Podcast Episodes

(updated Sept 10, 2021)

Series 1 – Governing During Pandemic (June 2020- May 2021).

Ep. 0 – Ashley Nickels and Casey Boyd-Swan
This week Ashley and Casey introduce the theme for Series 1, Governing during the Pandemic. This series will look at how government, civic, and community organizations are responding and adapting during the COVID-19 Pandemic. [Transcript]

Ep. 1 – Katie Carver Reed
This week the podcast welcomes Katie Carver Reed, the Director of Network Partners and Programs at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. The discussion centers around how the foodbank is adapting to the higher food insecurity in the community, caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. [Transcript]

Ep. 2 – Phyllis “Seven” Harris
This week the podcast welcomes Phyllis “Seven” Harris, the Executive Director of the LGBT Community Center for Greater Cleveland. The discussion revolves around how the center is enriching the lives of the LGBTQ+ community and how they are adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic. [Transcript]

Ep. 3 – Professor Joe Mead & Dr. Meghan Novisky
This week the podcast welcomes Meghan Novisky and Joseph Meade, Professors at Cleveland State University. The discussion centers on COVID-19 and the prison population in Ohio. The impact the virus is having on prisoners and the efforts being made to protect this vulnerable population. [Transcript]

Ep. 4 – Shanelle Smith Whigham
This week the podcast welcomes Shanelle Smith Whigham, the Ohio State Director for The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit that looks to conserve land for public use. The discussion includes the topics of green space and parks within the community, environmental justice, and the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the need for more public land. [Transcript]

Ep. 5 – Hardy Kern
This week the podcast welcomes Hardy Kern, an Animal Program Specialist at the Columbus Zoo. Mr. Kern discusses the Columbus Zoo’s efforts to help with animal conservation around the world and provides insight into how the zoo is managing during the COVID-19 pandemic. [Transcript]

Ep. 6 – Mayor Annette Blackwell
This week the podcast welcomes Annette Blackwell, the mayor of Maple Heights, OH. The mayor discusses her path in becoming the first female and first African American elected as leader of Maple Hts. The mayor explains the role of local government in the lives of its citizens and how Maple Heights is adapting during the COVID-19 crisis. [Transcript]

Ep. 7 – Jerry Pena
This week the podcast welcomes Jerry Pen ̃a, a Northeast Ohio activist and community organizer. The discussion centers around strategies for organizing during the pandemic. Jerry discusses new approaches in community engagement, especially concerning the issues of voter mobilization and the upcoming census. [Transcript]

Ep. 8 – Scott Kelley
This week the podcast welcomes Professor Scott Kelley, Transportation Geographer at the University of Nevada, Reno. Professor Kelley explains how Geolocation Data is used today in both the public and private sector, and how this technology could be used for contact tracing in the fight against COVID-19. [Transcript]

Ep. 9- Amanda Clark
This week the podcast welcomes Dr. Amanda Clark, Elections Specialist for the Supervisor of Elections in Palm Beach County, Florida. The conversation centers on the duties of county elections boards and how they are handling the voting process during a pandemic, including the increased demand for mail in voting. [Transcript]

Ep. 10- Jeanne Li & Chrissy Stonebraker Martinez
This week the podcast welcomes Chrissy Stonebraker Martinez and Jeanne Li from Cleveland Pandemic Response. (CPR) CPR is a network of volunteers who have come together to help provide essential items like food, masks, hygiene items and cleaning supplies to those in need during and after the COVID 19 Pandemic. The discussion includes how CPR uses a volunteer run, nonhierarchical grassroots strategy to try and achieve its vision of Mutual Aid, community care, and liberation for all. [Transcript]

Ep. 11- Vicki Clark
This week the podcast welcomes Vicki Clark, President and CEO of Ravenwood Mental Health. Ravenwood Health provides mental health and addiction services in Geauga County, Ohio. The discussion includes how Ravenwood Health is coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic while trying to ensure quality mental health and addiction services within the community. [Transcript]

Ep. 12 – Jacob Dudley
This week, Ashley and Casey welcome Jacob Dudley, a recent Kent State University graduate with a degree in Applied Conflict Management. Jacob is currently helping to address the COVID-19 pandemic as a contact tracer with a local county health department. The discussion includes how local health departments are trying to minimize the spread of this deadly virus and explores the intersection between contact tracing and civic engagement. [Transcript]

Ep. 13 – Megan Hatch
This week, Ashley and Casey welcome Dr. Megan Hatch, Associate Professor of Urban Policy and City Management at Cleveland State University. The conversation looks at how state and local housing policies impact individuals, especially those that disproportionately impact vulnerable populations. The topics include how eviction moratoriums, rental assistance, and state preemption laws have been implemented during the COVID-19 Pandemic. [Transcript]

Ep.14 – Series 1 Finale, with Mayor Annette Blackwell and Katie Carver Reed
[Transcript forthcoming]

Series 2 – Power of Political and Civic Engagement

Ep. 0 – Ashley Nickels and Casey Boyd-Swan
This week the podcast introduces the overarching theme of the podcast and Series 2, Power of Political and Civic Engagement. Ashley and Casey discuss what political and civic engagement mean to them and how this topic is a main theme of The Growing Democracy Project. [Transcript]

Ep. 1 – Stephanie McHenry
This week the podcast welcomes Stephanie McHenry, Vice President of Policy, Advocacy and Strategic Initiatives at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. The discussion centers around her lifetime of civic engagement and nonprofit work. [Transcript]

Ep. 2 – Tiera Moore
This week the podcast welcomes Tiera Moore, Undergraduate Student Body President at Kent State University. Tiera discusses her path in becoming the 3rd African American woman Student Body President and her efforts to support the student body at Kent State. [Transcript]

Ep. 3 – Ethan Lower
This week the podcast welcomes Ethan Lower, Director of Government Affairs for Undergraduate Student Government at Kent State University. Ethan discusses efforts at Kent State to increase voter participation and political engagement in the campus community. [Transcript]

Ep. 4 – Cindy Widuck
This week the podcast welcomes Cindy Widuck, instructor in the College of Public Health at Kent State University. The discussion centers on combining a passion with community needs and assets. The Ready, Set, Grow Coalition works to combine community gardening, nutrition, environment and active learning and provide alternatives to factory farming. [Transcript]

Ep. 5 – Alicia Robinson
This week the podcast welcomes Alicia Robinson, Assistant Director of the Women’s Center at Kent State University and Executive Director at Limitless Ambition, a nonprofit that helps young women overcome boundaries to achieve success.  Our discussion centers on how on civic and political engagement at the individual level, focusing on empowerment. Dream, Believe and Achieve. [Transcript]

Ep. 6 – Katie Moorman
This week the podcast welcomes Katie Moorman, State Outreach Data Research Manager at ActBlue. The discussion centers on how technology has helped build the small dollar donor grassroots movement in politics and how political engagement can be defined as more than a yearly trip to the voter’s booth. [Transcript]

Ep. 7 – Dr. Brandi Blessett & Dr. Sean McCandless
This week the podcast welcomes Dr. Brandi Blessett from the University of Cincinnati, and Dr. Sean McCandless from the University of Illinois Springfield  The discussion centers on what civic and political engagement means within the academy and how a community of scholars are bringing a social justice focus to the field of Public Administration. [Transcript]

Ep. 8 – Kirk Noden
This week the podcast welcomes veteran community organizer Kirk Noden. The discussion centers on the different ways one can be involved with community organizing, including how organizing efforts can differ around the country, and world, based on the needs of the community. [Transcript]

Ep. 9 – Dr. Jamie Levine Daniel
This week the podcast continues the theme, Power of Political and Civic Engagement. Discussions with local elected officials, public officials, and community activists about what civic and political engagement means to them. On this episode, Ashley and Casey welcome Jamie Levine Daniel, Assistant Professor at The Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI in Indianapolis. The discussion examines the intersection of higher education and civic engagement and teaching public policy through a critical theory lens. [Transcript]

Ep. 10 – Dr. Katie Phillips
This week the podcast continues the theme, Power of Political and Civic Engagement. Discussions with local elected officials, public officials, and community activists about what civic and political engagement means to them. On this episode, Ashley and Casey talk with Dr. Katrina Phillips, Assistant Professor of American Indian History at Macalester College and an enrolled member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. The discussion centers around the history and current advocacy efforts concerning Indigenous Activism in the United States. [Transcript]

Ep. 11 – Megan Fisher
On this episode, Ashley and Casey talk with Megan Fisher, Chief Operating Officer at WomenSafe, Inc., an organization in Geauga County, Ohio that empowers and supports domestic violence survivors. The discussion centers around the intersection of civic engagement and domestic violence advocacy and what led Megan to this challenging and important career. [Transcript]

Ep. 12 – J. Leigh Garcia
Ashley and Casey talk with J. Leigh Garcia, Assistant Professor of Print Media, and Photography for the School of Arts at Kent State University. Mx. Garcia explains how her ancestry helped to shape and focus her art on the issues confronting undocumented immigrants at the United States southern border. The discussion also looks at how art, in general, can be used to increase civic engagement and shine a light on social justice movements. [Transcript]

Ep. 13 – Dr. Shemariah Arki
On this episode, Ashley and Casey talk with educator, organizer, and activist Dr. Shemariah Arki, professor and interim director for the Center of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University. Dr. Arki discusses the many organizations they are involved in with and challenges the listener to think of how civic engagement is affected by power structures, especially through the perspective of historically marginalized and minoritized communities. [Transcript]

Ep. 14 – Daniel Grueber
We look back on our first live Twitch episode featuring Kent State University doctoral candidate Dan Grueber, who is examining the effects the gaming community has on political attitudes and behaviors. The discussion looks at the intersection of gaming and political engagement, and the increasing amount of representation within games and the gaming community. [Transcript] [Video]

Ep. 15 – Talking to Teens!
This week the podcast looks to the future of political and civic engagement. Ashley and Casey interview Tessa, Ella, and Dharma to get the perspective of teenagers concerning civic and political engagement. Topics include where today’s youth get their information, how they engage in and define politics, and the issues concerning this future generation of leaders. [Transcript]

Ep. 16 – Kristi Andrasik
In this episode, Ashley and Casey talk with Kristi Andrasik, a licensed independent social worker. The discussion examines the intersection of social work and civic engagement. Topics include how nonprofit organizations manage relationships with the foundations that fund them, and how nonprofits can engage in advocacy for the causes they seek to address. [Transcript]

Ep. 17 – Breannah Alexander Oppenhuizen
In this episode, Ashley and Casey talk with Breannah Alexander Oppenhuizen, Director of LEAD Programs at Michigan Disability Rights Coalition and the Founder and Co-Director of women reVamped. The discussion centers on how power structures and the white supremist culture stifles political and civic engagement within the nonprofit sector and how nonprofit organizations should look to find solutions to the problems they look to address. [Transcript]

Ep. 18 – Iris Meltzer
In this episode, Ashley and Casey talk with Iris Meltzer, President for the League of the Women Voters of Ohio. The discussion centers on how the League of Women Voters operates at various levels of government and the work the league does to encourage voter participation and civic engagement. [Transcript]

Ep. 19 – Camillo Villa and Kathy Curlee-Jones
In this episode, Ashley and Casey welcome Service Employee’s International Union (SEIU) Local 1 union organizer Camilo Villa and union representative Kathy Curlee-Jones. The discussion includes how unions protect worker’s rights and how labor unions help individuals collectively build and shift the balance of power in today’s economy. [Transcript]

Ep. 20 – William Shostrand
In this episode, Ashley and Casey welcome field organizer William Shostrand. The discussion looks at political engagement through the various levels of government and how civic engagement can lead to finding common interests across the political spectrum. [Transcript]

Ep. 21 – Dr. Dana Lawless-Andric
In this episode, Ashley and Casey welcome Associate Vice President for University Outreach and Engagement at Kent State University, Dr. Dana Lawless-Andric. The discussion looks at how we can strengthen our democracy by breaking down systemic barriers to education and increase access which creates a more equitable system for all. [Transcript]

Ep. 22 – Angela Cecys, MSSA, LSW
In this episode, Ashley and Casey welcome Angela Cecys, Police Co-Responder at Frontline Service and Cleveland Division of Police. The discussion looks to at how both macro and micro social work can help strengthen our democracy and increase civic engagement within our communities. [Transcript]

Ep. 23 – Madison Newingham
In this episode, Ashley and Casey welcome Madison Newingham, campaign finance expert for Ohio Democrats and local activist. The three discuss youth activism and how political engagement in a university context can motivate ongoing civil and political engagement. [Transcript forthcoming]

Ep. 24 – Bryson Davis
In this episode, Ashley and Casey welcome Bryson Davis from the Akron Leadership Foundation. The discussion focuses on the importance of solidarity and grace in civic engagement.[Transcript forthcoming]

 

Series 3 – Filling the Gaps

Ep. 0 – Ashley Nickels and Casey Boyd-Swan
Ashley and Casey introduce listeners to the theme for Series 3, Filling the Gaps. Each episode will introduce listeners to organizations that are filing the gaps when government and governmental institutions fail to provide the needed services for its citizens. [Transcript]

Ep. 1 – Michael Deegan-McCree
This week the podcast welcomes Michael Deegan McCree, the partnerships coordinator at The Bail Project. The discussion centers on criminal justice reform, the work of The Bail Project, and how civic engagement can help to reform government. [Transcript]

Ep. 2 – Adrienne Wallace
This week the podcast welcomes Adrienne Wallace, founder of Underground with Black Students The discussion explains how the organization looks to help Black and Brown juveniles who are disproportionally impacted by the criminal justice system. [Transcript]

Ep. 3 – Heidi Goblirsch & Katie Prescott
This week the podcast welcomes The Metanoia Project’s Executive Director Heidi Goblisrch and Development and Communications Director Katie Prescott. The Metanoia Project builds positive relationships with the homeless community to better understand, and provide for the needs of this vulnerable population. [Transcript]

Ep. 4 – Lawrence Daniel Caswell
This week the podcast welcomes Lawrence Daniel Caswell, Field Coordinator for Cleveland Documenters at Neighborhood Connections. Documenters.org is a program that provides payment for citizens to attend and report on local governmental meetings, providing transparency for the community. The discussion revolves around the 2020 launch of documenters.org in Cleveland, Ohio. [Transcript]

Ep. 5 – Devontá Dickey
This week the podcast welcomes Devontá Dickey, the Advocacy and Engagement Coordinator for Cleveland VOTES, a nonpartisan democracy building and mobilization organization. The discussion centers on changing power structures through equitable civic engagement and how Cleveland Votes aims to ensure we have a more informed, participatory, and cohesive community. [Transcript]

Ep. 6 – Rasheda Weaver, Ph.D.
This week the podcast welcomes Dr. Rasheda Weaver, first Assistant Professor for the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Iona College. The discussion revolves around social enterprise organizations and their impacts on the community. Social Enterprises help to fill the gaps between nonprofit and forprofit organizations by using commercial strategies to help address social issues. [Transcript]

Ep. 7 – Alex Robertson 
This week the podcast welcomes the Founder and Executive Director of Recess Cleveland, Alex Robertson. Recess Cleveland throws pop up recess events in schools, parks, and areas that lack a safe space to play, which helps to stimulate economic growth, promote physical activity, and increase community participation. The discussion centers on the benefits related to recess and how Recess Cleveland is filling the gaps as schools continue to cut recess from the school day. [Transcript]

Ep. 8 – Dr. Rahsaan Harris
This week the podcast welcomes Rahsaan Harris, Chief Executive Officer at Citizens Committee for New York City. CitizensNYC provides micro-grants to local leaders on the front lines of change to help democratize civic engagement. The discussion ranges from active listening, privilege, philanthropy, and how organizations can fill the gaps that government can’t or won’t provide for communities. [Transcript forthcoming]

Ep. 9 – Mahananda Luitel
Casey and Ashley welcome Mahananda Luitel, Elected President of the Greater Akron Hindu Sewa Samittee and Integration Administrator of the International Institute of Akron. The discussion examines how these organizations fill the gaps in helping refugees adjust and succeed in the Akron area and create a welcoming community for all. [Transcript forthcoming]

Ep. 10- Prof. Chris Sagers
Casey and Ashley welcome Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Professor Christopher Sagers. Our discussion examines the topic of anti-trust law and looks at the complications of enforcing anti-trust policy in our political, social, and economic systems. [Transcript forthcoming]

 

Series 4 – Serving the Public Interest

Ep. 0 – Ashley Nickels and Casey Boyd-Swan
Ashley and Casey introduce listeners to the theme for Series 4, Serving the Public Interest.  Our discussions with elected officials and public administrators, who are serving the public interest within their communities, will explore what motivated them to serve in government and what they are doing to break down barriers and increase civic engagement. This week Ashley and Casey introduce listeners to this new series and what serving the public interest means to them. [Transcript]

Ep. 1 – Elizabeth Walters
This week the podcast continues the series, Serving the Public Interest. This week the podcast welcomes Summit County Council Member Elizabeth Walters. The Councilwoman discusses what motivated her to run for office and explains the duties of county-level government. The discussion includes how local government can help break down barriers and build bridges within a diverse county. [Transcript]

Ep. 2 – Brad Cromes
This week the podcast welcomes Portage County Treasurer Brad Cromes. The discussion looks at the role of the Treasurer and how previous civic engagement efforts helped define his outlook on serving the public interest. “This community is only going to be what we make of it.” [Transcript]

Ep. 3 – Kathleen Clyde
This week the podcast continues the series, Serving the Public Interest. Each episode will introduce listeners to elected officials and public administrators who are serving the public interest. This week the podcast welcomes former Portage County Commissioner and former Ohio State House Representative Kathleen Clyde. The discussion centers on serving the public interest and how civic engagement differs at multiple levels of government. Topics also include voter rights, women’s rights, and the push for more inclusivity in government. [Transcript]

Ep. 4 – David Thomas & Eli Kalil
This week the podcast continues the series, Serving the Public Interest. Each episode will introduce listeners to elected officials and public administrators who are serving the public interest. This week the podcast welcomes Ashtabula County Auditor David Thomas and Eli Kalil, Chair of the Executive Committee for the Ashtabula Democratic Party. The discussion explores public service and civic engagement through the lens of opposing political parties and how both parties are experiencing a youth movement in Ashtabula County. [Transcript]

Ep. 5- Juanita Brent
This week the podcast continues the series, Serving the Public Interest. Casey and Ashley welcome Ohio House of Representative Juanita Brent. The discussion examines the duties of a State Representative and explores some of the policy issues important to Representative Brent, including voting and police reform. [Transcript]

 

Series 5 – Demystifying policy-Relevant Research (a Collaboration with the Northeast Ohio – Scholar Strategy Network)

Ep. 1 – Sharona Hoffman
Ashley and Casey speak with Professor Sharona Hoffman, Co-Director of the Law-Medicine Center at Case Western Reserve’s School of Law. The conversation centers around the use of Artificial Intelligence in medical decisions, specifically thinking through how the use of AI can lead to discriminatory outcomes. [Transcript forthcoming]

Ep. 2 – Wendy Regoeczi
Ashley and Casey speak with Dr. Wendy Regoeczi, professor and chair of the Department of Criminology, Anthropology, and Sociology at Cleveland State University. The conversation centers around new reforms in the Cuyahoga County criminal justice system addressing domestic violence. [Transcript forthcoming]