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New podcasts highlight Grinnell alumni and host career workshops

Meredith Benjamin ’24 works with CLS to produce the Going Forth podcast. Photo by Isabel Torrence.

Two new College podcasts have begun releasing episodes in the last few months, aiming to highlight the accomplishments of Grinnell faculty, staff and alumni.

The “Grinnell College Authors and Artists” podcast, created by Grinnell alum Marshall Poe `84, features Grinnell College alumni, faculty and staff and the books they have published or the research they are working on.

The podcast is a part of the New Books Network, an online platform founded by Poe that hosts a variety of podcasts about academic work.

“The purpose of the New Books Network and the [Grinnell College Authors and Artists podcast] specifically is to allow researchers or writers or artists to talk about what they discovered in their research or whatever they have produced,” said Poe.

Poe wants his podcast to shed light on an eclectic array of topics in a non-argumentative way. The interviewees are “let go” to say whatever it is they would like to about their recent research. He conducts all of the interviews, which are often organized through Grinnell’s Office of Communication.

Poe says the interviews featured on the New Books Network are “not a book review. [They’re] simply an opportunity for the author to talk about what they’ve learned in their research.”

Seven episodes are currently available for listeners. He has enjoyed recording each episode thus far, and said that he especially enjoyed talking to Grinnell College President Anne Harris. Harris was able to talk about her research as a medieval art historian, as well as her experience as president of the college.

Since leaving Grinnell College, Poe always had a desire to give back in some way. He hopes this podcast will “shine a bright light on Grinnell as a really wonderful institution because it is a really wonderful institution. It changed my life, and I think it can change the lives of lots of people.”

Grinnell’s Center for Careers, Life and Service (CLS) is also creating a podcast meant to serve the Grinnell community, this time providing career advice. Katie Kriegel, a CLS exploratory advisor, is spearheading this effort along with two students, Meredith Benjamin `24 and Nicholas Lampietti `25.

The podcast is called “Going Forth,” and can be summed up with the phrase: “Grinnellians go incredible places — this is a podcast about how they get there.” It’s a combination of skills-based episodes and episodes featuring alumni in a variety of fields. The skills-based episodes will be focused around tangible skills such as putting together a resume, writing a cover letter or interviewing for a position, whereas the interviews with alumni are meant to inspire as well as educate current Grinnell students, prospective students and former students.

The hosts plan to recognize and discuss fields like public health, health care, publishing and politics. Several interviews with Grinnell alumni have already been planned.

Kriegel says, “We’re hoping to have a variety of individuals on the show because Grinnell alumni are doing all sorts of things.”

Benjamin said, “Part of the benefit of having a website of our own is that people outside of the Grinnell student body are able to access it.”

The groups of three have been in contact with a wide range of alumni in the five weeks they’ve been working on the podcast.

“We are building this [podcast] from the ground up. This is the first time something like this is happening in this setting,” Lampietti said.

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