Two leaders in the Division of Student Affairs are taking to the airwaves with a radio show and podcast meant to break down silos and publicize campus resources.
Renee Watson, associate vice president for student life, and Keith Rogers, deputy executive director of the Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach, began the “Let’s Talk UNLV” podcast in 2020 with hopes of connecting students with campus resources.
“We saw this show as a great way to give students access to a lot of decision-makers at UNLV,” Rogers said. “Decisions at any large institution can be complex, so we’ve been intentional about engaging guests who can help the campus community better understand who the players are and the thought process behind the key decisions.”That approach has particular importance when, just months after the show launched in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced nearly all campus operations to go remote.
“We had on 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 went into us moving research, teaching, and scholarship to remote delivery,” Watson said.
The broadcasts are informative, but Watson says the larger goal is to connect students and campus resources.
“Our university just grew and grew, but that created different pockets or silos,” Watson said. “As a leader in Student Affairs, I want to open up ways to unify the campus, so students get the most benefit from everything available.”
Recent broadcast topics ranged from a discussion on the services offered by the Lied Library, a focus on student government, and shows discussing self-care, student life, and gender roles, among others.
Heading into the show’s second year of broadcast, 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 just really eye-opening to hear about the sacrifices our students make to serve in leadership roles,” Rogers said. “It’s also a great chance for us to ask what we can be doing to support them better and how we can communicate with them in a timely and effective way.”
Future segments, they hope, will further explore student interests and concerns.
“We want the show to be fresh and to reflect what’s on the minds of students,” Watson said. “We want student contributors and student writers, storytellers, and to engage students to promote the show through social media.”
On top of enriching the student experience at UNLV, Watson and Rogers say they’re learning more about the campus and forming more partnerships along the way.
“I didn’t know much about broadcasting or podcasting, but the students and the staff at KUNV have been a tremendous help,” Watson said. “It’s a great example of how we can all come together.”
“Let’s Talk UNLV” airs from 6:30 to 7 a.m. Sunday on 91.5 Jazz and More FM/HD1. It also airs on 91.5 The Rebel HD2from 6 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and noon to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. The show is available as a podcast on platforms such as Apple, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.