Shawn Wen

Associate Producer, "The State of Things"

Shawn Wen joined the staff of The State of Things in March 2012 and served as associate producer until February 2014.

She is a writer and multimedia artist. Her radio work has aired on This American Life, Studio 360, Marketplace, Freakonomics, and Rhode Island Public Radio.

Her video work has screened at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Carpenter Center for Visual Art at Harvard University, and the Camden International Film Festival.

Shawn is the recipient of the Royce Fellowship and the Third Coast Scholarship. She graduated from Brown University with a degree in Literary Arts.

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The State of Things
11:00 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Putting A Stop To Gerrymandering

North Carolina's Congressional District 12 in 1992.
Credit http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us

Rep. Paul Stam and Rep. Deborah Ross discuss efforts for bipartisan reform to the redistricting process

In 2010, when Republicans won control of the state House and Senate, they radically redrew voting districts in favor of their own party.  In previous elections, Democrats have done the same.  Now, there's a bipartisan effort in the state House of Representatives to reform the redistricting process.

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The State of Things
12:13 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Buncombe County Puts Slave Records Online

The original deed book of slave records from Buncombe County.
Credit Max Cooper, via mountainx.com

Reporter Jake Frankel speaks with host Isaac-Davy Aronson about Buncombe County's endever to digitize their original slave records

During the Great Depression, the New Deal funded a project to collect the narratives of former slaves.  Sarah Gudger came forward to give an account of her life as a slave in Buncombe County.  Her testimony was the same brutal story that is familiar to many of us.  She described a “hard life” of nothing but “work, work, work,” under the threat of abuse. 

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The State of Things
11:54 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Why Did You Pick Up The Bassoon?

US Army image of a bassoon from the US Army Band Europe.
Credit Flicker user SJrankin

Seven musicians join host Frank Stasio to show off their bassoon playing skills

  The music critic and composer Cecil Gray once said: "The bassoon in the orchestra plays the same role as Gorgonzola among cheeses -- a figure for fun. Actually, the bassoon can be the most romantic and passionate of instruments, and Gorgonzola can be the finest of cheeses, but they must both be treated properly."  Why would anyone pick up the bassoon?

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The State of Things
11:42 am
Fri April 12, 2013

The Iron Lady Leaves Her Fingerprints On North Carolina Politics

Margaret Thatcher at Chequers. Photo taken September 1, 1993 in Ellesborough, England, GB.
Credit BBC Radio 4, via Flickr

Experts examine pros and cons of privatization in light of McCory's plan to privatize Medicaid and the Commerce Department

Margaret Thatcher is as divisive in death as she was in life.  Even as many around the world mourn her loss this week, others celebrate it.  London police are bracing for protests and possible violence at her funeral.

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The State of Things
11:55 am
Tue April 9, 2013

NC Author Revisits An Unsolved Murder Mystery in Chapel Hill

"Until Proven: A Mystery in 2 Parts" by Nora Gaskin
Credit lystrabooks.blogspot.com

Until Proven - A Chapel Hill Murder Mystery

  On Christmas Eve of 1963, a young woman named Lucille Rinaldi was murdered in her apartment in downtown Chapel Hill.  Later the same day, her husband Frank Rinaldi was arrested and charged with murder.

Over the next two years, the trial consumed the attention of the town.  Nora Gaskin was 12 years old when Lucille Rinaldi was killed. The case left an indelible impression on her. She is the author of "Until Proven: A Mystery in Two Parts" (Lystra/ 2013). She joins host Frank Stasio to discuss the novel she has written based on the murder.

The State of Things
4:39 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Local & International Talent Light Up Full Frame Documentary Film Fest

Nicole Triche
Credit twitter.com

A sneak preview of the 2013 Full Frame Film Festival

Rivalries are fierce at the World Taxidermy Championships. Judges, armed with flashlights and magnifying glasses, examine anatomy and artistry. And taxidermists, who fancy themselves artists, vie for the legitimacy of their craft.

Nicole Triche’s new documentary, “Taxidermists,” premiers at the annual Full Frame Documentary  Film Festival. Triche is also an assistant professor at Elon University in the school of communications.

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The State of Things
12:00 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Poet Draws From Life On The Reservation

Poet Natalie Diaz
Credit coppercanyonpress.org

The poetry of Natalie Diaz

Natalie Diaz grew up on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation. While many of those around her struggled with the lack of opportunities, she saw basketball as her way out.

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The State of Things
11:29 am
Thu March 28, 2013

New Reports On Women Show Progress and Setbacks In North Carolina

The Status of Girls in North Carolina report by Meredith College
Credit Meredith College

A panel examines two new reports on the status of North Carolina women and girls

Two new reports examine the status of girls and women in North Carolina.  As it turns out, girls are bucking the stereotype. They’ve seen gains in math and science testing.

"Middle school is when we typically think of girls sort of disengaging from science and math," Amie Hess told Frank Stasio in an interview on The State of Things.  Hess is the lead researcher on The Status of Girls in North Carolina. "What we found when you look at the 8th grade end-of-grade testing rates is that girls are right on par with boys.  In some cases, [they are] slightly ahead of boys," she said. 

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The State of Things
10:54 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Jill McCorkle's First Novel In 17 Years Examines Love And Mortality

Jill McCorkle
Credit Tom Rankin

Jill McCorkle talks about her latest novel 'Life After Life'

Jill McCorkle's first novel in 17 years, “Life After Life” (Algonquin/ 2013), is set in a retirement community. There, the dying grapple with life and death in humorous, dark turns. One character moved to the area to be close to the grave of her former lover. Another fakes dementia to avoid having to deal with his adult son. Jill McCorkle joins host Frank Stasio to talk about her newest work.

The State of Things
12:01 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

North Carolina Journalist Gives A Behind-The-Scenes Look At Local Media

I Never Promised Not To Tell by Grady Jefferys
Credit Amazon.com

Frank Stasio talks with journalist and author Grady Jefferys.

The Pew Research Center released its annual State of the Media report for 2012, and television news viewership is down. Political coverage has declined, and on local TV news, 40 percent of the content is made up of traffic, sports and weather. Meanwhile, newspaper newsrooms in 2012 employed 40,000 people, the smallest number of full-time journalists since 1978.

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