Meet the University of Alabama students and faculty who produce their own podcasts on topics ranging from business and sports to history and religion.
“Bama means business”
Cole Stevens loves talking to people. He majored in history and enjoyed meeting passionate professors and peers throughout his last three years at the University.
In 2021, Stevens began recording these conversations on his “Bama means business” Podcast.
“I just wanted to help tell their stories,” Stevens said. “The basis was to tell really cool stories and inspire people about Alabama, but also to shine a light on the really cool opportunities that people have in business school but also throughout the university.”
With seven team members, over 2,000 episode downloads and new high-quality recording equipment, “Bama Means Business” features alumni who have started small businesses and others who work for companies like Meta and Microsoft. The podcast also highlights student experiences and faculty research at Culverhouse College of Business.
Stevens said the students not only gained guidance from these talks, but also bonded with alumni and faculty. He said some students had met with professors to further discuss the stories and passions they shared on the podcast.
“It’s knowing that I can get someone to listen to the podcast and change their life,” Stevens said. “Maybe they’re trying to decide what to do for the rest of their lives. They hear an inspiring story and contact them.
“Bama Means Business” is available on Apple podcast, Spotify and Singlecast.
“Softball with us”
Three students from the College of Communication and Information Sciences, seniors Jennaya Lazenby and McKalyn Crabtree and master’s student Martha Glen Sease, watch every Alabama softball game. Every week they discuss the games on WVUA’s podcast”Softball with us.”
“I feel like women’s softball deserves so much more attention,” Crabtree said. “Alabama softball is just dominant. It’s just a fun team to watch, and it’s such an underrated sport.
In each episode, the hosts detail Alabama’s softball games from the previous week. They discuss the specific plays and players that impacted each game, and they mention any influential wins by other teams that could affect Alabama. At the end of the episode, they preview upcoming games, give score predictions, and speculate on how the games will play out.
Crabtree said she hopes the podcast encourages more people to support Alabama softball and attend games.
Episodes detailing the current season of Tide are available in lineand they plan to release more episodes over the remainder of the Alabama softball season, which runs through May.
“Archives and Communities”
The Student Chapter of the Society of American Archivists at the University of Alabama documents the stories of archivists and the communities they work with through their “Archives and Communities” podcast.
“We try to reach as many different communities because everyone has a voice and everyone has an interesting story,” said Nick Wantsala, podcast manager and graduate student in library and information studies. “We engage diverse communities who may feel like they’re not well represented or just have an interesting story to tell.”
Student chapter members host the show and interview archivists who work to preserve these interesting stories and communities. This year, the show featured archivists who document stories of incarcerated individuals, Jewish women and Arab Americans.
“I can’t even tell you how cool it was to interview some of the people we interviewed,” said Laura Daly, chapter president and graduate student in library and information science. “They have a drive to represent underserved voices.”
“Archives and Communities” is available at Apple podcast, Spotify and Youtube.
The Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama has launched its podcast “study religionin 2017, and they have since interviewed faculty and students about the department’s work and other scholars outside the University about their research.
Michael Altman, associate professor of religious studies, is the main host, but other students and professors also host episodes. This Year’s “Study Religion” Discussed Lil Nas X Songs As Well As Department Project uncivil religionwhich traced the origins of the events of January 6, 2021 to the United States Capitol.
“It’s become a podcast where we can show how the kind of research our professors and graduate students do can apply to the world around us,” Altman said. “The podcast gives us a space to share the relevance of religious studies beyond the classroom or the halls of the academy.”
“Study Religion” also presents series throughout the year. Recently, Nathan Loewen, professor of religious studies, facilitatedteaching philosophy of religion”, a series where he spoke with academics involved in a grant project. Loewen’s podcast was part of this grant project.
“Study Religion” also hosted the series “1-800-REL-HELPlast semester where various experts answered the caller’s questions on religious topics.
“Studying Religion” is available at Apple podcast.
“The Brain Matters”
After counseling people in his private practice and at the UA Counseling Center, BJ Guenther launched a live radio show to answer students’ questions about mental health. The first episode of his show, “The brain matters”, aired in 2013 as the first live radio show on WVUA 90.7 The Capstone.
In his weekly episodes, airing Tuesdays from 6-7 p.m., Guenther interviews professionals on mental health topics ranging from changing habits to the psychology of fear to ghosts.
“If it’s a student listening to the show, hopefully they’ll feel more comfortable maybe even asking for help if they need it,” Guenther said. “My goals are education and relatability and trying to get people more help if they need it.”
At the start of each episode, there is a disclaimer: “This show is not a substitute for professional advice.” The disclaimer urges listeners to contact the UA Advice Center if they need to.
Guenther said throughout the show she tries to identify herself as a therapist at the UA counseling center so students can know where to go if they need mental health help. She said students who listened to the program visited the counseling center for individual or group therapy.
“Brain Matters” is available at Apple podcast so students can listen to Guenther’s live interview with professionals anytime and anywhere.
Questions? Email the Culture Office at [email protected].