News Items from UNC Greensboro

picture of Nadja Cech, Dustin and Lalenja Harrington, and Omar Ali
L to R: Dr. Nadja Cech, Justin Harrington, Dr. Lalenja Harrington, and Dr. Omar Ali chat during a winter podcast recording session in the University Teaching & Learning Commons studio.

The room goes silent as the co-hosts silently nod that they’re ready, and the “Recording in Progress” light goes on. They wait a beat, and the friendly and enthusiastic voice of Dr. Nadja Cech registers on the mic. “Welcome to the ‘Yes, and Café,’ a podcast that explores, learns, and creates with ordinary people who do extraordinary things.”

In the new UNC Greensboro podcast, Dr. Nadja Cech (Chemistry & Biochemistry) and Dr. Omar Ali (Lloyd International Honors College) speak with a diverse lineup of guests to dig into how the themes of play, openness, and working across boundaries and identities enhance their work, their research, and their lives.

And what does the title of the new show mean? Dr. Ali explains.

“‘Yes, and’ is the powerful, intentional, and creative practice of building with other people. The name comes from improvisational theater. It involves paying attention, affirming, and building on what others give you.”

Guests include UNCG faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, visiting guest speakers, and local community members. During each episode, the main guest is joined by a current student, allowing for a variety of perspectives and voices on any given issue. The first four episodes are now online and include interviews with Steve Haines (School of Music), Lois Holzman (director of the East Side Institute in New York City), Annah Awatarni (chef, organizer, Greensboro Farmer’s Curb Market vendor), and the mother/son duo of Dr. Lalenja Harrington and Justin Harrington (performers, teachers, activists).

The new series is the latest in a long list of collaborations between Cech and Ali. They have co-taught courses, conducted workshops and conferences together, and co-led creative endeavors such as “The Underground Railroad Tree: Explorations in History, Science, and Art” exhibition in downtown Greensboro. The exhibition was the culmination of creative output and reflection by faculty, students, and staff that focused on the famous Underground Railroad Tree in the Guilford Forest of Greensboro. Participants in the project engaged with the historic tree through the lenses of history, art, and science.

This cross-disciplinary approach to teaching and learning is typical of Cech and Ali, and it’s the underlying philosophy of the new podcast series. The new show aims to forge connections across disciplinary boundaries and to introduce complexity into what it means to teach, learn, and create.

For more information and to access the full list of episodes, visit the “Yes, and Café,” website at https://news.uncg.edu/yes-and-cafe-podcasts/ or click on the “UNCG Podcasts” link in the footer of the UNCG News homepage.

Other UNCG-related podcasts to check out:

Aria Code with Rhiannon Giddens
Aria Code is a podcast that pulls back the curtain on some of the most famous arias in opera history, with insight from the biggest voices of our time.

Healthy Relationships Initiative
The Healthy Relationships Initiative (HRI) aims to promote happy, healthy, and safe relationships of all kinds in Guilford County and beyond. More info on the HRI at https://moocs.uncg.edu/hri/about-us/

Sustainable -E Podcast – “When Entrepreneurship Gets Organic!”
This program explores sustainable entrepreneurship in the Triad of North Carolina and globally. Dr. Channelle James, who teaches sustainable entrepreneurship at UNCG, and her production assistant Fahbej Allen, bring thought-provoking entrepreneurs to listeners each week, encouraging each of us to think again about sustainable value. The podcast is supported through a grant from the UNCG Bryan School VF Virtual Collaboratory for Sustainability.

Teach’n Tips – University Teaching & Learning Center
A deep dive into the topics covered in the UTLC’s popular “Teach’n Tips” newsletter.

If you have or know of other UNCG-related podcasts and would like to submit them to this list, please contact Matt Bryant at m_bryan2@uncg.edu

Story by Matthew Bryant, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications

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