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

"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.


Technology allows us to access so much information so easily.  There are not many subjects we cannot learn at least a little something about. But does that knowledge make us all experts? What does it even mean to be an expert anymore? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss expertise in this age of adaptability.


Have you ever heard anyone talk about "getting through" a class or "knocking out" course requirements? What exactly is the point of a "formal" education - just to get a degree, or set a course for lifelong learning?


This summer, KUT is revisiting episodes of the podcast "Higher Ed." This episode was originally posted on April 5, 2015.

Each week, KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Dr. Ed Burger, President of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, about higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain. This week, Ed and Jennifer put away their smartphones and tablets for a few minutes to talk about the relationship between technology and learning. It seems like technology has made it easier to access more information more quickly. That's good, right? But can all that hardware, software, and information be more distraction than enrichment? Listen on to find out.

This summer, KUT is revisiting episodes of the podcast "Higher Ed." This episode was originally posted on March 29, 2015.

Each week, KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Dr. Ed Burger, President of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, about higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain. This week, Ed and Jennifer talk about a subject that we think we understand - numbers. But the concept of a number is really pretty nuanced. And humans aren't the only species that uses the concept of numbers. Listen on to find out more. 

This summer, KUT is revisiting episodes of the podcast "Higher Ed." This episode was originally posted on March 15, 2015.

This summer, KUT is revisiting episodes of the podcast "Higher Ed." This episode was originally posted on March 8, 2015.

Each week, KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Dr. Ed Burger, President of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, about higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain.  This week, Ed and Jennifer discuss the intriguing idea of teaching happiness in the classroom. Not as a separate subject, but as part of just about all subjects students already study.  Could that work? How would it work?

This summer, KUT is revisiting episodes of the podcast "Higher Ed." This episode was originally posted on February 8, 2015.

Each week, KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Dr. Ed Burger, President of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, about higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain.  Feeling like a little summer lovin' as the summer heats up? This week, Ed and Jennifer talk about sparking and sustaining a love of learning.

This summer, KUT is revisiting episodes of the podcast "Higher Ed." This episode was originally posted on January 11, 2015.

Each week, KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Dr. Ed Burger, President of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, about higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain. This week, Ed and Jennifer talk about how important failure is to learning and success. What?! That's the opposite of just about everything we've ever been taught. But it turns out intentionally failing is actually a critical step to ultimate success.

Credit Dawn Endico/flickr

"I was told there would be no math!"

It's a line people sometimes say in mock frustration when faced with a situation involving arithmetic.  For some people, the thought of doing addition or subtraction causes their hearts to race and their palms to sweat.

Why is that? Why do so many of us fear numbers? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger confront the concept of math phobia and explore ways to conquer it.

Credit Dawn Endico/flickr

Once school is over for the summer, many students are tempted to put it as far out of their minds as possible and take a break from the rigors of the academic year.  And they certainly aren't thinking about the school year ahead. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about striking a healthy balance between letting your brain take a summer vacation and keeping it busy enough to be fresh for the fall.

Credit Dawn Endico/flickr

A new haircut. Maybe some new clothes. What about gutting a house and rebuilding the whole thing? Those sound like pretty extreme makeovers. What about an extreme learning makeover? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss ways to transform how we teach and learn.

Aging. We all do it. Most of us try to avoid it, or at least stave off the effects of it. But two Austin authors hope women will learn to savor the wisdom and benefits that can come with growing older.

Ruth Pennebaker wrote and Marian Henley illustrated Pucker Up! The Subversive Woman's Guide to Aging with Wit, Wine, Drama, Humor, Perspective, and the Occasional Good Cry. Listen for their tips and tools for enjoying all that is good about the golden years.

Credit Dawn Endico/flickr

Caffeine-fueled all-nighters to finish up that paper or cram for a final exam: For some students, that's a regular part of their studying routine in higher education. They come to equate intense periods of hard work with more successful achievement and learning. But some research indicates slowing down that work flow might actually be the best recipe for deeper learning. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger have a lively discussion about the benefits of a slower pace.

Credit Dawn Endico/flickr

Remember that early 1990's television show Doogie Howser, M.D. about a brilliant teenage doctor? Doogie had graduated from college by the age of ten and had become a doctor at 14. Ok, that may be a little extreme, but is it possible that young people could learn that much that early in life? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss some of the commonly held assumptions about age and learning. Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Listen on for a fresh take.

UPDATE 11:05 a.m: The flash flood warnings for the Austin area have expired. Heavy rain has moved out of the area for the time being. A flash flood watch remains in effect until 3 p.m.

145 low water crossings in the Austin area are closed. The latest conditions are here.

Mengwen Cao/KUT

The Austin City Council’s switch to geographic representation was aimed at electing a council that’s more in touch with their constituents’ concerns. The change has also brought voices to the council representing viewpoints that weren’t heard on the old at-large council.

One of those voices belongs to District 6 Council Member Don Zimmerman. The council member’s controversial board and commission nominations prompted two hours of debate at the dais last week. Typically, approval for nominations takes minutes of the council’s time. KUT’s Jennifer Stayton spoke with the Austin Monitor’s Michael Kanin about the move, which is the latest in a series that has put Zimmerman at odds with the council at large. It’s also demonstrated his effectiveness as the council’s chief dissenter.

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