SOT Meet Series

The Monday Meet series features conversations with people with strong ties to  North Carolina who have compelling personal stories. Host Frank Stasio talks with a range of people about their life, work, and how the two intersect.

The Man Who Touched His Own Heart, is a history of science and medical efforts to understand the heart.
Little, Brown & Co/2015

Biologist, writer and professor Rob Dunn was not always going to be a scientist, but he was probably born to be one. 

UNC-Chapel Hill

In 1972, Frances Campbell was a mother of two, simply looking for a part-time job in Chapel Hill, when she stumbled upon what would be a groundbreaking study on early childhood education.

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill asked her to examine the benefits of early education on children from poor families. They called it the Abecedarian Project.

(Read a 1974 booklet that describes the project here.)

Meet Al Buehler

May 4, 2015
Members of the men's track team pose with Coach Al Buehler.
Duke University Archives. Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Today's show is a rebroadcast of an interview with Duke University coach Al Buehler.

Meet TROSA Founder Kevin McDonald

Apr 20, 2015
Kevin McDonald is the founder of TROSA.
trosainc.org

Throughout his youth, Kevin McDonald was searching for a sense of belonging.

His father was in the U.S. Air Force, which meant his family moved a lot during McDonald’s childhood. Wherever they moved, McDonald felt severe anxiety in his constantly changing social situation. 

His life in the home came with another set of challenges.

"My mother was very, very abusive. Physically and emotionally," he told host Frank Stasio on WUNC’s The State of Things.

Cynthia Bulik

Cynthia Bulik grew up as a lover of international language and culture. She was the first in her family to leave the dry cleaning business and go to college, and she was determined to study diplomacy and international relations. But when she was required to take a psychology class her freshman year at The University of Notre Dame, it changed the course of her life.

Patrik Henry Bass is from Laurinburg, North Carolina and now he's the editorial projects director for Essence Magazine.
http://www.essence.com/

Patrik Henry Bass has spent the last 49 years searching for the extraordinary moments in life. 

As a child he found those moments in the books he devoured at the library—the stories he read carried him far beyond his hometown of Laurinburg, North Carolina. His love of literature led him to a career in journalism. Today he's an award winning writer and the editorial projects director of Essence Magazine.Host Frank Stasio talks with Bass about his life journey and the many careers that led him to his dream job in New York City as a curator in the literary world. 

Vivian Connell

When Vivian Connell was in college, she was already a teachers' advocate. She was on CNN in the network's early years to talk about a teacher's wrongful termination at the University of Georgia. But she wanted more people to hear her voice.

When Vivian became a teacher, she amplified it through her students. They advocated for land conservancies and against genocide in Africa. But she still wanted to be louder.

CJ Scarlet

CJ Scarlet is an entrepreneur who believes that technology can curb violence. She founded the company 10 for Humanity that aims to use emerging technology to reduce acts of crime and violence by 10 percent in the next decade, starting with the Tiger Eye Sensor, a wearable personal security device that will record video footage and call the police when a wearer yells “help.”  

Wiliam Henry Curry joins us to talk about his life and career.
ncsymphony.org

When he was only 14 years old, William Henry Curry's music teacher handed him a small wooden baton and said, "I think you'd make a good conductor."

But Curry already knew he was born to be a conductor. In the more than four decades since, he has conducted more than 40 orchestras and some of the world's most renowned symphonies. 

  Host Frank Stasio talks with Curry about his career, facing racial challenges, the difficulties of composing orchestral music and his 19 years conducting the North Carolina Symphony. 

Penn State Special Collections

    

Rev. Clark Olsen still remembers every detail of the incident that killed a fellow white minister in Selma, Alabama 50 years ago.

Rev. Olsen was one of many clergy members that arrived in Selma on this day in 1965 to show solidarity with black voting rights protestors, and he was at the side of Rev. James Reeb when four segregationists attacked them on the night of March 9, 1965.

Rev. Reeb died two days later. Rev. Olsen now lives in Asheville and still works to keep the memory of Selma and Rev. Reeb alive.

Ambassador Thomas Pickering
Wikipedia

  

Ambassador Thomas Pickering began his career in the foreign service more than 40 years ago. He has served as ambassador to many countries including Jordan, El Salvador, Israel, Nigeria, India and the Russian Federation.

He served as the United States ambassador to the United Nations and as undersecretary of state for political affairs at the State Department. Recently, Ambassador Pickering led the department panel’s investigation into the 2012 attack in Benghazi.

Mary-Dell Chilton is a pioneer in the field of agricultural biotechnology. As a young scientist at Washington University, she led the team of researchers that produced the first genetically-modified plant. Chilton moved to North Carolina in the early 1980s to begin her corporate career and has continued to conduct research that shapes the agricultural production of corn, cotton, and other crops.

Dudley Flood speaks to the NC Air National Guard in 2011
North Carolina National Guard

    

It had been 15 years since the Brown v. Board of Education decision that struck down segregation in schools.  

But in 1969, most public schools in North Carolina were still segregated, so when Dudley Flood was called to desegregate every school in the state, he was overwhelmed, but he was not skeptical.

He had learned from his tiny hometown in northeastern North Carolina that education could be the great equalizer.

Ray Christian
Twitter

  

Ray Christian is a born storyteller. Growing up, he read to his illiterate parents.  He sought escape from an impoverished childhood in Richmond, Virginia by joining the military. In his two decades in the Army, he served in combat zones and jumped from planes as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne. Today he weaves tales of those experiences into narratives that he shares on stage and he highlights the stories of others as a history instructor at Appalachian State University.  Host Frank Stasio talks with Ray Christian about his life and stories.

Marco Williams is a filmmaker and film educator. Here he is filming Lloyd Knight, Marth Graham Dance company for the film Echo.
Marco Williams

Marco Williams is a filmmaker who is not afraid of telling stories that others don't want to tell. 

David Holt and Rhiannon Giddens during the filming of "David Holt's State of Music."
davidholt.com

  

Grammy Award winning musician David Holt moved to western North Carolina to learn "mountain music" in the early 1970s.

Dan Ariely / Duke Photography

Dan Ariely works in contradictions. He studies behavioral economics and points out that humans are logical but irrational beings.

How do we assign monetary value to a thought or an idea? How do we decide when a lie is more valuable than the truth? Are we really in control of the decisions we make on a daily basis?

At the crossroads of psychology and economics, Ariely has made it his life’s work to study the idea that some of our best intentions can lead to our most irrational behavior.

Image of Daoud Haroon practicing a first instrument.
Daoud Haroon

Daoud Haroon has lived many lives in his 81 years. He grew up in the jazz clubs of Boston, shining shoes of many of the jazz greats as a young boy, and later playing alongside them as a percussionist and trombonist. He has worked in a wide range of trades from hat making to house painting. 


Pat Nathan

  

As a chemist in the 1970s, Pat Nathan was quite often the only woman in the room.

She remained one of the only women in the room as she rose through the rankings at the Dell computer company during the dot-com bubble. She entered the industry at a time when it was grappling with how to dispose of computer waste responsibly.

Image of Amanda Holliday with her grandmother Celeste Sawyer.
Amanda Holliday

Many kids grow up spending time after school with other kids in their neighborhood playing pick-up soccer, videogames or capture the flag. 

Javier Diaz de Leon
Consulado General de Mexico en Raleigh

    

Nearly 30 percent of immigrants in the United States are from Mexico, but migration between the two countries is changing. A study from the Pew Research Center indicates this country is at the tail end of the largest wave of immigration in American history.

And in North Carolina, more families are permanently relocating here rather than traveling for temporary work.

Lucia Peel Powe
Will Michaels / WUNC

Some say Lucia Peel Powe has failed Retirement 101. 

Now in her eighties, she is as energized as ever.

Powe’s vibrant life as a teacher, mother, actress and musician has been punctuated by unique experiences: starring on the kid’s television show Romper Room, winning the Miss Georgia pageant and helping edit bills for the North Carolina legislature.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Lucia Peel Powe.

Image of Duke Professor Missy Cummings, drone advocate and expert.
Missy Cummings

  

Although the word drone may at first evoke an image of a stealth killing machine, the work of Mary 'Missy' Cummings proves drones are much more than that initial thought. 

Growler from Front Street Brewery in Wilmington, NC.
https://www.facebook.com/FrontStreetBrewery

Craft beers are filling the shelves and taps around North Carolina. 

From the mountains to the coast, new breweries are opening. The national Brewer’s Association put the economic impact  of craft beer in the state at more than $791 million dollars in 2012. There are 110 breweries across the state and the industry supports 10,000 jobs.

Jacquelyn Dowd Hall
UNC History Department website

  

When Jacquelyn Dowd Hall started the Southern Oral History Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 40 years ago, documenting the lives of ordinary people was not part of most history departments.

This Is A Chef’s Life

Oct 13, 2014
Vivian Howard in the WUNC studios with engineer Robin Copley.
Hady Mawajdeh

Vivian Howard originally made a name for herself in the Manhattan restaurant world by starting as an onion peeler and working her way up to chef. 

E.C. "Redge" Hanes
Lloyd Aaron

  

E.C. "Redge" Hanes grew up in Winston-Salem steeped in North Carolina business, politics and art.

He was born into the family that created the Hanes clothing company.

His father and uncle served in the North Carolina General Assembly, and they were generous supporters of projects like the North Carolina Symphony and the North Carolina Museum of Art.

 The Hanes family actively supported politics and had strong ties to the Democratic Party.

For more than three decades, Fiona Ritchie has taken public radio audiences on a weekly journey through the world of Celtic music.

The Scottish-born host of NPR’s Thistle & Shamrock, began her radio career in North Carolina at WFAE in Charlotte. She recently collaborated with Doug Orr, president emeritus of Warren Wilson College, on a new book:  Wayfaring Strangers: The Musical Voyage from Scotland and Ulster to Appalachia (UNC Press/2014)

Photo of Chunky Huse, a key grip who has worked in the film industry for more than five decades.
Chunky Huse

  

For more than five decades, Chunky Huse has been working behind the scenes of the film industry as a grip—a master lighting and rigging technician who provides the support to make shots possible. 

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