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Radio Show Sells STEM

By:Jordan Pye
Posted: February 3, 2010

Last semester three CISAT professors appeared as guests on STEM Sell, bringing scientific discussion to students’ attention through their own radio station.

Playing on JMU’s acronym for departments housed under Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, the radio show STEM Sell airs on WXJM and is the brainchild of Physics professors Drs. Mark Mattson and Brian Utter.

Dr. Bob Kolvoord of ISAT appeared in STEM Sell’s first broadcast on Oct. 27th, discussing STEM education and outreach efforts. Kolvoord said he was delighted to be the first guest and inaugural speaker. 

“The STEM Sells show is a great resource for the community and a wonderful opportunity to engage the JMU community with interesting issues in STEM,” Kolvoord said. “It was a great pleasure to be there at the moment of creation.”

Fall semester’s interviews from CISAT faculty included Computer Science professor Dr. Taz Daughtrey and his views on teaching science to the public, and Dr. Louise Temple’s poultry-related bacteria research in the Viral Discovery Program in ISAT. Temple had discussed the show with Mattson before it began, and was eager to appear as a guest with some of her student researchers.

“I thought it was a great idea to invite students to talk about their independent research projects,” Temple said. “This gave me a chance to brag on them and share a little bit about my research, which is interesting particularly in the valley because I study a bacterial pathogen of turkeys.” She agreed that the show provided an outlet to advertise research opportunities, especially the unique Viral Discovery freshman research course with which she is involved.

Mattson and Utter said they have enough interested guests lined up to continue the show into this semester, and hope it will inspire more student interest in science subjects.

“As a result of the show I would like more students to be interested in doing research,” Mattson said. “When I interview someone at JMU about the research that they’re doing [I] typically have them try and talk about the student input on the research that they’re doing and generally broadcast that these opportunities exist. It’s a goal not necessarily for the show, but for the students and the environment at JMU.”

STEM Sell airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on WXJM.

Listen to previously recorded episodes: http://www.jmu.edu/stem/outreach/stemsell.html