EU Communications launches the ‘Tartan Talks’ podcast

Category:  News
Friday, September 13th, 2019 at 11:50 AM
EU Communications launches the ‘Tartan Talks’ podcast by Samantha Mannion & Madison Streich
Chris LaFuria, creator of 'Tartan Talks,' was inspired by the many interesting stories he's heard around campus. | Photo: Madi Gross

Edinboro University launched its new podcast series “Tartan Talks” on Sept. 3. The series, hosted by EU’s Manager of Communications Christopher LaFuria, is scheduled for a 16-episode run throughout the 2019-20 academic year.

“We all have stories to tell,” said LaFuria. “A podcast is a way to connect with the people on campus through their stories, whether it be the makers, doers or creators.”

Tartan Talks highlights professors, students and staff members on the EU campus who have stories to share with the greater campus community. As of Sept. 12, four episodes have been released, available on services like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and more. LaFuria hopes to release two episodes per month going forward, along with a special holiday schedule.

These four episodes have centered on three professors and one student. Topics span from female writers of the beat era, to crime scene investigation.

The first episode of Tartan Talks features Dr. Mary Paniccia Carden from the Department of English and Philosophy. The topic for this episode was inspired by a book Carden had written about the female writers of the beat generation of the 1950s and 1960s. According to LaFuria, “she found in her research that a lot of the male writers had been highlighted the most, so she did kind of a deep dive into the female writers of the era.”

Episode two is tied to the Highland Games. Dr. Tim Thompson, a professor in the Department of Communication, Journalism and Media spoke about the games, which have taken place in Edinboro for 20 years. LaFuria says the episode is about, “Scottish heritage, the Highland Games, the trips he’s taken to Scotland and everything he finds so majestic about Scotland.”

Episode three is LaFuria’s interview with Michelle Vitali, a faculty member from the art department and an illustrator by trade. The installment goes into her experience with crime scene investigation. LaFuria says of the installment: “she does realistic drawings and sculptures of body parts that might be found. In one instance there was a severed head that was found in the woods and they called her to try and recreate it.”

Installment four is with Mia Harvey, or “the campus bagpipe queen,” as LaFuria described her. She was originally going to be a part of the second episode on Scottish heritage, but he said, “her story was so unique that we decided to do a whole little bonus episode.”

The inspiration for these conversations stem from LaFuria’s love of storytelling. “On campus, we have so many different stories that are told casually between friends, [or] professors might tell the stories in their classes, but they’re so interesting that it seemed only necessary to share them with a bigger audience,” he said. LaFuria hopes that in the future Tartan Talks will help further connect students to their professors even before they have them in class.

LaFuria stated that podcasting is such an easy and inexpensive way to hear someone’s story. He did not only want to do academic stories, but insights on the individuals on campus. “You can get a 20-25 minute story from walking with someone to class or just sitting next to someone,” said LaFuria.

He continued, “I constantly have someone telling a story in my ear...I am a huge podcast dork, and I thought this was a cool way to capture stories about people around campus.”

In the future, LaFuria wants to do live shows for students to attend as the podcast develops, modeling them after the Uncomfortable Conversations format. Those interested can look for Tartan Talks on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Pocket Casts and Google Podcasts, as well as the Edinboro University website by searching “Tartan Talks.”

Tags: news, podcast

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