Jennifer Stayton

Host, Morning Edition

Jennifer feels very lucky to have been born and raised in Austin, Texas. An English teacher at her high school, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, once suggested to the class that they tune in to KUT 90.5 for Paul Ray’s “Twine Time.” She has been a public radio fan ever since.

Her original career path – Psychology – took a back seat to radio after she started volunteering at the Williams College student radio station during her time there.

Jennifer has worked for commercial and public radio stations in news, production, music, and sales in Austin; Syracuse, New York; and Western Massachusetts. She has a Master’s Degree from Syracuse University in Radio-Television-Film. She has won awards from the Syracuse Press Club and Texas Associated Press Broadcasters.

Jennifer has been the local anchor and host of “Morning Edition” on KUT since May, 2004. She is also the co-host of KUT’s “Higher Ed” podcast.

Jennifer serves on the Advisory Committee for KTSW 89.9 at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. She is also a member of the Communication Major Advisory Council for Concordia University in Austin, Texas. She is a member of Women Communicators of Austin and serves as a Mentor in the organization.

Her husband Charles, stepdaughter Samantha, and cats Tidbit and Durango are very patient with her early hours and strange schedule!

Ways to Connect

We all know the traditional school routine: Go to class, listen to a lecture, take notes, go home, do the homework, come back to class, repeat. What if that model were reversed, and students were producers of some of that information, instead of only consumers? In this "Best of" episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss flipping the traditional model of learning.


What does Spring mean? The weather turns warmer. Flowers bloom. Taxes are due. And for students pursuing an education beyond high school, it's time to make a big decision: where to go to college. It can be a stressful but also exciting time in a student's academic career. In this "Best of" episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how students can determine if a college is the right place for them.


Some students and life-long learners think they're only good at one kind of subject. Maybe they consider themselves "science" people, or perhaps they keep their distance from labs but cannot get enough of history books. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the origins of what we know as "liberal arts" (hint: it all leads back to math) and why we can benefit from moving outside our comfort zones in what we study and explore.


In an ideal world, every student comes to class, or to any educational situation, well-prepared and ready to learn. But in reality, all kinds of life circumstances outside the classroom - such as poverty - can influence what happens inside the classroom. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about how those factors impact students' experiences. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. for KUT News

Merily Keller’s youngest son died by suicide in 2000, while she was working on a Master’s Degree in Public Health at UT Austin. Since then, she has worked in suicide prevention. She’s the program director for Mental Health America of Texas' Suicide Project.

KUT put the question to Keller: How does the suicide prevention community see itself fitting into the recent discussions nationally and in Texas about gun regulation?


What happens outside of the classroom - should it stay outside the classroom? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the value of co-curriculars to learning.


Persistence. Mindfulness. Caring. Passion. Should these be taught in school? Can they even be taught? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about teaching intangibles.


Photo courtesy of Kainaz Amaria/NPR

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead at a ranch near Marfa, Texas, while on a hunting trip. The 79-year-old Scalia was visiting the Cibolo Creek Ranch when he passed away in his sleep. Scalia had arrived at the ranch on Friday.

President Barack Obama said in remarks Saturday night that he will nominate a successor to Scalia with less than a year to go in his presidency.

Who doesn't feel pressed for time? And who isn't challenged by managing time during school? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about time management - what works, what doesn't, and why sometimes doing nothing at all is the best thing to do.


Best undergraduate school. Best graduate school. Best public school. Best regional school. Top "party school." These are just some of the ways institutions of higher learning are ranked in various surveys. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about what those rankings really show and how they can best be used - or not - in choosing a school.


PSAT. STAAR. ACT. SAT. Does the thought of taking standardized tests make your palms sweat and heart race? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about what standardized tests can and cannot measure, and the role they play in education and learning.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Austin’s city government underwent a massive shift just over a year ago with the swearing in of the first City Council under the new 10-1 system, in which Council members are elected from geographic districts. The documentary “Ten Won” focuses on the campaign that brought out over 70 candidates and might be the start of a change in Austin’s politics. Former television journalist Judy Maggio co-directed the documentary. KUT’s Jennifer Stayton talked with her recently about how they packed all of that into half an hour.


Think back to someone who has really influenced you in your life. Maybe it has been a teacher, a coach, a boss, or someone from less obvious quarters. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the crucial way role models and mentors can encourage us on our learning paths.


We are already well into 2016. How are those New Year's resolutions holding up? Don't feel bad; it can be hard to keep some of the lofty goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year.  In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about some easy ways to make - and keep - a resolution to learn and explore more in 2016.


Screenshot via Youtube

He was a larger-than-life lawyer and a major supporter of the University of Texas at Austin. Word came from Houston this morning that Joe Jamail has passed away at the age of 90 from complications with pneumonia.

A Higher Ed listener emailed in asking about letter grades: are they good? Bad? Do they hinder students' desire to take classes that might be interesting but challenging, too? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the impact letter grades can have on how we experience and approach our formal education.


"Regrets, I've had a few. But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption."

Frank Sinatra sings about regret in "My Way."  In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the decisions we make along the way in our formal education, and the role regret can play in lifelong learning.


When does it make sense for an undergraduate student to continue formal education and attend graduate school? Sometimes, it's an easy call; if someone wants to be a doctor or a lawyer, it's a necessity. But how does a student know if that's really what they want to pursue? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about what to weigh when deciding about that next step in school.


Photo provided by Kimberly.

This week, Travis County Commissioners approved the sale of seven and-a-half acres of county-owned property in East Austin to be donated to the local Salvation Army for a new women and children’s shelter adjacent to the current Austin Shelter for Women and Children. From Sept. 2013 to Sept. 2014, that shelter served 120 women and 249 children in crisis who needed a place to stay and services to get back on their feet.

Kimberly is one of the many women who sought help at the shelter (she asked that we not use her last name, as her children attend local schools). But, before things started unraveling, Kimberly was working and had a house and two children. Here, you can listen to Kimberley's story in her own words.


Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger is obviously a pretty busy guy. But he does make time to teach a class each year. This fall, he's teaching a class that's centered on puzzles. Puzzlers. Teasers. Questions that really make students grapple for the solution. Why a class focused on that? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Dr. Ed Burger puzzle over the value of puzzles to learning.


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