Perseverantia: A Fitchburg State University Podcast Network

Perseverantia features sounds and stories of the Fitchburg State community. 
Two female students with headphones, microphones, and laptops doing podcast

Perseverantia is the Fitchburg State podcast network. Launched with its pilot content, the network features the voices, experiences, and educational and extra-curricular life of the university community, broadly defined. 

The network provides support in recording, editing, production, and dissemination of podcasts produced in classwork or community activities at the university. 

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FalconCast

FalconCast Podcast Series sneaker with gum, donut and spilled coffee

FalconCast is the inaugural series of Perseverantia: the Fitchburg State University Podcast Network, produced by students in Kevin McCarthy’s Podcasting class in spring 2023. Students are the heart of Fitchburg State, and in FalconCast they take to the mics to explore overlooked areas of campus life, including student activities, capstone projects, or people on campus whose work goes on behind the scenes. All aspects of FalconCast are student produced, right down to the show’s artwork.

Below you will find show notes and more information for each episode. 

Matt Baier and Nikki McToggart introduce the inaugural season of FalconCast, a podcast that picks the brains of students at Fitchburg State University to explore their advice, adventures, and anxieties.

FalconCast was created, developed and produced during the spring semester 2023 by students in the Podcasting class at Fitchburg State University. It is the inaugural series in season one of Perseverantia, Fitchburg State’s Podcast Network.

The FalconCast series producers are Matt Baier and Nikki McToggart. Series Artwork by Nate McKenna. Music supervision and Sound Mastering by Ryan Gallagher. Transcriptions supervised and edited by McKenzie Calvao. Episode Notes edited by Egan Wolford.

Season 1 Episode Producers include students from the Communications Media department:

  • McKenzie Calvao and Nick Castillo (“RA Caitlin”)
  • Matt Baier, Max Eisenhaure,  Jackson Texeira (“Building Blocks”)
  • JJ Catalano, Alan Tadiello,  Egan Wolford (“Becoming a Falcon”)
  • Logan Corrado and Alexander Maggio (“Clubs and Comradery”)
  • Ryan Gallagher and Dalicia Rodriguez (“My Non Biological Brother”)
  • Keyloni Jackson, Nate McKenna, and Nikki McToggart (“Silver Lining”)

Prof. Kevin McCarthy is the Podcasting course instructor and one of the executive producers of Perseverantia.  Questions or comments?  An idea for Season 2 of FalconCast or the Perseverantia network?  Please reach out podcasts@fitchburgstate.edu.

Episode teaser transcript available.

In S1, Episode 1 of FalconCast, our hosts Nick Castillo and McKenzie Calvao interview Fitchburg State University student and Resident Assistant (RA), Caitlin Moriarty, and find out what it means to work as a undergraduate RA. From difficulties with always being on the clock to the unique connections between the RA’s, Caitlin gives us a look into how she manages her lifestyle between school and work above it all.

Caitlin Moriarty (She/They) is a sophomore student at Fitchburg State studying education and on her way to becoming a teacher. Currently, she works as a Resident Assistant for the Aubuchon Residence Hall and is soon to be the Assistant Resident Director of the building. When not at work, she enjoys hanging out with friends, watching movies, and spending time with her dog, Karma.

For more information on being an RA or housing at Fitchburg State, visit their website or contact housing directly at housing@fitchburgstate.edu.

This episode was produced by McKenzie Calvao and Nick Castillo as a part of the Spring 2023 Podcasting class at Fitchburg State University.

S1, Episode 1 of FalconCast transcript available. 

Click here to learn more about Perseverantia. Join us for programming updates on Instagram. Or reach out with ideas or suggestions at podcasts@fitchburgstate.edu.

In S1, Episode 2 of FalconCast, our hosts Max Eisenhaure and Matthew Baier interview Fitchburg State University student Marcus Phan and find out about the Building Manager job at Fitchburg State. From his daily duties to kicking people out, and improving himself, Marcus gives us a look into what it means to be a Building Manager.

Marcus Phan (He/Him) is a junior student at Fitchburg State University studying film and on his way to breaking into the industry. Currently, he works as a Building Manager at Hammond Hall, the campus epicenter for student activity.

This episode was produced by Matt Baier, Max Eisenhaure, and Jackson Texeira as a part of the Spring 2023 Podcasting class at Fitchburg State University.

S1, Episode 2 of FalconCast transcript available. 

Join us for programming updates on Instagram. Reach out with ideas or suggestions at podcasts@fitchburgstate.edu.

In S1, Episode 3 of FalconCast, our host Egan Wolford speaks with three Fitchburg State University student-athletes who share their unique journey through sports, academics, and life to becoming a Falcon at Fitchburg State. Matt, Cole, and Julia offer insights into how they deal with "the pressure" of their sport, what it's like to chase their dreams while maintaining love for their sport, and what it's like to be a Falcon student-athlete.

Matt Aguirre (he/him) is a junior football player for Fitchburg State University. Hailing all the way from Texas, he is a major motivator on the football team. Julia Gauvin (she/her) is a sophomore softball player for Fitchburg State University. She never thought she would play in college and now she leads the dominant Falcons softball team. Cole Archambeault (he/him) is a junior and one of the captains of the Fitchburg State University hockey team. Cole grew up in the neighboring town of Lunenburg, MA and always felt like he might become a Falcon. 

This episode was produced by JJ Catalano, Alan Tadiello, and Egan Wolford, as a part of the Spring 2023 Podcasting class at Fitchburg State University.

S1,Episode 3 of FalconCast transcript available.

Join us for programming updates on Instagram. Reach out with ideas or suggestions at podcasts@fitchburgstate.edu.

In S1, Episode 4 of the FalconCast, our hosts Alexander Maggio and Logan Corrado interview Fitchburg State University student Dylan Mercier (he/him) and find out how to make college life easier by participating in the multitude of clubs and organizations offered on the Fitchburg State campus. Dyan gives us a look into what made him interested in joining these clubs and the upside of participating in campus life. 

Dylan is a freshman at Fitchburg State University majoring in Biology with a health sciences concentration. When not in class or studying, Dylan has found comradery in the Biology Club, the Smash Bros Club, and the Pokemon Club.

This episode was produced by Logan Corrado and Alexander Maggio as a part of the Spring 2023 Podcasting class at Fitchburg State University.

S1, Episode 4 of FalconCast transcript available.

On S1, Episode 5 of FalconCast, Ryan Gallagher hands the mic over to his non-biological brother and fellow Class of 2023 graduate, Armando Libier. Studying Technical Theater in the Communications Media department, Armando has been an active member of the Fitchburg State University community – serving as treasurer for the Sigma Pi fraternity, building manager, tour guide, and freshman orientation leader. Armando talks about his experience in Greek Life on campus and serving as a mentor to his non-biological brothers and incoming first year students.  

This episode was produced by Ryan Gallagher and Dalicia Rodriguez as a part of the Spring 2023 Podcasting class at Fitchburg State University.

S1, Episode 5 of FalconCast transcript available here.

On this final episode of season 1 of FalconCast, our host Nikki interviews three Fitchburg State University film production students to gain a better understanding of the Communications Media film/video production concentration and their capstone Advanced Cinema Production class.   

Director / Writer Sean-Michael Hibbert, Director of Photography Joey DiTavi, and actor Dave Appolon talk about the dedication that is necessary to create their film Silver Lining.

This episode was produced by Nikki McToggart, Nate McKenna, and Keyloni Jackson as a part of the Spring 2023 Podcasting class at Fitchburg State University.

Episode 6 of FalconCast transcript available here.

Welcome to Season 2 of FalconCast, produced by the Spring 2024 Podcasting class in the Communications Media department at Fitchburg State University.

Over the next week, your hosts, Jeremy Allik, Fredo Robinson, and Dave Gambone will dive into the extracurriculars and campus involvement that Fitchburg State University offers by talking to the students invested in community, personal growth, and what it means to be a part of something bigger than yourself.

Season 2 Teaser transcript available.

Trailer edited and mixed by Jaden Blake (COMM '27).  Episode produced by Gio Colon (COMM '25) and Dave Gambone (COMM '25), and members of the Podcasting class. 

Show art by Nate McKenna (COMM '23).

Join us on S2, Episode 1 of FalconCast as Jeremy Allik (COMM '25) chats with Zoe Christostomides (BSAD, minor Journalism '26), the rising junior captain of the women's soccer team, editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Point, and aspiring broadcast journalist.

Zoe's story takes us on a journey from her high school soccer days, where she was a "little fish in a huge pond," to finding her place as a collegiate athlete and leader.  She opens up about the personal growth she's experienced, the pressures of competing for a starting position, the excitement for the upcoming season, and women's sports in general.

If you're pondering whether to join college sports or immerse yourself in extracurriculars, let this conversation be your nudge to embrace opportunities that can shape your future. Take advantage of the special insight into the small school community at Fitchburg State, where close-knit connections enrich the college experience in unexpected, meaningful ways.

S2, Episode 1 Falconcast transcript available. 

This episode was produced by Adam Nedelka (DMI '27) and edited by Drew Tremarche (Game Design '25) and Dante Melo (GAME '25).  Sound mixed by Gio Colon (COMM '25). FalconCast Season 2 was produced by members of the Spring 2024 Podcasting class at Fitchburg State University.

In S2, Episode 2 of FalconCast, Dave Gambone (COMM '25) sat down with Shanna Sallah in April 2024 to explore her work supporting student veterans on Fitchburg State's campus. Shanna, who oversees the Veterans Center alongside her role at the Office of Student Affairs, discusses the veterans work-study program and the personal connection that makes this work so meaningful. The Veterans Center is a vital space on campus, fostering camaraderie among veterans, with monthly meet and greets and other activities. "This is the place for the veterans, this place is yours."

S2, Episode 2 of FalconCast transcript available.

This episode was produced by David Gambone and Jaden Blake (COMM '27) ; edited by Drew Tremarche (GAME '25) and Dante Melo (GAME  '25); and sound mixed by Gio Colon (COMM '25). FalconCast Season 2 was produced by members of the Spring 2024 Podcasting class at Fitchburg State University.

In S2, Episode 3 of FalconCast, Fredo Robinson (COMM '26) sat down with the past, present and future presidents of Improvatron (Fitchburg State's Improv Club):  Nick Castillo (COMM '25) and Anna Gauvin (Engineering Technology '25).   Nick and Anna highlight the welcoming nature of improv and offer advice for potential members, showcasing how leadership roles within the club can cultivate lifelong friendships, self-confidence, and loads of laughs.

S2, Episode 3 of FalconCast transcript available.

This episode was produced by Tori Kiolbasa (COMM '25).  It was edited by Drew Tremarche (GAME '25) and Dante Melo (GAME  '25) -- and sound mixed by Gio Colon (COMM '25) .  Additional audio recorded at the last Improvatron performance of the academic year in April 2024 by Tori Kiolbasa.

FalconCast Season 2 was produced by members of the Spring 2024 Podcasting class at Fitchburg State University.

In the Season 2 finale of FalconCast, Jeremy Allik (COMM '25) talked to Oliver "Cookie" Cookson (BSAD '25), a captain of Fitchburg State University's Men's Ice Hockey team. Cookie discusses his journey as a student-athlete, the appeal of the daily grind of the hockey season -- while looking ahead to next season's team and hopes for success. Says Cookie, "A lot of the stuff that you know translate to a good life you can find in a good athlete and a good teammate. So as a leader, that's what I try to strive for."

S2, Episode 4 of Falconcast transcript available.

This episode was produced by Jeremy Allik and Adam Nedelka (DMI '27).  It was edited by Drew Tremarche (GAME '25) and Dante Melo (GAME  '25) -- and sound mixed by Gio Colon (COMM '25).

FalconCast Season 2 was produced by members of the Spring 2024 Podcasting class in the Communications Media department at Fitchburg State University.  A special shout out to Stephen Hattler (GAME '24) who wrote show notes and did transcriptions for Season 2 episodes -- and Season 2 's lead producers, Tori Kiolbasa (COMM '25) and Gio Colon.  

FalconCast show art by Nate McKenna (COMM '23).

Perspectives

Perseverantia Perspectives Podcast Series logo Fitchburg State University

Perspectives explores the many voices of Fitchburg State’s community. Series feature conversations with students, faculty, and staff in the “Five with a Falcon” segments, or longer-form interviews with alumni. 

PERSEWERANTIA? What's in a Name

What is the deal with the network name?   How exactly do you pronounce it?

This episode explores the persnickety pronunciation of the network name -- which is also Fitchburg State University's motto. 

Bonus episode transcript available.

Join us for programming updates on Instagram. Or reach out with ideas or suggestions at podcasts@fitchburgstate.edu.

On this bonus episode of Five with a Falcon, Paulina Torres, a class of 2023 graduate with a major in Geographic Science and Technology, talks about how her time spinning records on WXPL campus radio has helped her connect with fellow students and to her Mexican heritage, what it's been like to navigate college as a first generation student, and how her ideal DJ playlist features artists that meld both modern alternative music with traditional Latin American sounds (including two of her current favorite cumbia artists).

Tune in to Fitchburg State's WXPL through TuneIn -- or via 91.3 FM on your radio dial when in the Fitchburg area.

Five with Falcon episode transcript available here.

Perspectives is an ongoing series of Perseverantia -- featuring the voices and stories of the campus community, including alumni interviews; conversations with students, faculty, and staff; and features events.  The goal of Perspectives is to allow for in-depth exploration of the experiences and issues on the minds of those teaching, learning, and working at Fitchburg State University.

Recorded in front of a live audience at Fitchburg State University on April 6, 2023, Fitchburg Speaks: Stories about What Made Us Who We Are showcases true stories from the complex and rich lives led by members of the greater Fitchburg community. 

Sixteen storytellers took to the mic to generously share their stories about what made them who they are.  

Today, we feature five of those stories about formative experiences living alone in the wilderness, the search for balance, overcoming adversity, finding comfort in being one's true self, and a love story spanning 57 years, a peace corps deployment, and three strikes. 

  • Dr. Steven Edwards, Fitchburg State Professor (2:54)
  • Yer Yang, Communications Media, Graphic Design (8:08)
  • Nadia Turovskiy, Rhythmic Gymnast, Dual Enrollment, Bolton MA (13:06)
  • Elliot Zopatti, Communications Media, Technical Theater (17:18)
  • Arthur E. Young, Peace Corps 1961 (21:34) 

Fitchburg Speaks was the culminating event from a year of programming inspired by the 2022-23 Fitchburg Community Read book, Trevor Noah's memoir Born a Crime. This event was organized and sponsored by the Fitchburg Community Read Committee and its members.   

Host: Elliot Zopatti
Recording engineers: Matt Baier and Adam Fournier

Episode transcript for Fitchburg Speaks (Community Read, Part 1 of 2) available here.

Recorded in front of a live audience at Fitchburg State University on April 6, 2023, Fitchburg Speaks: Stories about What Made Us Who We Are (Part 2 of 2) showcases stories from members of the greater Fitchburg community.  

If you haven't checked out the first five storytellers from this episode, go back to your feed and listen (Perspectives, Ep 7, released June 26)!

Today, we hear four stories from Fitchburg State students, including a junior who tells us how his outlook on life changed profoundly thanks to the unexpected wisdom of a video game; the story of a 30-year veteran television and podcast producer whose try everything ethos and desire to teach prompted a return to school as a first year undergraduate; a second year education major whose life goal as a teacher is to create safe spaces for students who look like they do; and, the story of an English studies major who shares how learning to read was the greatest accomplishment of his life. 

  • Nick Castillo, Communications Media, Film/Video Production (1:48)
  • Toni Magras, Communications Media, Film/Video Production (8:35)
  • Caitlin Moriarty, English Secondary Education (15:12)
  • Stephen Wells, English Studies/Professional Writing (20:22)

Fitchburg Speaks was the culminating event from a year of programming inspired by the 2022-23 Fitchburg Community Read book, Trevor Noah's memoir Born a Crime. This event was organized and sponsored by the Fitchburg Community Read Committee and its members.   

Host: Elliot Zopatti
Recording engineers: Matt Baier and Adam Fournier

Episode transcript for Fitchburg Speaks (Community Read, Part 2 of 2) available here.

Perspectives is an ongoing series of Perseverantia -- featuring the voices and stories of the campus community, including alumni interviews; conversations with students, faculty, and staff; and features events. The goal of Perspectives is to allow for in-depth exploration of the experiences and issues on the minds of those teaching, learning, and working at Fitchburg State University.
 

In this episode of Five with a Falcon: Tim Lwanga, a 2023 Fitchburg State University graduate hailing from Medford, MA, talks about the transformative experience of the last four years and how he has come to value what's most important in life - helping others.  A major in Psychological Science, Tim is currently on the path to graduate school and becoming a mental health counselor. 

Episode transcript for Five with a Falcon: Tim Lwanga available.

Perspectives is an ongoing series of Perseverantia -- featuring the voices and stories of the campus community, including alumni interviews; conversations with students, faculty, and staff; and features events. The goal of Perspectives is to allow for in-depth exploration of the experiences and issues on the minds of those teaching, learning, and working at Fitchburg State University.

In this episode of Five with a Falcon: Jin Oakes ('24), a transfer student, shares the journey that took them to a Fitchburg State major in History with a double minor in Professional Writing and Political Science, how the campus library provides a sense of belonging and community among the stacks, and how their studies have inspired a passion for research. 

Episode transcript for Five with a Falcon: Jin Oakes available.

Episode edited and mixed by Adam Fournier, a member of the Perseverantia staff, and a film/video production student in the Communications Media department.

Perspectives is an ongoing series of Perseverantia -- featuring the voices and stories of the campus community, including alumni interviews; conversations with students, faculty, and staff; and features events. The goal of Perspectives is to allow for in-depth exploration of the experiences and issues on the minds of those teaching, learning, and working at Fitchburg State University.

In this episode of Five with a Falcon, Karla Taveras Guerra ('23) joins us a day and a half before her graduation to talk about what she's learned about herself while studying Graphic Design and International Studies, how her personality differs when speaking English and Spanish, and how she found a sense of belonging while at Fitchburg State University.

Episode transcript for Five with a Falcon: Karla Taveras Guerra available.

Episode edited and mixed by Adam Fournier, a member of the Perseverantia staff, and a film/video production student in the Communications Media department.

Perspectives is an ongoing series of Perseverantia -- featuring the voices and stories of the campus community, including alumni interviews; conversations with students, faculty, and staff; and features events.  The goal of Perspectives is to allow for in-depth exploration of the experiences and issues on the minds of those teaching, learning, and working at Fitchburg State University.
 

In this episode of Five with a Falcon, Jessica Garcia, IDIS major discusses being a “non-traditional” student at Fitchburg State, balancing her educational goals, work, and dedication to working with youth in her community with her ministry. Her story of finding her purpose in education, working with Dr. Jessica Robey, has led her to pursue an Interdisciplinary Studies degree that will help her in work, community life, and ministry. Hear about her experiences in online classes, learning as a multilingual student, and accomplishments as she progresses toward her goals.

Episode transcript for Five with a Falcon: Jessica Garcia available.

Episode edited and mixed by Adam Fournier, a member of the Perseverantia staff, and a film/video production student in the Communications Media department.

Catching Up With...Mike Grasela ('13), Communications Media, Film/Video Production

Catching Up With... is an ongoing series where Fitchburg State students talk to Fitchburg State alumni, reflecting on their time here on campus, celebrating their accomplishments and discussing how they got from here to where they are now.

In this inaugural episode of this series, Adam Fournier, a current Communications Media major, focusing on film and video production, talks to Mike Grasela, a 2013 graduate of the Film and Video Production program, about their shared passion for all things video editing as well as Mike's time at Fitchburg State.

Adam and Mike discuss how Mike took the skills he developed in the classroom to the filmmaking industry beyond, the possibility of pursuing a filmmaking career while staying in Massachusetts, and how Mike started his own successful post-production business based right in Boston – Minutemen Post – and the steps and sacrifices he had to take to get to where he is now.

This series is produced, edited, and mixed by Adam Fournier, a member of the Perseverantia staff.  

If you have a suggestion for a student and alumnus that would be a good fit for the Catching Up With... series, please contact us at podcasts@fitchburgstate.edu.

Catching Up with...Mike Grasela ('13) episode transcript available.

In this episode of Five with a Falcon, Derek Tirrell ('25) talks with fellow Communications Media major McKenzie Calvao ('25) about finding his passion within the film/video production program, and the sense of place and community he’s nurtured while working on campus as a student tour guide and Student Orientation leader.  Derek also plugs an upcoming short film he’s producing with Ally Thompson and Ania MacIndewar and other students in his Advanced Cinema Production course during in the Spring 2024 semester called Dream Girl.

Episode transcript of Five with a Falcon: Derek Tirrell available. 

Episode produced and edited by McKenzie Calvao, a member of the Perseverantia staff, and a film/video production student in the Communications Media department.

Classroom Stories

Perseverantia Classroom Stories Podcast Series logo Fitchburg State University

Students come to Fitchburg State University for academic enrichment and the innovative pedagogy offered in its classrooms. Classroom Stories feature the work of students and learning communities and the exciting explorations in the content of the many disciplines available for study at the university.

In this episode of Classroom Stories: School Counselors Reflect, students from Professor Megan Krell’s graduate class, Practicum in School Counseling, in Spring 2023 reflect on what they learned about being a school counselor. Plus, Professor Krell provides some insight into the evolution of the term and the role these educational professionals play.

Find out more about Fitchburg State's MS in School Counseling as well as other graduate degrees in Human Services -- at the Behavioral Sciences department website.

Classroom Stories: School Counselors Reflect transcript.

About the Classroom Stories series:

Students come to Fitchburg State University for academic enrichment and the innovative pedagogy offered in its classrooms. Classroom Stories feature the work of students and learning communities and the exciting explorations in the content of the many disciplines available for study at the university.

In this episode of Classroom Stories: Heart of Europe Study Abroad Reflections (2023), students from Professor Josh Spero's Spring 2023 study abroad class, The Heart of Europe reflect on their experiences traveling from Amsterdam to Poland, encountering historical sites, German university students, visiting Auschwitz, and seeing European residents confront the realities of the Russian war in Ukraine.

Find out more about Fitchburg State's Study Abroad programs and other classes in the Economics, History, and Political Science Department.

Heart of Europe Study Abroad Reflections transcript.

About the Classroom Stories series:

Students come to Fitchburg State University for academic enrichment and the innovative pedagogy offered in its classrooms. Classroom Stories feature the work of students and learning communities and the exciting explorations in the content of the many disciplines available for study at the university.

Making History Today, produced by the History program at Fitchburg State University, connects the classroom to historians working in their fields. In these conversations, students discuss works assigned in class and develop questions for the authors, which are then posed in these episodes. 

The first series of conversations emerges from Prof. Katherine Jewell's graduate course in Fitchburg State's online master's program in History in summer 2023 on Media and U.S. Politics. 

In this episode from 3/1, Professor Jewell talks with Kathryn Cramer Brownell of Purdue University about her first book, Showbiz Politics: Hollywood in American Political Life. Dr. Brownell received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. from Boston University. Her research and teaching focus on the relationships between media, politics, and popular culture, with an emphasis on the American presidency.

Showbiz Politics: Hollywood in American Political Life, (University of North Carolina Press, 2014) explores the institutionalization of Hollywood in American politics. This book traces the key personal relationships, institutions, and government policies that established the foundation for a celebrity political culture and made entertainment a central feature of American politics. 

Her second book, released just after the conclusion of the graduate course, 24/7 Politics: Cable Television and the Fragmenting of America from Watergate to Fox News, (Princeton University Press, 2023), explores the political battle over cable television from the 1960s through today, excavating how the American political process became tethered to the business interests of a corporate cable television industry. 

She also serves as Senior Editor for the Made By History column at TIME Magazine.

Media and U.S. Politics episode transcript.

This episode was edited and sound mixed by Adam Fournier, a member of the Perseverantia staff and a student in the Communications Media department.
 

Making History Today, produced by the History program at Fitchburg State University, connects the classroom to historians working in their fields. In these conversations, students discuss works assigned in class and develop questions for the authors, which are then posed in these episodes.

The first series of conversations emerges from Prof. Katherine Jewell's graduate course in Fitchburg State's online Master's program in History in summer 2023 on Media and U.S. Politics.

In this episode from 3/8, students engage with Dr. Allison Perlman at the University of California Irvine and her book, Public Interests: Media Advocacy and Struggles Over US Television (Rutgers UP, 2016).

Allison Perlman is an associate professor in the departments of history and film and media studies at UC Irvine. Her research examines the intersections between television history, American social movements, and broadcasting policy. Her publications include articles in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Feminist Media Studies, Television and New Media, Journal of Popular Film and Television, Cinema Journal, and Communication, Culture and Critique.

Allison Perlman on Public Interests episode transcript.

This episode was edited and sound mixed by Adam Fournier, a member of the Perseverantia staff and a student in the Communications Media department.

Making History Today, produced by the History program at Fitchburg State University, connects the classroom to historians working in their fields. In these conversations, students discuss works assigned in class and develop questions for the authors, which are then posed in these episodes.

The first series of conversations emerges from Prof. Katherine Jewell's graduate course in Fitchburg State's online master's program in History in summer 2023 on Media and U.S. Politics.

In this 3/15 episode, students engage with Dr. Heather Hendershot, Professor of Communication Studies at Northwestern University, and her book, When the News Broke: Chicago 1968, and the Polarizing of America (Chicago UP, 2022), which received an award from the Pattis Family Foundation, from the Newberry Library, was praised in the New York Review of Books, and in February 2023 was chosen as a Best Book by the New Yorker.

Hendershot is an expert on American film, television, and political culture. Her work explores the dynamics existing between media and politics in the 1960s-70s, including mainstream network news and conservative and right-wing media. She also explores Hollywood productions from the 1950s through the 1970s, and is currently pursuing a new book focusing on Nashville.

Heather Hendershot on When the News Broke episode transcript.

This episode was edited and sound mixed by Adam Fournier, a member of the Perseverantia staff and a student in the Communications Media department.
 

Making History Today, produced by the History program at Fitchburg State University, connects the classroom to historians working in their fields. In these conversations, students discuss works assigned in class and develop questions for the authors, which are then posed in these episodes.

The first series of conversations emerges from Prof. Katherine Jewell's graduate course in Fitchburg State's online master's program in History in summer 2023 on Media and U.S. Politics.

In this 3/22 episode, Dr. Matthew Pressman of Seton Hall responds to student's questions about his book, On Press: The Liberal Values that Shaped the News, published in 2018 by Harvard University Press. As a professor of journalism at Seton Hall, he teaches courses on Writing for the Media, Contemporary Issues in Sports Journalism, Feature Writing, and American Journalism.

Pressman explores the evolution of journalism’s core values, business practices, and how the news and politics intertwine. On Press  won the History Book Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and the PROSE Award from the Association of American Publishers. As he discusses in this episode, Pressman’s next book will explore the history of the New York Daily News.

Matthew Pressman on the Liberal Values that Shaped the News episode transcript.

This episode was edited and sound mixed by Adam Fournier, a member of the Perseverantia staff and a student in the Communications Media department.

Making History Today, produced by the History program at Fitchburg State University, connects the classroom to historians working in their fields. In these conversations, students discuss works assigned in class and develop questions for the authors, which are then posed in these episodes.

The first series of conversations emerges from Prof. Katherine Jewell's graduate course in Fitchburg State's online master's program in History in summer 2023 on Media and U.S. Politics.

In this 4/3 episode, students engage with Dr. Matthew Delmont, the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of History at Dartmouth College.  A Guggenheim Fellow and author of four books, Professor Delmont is an expert in African American History and the history of the civil rights movement, and his work explores these histories as they intertwine with media history, including his most recent book, Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers (Stanford University Press, 2019).

In this episode, students raised questions regarding busing, with a focus on Boston, and how media enters this story that often focuses on policy and urban history. They discuss Delmont’s book, Why Busing Failed: Race, Media, and the National Resistance to School Desegregation (University of California Press, 2016).

Matthew Delmont on Why Busing Failed episode transcript.

This episode was edited and sound mixed by Adam Fournier, a member of the Perseverantia staff and a student in the Communications Media department.

Special Series: The Empty Campus

Perseverantia Special Series The Empty Campus Podcast Series

Some stories require multiple episodes to explore their many facets, and Perseverantia’s special series explore issues related to campus life, in-depth research and scholarly explorations, or longer narratives drawing from the classrooms and lives of our community. The first Special Series: The Empty Campus, features oral histories about the campus community’s experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Empty Campus: 1. Spring Break

In The Empty Campus, students in the spring 2022 Honors Seminar in History gathered thirty-six oral histories about the Fitchburg State community’s experience of the Covid 19 pandemic. They turned their research into this podcast to begin the process of reflecting on these events.

Episode 1: Spring Break explores the moment when members of the Fitchburg State community found out about the university’s indefinite closure in March 2020.

Find out more about The Empty Campus project at the Fitchburg State University Archives.

This episode was remastered for Perseverantia, in Spring 2023 by Matt Baier, a student in the Communications Media department and member of the Perseverantia staff.

Episode 1: Spring Break transcript available. 

The Empty Campus: 2. College from Your Living Room

In The Empty Campus, students in the spring 2022 Honors Seminar in History gathered thirty-six oral histories about the Fitchburg State community’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. They turned their research into this podcast to begin the process of reflecting on these events.

Episode 2: College from Your Living Room explores how members of the Fitchburg State community attempted to continue their studies, teaching, and work from home during the spring 2020 lockdown.

Find out more about the Empty Campus project at the Fitchburg State University Archives.

This episode was remastered for Perseverantia, in Spring 2023 by Matt Baier, a student in the Communications Media department and member of the Perseverantia staff.

Episode 2: College from Your Living Room transcript available.

In The Empty Campus, students in the spring 2022 Honors Seminar in History gathered thirty-six oral histories about the Fitchburg State community’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. They turned their research into this podcast to begin the process of reflecting on these events.  

Episode 3: The Essentials, is the next installment in the series.

When the Fitchburg State campus went silent in March 2020, it remained so for months to come. But its emptiness belied the continued pace of work and change. In Episode 3, Fitchburg State administrators, staff, faculty, and students reflect on the difficult decisions made during the pandemic all while feeling isolated.

Find out more about the Empty Campus project at the Fitchburg State University Archives.

This episode was remastered for Perseverantia, in Spring 2023 by Matt Baier, a student in the Communications Media department and member of the Perseverantia staff.

Episode 3: The Essentials transcript available. 

In The Empty Campus, students in the spring 2022 Honors Seminar in History gathered thirty-six oral histories about the Fitchburg State community’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. They turned their research into this podcast to begin the process of reflecting on these events. Episode 4: Extracurriculars is the next installment in this series.

In Episode 4: Extracurriculars, we explore how student life continued even with the shift to remote and COVID-19 protocols, including campus culture, student activities, organizations, and athletics.

Find out more about the Empty Campus project at the Fitchburg State University Archives.

This episode was remastered for Perseverantia, in Spring 2023 by Matt Baier, a student in the Communications Media department and member of the Perseverantia staff.

Episode 4: Extracurriculars transcript available. 

In The Empty Campus, students in the Spring 2022 Honors Seminar in History gathered thirty-six oral histories about the Fitchburg State community’s experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. They turned their research into this podcast to begin the process of reflecting on these events. Episode 5: Back to Campus is the final installment in this series.

In Episode 5: Back to School, students, staff, and administrators reflect on their experiences with Covid-19 policies with the return to campus in Fall 2020 and as the community looks to the endemic stage of the pandemic.

Find out more about The Empty Campus project at the Fitchburg State University Archives.

This episode was first recorded in Spring 2022. The five-part series was remastered for Perseverantia, in Spring 2023 by Matt Baier, a student in the Communications Media department and member of the Perseverantia staff.

Episode 5: Back to School transcript available. 

Getting to the Point

Perseverantia Getting to the Point Podcast Series

Produced by journalists at Fitchburg State University’s student-run newspaper, The Point, this series offers behind-the-scenes and in-depth reporting about newsworthy events on campus or in the community or features longer-form conversations with newsmakers.

Season 1, Teaser: Introducing a new Podcast Series

Welcome to Getting to the Point, the college newspaper’s news podcast, where we dive deep into the stories that matter most to our campus community. And give you a behind the scenes look into the pieces that make it into your campus newspaper, The Point.

From campus events and student achievements to critical topics like social justice, sustainability and technology advancements. Our podcast covers a broad range of subjects relevant to our diverse community and the issues shaping our college experience.
 
In each episode will feature an exclusive interview with the prominent figures, faculty experts and fellow students who are making a difference on campus and beyond. We'll ask the tough questions and dive into the details to provide you with the insight you need to form your own opinions.

But this podcast isn't just a one way street. We want to hear from you, our listeners. 

Your feedback, questions and story ideas are crucial to shaping the content we produce. Reach out to us through our website or social media platforms. Join us every week as we embark on this exciting journey of discovery, understanding and engagement. Together, let's Get to the Point.

If you're interested in working on the podcast, register for College Newspaper Production (ENGL 3830) or contact The Point.   

Introducing a new Podcast Series episode transcript available.

This is the pilot episode of Getting to the Point, an affiliate podcast of The Point, the Fitchburg State student newspaper.  

You may think that competing on a college level is exciting -- and it most definitely is. But what are the consequences to competing at this level?  What happens to the athletes on the road to competition?  What are their challenges and what support do student athletes have when it comes to the issue of mental health?

Joining host Zoe Chrisostomides ('26) on GTTP is Spenser Powell, a former student athlete who just happens to play the same sport as Zoe, soccer.

This episode was recorded in April 2023.  It was produced by Toni Magras for the College Newspaper Production course taught by Prof. Wafa Unus.

If you're interested in working on the podcast, register for College Newspaper Production (ENGL 3830) or contact The Point.   

Season 1, Episode 1, Pilot episode transcript available.

This is Season 1, Episode 2 of the pilot season of Getting to the Point (GTTP), an affiliate podcast of The Point, the Fitchburg State student newspaper.

Joining host Zoe Chrisostomides ('26) on GTTP is Darcy Lally (COMM '24), a senior filmmaker who recently started a film production company -- Stargaze Studios -- with her friends and collaborators in the film/video concentration within the Communications Media department. Darcy's 2022 film Subtle Signs screened at Visions 2023, while the Stargaze team's new film Will-O'-The-Wisp (directed and written by Emily Gelinas) will be completed this fall. 
 
If you're interested in working on the podcast, register for College Newspaper Production (ENGL 3830) or contact The Point.   

S1, Episode 2: Darcy Lally transcript available.

Recorded in May 2023, it was produced by Toni Magras for the College Newspaper Production course taught by Prof. Wafa Unus.

Matt Baier (COMM '24) edited and mixed the episode for Perseverantia.

This is S1, Episode 3 of the pilot season of Getting to the Point (GTTP), an affiliate podcast of The Point, the Fitchburg State student newspaper.  

Stephen Wells will graduate from Fitchburg State University in December 2024, with a degree in English Studies and a concentration in Professional Writing. He's just like any other soon-to-be graduate, except that he has eight grandkids and started on his journey towards his degree 52 years ago. Being a "non-traditional" student has its challenges (mainly technology) but the joy of learning remains alive and well for Mr. Wells.   

During this interview with Getting to the Point's Zoe Chrisostomides, Stephen talks about his experiences in the classroom and his support system of teachers, classmates, and family.   It can be daunting returning to the classroom. But, his advice if you're holding off on finishing your degree?  "Don't wait. Do it."   

Stephen Wells was a featured storyteller in Fitchburg Speaks: Stories About What Made Us Who We Are, talking about how learning to read was the greatest accomplishment of his life.

If you're interested in working on the podcast, register for College Newspaper Production (ENGL 3830) or contact The Point.   

S1, Episode 3: Stephen Wells transcript available.

Recorded in May 2023, it was produced by Toni Magras for the College Newspaper Production course taught by Prof. Wafa Unus.

Matt Baier (COMM '24) edited and mixed the episode for Perseverantia.

This is S1, Episode 4 of the pilot season of Getting to the Point  (GTTP), an affiliate podcast of The Point, the Fitchburg State student newspaper.

Shellee Brevard (COMM '26), a sophomore screenwriter, joins host Zoe Chrisostomides ('26) on GTTP to talk about Shellee's experiences as a first-year student at Fitchburg State University. Hailing from Washington DC, Shellee offers her advice on navigating campus life, the benefits of an awesome college Math professor, discovering her love for film through Spike Lee's Crooklyn, exploring her own creative voice, and her dreams of making screenwriting her career. 

If you're interested in working on the podcast, register for College Newspaper Production (ENGL 3830) or contact The Point.

S1, Episode 4: Shellee Brevard transcript available.

Recorded in May 2023, it was produced by Toni Magras for the College Newspaper Production course taught by Prof. Wafa Unus.

Matt Baier (COMM '24) edited and mixed the episode for Perseverantia.

This is the inaugural episode of Season 2 of Getting to the Point (GTTP), an affiliate podcast of The Point, the Fitchburg State student newspaper.  

Dr. Laura Garofoli of the Psychological Science department received the 2023 Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service at a State House ceremony on November 8, 2023.  A few weeks ago, she sat in studio with  host Zoe Chrisostomides ('26) to talk about the prospect of meeting Governor Healey, the work she and her colleagues have done to develop the First Year Experience (FYE) program on campus, and how her students inspire her every day.

Professor Garofoli is being recognized at the state level for her exceptional contributions to Fitchburg State and its students, including service and leadership to academic departments and her role in the development of our First-Year Experience Seminar. The Governor’s Award winners are selected from the statewide recipients of the Commonwealth’s Performance Recognition Awards. 

S2, Episode 1: Laura Garofoli transcript available.

Recorded on October 14, 2023, it was produced by Toni Magras for the College Newspaper Production course taught by Prof. Wafa Unus.

If you're interested in working on the podcast, register for College Newspaper Production (ENGL 3830) or contact The Point.   

Click here to learn more about Perseverantia. Join us for programming updates on Instagram. Or reach out with ideas or suggestions at podcasts@fitchburgstate.edu.
 

Honors Students Explore Afro/Africanfuturism at Library Literature Fair

The Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library hosted poster presentations of Honors student work on  November 29, 2023 at a literature fair entitled "A Journey into What's Possible: An Exploration of Afro/Africanfuturism."   The event and reception was the culmination of a semester long student exploration of Afro/Africanfuturism in Dr. Kisha Tracy's Honors Seminar in Literature course (HON 2100).

In this episode of Getting to the Point, Tonia Magras speaks to the Judges' Choice Award winner, Autumn Garceu (junior, ECON), and Visitors' Choice Award winner, Julia Arena (junior, EXSS), about their experiences in Dr. Tracy's course, their participation in the literature fair, and how the film Black Panther (2018) served as the gateway to the rich novels, novellas, and short stories that make up the genres of Afro/Africanfuturism and Africanjujuism.

Tonia Magras also spoke to Lori Steckervetz, Outreach Librarian for Student Success and one of the judges for the literature fair,  about planning the event and plans for future displays of student work.

(Portions of this conversation were condensed for time.)
Matt Baier (COMM '24) edited and mixed this episode for Perseverantia.

S2, Episode 2: Honor Students transcript available.

Getting to the Point (GTTP) is an affiliate podcast of The Point, the Fitchburg State student newspaper. Recorded on December 12, 2023, it was produced by Toni Magras for the College Newspaper Production course taught by Prof. Wafa Unus.

If you're interested in working on the podcast, register for College Newspaper Production (ENGL 3830) or contact The Point. Join us for programming updates on our Instagram or reach out with ideas or suggestions at podcasts@fitchburgstate.edu.

We are currently accepting pitches from staff and faculty of Fitchburg State University, with plans to expand these calls soon. Stay tuned also for contexts regarding logo creation, as well as for more news about our theme music and series.

For more information, contact Associate Professor Kate Jewell kjewell1@fitchburgstate.edu and Associate Professor Kevin McCarthy kmccar13@fitchburgstate.edu.

A list of available equipment for podcast producers will be posted soon. This link tree has our website, where to subscribe, and our Instagram. 

Mission and Goals

Perseverantia seeks to apply and disseminate Fitchburg State University’s unique combination of expertise in media production and engaging content creation that highlights the academic, social, and community connections and voices of the university and central Massachusetts. By leveraging existing institutional assets in faculty expertise from media production to journalism to the history of university-owned media institutions, as well as placing students at the center of content production, Perseverantia provides a foundation to incubate innovative practices and production in local media with civic and cultural benefits to students, the institution, and wider community. Funded by an Academic Innovation Grant, the pilot year seeks to establish a foundation for the expansion of the network in subsequent academic years.

  • Build the infrastructure, management and personnel necessary to produce high-quality audio content featuring the work and activities of Fitchburg State University students and community members.
  • Disseminate produced audio content via a new podcasting channel, featuring several series and types of content, as well as broadcast on WXPL.
  • Enhance Fitchburg State University’s identity of blending enriching liberal arts and scientific inquiry with high-level professional skills and experience while strengthening connections between the institution, the city of Fitchburg, and residents in surrounding communities.

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