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

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.

Credit Dawn Endico/flickr

Caps and gowns ... diplomas... speeches... parties... and anxieties about what's next. It's commencement season, and thousands of higher education graduates across the country are packing up their dorm rooms and embarking on the next stage of life. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger reflect on what commencement means and discuss what most students actually take away from their college experiences. It may not be exactly what you'd expect - listen on.

Credit Dawn Endico/flickr

No doubt you've seen that iconic representation of the moment when a new idea is born. You know — the whole "lightbulb pops up over somebody's head" graphic. It's eye-catching for sure, but it turns out that's not actually how ideas come to us. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how ideas are formed and how they flow. Listen on to hear how it's more river than lightbulb.

Credit Dawn Endico/flickr

We all know the traditional classroom drill: 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 heard the lecture information outside the classroom and spent class time wrestling with questions and ideas? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss inquiry-based learning. Sounds dry? Not at all - listen on!

Credit Dawn Endico/flickr

What does Spring bring with it? 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 week's 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 to study.

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What does it take to do heavy duty research and generate new ideas in an academic field? A pile of degrees and years and years spent closed off in a room with noses to the grindstone? Not necessarily! In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore what it takes to create new knowledge and who is actually qualified to do that.

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Smartphone ownership in the United States is up to about 64% , according to data from the Pew Research Center. With all those smartphones in people's hands, we should be a lot smarter, right? How does technology impact the way we learn? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore the relationship between technology and learning. We've come a long way from chalk and erasers; listen on to find out if that's been for the better or the worse.

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From pre-K and all the way through graduate studies in math, we learn about numbers. But think about it - what is a number, really? What does the concept of  "four" or a "million" of something actually mean? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger try to define what numbers really are and how we make meaning of them. It's tougher than you might first think. Listen on to hear their attempt!

Remember "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey," that spoof of affirmations and pithy sayings?  They're funny for sure, but the idea of understanding something deeply is a serious part of education during school and beyond. In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how to understand something deeply and how that impacts learning. Sound intimidating? Listen on - it's really not!

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Learning.... it's what we all go to school for, right? Well, have you ever thought about what we're actually doing when we learn? Sometimes, it's just memorizing names, dates, or facts that we can reproduce on a test. We might ace the test, but have we really learned anything?

In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the important role "unlearning" plays in learning. What exactly is "unlearning?" Listen on to find out!

Update 11:46 a.m. Remember: Turn Around, Don't Drown: A map and list of Austin-area road closures can be found here. The National Weather Service issued a flood advisory until 2 p.m. for Travis, Bastrop, Williamson and Lee Counties.

History, Biology, English, Calculus. Those are some of the more traditional subjects taught in classrooms.

But what if happiness were taught in school?

In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss teaching happiness in school. What would that look like in a classroom? And if it could be taught, should it be taught?

12:30 p.m. update: The winter storm warning in effect for Travis and Williamson counties has been extended until 2:00 p.m. Saturday. Light freezing rain and freezing drizzle may still fall and continue to impact roads until then.

9:00 a.m. update: Austin Community College has now canceled all activities and closed all campuses for Saturday. Williamson County officials say that Ih-35 through Georgetown is closed in both directions because of icy conditions. The City of Austin's Parks and Recreation Department has announced that all of their department's facilities will open at noon today.

Saturday morning update (7:30 a.m.): A winter storm warning is in effect for Travis and Williamson counties until noon on Saturday. Freezing drizzle and freezing temperatures are expected to continue until noon today, making for hazardous driving conditions. Multiple accidents have been reported in Austin due to icy conditions. Austin and Travis County public safety officials are urging drivers to stay off the roads until temperatures start warming up.

Austin Community College campuses and centers will open at 11:00 a.m. Saturday. All classes and activities scheduled prior to then are canceled. Many area school districts, including the Austin Independent School District, have postponed or canceled events for today.

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"Takes one to know one."

Remember that phrase? It's usually tossed around as an insult during an argument. But, could there be a grain of truth in that? What does it mean to be an expert in something?

In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss what qualifies (and what doesn't) when it comes to being an expert in education. Just about all of us have been to school of some kind of at some point along the way. Does that mean we know what's best when it comes to education policy and curriculum? Listen on for a lively discussion.

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3-D printing seems like a great deal. Need something? Print it up. Anything from food to clothing to houses to guns can be printed and used. But just because we can print it, should we? And what about people who don't have access to the technology?

In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the convergence of technology, economics, art, ethics, and morality in grappling with the issues raised by what 3-D printing can do. And what about the impact of 3-D printing on education and learning? Listen on!

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Think back to your early days of school - nursery school and kindergarten, even into first grade. Learning was full of fun and creative discovery. But as time goes by, that fun disappears from the scene, and so can our love of learning.

In this Valentine's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss how we've lost that lovin' feeling in learning, and how we can get it back. Listen on to hear whether they harmonize about what a love of learning can bring to our lives.

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You may have been running into this problem, too - all the stores I've tried in Central Texas are out of 175th birthday cards! First, the City of Austin celebrated its 175th birthday in December 2014.  Now, Southwestern University in Georgetown is celebrating its 175th anniversary.

In the latest episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern's President Dr. Ed Burger explore the history of Southwestern University on its demisemiseptcentennial. Or as some call it, the quartoseptcentennial. It's also known as the septaquintaquinquecentennial. Do Ed and Jennifer even try to say those words?! Listen on to find out.

The phrase "liberal arts" often goes hand in hand with discussions about higher education. But really, what are the liberal arts? Are they liberal? Are they arts?

How about none of the above? In the latest episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger explore what comprises liberal arts. Think it's literature, history, science, maybe the study of a foreign language? Think again and listen on.

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The old saying goes something like this: "If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it it, does it make a sound?" A variation on that might go: "If someone asks a question, and no one is around to hear it, what good does it do?"

A lot, as it turns out. In the latest episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger exchange questions and answers about the art and importance of questions to learning.

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Welcome to the first episode of KUT's newest podcast, "Higher Ed." Each week, KUT's Jennifer Stayton will talk with Dr. Ed Burger, President of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, about higher education, lifelong learning, and exercising the brain. But if you're thinking this is going to be just another boring chat with a talking head.... think again and listen on!

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