Podcast features graduate professors’ work

Elisabeth Held, Contributing Writer


Ryan Hendrickson, dean of the Graduate School, has created a podcast called “EIU Innovate” which features a new graduate professor in each episode.

Hendrickson said EIU Innovate came from his desire to share the positive developments in Graduate Education at Eastern.

During these each of these 25-minute podcasts, Hendrickson interviews a professor about their research, work with graduate students and the graduate program they are from.

“It is very easy to hear the passion that exists in these faculty members’ professional lives,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson said the podcasts are a unique way to get to know faculty members and a great way for students to make connections for potential research opportunities.

While Hendrickson is the voice of EIU Innovate, he said the man behind the technological aspect of the podcasts, Tom Grissom, has been a huge asset in the process.

Grissom, the director of the Instructional Technology Center, is no stranger to the world of podcasts, after running his own podcast for over ten years.

“We have many great stories to tell and many of them go untold,” Grissom said.

Grissom said EIU Innovate reminded him of when he would go to the gas station as a child just to listen to people talk and learn from their stories and experiences.

He said the podcast offers a platform for teachers, who are often humble about their accomplishments, to feature their projects when they normally would not.

The most recent of the five professors featured on EIU Innovate was music education professor Danelle Larson.

Larson said she enjoyed the experience and has since then found an interest in listening to the other EIU Innovate podcasts.

“I think it’s a great way for students to learn about opportunities that they might be a part of in the future,” Larson said.

One of the topics covered in Larson’s podcast was her research on piano bars and piano bar musicians. Larson said the people she has interviewed have all learned and thought about music in different ways.

She said she believes it is important for music educators to be aware of these differences in order to be better prepared to teach their curriculums.

After listening to the podcasts, Larson said she hopes students will approach professors about possible educational opportunities.

Hendrickson said he hopes to release at least three more EIU Innovate podcasts in the spring semester.

EIU Innovate can be found on SoundCloud or through the link on the Graduate School website.

Elisabeth Held can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]