Frank Stasio

Host, "The State of Things"

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.

From there he went to National Public Radio, where he rose from associate producer to newscaster for All Things Considered. He left that job in 1990 to help start an alternative school in Washington, DC. Frank returned to NPR as a freelance news anchor, guest host of Talk of The Nation and other national programs, and host of special news coverage.

He also presents audio theater workshops for children and teachers and conducts radio journalism workshops for broadcasters in former Soviet-bloc countries. He lives in Durham.

Pages

State of Things
11:49 am
Tue February 28, 2012

College Sports Reform

Charles Clotfelter is the author of ''Big-Time Sports in American Universities''

Big time college sports like basketball and football have a contradictory reputation at many universities. They bring in big bucks and engender loyalty to a school, but they also distract from higher education's primary mission. Are reforms necessary in the college sports system? Host Frank Stasio talks to Dave Dewitt, WUNC's education reporter and a former college basketball player and coach; Charles Clotfelter, professor of public policy, economics and law at Duke University and author of “Big-Time Sports in American Universities" (Cambridge University Press/2011); and Will Blythe, editor-at-large of Byliner and author of “To Hate Like This is to be Happy Forever” (Harper/2007), which chronicles the UNC-Duke basketball rivalry. Listener call-in.

Read more
State of Things
11:15 am
Tue February 28, 2012

To Free a Family

To Free a Family: The Journey of Mary Walker

Historian Sydney Nathans spent most of his career studying U.S. political history and he was just making the transition to social history when he came across an intriguing letter. It was a plea written in 1859 to a North Carolina slave owner, asking for the opportunity to purchase some of the people being held in bondage. The message was sent by a white man named Peter Lesley on behalf of Mary Walker, a runaway who was once enslaved by the family she was attempting to contact. The slaves Walker wanted to purchase were her children and mother. Nathans’ curiosity about that letter, the slave woman’s request and the white man who authored it led him on a decades-long quest to find answers. The history he uncovered has been recorded in a new book, “To Free a Family: The Journey of Mary Walker” (Harvard University Press/2012). Nathans joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his findings and what Walker’s story illustrates about the power of family and community.

Read more
State of Things
10:32 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Meet Steve Sager

Rabbi Steve Sager arrived at Congregation Beth El in Durham over 30 years ago.
Credit www.sichaconversation.org

Rabbi Steve Sager arrived at Congregation Beth El in Durham over 30 years ago. He was 27 years old, trained in the Reconstructionist tradition of Judaism and new to North Carolina. His academic bent and his interest in conversation made the move a good fit. Sager retired last year from the pulpit. Now he has started a new venture that's called Sicha, which means conversation. He wants to help people embrace ancient texts and traditions while deepening their modern lives. Rabbi Steve Sager joins host Frank Stasio in the studio today to talk about his new spiritual chapter.

Read more
State of Things
11:21 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Remaking High Point University

Nido Qubein is not your typical college president.
Credit nidoqubein.com

Since Nido Qubein took over as president of High Point University in 2005, the small private school, has gone from a regional college to a regional university, doubling in size and stature. Qubein is not your typical college president. He's authored a dozen books including "How To Be a Great Sales Professional" (High Point University Press/2006) and "Stairway to Success: The Complete Blueprint for Personal and Professional Achievement" (Wiley/1997). Has his businessman's approach to running the university paid off? Has running the university altered his point of view as a businessman?

Read more
State of Things
9:32 am
Fri February 24, 2012

New Music

New Music by Reynolds Price
Credit triadstage.org

Writer Reynolds Price had the opportunity to see one of his plays, “August Snow,” performed at Greensboro’s Triad Stage back in 2003. The award-winning author was moved to tears by the production and its director, Preston Lane, promised Price that he would soon stage “Night Dance” and “Better Days,” the sequels to “August Snow.” Price died in 2011, but Lane remained true to his word. The trilogy of plays, called“New Music,” tells the story of a family from eastern North Carolina and all three are now on stage at Triad Stage in rotating repertory. Lane and actors Ginny Myers Lee and Matthew Delaney, join host Frank Stasio to talk about the timeless beauty of Reynolds Price’s prose.

State of Things
4:09 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Season 1, Ep 9: Jade City Pharaoh - Winner Take Nothing (Part II)

Herald remembers Uncle Roscoe's training

Superhero Herald MF Jones finally comes face-to-face with his manipulative arch nemesis The Beef Cooka, who has a life-changing proposal for Jade City’s savior in exchange for the safe return of Kid Delight. Can Jones keep the upper hand and rescue Kid before The Beef Cooka cooks up any more trouble?

Read more
State of Things
11:05 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Conscientious Quitter

Matthew Hoh spent years fighting in Iraq as a Marine, then he joined the State Department and was assigned to Afghanistan. What he saw there convinced him that the only thing he could do in good conscience was quit. He became the first U.S. official to resign in protest over the Afghanistan war, and he wrote a scathing letter to the State Department detailing America's failure in the country.

Read more
State of Things
10:54 am
Thu February 23, 2012

The Milford Project

Richie is an ordinary thirteen-year-old boy. He has to do homework. He has a crush on his lab partner. He’s trying to figure out how to fit in. Spies and Nazis are fighting over his science fair project, hoping to turn it into a nuclear bomb. Okay, so he’s not exactly ordinary. “The Milford Project” is a musical production that tells Richie’s crazy story. The play is being directed by Scott Ripley at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Read more
State of Things
11:10 am
Wed February 22, 2012

The Human-Animal Bond

Book cover, ''The Bond'' by Wayne Pacelle

Humans have an inconsistent relationship with animals. Some of them we invite into our homes and treat as family. Others we send to slaughter and happily eat. Still others we are content to let roam wild, unimpeded by human hands. What accounts for our contradictory behavior towards the animal world? Host Frank Stasio explores the human-animal bond with Brian Hare, assistant professor at the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences; Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States and the author of the book "The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them" (William Morrow/2011); and Hal Herzog, Western Carolina University psychology professor and author of the book “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals" (Harper Perennial/2011). Listener Call-in.

Read more
State of Things
12:05 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Remembering Joe Thompson

Fiddler Joe Thompson was the last of a generation of old-time string musicians who popularized black folk music that grew out of African traditions. Thompson grew up in Mebane, NC where he began playing the fiddle at the age of 8. In his long career, he earned a number of accolades, including a National Heritage Fellowship, and he mentored young African-American musicians who were interested in the style of music he was raised on. Thompson passed away on Monday at the age of 93.

Read more

Pages