NACU’s podcast — Connect, Collaborate, Champion — focuses on higher education’s challenges and opportunities as well as its impact on local and global communities in an effort to provide practical insight for higher education professionals. Each episode will feature a unique perspective from higher ed insiders, private industry experts, and other voices to capture new ways of thinking about higher education and its influence on society.

If you have an idea for a podcast guest, please email Michelle Apuzzio.

Season 4

Ep. 47: Revisiting Traditions: Meaningful Activities for the Class of 2024 (May 15, 2024)

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically altered spring activities and college orientation for the class of 2020. Those young adults are this year’s graduating college class. In this two-part episode, Liz Yates, dean of campus life at Moravian University, and Nicole Posluszny, assistant director for student engagement and leadership at Nazareth University, will talk about how their institutions planned special events to make up for the shortcomings of 2020.

Ep. 46: Community Champions: Law Students Work with Those Facing Housing Instability (April 17, 2024)

Law students at St. Mary’s University of San Antonio are gaining real-world experience by assisting renters who are facing evictions and homeowners struggling with title issues. In this episode, Genevieve Fajardo and Greg Zlotnick, both professors at St. Mary’s University, talk about how students move from the classroom to the community in a way that creates a winning combination for their education and the clients they serve.

Ep. 45: Grant Funding Strategies for Colleges and Universities (April 3, 2024)

Grant funding can provide resources that allow colleges and universities to achieve goals they otherwise couldn’t without external dollars. In this episode,  we delve into ways that institutions might leverage outside support to navigate the funding process. We’re joined by Jessica Gerrity, a senior vice president at McAllister & Quinn, a federal grant consulting and government relations firm in Washington, DC.

Ep. 44: College Honors Programs: What are the Benefits for Students? (Feb. 21, 2024)

College honors programs are different than the honors classes that high school students encounter. Forrest Clingerman, director of the Honors Program at Ohio Northern University, and Haley Brown, an honors student also at Ohio Northern University, discuss the ins and outs of college honors programs, including the benefits and experiences they offer, and who should and who shouldn’t consider enrolling in them.

Ep. 43: How Does Sports Fandom Affect our Physical Health? (Feb. 7, 2024)

Before you grab another plate of the nachos, listen to Aaron Mansfield, an assistant professor of sport management at Merrimack College, discuss his research into the connection between sports fandom and its effect on our physical health, especially in regard to the ways it shapes our eating habits.

Ep. 42: Building Diversity in Academia: Faculty Recruitment & Retention (Jan. 10, 2024)

This episode dives into the critical conversation of cultivating faculty diversity, an action that benefits not just underrepresented populations but rather the entire campus community. Two distinguished Provosts, Tarshia Stanley of Wagner College and Leanne Neilson of California Lutheran University, will share their challenges, successes, and innovative approaches to recruiting and retaining faculty that better mirror their student demographics.

Ep. 41: From President to Professor: Navigating the Return to Faculty (Dec. 13, 2023)

In this episode, we talk with Lisa Jasinski whose book “Stepping Away: Returning to the Faculty After Senior Academic Leadership” looks at the benefits and challenges of transitioning from senior leadership to faculty, a scenario that is both unique to yet common in higher education.

Ep. 40: Uncorking the Student-Led Wine Experience (Nov. 29, 2023)

Wine Studies isn’t a program you often find at universities in America, but wine-making is synonymous with the Willamette Valley in Oregon where Linfield University is located. Linfield recently launched its own wine tasting room, known as the Acorn to Oak Wine Experience in downtown McMinnville. In this episode, Acorn to Oak’s manager, Paul Johnson, shares how students are gaining real-world experience in this endeavor.

Ep. 39: Going Green One Step at a Time (Nov. 15, 2023)

Colleges and universities are well-positioned to tackle challenges facing the world, but when the issue is as large as climate change, it can feel insurmountable. Matt Packey, associate vice president for sustainability and institutional planning at Queens University of Charlotte, joins us to discuss their efforts to move the needle on campus sustainability. While it’s a major undertaking, the institution is steadily implementing initiatives to shift the campus culture toward a greener future. 

Ep. 38: Educating for Executive Function with Untapped Learning (Oct. 25, 2023)

Brandon Slade, founder and CEO of Untapped Learning, shares how his personal history led him to create a company that helps students with ADHD and dyslexia improve their executive functioning capabilities to achieve better success in school and college through research-backed strategies.

Ep. 37: Advice on Navigating the Upcoming FAFSA Changes (Oct. 11, 2023)

The college admissions process can be a stressful journey, and with big changes coming to the FAFSA federal aid application, families might be feeling even more anxious this year. In this episode, Amy Staffier, assistant vice president of enrollment student services and director of financial aid at Simmons University in Boston, will help demystify the financial aid process. 

Ep. 36: Principles of Effective Collaboration (Sept. 27, 2023)

To achieve an organization’s goals, we often need to work with others who have different backgrounds and opinions from ours. What can we do to better learn how to collaborate with others? Our guest, Grayson James, author of  Full Contact Performance: The Internal Art of Organizational Collaboration, has coached business leaders to improve their collaborative business performance and facilitate organizational change. 

Ep. 35: Stopping the Next Mass Shooting (Sept. 13, 2023)

Our guest is Dr. Jillian Peterson, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, whose research engaged undergraduate students in creating the most comprehensive database of every mass shooter in America since 1966. With that research, Dr. Peterson has co-authored a book called The Violence Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic which offers more than 30 solutions on how we might approach the epidemic of violence in this country.

View the podcast archives.

The NACU podcast is produced by George Drake, Jr.