life, and an overall sense of security with their lives. And Dr. Daniel O’Brien, a public policy and urban affairs professor at Northeastern University, who is leading a study on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Bostonians said that multiple different factors including disparities of different socioeconomic statuses, housing security, races, and the list goes on and on can definitely contribute to the way that the pandemic is affecting people. And specifically with the college student demographic Kamya said that he’s seen an increase in stress, anxiety and the development of depressive symptoms in students with some even engaging in self harming behaviors due to the psychological effects of the pandemic. And he said that this can really affect student’s relationship with schoolwork, tests, quizzes, grades, all of that, which can further those distressing feelings. And while those things such as grades and schoolwork and things may seem minuscule, they can tap into painful and vulnerable places for students.

Katie Cole  

Okay, Iz, knowing all of this harsh reality of what trauma reactions are, what are some ways that people can cope with trauma reactions?

Iz Indelicato  

That’s a really good question. So in talking to Dr. O’Brien and Dr. Kamya, I sort of made a little list of different things that people can do. Number one is understanding that the pandemic is a traumatic experience and that having strong emotions is a completely normal response. Kamya said that it’s important to be very kind to ourselves and show compassion to ourselves and others, and let us feel our own feelings and and not beat ourselves up about it. Number two is that it’s important to recognize that it’s going to take time to heal and process this. Dr. O’Brien said that adjusting to the new normal, whatever that may look like as we get into the warmer weather, and as vaccine rollout continues, it’s still going to be challenging because it’s a disruption to our current schedules. O’Brien says that he thinks that we’re going to see a continued internal strife persist for months, which is honestly, for me at least a little bit disappointing. But I know it’s just part of the process. And even though mental health challenges that aren’t anticipated will come up, it’s important to be talking about them with one another to sort of normalize it, so people aren’t feeling bad about feeling bad when seemingly things are getting better. Number three is finding ways to take care of yourself and process all that has taken place. So mindfulness, relaxation, maintaining a sleep schedule, getting fresh air, and exercise are all good places to start, according to Kamya. And he even suggested which I thought was really interesting, bibliotherapy, which is reading books and poetry and other literature as a way to sort of to understand the experiences that one is going through, so they don’t feel like they’re alone with them. And then something that sort of branches off from that after doing some research about bibliotherapy is journaling and just in writing as well, in order to process those feelings, which I thought was interesting. Kamya also drove home the point that it’s now more important than ever to be intentionally setting aside time for self care. Number four, this sort of also branches off of self care, at least for me, is being cognizant of what content you consume on social media and the conversations that you’re having. We might have trauma responses just based off of the weather and the seasons changing, but seeing these constant memories in front of us could also contribute to recreating some of those traumatic experiences. Something that a therapist that I know, said is getting rid of Timehop and turning off Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat memories, because seeing those pop up and see “Oh, one year ago today,” this this that and the other thing is is just not good and can pull you back pretty quickly. And last but not least, number five is finding safe methods for social interaction with others. So I’ve quoted this story multiple times, but Julia Marcus an epidemiologist and professor at Harvard Medical School said in her article for the Atlantic, that an all or nothing approach to social distancing is ineffective and can do more harm than good because it just creates a sense of shame and secrecy and humans are social beings. It’s important to be social with one another, finding a way that you can do that safely is crucial. Dr. O’Brien said that it’s a matter of finding the sweet spot about where you’re comfortable with, where you don’t feel like you’re straining in either direction, either being too lenient with restrictions, or to pull back and in your own shell. So calculating the probability of risk and what you’re comfortable with, and the risk of those around you are all very important. Kamya said that having meaningful connections with people who add to one sense of self is important in terms of returning to that mental self that that some of us may have had before the pandemic. And lastly, this one thing that Dr. Kamya said that stuck out to me is that “I think one way to look at what has happened in the past year is that we’ve been fragmented, and as fragmented people, whether emotionally, mentally, physically, that fragmentation needs to be brought back together,” adding that we need to find ways to do that authentically so we can find our center selves. Which I think is a really, again, just a poignant point to be made, especially with the fragmentation that’s happened with pandemic and in an election year and everything else that has gone on in 2020, and now 2021. So I hope that these tips can offer some help for folks or at least knowing that the feelings that they are feeling are normal. So a huge thanks to Dr. Kamya and Dr. O’Brien for taking their time to speak with me about this and share some of their insights.

So as you’ve heard before, we are always looking for ways for people to contribute and get involved in the Welcome Home podcast, The Shark, and the Voice. One of the ways that folks have been getting involved is with interviews which is what the Shark’s music director Laurel Auth did recently with Jake McKelvie of Jake McKelvie & the Countertops. Here is her interview with them and you can head over to the Shark’s podcast feed to listen to the full interview, which will be linked in this podcast description.

Katie Cole  

And Simmons Radio: The Shark is also looking for Simmons musicians. The Shark at Home is an interactive and collaborative project between Simmons Radio and you! The musicians of Simmons University. So we’re looking for Simmons University musicians of any instrument, any genre, covers, originals, whatever you feel is best. You’ll be featured on the Simmons Radio IGTV and the Shark’s website. If this sounds super interesting to you, and you want to showcase your music for Simmons Radio: The Shark, you can email our music director, Laurel, her email is [email protected]*** to get started. (NOTE: Laurel’s email address was misstated in the episode, and her correct address is [email protected])

Sarah Carlon  

Here is Laurel with Jake McKelvie of Jake McKelvie & the Countertops. Take a listen.

Jake McKelvie  

Like the better part of two years. You know, it’s kind odd

Laurel Auth  

Yeah, it’s what do you how you think your band is going to return to normal? Or do you think Have you been writing at all still or just hanging out?

Jake McKelvie  

Mostly hanging out? I don’t uh, yeah, I haven’t been doing a tremendous amount of writing or anything but I certainly assume that our band will will still you know, be very active once we’re able to start again. I was like I have the thought and I think there’s actual reason to believe this. I don’t think it’s too far fetched. But I like to think that we’re the band is one of those bands that just always exists. And you know, not not necessarily in a super prominent way but I feel like we could be that type of band where we just kind of we never break up and even if we don’t you know play constantly we’ll still will still be there.

Laurel Auth  

That’s true friendship and I mean, you guys definitely are a staple around here. I’m I’m when I first entered the music scene in the area 21 so when I was working, I actually i bartended one of your shows once Cooper Union and I knew about you guys pretty quickly so I feel like you guys are a staple in the in at least the scene around here. I’m excited to to hear you guys play once again. And I also noticed I was looking at your Spotify and you have a ton of streams on your on your previous full length. LP is do you hope that the new one is gonna just exponentially top top it out? or?

Jake McKelvie  

Yeah, we you know, we just got to keep keep piggybacking on our previous success was riding our own coattails to the top

Ja  

your shot mini monster has 83,000 streams. That’s, that’s, that’s pretty good. That’s a classic

Jake McKelvie  

Yeah, that’s, uh, that’s that’s been our, you know our hit if we were to have one that was it, I guess but uh, yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I haven’t been doing a tremendous amount of like, I mean, I’ve been making occasional posts about the album, I didn’t really do a great deal of like, press, you know, anything. I sent a couple emails to people I sorta know saying like, Hey, here’s our new thing if you’re interested, but yeah, I don’t know, I sort of just, I don’t know, hoping people hear it, you know, as how well however, however, the word gets. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, like I said, I, it seems like, we have a small, but fairly devoted sort of core group of people that, you know, we’ve just become familiar with, as, you know, like, fan slash, friends, we see it shows over the years, and the people I’ve heard from in that realm, you know, have had nice things to say about Yeah. So, you know,

Laurel Auth  

something I remember every time I’ve seen you, as people are always singing along with you. And that’s so fun. That’s the best energy to have at a show. So, I hope that the new album will be like that for you guys. One day.

Jake McKelvie  

Yeah, I also do I mean, it’s funny, because, you know, again, like, the songs are mostly pretty old at this, or, you know, they’re several years old. And so most of them we’ve been playing in at shows for that amount, same amount of time. And so some of them, you know, a couple of people have written saying, like, Oh, it was interesting to hear the song recorded after, you know, hearing you play this on an acoustic guitar for a few years, you know, or, or just, you know, after hearing the band play it, you know, alive and, you know, hearing how it’s changed, you know, over the years or what have you, but, um, so, yeah, I don’t know, I, I, I guess the reason I’m mentioning that is just because I’ve used some of the songs I feel like have have become staples to some degree, you know, like the Live Set. And so it’s kind of funny to sort of have these songs like we’ve been playing for years and then presenting them down the road is like new songs when they’re, you know, when they’re just not.

Ja  

Well, what is your favorite not new new song to play off the new album? Which,

Jake McKelvie  

well,

Jake McKelvie  

I think that the first song on it is actually the, the newest in terms of like that. The first song is called clot the wobble and

Unknown Speaker  

it’s super fun. Thanks. Uh,

Jake McKelvie  

yeah, that’s the one that was sort of written and, you know, arranged to whatever degree we have to arrange songs, you know, like, the, the, the, the latest, you know, leading up to recording so, yeah, basically, we, I remember, when we wanted to start recording, like the, we had gotten together like the day before, to do one final practice and that song was still kind of a new song. And it was sort of a last minute addition to you know, the set of songs that we knew we’d be recording in that one. We were still kept we we made like a last minute you know, core and change that sort of you know, had a considerable effect on like the, the core you know, the song like it was one of the one of the chords we we changed and at the last minute and that’s just the long winded way of saying that I guess that song is the is the least old out you know, still still Felt exciting to play.

Sarah Carlon  

Thank you to Laurel for that excellent interview. Again, if you want to get involved. We are always looking for collaborations. please reach out to the Simmons voice at [email protected] or Simmons Radio: The Shark that is [email protected] Also these will be in the description of this episode. Another piece of exciting news the 42nd annual Leadership Conference is coming up on March 23. It’s understandably going to be online. Some of the speakers include New York Times bestselling author Angela Duckworth, journalist Jenna Bush, Hager, actress Mindy Kaling, and author Tiffany du feu, amongst a host of other really impressive women who are coming to talk. The event starts at 9am Eastern Standard Time and will include conversations and panels around the conferences theme, which is inspiring resilience and authenticity. In the past, there were only a small number of Simmons undergraduate students who were able to attend, but this year, it is now free for Simmons undergrads, graduate students, faculty and alumni to register and attend the event. So I am super, super excited for this. Now that we kind of we all can go I know, it’s it was kind of a point of contention in the past that not as many undergrads could go. Katie, if you wanted to talk a little bit about it, cuz I know that you are going to be covering it as well.

Katie Cole  

Yeah, I’m super thrilled to be covering it. I can anticipate what to expect but I don’t really know what to expect, because I’ve never been to one of the conferences before. And I’m really excited because tickets are usually really expensive. This is a fundraising event for Simmons. Really, it’s how Simmons funds some of its scholarships, I think specifically for graduate students. I’m looking forward to hearing some of the speakers so definitely be checking in with the voice to see the the happenings of the conference. And yeah, so look out for that coming March 23. All right. So I think that well wraps it up for this episode. Thank you so much for listening. As always keep an eye on the Voice and The Shark. We have so many cool things on our docket coming out always publishing news stories.

Sarah Carlon  

But also I just wanted to say really quick before we go that the amazing, wonderful, incredibly talented, Bridget Fong updated our logo for the Voice which I’m so so so excited about. If you’ve been talking to me for the past week, you know that this is basically what I’ve been talking about. So a huge huge thank you to Bridget Fong for portfolio link will be in the description for this episode. So please go check her out. commission her she’s so freaking talented. 

Iz Indelicato  

Yay Bridget! Thank you!

Katie Cole  

So now that officially wraps up our episode for this week. Thank you so much for listening. And we will catch you back here next week. On three y’all.

Sarah Carlon  

On three. Let’s do it.

Katie Cole  

Ready? Uno, Dos, Tres,

OUTRO MUSIC BEGINS PLAYING 

ANNOUNCER – Welcome Home was created and produced by Iz Indelicato, Katie Cole, Abby Vervaeke, and Sarah Carlon. Our editors are Iz Indelicato and Katie Cole. The theme music for this podcast was created by Matthew Harrison, aka Matty Sun. The cover art for this podcast was made by Carly Dickler.  Special thanks to everyone who contributed in the making of this podcast through writing articles, conducting interviews, creating segments, and so much more. This has been a production of Simmons Radio: The Shark, and The Simmons Voice.

Food Insecurity on Campus: Episode 2

Simmons student, Molly Jean Henebury’s two-part podcast “Food Insecurity on Campus” has been nominated for “Best Podcast” at the 2021 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards. When Simmons campus closed, students were left with a slew of questions. The uncertainties for on-campus students who require residential housing were overwhelming. These students were initially allowed to stay in their dorm rooms and continued to have meals in the Fens. Students’ circumstances would change drastically as the semester carried on, moving to hotels and figuring out meals, all while continuing their studies. In this episode, Molly Jean Henebury interviews fellow Simmons student Sarah Lemire about her experience generally, but also in terms of how this situation affected her food security. Sarah is working at a local Boston Hospital as an essential employee and just finished her senior year at Simmons. Check back to hear the second episode and The Shark’s other IBS nominations. Follow along on Twitter and Instagram (@radiosimmons) and head to our website for a full transcription of the episode.

[intro music]

Molly Jean Henebury (voice over)

So you know how in infomercials, they always try to sweeten the deal and say, “but wait, there’s more!” And then they tack on like a whole other set of what they’re selling? That’s kind of where we’re at, but make it student food insecurity. Hi, my name is Molly Jean Henebury and today we are continuing our conversation about food insecurity at Simmons University. This time we’re talking about how COVID-19 has put a magnifying glass on this issue. In this episode, I will be talking to fellow Simmons senior Sara Lameer (sp). Sarah is a really good friend of mine and she’s currently being put up in a hotel by Residence Life as she is an essential employee at a Boston hospital. My conversation with Sarah is not just centered around food insecurity as a student in the agent COVID. But also just generally what this reality is like for her. Of course, this interview was done over the phone, so I apologize for the quality but also I don’t because social distancing. Gotta do it. Okay.

Sara 

Hello?

Molly Jean

 Hi!

Molly Jean (voice over)

Sara and I took a few minutes just to catch up for diving into the nitty gritty of everything 

Molly Jean

How is experience overall then from the residence halls to where y’all are at now?

Sara

I mean, it’s definitely  different. 

Molly Jean

Of course. Not quite The Suite Life of Zack and Cody we all imagined

Sara

I truly thought it would be the sweet life. We are not out here. 

Molly Jean

(laughs) No! 

Sara

I am not London Tipton in this moment.

Molly Jean (voice over)

I then asked Sara to get into her meals at the hotel and how the situation was comparing to eating at Simmons. She does give a quick shout out to Alba (sp), who is a dining services worker at Simmons who we love. So cheers to Alba.

Sara

I know, you know I love my girl Alba. She really cheffed me up a beautiful veggie filled omelet every morning. 

Molly Jean

Mhmm

Sara

And like here for breakfast, we have like just some bagels, nonfat yogurt. And that’s about it. So they give us a stipend of $12 a day, which was actually just like, all loaded onto our Fenway card at once. So

Molly Jean

 yeah, 

Sara

I cook them breakfast because I’m trying to get my veggies in. But then for dinner, we get takeout from Yard House, and it’s like the same menu like a weekly menu, so like every weekday, it’s the same thing. So like today, what day is it, Monday, we got our chicken fingers, some dippies and some fries. So that’s a good start to the week. 

(both laugh)

Molly Jean

How’s the communication been with administration? I know, you had mentioned before that at the start, Corey Zohlman was in touch but 

Sara

I think it’s like, I believe he’s part of Student Life, I don’t know if that’s true. But it’s like Student Life, The Office has been communicating. So like first when we were still on campus over spring break, they called me in because I was approved, and then they were like, asking me to further proove that I needed to be on campus. Later, I got an email saying that everyone had to move off campus when I called them back and I was, like, very confused and they were like no, you’re good. You can be on campus, like no worries. But then like the next day, they’re like, yeah, everyone has to move off campus like, you’re moving to a hotel, tomorrow, you gotta get out of here by like, four o’clock.

Molly Jean

Getting the rug pulled out from under you like that after the rug was just gently patted and placed and they’re like, no, no, the rug is still here. And for the to be like just kidding! No rug!

Sara

Yeah like just going back and forth like five times. It was very confusing, but so like going along with that, yeah, when everyone was still allowed to be on campus. They were serving meals in the Fens.

Molly Jean

Okay,

Sara

 and so, like, that went on for like two days. But then I like, hadn’t gone there, like I wasn’t really aware of what was going on because I was still like, freaking out, sitting in my dorm. You know, panicking and then I get a call for a phone from Student Life be like, hey, so as you know, the dining services are canceled. And I was like, Oh, I didn’t know that. Cool. 

Molly Jean

Actually, as I didn’t know, oh, shoot

Sara

Yeah, so then, for the next few days, they would just like, you know, email a thing that they ordered us dinner. So I was emailing like the preparedness email, like the main thing for students to contact when all this was happening. And they were like, they didn’t reply for a couple of days until I had already figured out what’s happening. And I was like, oh, so like, are you providing us meals still, because we are still on campus? Like I’ve met with kitchen like, 

Molly Jean

Yeah, 

Sara

I don’t even know what I was eating then 

Molly Jean

The way and obviously, I’m not in it, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, like, before this pandemic hit we, Simmons as a community, we had a food and security problem that was already apparent, we could not get on a meal plan three meals a day. 

Sara

Absolutely yeah

Molly Jean

like easily you, you could not get that. And so I think, there is already a fault to begin with. But now we’re in an emergency situation, and I think it was one of those things that revealed the cracks and made them all the more apparent. And not just because we didn’t have a contingency plan, which, you know, no one’s at fault, like It is a pandemic. And I think it’s, it’s highlighting the need and something I’m hoping that they might consider even further in the future, because now they’ve seen y’all in this extreme version of uncertainty where you didn’t know, in an even heightened way, where your next meal was coming from. And maybe, maybe that’s just my hopeful brain being like, “they’ll learn from this!” but I don’t know. 

Sara

I don’t know how much they like, I mean, like, clearly, I’m very grateful to be here. You know, they’re feeding me something like, God bless. Like, they figured something out. That’s actually like, suitable like, it’s livable, you know, but I don’t know if they know. 

Molly Jean

Yeah, there’s a lot of loose ends that have not been tied off. Yeah, that I mean, there. Yes. And I think folks that aren’t living our reality, that are in charge of our reality, and that is tricky. So, okay, so all fried foods? Not a lot of choices. Yeah. So I guess, in addition to those, is there anything else that in this process you’d like to see amended? And then on the flip side, is there anything you, you’d like to applaud that you think, was done well, by the administration?

Sara

So one thing that comes to mind is just the stipend that was put on our Fenway cards-

Molly Jean (voice over)

Real quick aside for anyone listening that might not know what Fenway Cash is, or have used it before. It’s basically loading money onto your student ID with a debit or credit card, so then you can use your student ID for payment at select businesses in the area surrounding Simmons campus. Okay, back to Sarah. 

Sara 

Like, that means we can only use that like 600 or 700 dollars, at places that takes Fenway cash. And I had never used it before. Like, in my four years here, because I’d like, never known how it worked, and never wanted to, like, bother people to ask, you know, like at the grocery store, so I tried it out during a pandemic and people were kind of mad at me. 

Molly Jean

Oof. 

Sara

Because, like, you know, I go to Whole Foods, it’s busy, and I’m like, oh, do you think Fenway cash? And the guy’s, like, I think so. And then it takes forever to figure it out my card’s like, broken because the card office couldn’t fix it, and then they told me to come back and then the school closed. So I think just like, like, initially, they gave us a gift card with some money on it, so I think that would be a better option because you can use it different places. Like maybe you don’t need to spend that much money on food at Star Market or Whole Foods, but you can use it as a Target to get like, like, a like  larger variety of items- 

Molly Jean

Yeah,

Sara

Or like Trader Joe’s. Great spot. 

Molly Jean

Yeah.

Sara

I’m trying to think of something to applaud. 

Molly Jean

Yeah. 

Sara

I don’t know. Because um,  I mean, I don’t want to like, applaud Simmons. 

Molly Jean

Yeah

Sara

Not to be shady but like, every benefit. 

Molly Jean

Yeah. You don’t have to. It is not a requirement. Okay, okay. I have one more. I have one more.

Sara

Please

Molly Jean 

The next step in the process. Sp, he said communication then to Student Life thing kind of out of the blue after not a lot. But right now, after we’re about a month into this, is the communication kind of leveling out? Is it any more clear? Or is it still in that same chaotic one day at a time situation? 

Sara

Um well, so I think it was so chaotic because no one knew what was happening. And now,

Molly Jean

Yeah

Sara

-it’s like settled down. However, they did say like, when they told us we were moving into this hotel that we should be prepared to move out if they have to, like, close the hotel or something. So like, I’, kind of always on edge.

Molly Jean

Yeah. 

Sara

Plus my anxiety. They sent the updated meal schedule, and it goes through like mid May. 

Molly Jean

Totally.

Sara

I don’t even know how long I’ll be here. Yeah, hopefully they don’t kick us out. But I mean, now, I think we’re just kind of living here. It’s like pretending that everything is going.

[Music fade in]

Molly Jean Voice Over

Following my interviews, I reached out to Simmons residence life for comments on the situation at hand. They were so great about getting back to me. And sent some really well thought out responses. They are a little lengthy, though, so here’s two of the main ones. In response to the question of why are we utilizing hotels rather than buildings on Residential Campus, the office said that “utilizing hotels is the best way for us to ensure the health and safety of students and staff during this pandemic. Not only do they prevent asymptomatic staff and students from interacting and potentially infecting each other, they offer individual bathroom and kitchen facilities that help with social distancing. Because of our campus’s location in the heart of the Longwood medical area, we know the space would likely be needed for workers caring for COVID-19 patients. As a result, we’d have to create complex quarantine zones that could further endanger the safety of residents and staff who remained on campus.” And then, when asked, Are there any other details you want the student body to know? the office replied, “Our first priority is always the safety of our students and staff. The covid 19 pandemic has presented many challenges that must be navigated quickly. In the face of these circumstances, our students have shown great resilience and understanding. We see and value students’ sacrifices and their strength during this immensely difficult period. We ask that students continue to reach out to our offices if there is anything they need, and we will continue to provide support and resources however we can.” Thank you very much to Residence Life for those statements and for your efforts during this time. Unfortunately, this is not where the story ends, which you might have guessed because we’re still living it. Not two days after my initial conversation with Sara, I got a text. Sara once again had to pack everything up. Hotel they were staying at was closing. Once the dust settled a little more, I gave Sara another call.

[phone ringing]

Sara

Hello?

Molly Jean

Hi again, friend. 

Sara

How are you Molly? 

Molly Jean 

Oh , ya’ know. Holding up. How are you?

Sara

uh, you know, being distracted from my work.

Molly Jean

(laughs) mhm, mhm, mhm. Okay, so play out for me the day of, you get the message and you have to figure out next step because you were working right? 

Sara

Yeah. So the first thing that we had to move out, and they were like working on securing a hotel, but they didn’t know when we had to leave or where we were going like, they didn’t tell us that yet. 

Molly Jean

oof

Sara

So I just spent the next few days like, waiting for information. We asked the front desk at the old hotel and the lady working didn’t even know that the hotel was closing. So, once again. Like I guess a couple days later, they’re like, here’s the hotel, we have to move. Or like you have to pack up all your stuff in boxes. This moving company’s gonna take it over. And you have to be ready to go by like Saturday 8am. And so I have like been in contact with them before they told us about the close because I did have to work all weekend during the day. But like yeah, I can’t move like I’m totally unavailable these whole days. So I mean, it ended up working out I just had to pack all my stuff and go to work with backpacks full of other stuff. And then take a taxi from work to this new hotel. And like, just the grand tie, and then the real kicker, the real punch line, Molly.

Molly Jean

(laughs)

Sara

We’re still getting our meals delivered from like, our dinners from Yard House. They’re still delivering it to the hotel. So I get in, I check in the front desk dude, very nice. And then I’m like, oh, like where are the dinners setup? Are they like down here?  And he says “yeah, they’re all around that table.” I go look at the table, and there’s like a couple meals with people’s names on them, which are like, people with dietary restrictions. So I go up and I’m like, “where are the other meals though?” He says “Those are it.” So yeah, I didn’t have dinner after working as an essential employee at the hospital. Not to be dramatic.

Molly Jean

I mean, it’s not dramatic. It’s real. That’s what happened. 

Sara

Yeah, I mean I still don’t know what went on with that but. So yeah.

Molly Jean

So new spot, how’s it comparing? 

Sara

Couple major differences. So at the other hotel, I had like a full kitchen, a full fridge. I had a dishwasher dude, like, I never used it, but what a luxury and how I was chilling. I as I told you before, I was making my breakfast, having my veggies. And here it’s it’s like a regular hotel room. So we just have like, a mini mini fridge. Like in my room, and then a microwave for the floor.

Molly Jean

A microwave for everyone on one floor when we’re supposed to be social distancing?

Sara

Yeah, I mean, it’s in the hallway. 

Molly Jean

Okay. 

Sara

But like, yeah, we’re all sharing a microwave. 

Molly Jean

Okay. So how do you feel? You know, like food security wise? 

Sara

I mean, I have food. But it’s definitely like to…  Well, okay. So the breakfast that they give us now, it kind of resembles like, a kid snack. 

Molly Jean

Okay.

Sara

Like a, you know, like a Trix yogurt. You know how those-

Molly Jean

 Oh, yeah. 

Sara

It’s like that. It’s not a Trix yogurt. But it’s like, it looks like one of those. 

Molly Jean

Honestly, probably be better. If it was a Trix yogurt. At least you’d have like a fun color to look at. 

Sara

I’ve never had one 

Molly Jean

Oh my gosh. Okay. So start with tiny yogurt

Sara

And um, a nutrigrain bar. And like an orange juice, which is like, the same kind we have in the hospital? Which I don’t know what the hell that is. But, It’s like, I don’t know. I’m not a fan of orange juice. Like, extra extra sugar with my sugar yogurt and sugar bar. And then fresh fruit. So, you know, when you finish your yogurt in three bites? It’s not the best start to your morning. 

Molly Jean

No, no, I can’t imagine starting your day quite like

Sara

It’s like like an appetizer to your, to your breakfast. And I’m definitely really thinking about food a lot, which is not healthy. Because, I’m like, trying to think of like what I can eat that I have here, which is just like, more granola bars, and like candy, and Pringles. PBJs. And then I just kind of until the same french fry dinner

Molly Jean

So the dinners are still french fries and a main like chicken tendies. 

Sara

Yeah, it’s like a lot of sandwiches. Like which makes me not want to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches because there’s just a lot of sandwich.

Molly Jean

 Yeah, 

Sara

but it’s kind of like a PBJ is kind of like the standard like, shelf stable meal, you know? 

Molly Jean

Yeah. I mean, I feel like most shelf stable meals that you can make with only a hallway microwave are gonna be sandwiches of some variety

Sara

Yeah. And like I don’t have a freezer so I can’t

Molly Jean

 Yeah, frozen veggies even. 

Sara

It’s like, yeah, like I can live. Like I’m surviving. I have food. I have wifi. I have a bed, you know, like, I’m doing alright. It’s just like definitely a downgrade my, my mini mini fridge, I like shove so much stuff in there. It’s literally like a Jenga game.

(Molly Jean Laughs)

Sara

Or no it’s like Tetris dude. 

Molly Jean

Incredible

Sara

Here, do you want? Do you wanna a fridge tour? Or like a verbal, a podcast version?

Molly Jean

Heck yeah, let’s get it.

Sara

Let me see. Okay, okay. So I have one orange juice that I put in the fridge because I don’t know. I feel badly throwing food. I have strawberries that were on sale at Star Market. 

Molly Jean

Nice. 

Sara

Got some baby carrots. And hummus.

Store brand, locals only. And I have my PBJ. Oh, I have to say, coffee creamer, the essentials. So yeah, I’m trying to like maximize

Molly Jean

And that’s squished in there. Those few items are tight. Yeah, 

Sara

just picture, like those small items. And then like, that’s what fits. Like, you know, like go into your tripod and pull out those things and then there you go. That’s my fridge. Of course grateful to have a fridge of some sort. It’s just, again, not what I’m used to. So it takes a lot more like effort to think about food. 

Molly Jean

I mean, no one really has the mental bandwidth for that. 

Sara

Oh, another thing? I don’t know if I told you this, but they said, Simmons sent out an email a couple days ago, like telling people saying that they heard people were bringing in like, cooking devices. I’m guessing, like, maybe like, rice cookers 

Molly Jean

Probably like a hot plate or something. 

Sara

Yeah, yeah. And like, we’re allowed to have those in dorms, and then now flash to our hotel room. So they’re like threatening health and safety checks if people are dropping off at the front desk, which just seems like, like I understand it’s not safe but people are just trying to feed  themselves. Yeah, they said like we’re providing two of your three meals for the day like you can find that other third meal. I mean, I’m obviously adding the rude tone to it. Okay, we have tried with the hotel and the Yard House to provide the two meals a day. So that third meal, there are microwaves on each floor specifically for your use. And then if you are found to be bringing in an appliance, you will lose your exemption status. So you lose your housing. I just think it’s funny that they call a tiny yogurt a meal. 

Molly Jean

Yeah, also, that that is nowhere near sufficient.

[Music fade in]

Molly Jean Voice Over

So here we are now. It’s May, the spring semester is coming to an end, and students will soon be figuring out their next steps in regards to housing and meals. There are still plenty of questions to be asked and concerns to be addressed. Given all this uncertainty, I wasn’t sure how to wrap this podcast up because there’s no way to tie a neat bow on it. I would like to say, I don’t think anyone in this situation is ill intentioned. However, from the conversations I’ve had and worries I’ve heard, it’s my honest belief that we can do more. And we can do better. We continue to talk about this because in a global pandemic or otherwise, food and security remains an issue for Simmons students. Thank you so much again for listening, be safe and be well. This podcast was produced and written by me, Molly Jean Henebury. Edits and instruction were provided by Erica Moura of the Simmons Communications Department. Music for this podcast was produced by Connor O’Brian

Food Insecurity on Campus: Episode 1

Simmons student, Molly Jean Henebury’s two-part podcast “Food Insecurity on Campus” has been nominated for “Best Podcast” at the 2021 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards.

In this episode, Molly Jean discusses food insecurity at large and on Simmons Campus, including interviews with Katie Shapiro and Corey Zohlman.

Check back to hear the second episode and The Shark’s other IBS nominations. Follow along on Twitter and Instagram (@radiosimmons) and head to our website for a full transcription of the episode.

[intro guitar music]

Molly Jean Voice Over:

You’re sitting in a crowded lecture hall, you’re doing your best to ignore the constant onslaught of notifications from your phone. Your professor is speaking, and you desperately want to listen. But you’re gripping your stomach, it keeps voicing his opinions and an otherwise silent room. You didn’t have a chance to get dinner before this because you’re out of Meal Swipes. Your mind is wandering to when you can eat next. This podcast is going to address an ever growing discussion, food insecurity on college campuses. My name is Molly Jean Henebury. Like Billie Jean, but Molly. I’m a graduating senior at Simmons University in Boston. I study Nutrition and Dietetics and Public Health. Initially, this podcast was being produced in a world where you could still be within six feet of your friends and family. In this first episode, we’ll talk about what food insecurity is and what it looks like on a pre-corona Simmons campus. Next episode, we’ll be talking about the consequences that we’re currently dealing with as students in the hands of Residence Life navigate their new reality. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

The US Drug Administration defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active healthy life. An addendum to that definition is a lack of appropriate access to food. Because folks might be able to consistently check restaurant dumpsters for their next meal, but that does not mean they’re food secure. Food Security has affected people all over the world for generations. But we’ve only just begun to talk about how it’s impacting college students. In January of 2016, the Atlantic posted an article titled ‘The hidden hunger on college campuses.’ This piece highlighted the disconnect between how we generally think college students treat food and the grim reality for many. College is often associated with eating an excess and the consequential “freshman 15.” This assumption got a reality check with Sara Goldrick-Rab, Professor of Education Policy and Sociology at University of Wisconsin, surveyed 4,000 students at 10 community colleges across the country. Her study suggested that more than half of all community college students struggle with food insecurity. That’s one in two students. Here at Simmons, student Katie Shapiro saw these numbers and became curious if something like that story they were telling could exist at a private university. Katie conducted a research study of Simmons students and their own experience of food insecurity. I sat down with Katie to see what she found.

[Guitar music]

Molly Jean

Thank you so much for coming in, Katie. 

Katie Shapiro

Yeah, thank you for having me

Molly Jean

How are you doing?

Katie Shapiro 

I’m good, how are you?

Molly Jean

I’m good, thank you.

Molly Jean (Voice Over)

Katie and I first discussed how reading that 2016 Atlantic article sparked an interest for her and how she found herself conducting this survey at Simmons. We then got into the findings of that research and what those numbers meant. 

Molly Jean 

In doing that SURPASs project, was there any moment or numbers or stats that really surprised you, or shocked you at all? 

Katie Shapiro

Absolutely, yeah. I think I expected there to be a prevalence, like I knew it existed here, I didn’t realize how prevalent it was, especially around anxieties in acquiring food. I think it was like 85% of our residential students are anxious about being able to afford their next meal. That’s incredibly high, and I, like, really was never expecting it to be so high. And even going down the different like, measures of food insecurity, like, it stays pretty consistently at about 60 or 40% for a lot of that. And for the most extreme forms of food insecurity, like losing weight due to being unable to eat, so like really chronic food insecurity, that’s still about 13% of our students. So I was consistently shocked by how hungry students were and how much they aren’t showing that. Because I had never personally been food insecure, this is something I just kind of stumbled into. So I didn’t realize that people who like we’re in my classes every day we’re not eating-

Molly Jean

Yeah,

Katie Shapiro 

-right next to me

Molly Jean (Voice over)

As a transfer student, this was all news to me too. Upon coming to Simmons, I was shocked to find that students on meal plans were unable to get three meals a day, seven days a week. And that’s something you’ll hear a lot of during this podcast. It’s important because that’s generally how the population eats. Three meals a day, maybe some snacks if you’re feeling spicy. And when you’re a student and your days somehow feel like they’re longer than 24 hours, you really need those three meals to get you through your classes, work, studying and just generally trying to be a functioning member of society. It comes down to having enough metaphorical fuel in the tank.

Katie Shapiro

Yeah, the three meals a day was like a really big thing for people. So, I had a comment section as well, and like, so like hundreds of times people were just like, we need three meals a day, that’s like absolutely a necessity .

Molly Jean 

I think that’s a fair ask. 

(Molly Jean, Katie laugh) 

Katie Shapiro

Yeah. That’s it’s been interesting to hear what administration, like, how they weave away from that. 

Molly Jean 

Yeah, I guess in that, um, there has been the responses, the like, meal swipe transfer and everything- 

Molly Jean (Voice Over)

Real quick, to explain what I’m asking about here, the meal swipe program allows residential students with a meal plan to either donate meals or points to a quote unquote bank. These meals and points can then be used by other residential students who are facing temporary food insecurity. That’s that.

Molly Jean

How do you think that’s combating the issue? Do you think that’s sufficient? Do

you think…

Katie Shapiro

I think it’s a great first step

Molly Jean

Yeah. 

Katie Shapiro

Like, we went from having not a single thing. So for students who are, like, absolutely starving that, like 10% of people, that’s huge to be able to, like, have a meal that’s just like waiting for you. However, I don’t think Simmons does the best job talking about these resources. We’re really ashamed as a University to say that we have food insecure students, and that we’re doing something to attack that problem that you know, the system has created. It’s no one’s, like personal fault. 

Molly Jean

Mmhmm.

Katie Shapiro

But it is created by the system that we, that we have going on here. I, I wish they would be really transparent about it and like, talk about it all the time, you really have to ask them to like find out about it. Or you have to talk to someone like myself or another activist on campus, who really knows the ins and outs of this stuff.

Molly Jean (Voice Over)

After my conversation with Katie, I spoke with Cory Zohlman to look for that after mentioned administrative transparency. Corey is the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at Simmons. His name is largely the one students see in their Gmail inbox for updates regarding the school’s attempts to combat food insecurity on campus.

Molly Jean

Thank you so much for being here.

Corey Zohlman

Thank you for inviting me to be part of your podcast

Molly Jean

Of course, Yeah. So I guess to start off, I want to ask in your own words, what do you think the issue of food insecurity looks like on Simmons right now?

Corey Zohlman

Um, so, I think in the last several months, we’ve become more aware of what it looks like in two populations, our residential students, but also our commuter students. And I think what really sort of unearthed this and brought awareness in particular to the administration was a student by the name Katie, who made it a part of her SURPASs project, and it definitely kind of raised a lot of eyebrows, where we did not realize to the degree where folks were experiencing food insecurity, both with our current meal plan, but also students who don’t hold a meal plan. So it’s definitely bigger than we thought it would be, but it’s not untenable.

Molly Jean

Mmm, gotcha. So you’re touching upon the fact that we have taken some steps since then-

Corey

Yup.

Molly Jean

– would you explain the initiatives that Simmons has taken so far?

Corey 

Yeah so um, fortunately, we have some things in place, which will likely change next semester to adapt to the need. So right now, for our residential students, we have a meal plan, exchange-

[music]

Molly Jean (Voice Over)

Okay, sorry, pause. It’s at this point that I should tell you, this is also something Katie and I discussed, students have some concerns with this meal swipe exchange program. Specifically, the worry is that students struggling with eating disorders might donate swipes, and it will seem as though they’re using them. Katie and I also talked about how current meal plans already lend themselves to eating disorders. Not being able to eat three meals a day, seven days a week is pretty conducive to destructive behavior. Alright. With that, back to the interview. 

[music fade out] 

Corey Zohlman 

– we have for our commuter students, a plan for emergency meals, which are supposed to be for episodic instances, such as your employer didn’t pay you, maybe you had to buy a book that you weren’t expecting to buy so now you can’t afford groceries and that has been widely utilized. In the spring, we’re going to have the trustees market, which helps with providing nutritious fruits and vegetables, which is part of food insecurity, not having access to those things and so that will be on campus. And we’ll be distributing vouchers to students. It’ll be limited at first, so we can gauge the use, but that will be available to students. And last but not least, something that we piloted with a small group of students and we’re going to roll out broader in the fall is allowing students who might not have the ability to pay for a meal plan through Aramark upfront to add it to their bill, their tuition bill, and then it gives them the opportunity to possibly pay for over three to four months um because sometimes students just don’t have the money to pay 5, 6, 700 dollars upfront and over several months of paying off, it might make it more affordable.

[music fade in]

Molly Jean (Voice Over)

As you might remember, from just a few minutes ago, Katie and I talked about the effectiveness of these interventions. And while it’s good steps are being taken, they really are band aids on a balloon that’s revealing new holes every day. That’s not to say that these are bad ideas, but again, students still can’t get three meals a day, seven days a week. That’s why some students are saying a total overhaul is needed. Start from scratch. I proposed this idea to Cory

[music fade out]

Molly Jean 

There’s been changes made to fix what’s wrong, but I think some folks are thinking more the whole infrastructure needs changing rather than band aids.

Corey 

Yeah, so I um, I can speak very limitedly to the, to this. But in an email, in the Campus Life newsletter, several months ago, Joan Martinez, who is a AVP for administration, I myself penned a small letter to the student body sharing that we are going out for an RFP for our dining contract.

[music fade in]

Molly Jean

So there were some acronyms just there. Joan Martinez being the AVP means he is the Assistant Vice President, he is specifically the Assistant Vice President of the University Real Estate Development and Facilities Management. The term RFP stands for request for proposal, Simmons sent this request to dining service vendors to identify a partner to collaborate with for a new dining center on campus, food services can then submit their proposals, or bids, to seventh for deliberation. Okay, that’s it.

Corey 

So that’s a way that we can help change the system. So if there’s issues with the residential meal plan, or the commuter meal plan, that’s a way to, you know, rip off the band aid and actually revisit the structure of what we’re offering and how we’re able to offer it. So that’s, again, one of the ways we’re thinking about using the information that we have based on whose access some of these services or safety nets to see how we can broaden it and make it more readily available based on now that we know the who and some of the circumstances. So we will re explore a food pantry to see if that might meet need. So yeah.

Molly Jean 

 Yeah. I think it’s definitely, it’s a new area of private universities exploring this issue. I think it’s been rather under the table, kept quiet for so long, and so I think it’s a new area. So I applaud you and your efforts and everything.

Corey

Oh no, and I mean, honestly,  I’m sorry, that we were so unaware, so thank you. 

Molly Jean

Yeah. 

Corey

And we are trying to evolve the system into something that meets most of the need of folks to the best of our ability.

Molly Jea

Corey also spoke on his gratitude for the HR department at Simmons and their collaborative efforts in these interventions. He welcomed any and all ideas for moving forward, as well as other partnerships between departments. So that was food insecurity on Simmons campus before the world became the garbage can on fire we know it to be right now. Next episode, I’ll be speaking with a Simmons student being put up in Boston hotels by Residence Life. We talk about what meals are like for students there, but also what it’s like to be a student there.

Clip of Unknown Speaker 

like I wasn’t really aware of what was going on because I was still like, freaking out, sitting in my dorm, you know, panicking. And then I get a call for a phone from student life being like, hey, so as you know, the dining services are canceled, and I was like, oh, I didn’t know that. Cool.

Molly Jean Voice Over

Thank you all so very much for listening. I hope you tune in to the next one. This podcast was produced and written by yours truly. edits and instruction were provided by Erica Moura at the Simmons Communications Department. Music for this podcast was produced by Conor O’Brian.

[Music Fade out]

Kelly O’Hanlon’s IBS Nomination: Best Logo

Iz Indelicato – Hello again! It’s Iz, General Manager here at Simmons Radio: The Shark, and today we’re gonna share with you an interview with Kelly O’Hanlon. Kelly O’Hanlon is the designer of our fantastic logo which was nominated for Best Logo at this year’s Intercollegiate Broadcasting System awards.
To hear the full episode that this segment aired on, you can head over to the Welcome Home podcast feed which will be linked in the description. If you want to check out Kelly’s work, her portfolio website and her Instagram account will be linked in the episode description as well.

Katie Cole
Simmons students are just really creative across the board. That’s how we got our logo for our station, correct? 

Iz Indelicato  
Yes, it is. So as I hope some of you know, Simmons Radio: The Shark was nominated for six Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards, which Sarah is going to tell us more about after this quick piece, one of them being for best logo. And as journalists, we’re supposed to be curious, and we’re supposed to ask questions. But a question that I never asked is how did our logo come to be? I do not understand how I never asked that question. But now I know and we’re going to hear a little bit more about it. So in 2015 2016, around that time, Simmons Radio: The Shark had a competition for a new logo. And as a first-year student, Kelly O’Hanlon decided to throw her submission into the ring. Majoring in political science and international relations, Kelly graduated in 2008 is currently living in Omaha, Nebraska, working as a study abroad advisor at Creighton University. Let’s take a listen to hear a little bit more about Kelly’s background, her design process and what she’s up to now.

Can we get started by you just telling us a little bit about the process in which you designed the logo? Because I know you said that you were a poli sci major. So how did you find yourself entering this competition?

Kelly O’Hanlon  
Yes. So I am in love with a lot of different things in life. When I was studying, I was really fascinated with politics and you know, countries around the world and how they operate. But in my spare time I to this day love to illustrate and paint and do graphic design, kind of fulfill my creative side. And that was the case when I was a student and I saw posters around advertising the contest for the logo for The Shark. And I thought, you know, why not give it a go? Like, try to try to see how I can make a fun logo for the station. Maybe I’ll win. And it just turns out that I did.

Iz Indelicato  
That’s so awesome. And what do you do you want to like walk through the process of how the design for The Shark came to be or if you like took certain inspiration for things or like color palettes. I’m just super interested if you have anything to share about that.

Kelly O’Hanlon  
Yeah, um with my basic knowledge of color theory from art and drawing and painting. I knew that I wanted to do two really contrasting colors that when they came together just kind of electric and just burst off the page. And so I picked that kind of Simmons-ey teal with the yellow. I think those colors worked really well together. I also wanted to try to experiment doing something more abstract, because when you illustrate, you’re basically trying to capture what you see, but I wanted to do something a little bit more fun and kind of just imply a bit of imagination with it. So instead of kind of a very serious or gritty, realistic shark or otherwise. I just thought it would be kind of cool. The mic was like coming out of the wave. So just kind of little bits and pieces of art knowledge that I just had picked up from my hobby came together. And I think it actually had the effect that I wanted it to have on people when they saw the logo, which has really thrilled me and probably has informed a lot of my graphic design projects that I’ve done since then. Graphic Design is all about soliciting emotion and like a reaction to something using particular colors or design elements. And I was just really young at that time hadn’t done much graphic design, and it kind of inspired me to keep it going.

Iz Indelicato  
And can I ask what do you remember what programs you used to make the logo? 

Kelly O’Hanlon  
Yeah, I still use this program to this day, even though they’ve made a bunch of new versions. But I use Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 6 for the whole thing. I probably should have used Illustrator and done some vectors on that. It is not a vector file. I didn’t know what I was doing. I basically drew it. Luckily big enough for it to be high enough quality, but I still kind of find myself doing everything in Photoshop, because that’s what I know and what I’ve known for a really long time, obviously, even if it’s not the most efficient at times. But yeah, I use that. I also use that when I draw, just kind of one-stop shop for everything I do.

Iz Indelicato  
Awesome. That’s so cool. And what are you doing these days in terms of outside of your work and kind of keeping that creative energy flowing?

Kelly O’Hanlon  
I actually do some graphic design on the side for different projects for people, I draw all the time I paint as much as I can. I really make sure to make time for my creative side. I’ve never really learned how to do graphic design formally. So I feel a little bit funny saying I find graphic design jobs here and there. But I think if you have an eye for color or art, you can get creative and kind of fall into a couple different artistic pursuits. So I definitely prioritize keeping up the arts. 

Iz Indelicato  
I feel like this is a question that artists are being asked all the time and they probably hate it. But almost a year into this pandemic, have you been using art as sort of a way to cope? Has it felt like a creative block or sort of an obligation to use this time to like, be creative or work on something?

Kelly O’Hanlon  
Yeah, that’s a great question. Because I don’t do art for a living really, I’m, you know, lucky enough to be able to support myself in some other career while I do art on the side. And I think that relationship with art is really important to me, because if it was my career, especially during the pandemic, I just can’t even imagine how stressed out I would be. And I even was furloughed for a couple months over the summer. I work at a university so a lot of us went through that. Art absolutely captured all my emotions from last year, there were periods where I was so stressed, I wasn’t making anything. There were periods where I was making really weird stuff that I’d never tried before lots of emotions are coming out. And it was just a really good outlet and continues to be a great outlet into 2021. And I appreciate how art has been there for me during this tumultuous time it’s kind of rooted me.

Sarah Carlon  
Links to Kelly’s work can be found in the description of this episode.

Iz Indelicato – Congratulations to Kelly and all of the other nominees for the 2021 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards. Stay tuned to hear the two podcast nominations for ‘Welcome Home’ and Molly Jean Henebury’s ‘Food Insecurity On Campus’ two-part podcast. 

Sarah Carlon’s ‘Best Spot News Coverage’ IBS Nomination

Iz Indelicato – Hello! It’s Iz General Manager here at Simmons Radio: The Shark, and if you’re listening you probably know that our station has been nominated for six Intercollegiate Broadcasting System awards this year, including Best Station! To make sure you’re up to date, we’ll be uploading the nominations here to our podcast feed in the coming weeks.

Here is the Voice’s editor-in-chief, Sarah Carlon’s announcement about spring courses being held remotely which is nominated for Best Spot News Coverage. 

Sarah Carlon- Breaking news for the morning of Monday, October 19th. All spring 2021 classes, graduate and undergraduate will be online, according to an email to the Simmons community this morning. Administration has not made a decision whether they will allow more students to live on campus. 

The email reads “for the spring semester all courses, undergraduate and graduate will be offered online. We are taking this proactive step to prepare for the worst case, and to ensure the least amount of disruption to our students and faculty should the pandemic continue to get worse. While we are not yet ready to make a decision about the return to campus, rest assured that we are working hard to make the most responsible and safe decision possible.”

To stay updated with this developing story, visit simmonsvoice.com

Iz Indelicato – Congratulations to Sarah for that nomination, and make sure to check out Lennon Shurburne’s ‘Defining Time’ which is nominated for Best Documentary here in this podcast feed, and make sure to stay tuned for the Shark’s two nominations for Best Podcast. Thanks so much for your support, and make sure to check out all of the other nominations!

Defining Time Transcription

Iz Indelicato – Hello! It’s Iz General Manager here at Simmons Radio: The Shark, and if you’re listening you probably know that our station has been nominated for six Intercollegiate Broadcasting System awards this year, including Best Station! To make sure you’re up to date, we’ll be uploading the nominations here to our podcast feed in the coming weeks.

Let’s jump right into it with Lennon Shurburnes’ ‘Defining Time’ which is nominated for best documentary. 

LENNON STORY [02:54] 

[Clock ticking]

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about time lately. How a month and a half can feel so short but everything that I had before then seems so far away. I don’t really do well with downtime, I usually at least three things going on at once. And now, I’m lucky if I have one. 

My days feel like an even blander version of the 1993 classic, Groundhog Day, the one where Bill wakes and lives the same day over and over and over… for 10 years.

[alarm]

[sound of getting out of bed] 

[horse lip noise]

[tooth brushing]

I don’t do much anymore, aside from school and skateboard, and even that stopped for a while after I got my concussion. 

[sound of falling of skateboard]

[Clock ticking]

The thing about a concussion is that you can’t do…anything. No screens. No skateboards. Nothing. So all I could do was sit and think 

And think 

And think. 

About the school I wasn’t doing. 

[typing]

About the miles I wasn’t running. 

[running/breathing]

About the people I’m not seeing. 

[person laughing/hey buddy]]

About the pandemic that isn’t ending. 

[news broadcast] 

Over and over and over again. 

And I felt useless. So stuck in my own head because of my own head. Everything outside of my brain hurt. 

[kettle whistling]

[scraping]

[news]

The world around me hurt. My existence felt nauseating. 

[“I think I just threw up acid”] 

Unbearable. 

[Crying “I just wanted to be”]

and I just had to sit with it and wait for it to get better

[birds flying/dock]

It’s been a couple and my concussion is gone. I’ve gotten back to school and skateboarding and running. things are a little. and while the world still hurts, is still viscerally hurting, together. I know that time is passing. 

[clock] 

That like my concussion, as much as this pandemic feels debilitating like it will last forever, it won’t. Days will keep coming and time will keep passing, but I’ll take each moment one at a time.  

Iz Indelicato – Thanks so much for your support, and make sure to check out all of the other nominations!

Welcome Home: Season 2 Episode 1 Transcription

Welcome to the 2nd season of Welcome Home!

Katie Cole chats with two Simmons students, Grace Gile and Lauren Lanseigne, whose relationship began with a dorm-room embroidery date. They each run their own small businesses, which you can find on Instagram @artbythreads and @stitchesinrhyme

The designer of the Shark’s logo, Kelly O’Hanlon (‘18) hops on the podcast with Iz Indelicato to talk about her art background, design process, and what she’s up to now.

Sarah Carlon tells us more about the upcoming Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards conference, and what the nomination for Best Streaming Only Station under could mean for Simmons Radio. Check out The Shark’s podcast feed to hear all of our nominations, which we will be uploading throughout the week.

Eliot Stanton reflects on their piece “A Letter to Elliot Page That I Will Never Send,” in which they dip into the topics of transitioning, representation, and celebrity. You can find Eliot on Instagram @estanton314

Keep the conversation going on Twitter and Instagram, or by email at [email protected] & [email protected]

The Voice: Instagram & Twitter

The Shark: Instagram & Twitter

As we want to do our best to have as many folks as possible feel at home, here is a transcription of the episode.

We want to do our best to have as many folks as possible feel at home. Here is a transcription of the episode if you don’t get the chance to listen.

Iz Indelicato  

Shall we go ahead? 

Sarah Carlon  

Yeah, let’s do it.

Iz Indelicato  

Awesome.

INTRODUCTION MUSIC BEGINS TO PLAY

ANNOUNCER

Welcome Home. From Simmons Radio: The Shark and The Simmons Voice, this is Welcome Home. A show about news, culture, and stories that impact Simmons University. No matter where you are we’ll keep you updated on what’s happening at home.

Iz Indelicato  

Welcome back to Welcome Home. Season Two. Is that what we’re saying? Is that accurate? 

Sarah Carlon  

Yeah, I like Season Two 

Katie Cole  

Season two. Season two colon, the second semester. Season Two colon, too fast, too Zoom, too furious. Tokyo Drift. All of it.

Iz Indelicato  

Oh my goodness.

Sarah Carlon  

Season Two Tokyo Drift

Iz Indelicato  

Insert Glass Animals Tokyo Drifting. Anyways, it’s so nice to be back looking at you two, not in the studio, but over Zoom as the pandemic rages on. My name is Iz Indelicato, I use they or she pronouns. I am the General Manager at the Shark and the Arts and Entertainment Editor at the Voice.

Katie Cole  

I’m Katie Cole. I use she/her/hers pronouns, and I am the Assistant General Manager of Simmons Radio: The Shark and the News Editor of the Simmons Voice.

Sarah Carlon  

I am Sarah Carlon. I use she/her pronouns and I am the Editor-in-Chief of the Simmons Voice.

Iz Indelicato  

And missing Abby Vervaeke, our fourth co-host who graduated last December. Congratulations, Abby, we miss you so much but are so excited for what you will do and where you’re headed so I hope you’re listening out there. And don’t forget us when you’re famous. So we have quite a few things to cover in this episode. Not only are we covering some fantastic Simmons students who bonded and fell in love? Is that is that accurate? Yeah, Katie, for their shared love of embroidery. We have a story about the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards and the story behind the fantastic logo of the Simmons Shark.

Sarah Carlon  

So like we talked about last season, in our first episode, we really want to focus on creating a community space for Simmons especially now that we are remote and not on campus. We can’t do that though without the help from our Simmons community. So we’re looking for contributions of all kinds. Stories, audio segments, playlists, specifically, The Shark just put out a playlist from Dr. Leanne Doherty, which I love very much. So we’re also looking for playlists from professors. Any sort of submissions that you would like to see us highlight on the podcast we would love. So if you have any ideas, feel free to shoot us an email either at The Shark’s email [email protected], or the Voice’s email [email protected] Both of these emails will be in the description for this episode.

Iz Indelicato  

Awesome. Sarah, thank you so much. As Sarah said, all sorts of things that we talk about are in the episode description, including Instagram, Twitter, all the socials, and a transcription for this episode. Which is something that we’re all really excited about to be doing this season. Just making sure that all of our content is accessible as possible for the Simmons community. Katie, from here, do you want to kick it off with the story that you’ve been covering?

Katie Cole  

Yeah, so we all know that Simmons students are creative. And I had the opportunity to sit down and speak to two Simmons students who both basically run their own small embroidery business and are dating embroidery is a thread throughout their relationship. Let’s take a listen.

Grace Gile

Grace Gile  

I’m a neuroscience major with a chemistry minor on the pre-med track. 

Katie Cole  

And Lauren Lanseigne.

Lauren Lanseigne  

I am in the education four plus one and I’m going to get my dual license in special-ed and elementary-ed

Katie Cole  

Are Simmons students. They’ve been dating for over a year and embroidery has tied them together. 

So I remember reading on social media. I think that one of you got the other into embroidery. How did that all happen? 

Grace Gile  

It actually was our first date was Lauren teaching me how to embroider. Yeah, it’s like really cute. Personally, for me, I had tried a whole bunch of different like art forms. I did like crocheting for a while, I tried knitting and like, hated both of those. But like, I loved sewing growing up. And one day I texted Lauren or something. And I was like, “Hey, please teach me how to embroider.” And then yeah, she came to my dorm and that was our first date was Lauren teaching me how to embroider.

Katie Cole  

That’s so sweet, oh my gosh. So and then you both have kind of like small embroidery businesses where you sell custom hoops to people. Can you tell me a little bit about how you both got started on that journey?

Lauren Lanseigne  

So I’ve been up to it a little bit longer. And I started embroidery, like two years ago, and I just made an Instagram account because I didn’t want to like inundate my regular Instagram followers with posting about it. And it just ended up like, friends and family members started being like, “Hey, you should make me something.” And then I started like being like, I started asking for people if they wanted me to make them things. And then here we are.

Grace Gile  

Yeah. And I kind of like similarly fell into the same kind of situation. I started an Instagram account when I like, did a couple projects and was like, wow, this is something that I love. Like, I’m gonna keep doing it. And then actually, one of my friends from Simmons was like, the first person to ever buy a piece from me, it was like a stupid little, like, three-inch hoop of like, a meme from like, the goose game that was like a big thing, like last year. And she was like, “I love it. Can I please have it.” And I was like, “you want something from like from me?” And then I did like Christmas gifts, and then kind of after that, a lot of people have been asking for either like holiday gifts, birthday gifts, or just something to hang up in their room or whatever.

Katie Cole  

What is the best or your favorite piece that you have ever created?

Lauren Lanseigne  

I think mine is a project that I was working on this past summer. It took me like literally months to do. But I’ve never been more proud of a piece. It was an embroidery my mom asked me to make her to hang in her little cubicle, and it was based off a lighthouse at Acadia National Park. And it took me forever, but I just really love it. And I’m so happy with how it came out.

Katie Cole  

And how does it feel to be making art that in some cases like memorializes important places like for you, Lauren with the lighthouse that you created for your mom. And is going to be hung up in people’s houses and offices and that they’re going to see every day?

Lauren Lanseigne  

I just think it feels really special to have people want that piece of art from you. Like, I just like feel honored that someone asked me to create such an important thing because I’ve like made like memorial pieces for like, lost loved ones, or lost pets and it just like I just feel very honored that people would ask me to do that.

Grace Gile  

Yeah, I feel similarly. And I also think it’s really cool to kind of be a part of the story almost. And like I’ve kind of done similar things like either pet portraits or things like that. And you really feel like you get to know that person and this one little story that they’re deciding to tell through the piece. And so it’s like, really cool to be able to kind of get like a little insight onto someone’s life and something that they’re like super interested in, which is really awesome.

Katie Cole  

Where are you both living right now?

Lauren Lanseigne  

Home!

Katie Cole  

Where’s home for you?

Lauren Lanseigne  

Haverhill Massachusetts. 

Grace Gile  

I’m from Alford, Maine. Lauren and I are just about over an hour away from each other.

Katie Cole  

How often are you able to see each other in person?

Lauren Lanseigne  

A couple times a month?

Grace Gile  

Yeah. Usually like every other week we’ll get together and take some time to hang out.

Katie Cole  

That’s so good. Do you ever wonder when you’re together?

Grace Gile  

Oh, all the time.

Sarah Carlon  

Women loving women, undefeated. Undefeated again.

Katie Cole  

So good.

Iz Indelicato  

They are the trendsetters. 

Sarah Carlon  

Cottagecore TikTokkers could never. Never

Iz Indelicato  

They could never.

Sarah Carlon  

Never.

Katie Cole  

I asked him if they have any, like embroidery goals. Like any like giant projects they want for the future. Grace was like, I want to embroider the periodic table on 108 separate hoops.

Sarah Carlon  

I could see that being like really popular on Etsy. Like people – cause I feel like STEM people have their favorite elements. I feel like we all have, I have a favorite element. 

Katie Cole  

What’s your favorite element?

Sarah Carlon  

I feel like this is lame, but hydrogen. I love hydrogen.

Katie Cole  

Why?

Sarah Carlon  

 I don’t know it can do it can do a lot of different things. It’s very versatile hydrogen and carbon. They’re very versatile. 

Katie Cole  

Yeah, put 2 hydrogens and a carbon together. No. Put two hydrogens and water together and oxygen together. 

Iz Indelicato  

Oh my goodness. 

Katie Cole  

Make water.

Iz Indelicato  

This is why we are in Comm and not the STEM field.

Sarah Carlon  

Hey, I was I was a STEM person for a year.

Katie Cole  

Were you?

Iz Indelicato  

That still baffles me that you went into college… 

Katie Cole  

A nurse?

Sarah Carlon  

No I did chemistry. Isn’t that weird?

Katie Cole  

Yeah, that is weird. That feels wrong to me. 

Sarah Carlon  

I really hated it. Yeah.

Katie Cole  

Really?

Sarah Carlon  

No shade to Simmons professors because I had great professors in the STEM department, but I did not, I suppose it wasfor me. Yeah, it’s catastrophe. But I mean just the way I love Lauren and Grace’s relationship. That is unbelievable. And I definitely have seen both of their embroidery works on Instagram before and it blows my mind like they’re both so incredibly talented. And this is just such a lovely heartwarming story that I really warms my heart. I loved it.

Iz Indelicato  

Something we need around these times, some good news. 

Katie Cole  

Definitely. And if you are interested in Grace and Laurens embroidery or would like to purchase a custom hoop from them, you can find Lauren’s embroidery account @stitchesinrhyme on  Instagram. And for Grace, it’s @artbythreads on Instagram. So check them out. We’ll put the account names down in the description for you all to check out. Simmons students are just really creative across the board. That’s how we got our logo for our station, correct? 

Iz Indelicato  

Yes, it is. So as I hope some of you know, Simmons Radio: The Shark was nominated for six Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards, which Sarah is going to tell us more about after this quick piece, one of them being for best logo. And as journalists, we’re supposed to be curious, and we’re supposed to ask questions. But a question that I never asked is how did our logo come to be? I do not understand how I never asked that question. But now I know and we’re going to hear a little bit more about it. So in 2015 2016, around that time, Simmons Radio: The Shark had a competition for a new logo. And as a first-year student, Kelly O’Hanlon decided to throw her submission into the ring. Majoring in political science and international relations, Kelly graduated in 2008 is currently living in Omaha, Nebraska, working as a study abroad advisor at Creighton University. Let’s take a listen to hear a little bit more about Kelly’s background, her design process and what she’s up to now.

Can we get started by you just telling us a little bit about the process in which you designed the logo? Because I know you said that you were a poli sci major. So how did you find yourself entering this competition?

Kelly O’Hanlon  

Yes. So I am in love with a lot of different things in life. When I was studying, I was really fascinated with politics and you know, countries around the world and how they operate. But in my spare time I to this day love to illustrate and paint and do graphic design, kind of fulfill my creative side. And that was the case when I was a student and I saw posters around advertising the contest for the logo for The Shark. And I thought, you know, why not give it a go? Like, try to try to see how I can make a fun logo for the station. Maybe I’ll win. And it just turns out that I did.

Iz Indelicato  

That’s so awesome. And what do you do you want to like walk through the process of how the design for The Shark came to be or if you like took certain inspiration for things or like color palettes. I’m just super interested if you have anything to share about that.

Kelly O’Hanlon  

Yeah, um with my basic knowledge of color theory from art and drawing and painting. I knew that I wanted to do two really contrasting colors that when they came together just kind of electric and just burst off the page. And so I picked that kind of Simmons-ey teal with the yellow. I think those colors worked really well together. I also wanted to try to experiment doing something more abstract, because when you illustrate, you’re basically trying to capture what you see, but I wanted to do something a little bit more fun and kind of just imply a bit of imagination with it. So instead of kind of a very serious or gritty, realistic shark or otherwise. I just thought it would be kind of cool. The mic was like coming out of the wave. So just kind of little bits and pieces of art knowledge that I just had picked up from my hobby came together. And I think it actually had the effect that I wanted it to have on people when they saw the logo, which has really thrilled me and probably has informed a lot of my graphic design projects that I’ve done since then. Graphic Design is all about soliciting emotion and like a reaction to something using particular colors or design elements. And I was just really young at that time hadn’t done much graphic design, and it kind of inspired me to keep it going.

Iz Indelicato  

And can I ask what do you remember what programs you used to make the logo? 

Kelly O’Hanlon  

Yeah, I still use this program to this day, even though they’ve made a bunch of new versions. But I use Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite 6 for the whole thing. I probably should have used Illustrator and done some vectors on that. It is not a vector file. I didn’t know what I was doing. I basically drew it. Luckily big enough for it to be high enough quality, but I still kind of find myself doing everything in Photoshop, because that’s what I know and what I’ve known for a really long time, obviously, even if it’s not the most efficient at times. But yeah, I use that. I also use that when I draw, just kind of one-stop shop for everything I do.

Iz Indelicato  

Awesome. That’s so cool. And what are you doing these days in terms of outside of your work and kind of keeping that creative energy flowing?

Kelly O’Hanlon  

I actually do some graphic design on the side for different projects for people, I draw all the time I paint as much as I can. I really make sure to make time for my creative side. I’ve never really learned how to do graphic design formally. So I feel a little bit funny saying I find graphic design jobs here and there. But I think if you have an eye for color or art, you can get creative and kind of fall into a couple different artistic pursuits. So I definitely prioritize keeping up the arts. 

Iz Indelicato  

I feel like this is a question that artists are being asked all the time and they probably hate it. But almost a year into this pandemic, have you been using art as sort of a way to cope? Has it felt like a creative block or sort of an obligation to use this time to like, be creative or work on something?

Kelly O’Hanlon  

Yeah, that’s a great question. Because I don’t do art for a living really, I’m, you know, lucky enough to be able to support myself in some other career while I do art on the side. And I think that relationship with art is really important to me, because if it was my career, especially during the pandemic, I just can’t even imagine how stressed out I would be. And I even was furloughed for a couple months over the summer. I work at a university so a lot of us went through that. Art absolutely captured all my emotions from last year, there were periods where I was so stressed, I wasn’t making anything. There were periods where I was making really weird stuff that I’d never tried before lots of emotions are coming out. And it was just a really good outlet and continues to be a great outlet into 2021. And I appreciate how art has been there for me during this tumultuous time it’s kind of routed me.

Sarah Carlon  

Links to Kelly’s work can be found in the description of this episode.

Iz Indelicato  

So I love everything about this story. But the thing the kicker for me is the fact that she is still using Adobe Photoshop 6. Do either of you have a guess as to what year Adobe Photoshop 6 came out?

Sarah Carlon  

I am afraid that the answer is 2006.

Iz Indelicato  

Incorrect. Katie, do you have a guess? 

Katie Cole  

Perhaps 2011.

Iz Indelicato  

Incorrect. Adobe Photoshop 6, which was used to create our logo and which Kelly O’Hanlon still uses to this day was created in the year 2000.

Katie Cole  

Oh my god.

Sarah Carlon  

What!

Iz Indelicato  

Right? I know Adobe, Adobe comes out with all these updates constantly. But if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And clearly it ain’t broke because Dang, that logos good. Dang Kelly knows what she’s doing. And it’s a fantastic designer. 

Sarah Carlon  

We are only marginally older than Adobe Photoshop 6. Thats nuts.

Iz Indelicato  

That’s bonkers.

Katie Cole  

Kelly, too must not be too much older than Adobe Photoshop 6.

Iz Indelicato  

I know. I should have asked her – well at that point, I didn’t at the point of our interview I didn’t know that it was released in September 2000. So I want to ask her if I get in touch with her again. How did you get your hands on this?

Katie Cole  

Oh my goodness. Well, that’s incredible. Thank you, Kelly. Because our logo is amazing. I actually painted our logo on an old vinyl record and it’s in our studio. So Kelly, you inspired me creatively. Thanks, Kelly.

Sarah Carlon  

Also speaking of our amazing logo, it is up for an award along with a few other things The Shark has been doing. So Simmons Radio: The Shark has been nominated for 6 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System Awards for this year, including Best Documentary, Best Spot News Coverage, Best Logo, Best Podcast for Welcome Home, Best Podcast for Food Insecurity on Campus by Molly Jean Henebury and Best Streaming-Only station. When is it’s this weekend? No, it’s next week?

Iz Indelicato  

It is March 2 through March 6. And typically the conference happens just during the weekend, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, but this year, I guess, thanks to the pandemic, maybe thanks to the pandemic? It is longer than that, which is exciting. There are lots of fun panels, and I think that we’re all going to learn a lot. And also, instead of sort of having a limited number of folks who can attend the conference in New York City, since it’s remote, more folks are able to come and attend these panels, and attend the award ceremony, which will be super exciting. 

Katie Cole  

I do also want to mention that we are the only station nominated for Best Streaming Only Station Under 10,000, which means we automatically win that. And that’s not to say that we were the only station who was nominated. In times past, the directors of IBS have said, sometimes if there’s only one person named for a category, it could be no one else submitted for the category. But that’s highly unlikely. It could just be that the station who was nominated stood out so far from the pack that no one else could touch them. So because we automatically when Best Streaming Only Station for a University Under 10,000, we are automatically entered into the Best Station large pool where we go up against all of the other categories of Best Station.

Iz Indelicato  

Huge schools.

Katie Cole  

Huge schools.

Iz Indelicato  

Schools who have  call signs. Terrestrial stations? Is that what we say?

Katie Cole  

I think but I’m not sure. 

Iz Indelicato  

That’s what happens when you’re when you’re streaming on the station.

Katie Cole  

Yeah, so that means we will be up against a couple different schools for Best Station at the conference. And I’m so excited about that. And I am so so proud of us. We have worked so hard to do radio and for the Voice for Welcome Home for everything. If you follow our Instagram, you’ll be able to see updates from the awards. And we’ll let you know if we take home any of those big, tall, shiny golden microphone trophies.

Iz Indelicato  

Or like Kelly said in our interview gets sent a little GIF via email with the envelope that open says “Congratulations, you won a trophy.” Also going off of what Katie said to make sure that our listeners can hear these fantastic things that we were nominated for. This week, we will be uploading all of our nominations to Simmons Radio: The Sharks podcast feed, which will be linked in the description. So you can hear all those nominations and the fantastic folks who have contributed to our successes. 

Katie Cole  

Y’all, the Eliot, Elliot Page story has 554 views.

Iz Indelicato  

Dang

Sarah Carlon  

Really? Oh that makes me so happy! That’s Awesome

Iz Indelicato  

That’s quick

Katie Cole  

It was posted yesterday, I want to say this as one thing. And this is data over the past month, and like it’s 554 views this is in the past 24 hours like this is like unheard of numbers.

Sarah Carlon  

When Elliott Paige introduced himself to the world in December of 2020, Senior Eliot Stanton sat down and wrote a letter to him. A letter that was as much to Page as it was a way to work through their feelings about Page, transitioning, representation and celebrity. Take a listen.

Eliot Stanton  

I wrote this piece while trying to process the complicated feelings I had after Elliott Page came out. People in my life who’d known me before I changed my name to Eliott were messaging me left and right about the coincidence of me and him having the same dead name and chosen name. I was instantly transported back to 2014 when they came out as queer not long after I had. Before writing this letter, I spent a few days consumed by the dissonance of knowing that while the parallels in our lives would always mean something to me, Elliott Page would never know about them, or about me. I was also struggling with broader feelings too, about competition, comparison, and dominant narratives of transness. I hope that by sharing my complicated feelings about trans identity and representation, other trans folks will feel the same way I feel after writing this letter seen and validated, together in community.

Sarah Carlon  

I’m gonna send it to Elliot Page, I have people on the inside.

Iz Indelicato  

Yeah! Do it, do it, do it!

Katie Cole  

I think we did pretty well this this week, y’all and I’m looking forward to continuing this throughout the semester. Remote semesters are hard but at least I get to podcast with you all.

Iz Indelicato  

I love you. 

Katie Cole  

Love you too.

Sarah Carlon  

Love you guys. Love y’all. 

Katie Cole  

Alright.

Iz Indelicato  

Are we gonna do this again? Did we learn our lesson from last semester that this does not work? 

Katie Cole  

We never learn.

Iz Indelicato  

We never learn, we’re gonna do it again. Okay.

Sarah Carlon  

I say we do it again.

Iz Indelicato  

On three or after three?

Katie Cole  

After three.

Sarah Carlon  

After three. 

Iz Indelicato  

Okay. 

Katie Cole  

Cause you would cut three off if you did on three. 

Sarah Carlon  

This is true.

Iz Indelicato  

Okay, okay. 1,2,3 Welcome Home?

Katie Cole  

Yes 

Iz Indelicato  

One, two, three… Welcome. 

Katie Cole  

Welcome Home!

Sarah Carlon  

Welcome Home! Oh yeah, that was really good. I think that was strong, very strong,

Katie Cole  

Strong showing by the whole pod.

Iz Indelicato  

Oh man.

Sarah Carlon  

It was a strong message. I feel like I brought absolutely unhinged energy to the podcast this morning, I apologize. I’m doing my best. 

Katie Cole  

I only drank half a cup of coffee so far. So this whole time we’ve just been going booo – 

Sarah Carlon  

Shooshhh

Iz Indelicato  

Beep

Katie Cole  

Tanking.

OUTRO MUSIC BEGINS PLAYING 

ANNOUNCER

Welcome Home was created and produced by Iz Indelicato, Katie Cole, and Sarah Carlon. The theme music for this podcast was created by Matthew Harrison, aka Matty Sun. The cover art for this podcast was made by Carly Dickler.  Special thanks to everyone who contributed in the making of this podcast through writing articles, conducting interviews, creating segments, and so much more. This has been a production of Simmons Radio: The Shark, and The Simmons Voice.