Georgia on Your Mind podcast tells stories beyond the UGA hedges

The Georgia on Your Mind season two podcast team takes a selfie with Dr. Deepak Mishra (left), who they interviewed about his work with the Small Satellite Lab. The podcast team includes Isabella Aranda (second from left), Kelly Corder and Beau Wallace. (Photo: submitted)

Georgia on Your Mind podcast tells stories beyond the UGA hedges

April 19, 2024

Georgia on Your Mind, a podcast created and produced by a team of Emerging Media master’s degree students, has launched its second season, thanks to the right spark.

The Spark Award, a generous gift by an anonymous donor, provided funding for Georgia on Your Mind to take a close look detailing stories about the impact of the University of Georgia research and initiatives, focusing on areas that have not garnered the same attention as athletics.

This season’s Emerging Media capstone team included Isabella Aranda (AB ’23), Kelly Corder and Beau Wallace (BBA ’23) and explores how the University of Georgia impacts research and public service throughout the state and beyond.

“Our podcast focuses on lesser known kinds of programs that are part of UGA that people don’t really know about but have a big impact on the University and the state,” Wallace said.

Isabella Aranda (left) visited the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography to learn more about the robots they use for whale research.

Among the topics explored in season two are programs like the Small Business Development Center and how their staff helps entrepreneurs launch new businesses; the UGA Archway Partnership that helped revitalize downtown Hartwell, Georgia; and Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, which is working on whale saving robots.

Many of the features highlight not only faculty and staff, but the direct role students play in the projects.

“We talked about how students have the opportunity to actually work on satellites that are sent up into space,” said Corder about the episode that explores the UGA Small Satellite Research Laboratory. “We heard how engineering students and architecture students get to actually help build a city. They’re not just doing assignments that will never be seen. They’re actually working on things that become reality. At Skidaway, we talked with researchers and students who are using AI robots to help a whale population. Our podcast shows off all that UGA has to offer.”

This new podcast season built on the successes of season one which examined how UGA contributes to the state both financially and culturally in different industries including film, sports tourism and entrepreneurship, just to name a few. The first season’s podcast team included Berkeley Chandler (BS ’22, MA ’23), Bailey Pelletier (AB ’22, MA ’23) and Erin Riney (AB ’22, MA ’23).

“I think the biggest takeaway for me is that actual reach of UGA and how many lives it directly impacts,” Corder said. “The fact that UGA helped to develop a downtown and it became the number one downtown of the year is incredible. They just have their tentacles in so many different things that people don’t even realize.”

The podcast team was responsible for every aspect of production from identifying stories and scheduling interviews, to editing the podcast and marketing the episodes. It is a capstone project of the Emerging Media program which offers courses in web development, user experience, app development, project management and digital storytelling, just to name a few. Students have a choice of leaning in a residential or online program, and capstone projects typically include apps, websites, podcasts and other forms of digital media.

Beyond the experience that the podcast has offered, Corder also appreciates the opportunities and convenience the Emerging Media program has provided.

“I was interested in a degree that incorporated web design, web development and app development, but most schools I felt like asked students to pick one path or the other,” Corder said.  “Emerging Media combines it all and the fact that I’m able to do it online while I’m working full-time and have a family is really incredible.” Corder works as a creative marketing producer at Atlanta News First.

The Georgia on Your Mind podcast and other projects through the Emerging Media program have benefited from gifts like The Spark Award, which helped fund equipment, travel for interviews and technology enhancements.

Beau Wallace, who earned a marketing degree from Terry College during his undergraduate studies, conducts an interview in the Studio Not Found podcast studio on the fourth floor of Grady College.

“The support we give helps provide an important component of learning, giving our students the opportunity to apply what they have learned, while preparing them for the leadership roles that they will take on,” said the Spark Award donor.

Megan Ward, administrative director for the New Media Institute and home of the Emerging Media graduate degree, said the Spark Award helps students prepare for future jobs in the world of communications while utilizing current theory and the latest technology.

“The support of the Spark Award extends beyond the scope of a single project,” Ward said. “The equipment purchased and relationships formed through this project will help provide students with access to valuable resources for years after the project wraps.” 

Georgia on Your Mind podcast facts

Georgia on Your Mind is available for download on most major podcast platforms.

This season’s episodes include:

  • Small Business Development Center, featuring Stephanie Stuckey, Aaron Bisges, and Mark Collier
  • Small Satellite Research Laboratory, featuring Dr. Deepak Mishra 
  • Building Better Communities: UGA’s Archway Partnership, featuring Elizabeth Crimmins, Jason Ford, Dr. Rosanna Cruz-Bibb
  • Blueberry Breeding in Tifton, with Cassie Ann Kiggen and Dr. Laura Perry Johnson
  • Whale Saving Robots at Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, with Dr. Kady Lyons and Dr. Mark Risse (director, Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant)
  • Public Service and Outreach

Listen to the “Building Better Communities: UGA’s Archway Partnership” episode here:

Author: Sarah Freeman,