There is a new podcast at Stanislaus State that aims to spread news and awareness of health related topics relevant to the campus community. The Taking Care of U podcast, which was created and is organized by the Stan State Office of Communications and Public Affairs (CPA), launched in late September of 2021.
The idea of creating the podcast was originally pitched that same month by Dr. Rosalee Billingslea Rush, Stan State’s Senior Associate Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Media Relations, in an attempt to conveniently relay messages surrounding the campus repopulation and a return to in-person instruction on October 1.
“As we prepared for the campus repopulation this October, we received several questions from students via direct message on social media or emails related to campus safety and well-being. We wanted to respond and answer these questions in a way that was convenient and easy for our busy campus community members to access, and a podcast fit the bill,” Rush said.
“We recognize students don’t always have time to read a lengthy email or watch a video. However, you can listen to a podcast while walking to class, driving to a destination or while doing routine chores, and you can listen at a time that is most convenient for you,” Rush added.
Rush recruited Signal editor and reporter Christopher Correa (senior, Communication Studies) to host the podcast. Correa is also an intern for the Communication and Public Affairs office.
“I had never done any sort of podcasting in my life. I had not even taken the Radio Production Lab offered at Stan State when Rosalee asked me to host,” said Correa.
“While I’m very comfortable and experienced in public speaking, going into a room and being surrounded by a ton of professional radio equipment was pretty intimidating,” Correa continued.
The radio equipment Correa refers to is in the KCSS 91.9 FM studios at Demergasso-Bava Hall, where the podcast is recorded and edited. KCSS is the official, student-run radio station of Stanislaus State.
“My nerves were probably super noticeable throughout the first episode as I caught myself stuttering on a number of occasions, but after that first one, I was much more comfortable and confident in how this whole podcasting thing works.”
“It really meant a lot to me that Rosalee and the rest of the CPA team trusted me with hosting a podcast where such important and deep topics are being discussed.”
The podcast is produced by Stan State alumnus Frankie Tovar, who now works as Stan State’s media production specialist. Tovar is also a former member of the KCSS team.
The first episode featured Dr. Christene Erickson (Vice President for Student Affairs) and Dr. Christene James (Vice President for Business & Finance), where on-campus Covid-19 and coronavirus vaccination policy was discussed.
The second episode features Andrea Perkins of Stan State’s Phycological Counseling Services. The episode is expected to be released before the end of the fall 2021 semester.
The project is expected to resume through the spring 2022 semester and will continue after Correa’s spring graduation.
"Next semester, we will work to promote it more to our students to increase awareness. I’m hoping articles like this will spark students’ curiosity to tune in and share,” Rush said.
When asked what he hopes the podcast accomplishes, Rush explained that the range of topics discussed will increase as time goes by.
“I’d like this to continue to be a student-focused and student-driven communication that covers all aspects of wellness from nutrition to mental health," Rush said. "The goal is for each podcast to address questions/topics presented by our students. My hope is that the podcasts assist in building a social ecosystem/community where students feel more connected to campus resources and people.”