Two leaders from the Student Affairs Division take to the airwaves with a radio show and podcast meant to break down silos and raise awareness of campus resources.
Renee Watson, Associate Vice President for Student Life, and Keith Rogers, Deputy Executive Director of the Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach, launched the “Let’s Talk UNLV” podcast in 2020 in hopes of connecting students to campus resources .
“We saw this show as a great way to give students access to many of the decision makers at UNLV,” Rogers said. “Decisions at any large institution can be complex, so we wanted to engage guests who can help the campus community better understand who the actors are and the thought process behind key decisions.”
This approach takes on particular significance when, just months after the show launched in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced nearly all campus operations to move remotely.
“We had experts like Brian Labus (assistant professor in the School of Public Health) and provost Chris Heavey to discuss COVID and the depth of planning that led us to move research, teaching and fellowships toward distance delivery,” Watson said.
The shows are informative, but Watson says the larger goal is to connect students and campus resources.
“Our university has only grown and grown, but it’s created different pockets or silos,” Watson said. “As a student affairs leader, I want to open up ways to unify the campus, so students get the most out of everything that’s available.”
Recent broadcast topics have ranged from a discussion of the services offered by the Lied Library, a focus on student government, and shows on self-care, student life, and gender roles, among others.
As the show approaches its second year of airing, Watson and Rogers say they want to expand the topics and involve more student voices.
“We’ve had a lot of student leaders on the show, and it’s really eye-opening to hear about the sacrifices our students make to take on leadership roles,” Rogers said. “It’s also a great opportunity for us to ask what we can do to better support them and how we can communicate with them quickly and efficiently.”
They hope that future segments will further explore student interests and concerns.
“We want the show to be fresh and reflect what’s on the minds of the students,” Watson said. “We want student contributors and student writers, storytellers, and engage students to promote the show through social media.”
In addition to enriching the student experience at UNLV, Watson and Rogers say they learn more on campus and form more partnerships along the way.
“I didn’t know much about broadcasting or podcasting, but KUNV students and staff were a huge help,” Watson said. “It’s a great example of how we can all come together.”
“Let’s Talk UNLV” airs from 6:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. Sundays on 91.5 Jazz and More FM/HD1. It also airs on 91.5 The Rebel HD2 from 6-6:30 p.m. Wednesday and 12-12:30 p.m. Saturday. The show is available as a podcast on platforms such as Apple, Spotify and Google Podcasts.