Bi-weekly podcast features professors

Each episode introduces a professor to the university community


W&L After Class: The Lifelong Learning Podcast recently aired its ninth bi-weekly episode since premiering in June.

Co-editors Sara Centorino, ‘14 and Jeff Seymour say the podcast seeks to introduce alumnae, students, parents and friends to the W&L faculty.

“The mission of After Class is to dive into our professors’ research and help our alumni, parents, friends and students get to know them in a little more depth like they would in office hours or other “after class” meetings,” Centorino said, “As an alumna, it’s nice to feel a little bit like a student again.”

Seymour said the goal of the podcast is to make listeners “feel like they’re sitting in a professor’s office following up on something interesting mentioned at the end of a class. We both had that experience as undergrads and loved it.”

The podcast hosts professors from a wide range of departments.

“We want a balanced array of topics—some humanities, some STEM, some fun, some serious, some topical, some timeless—over the course of a semester,” Seymour said. “We also have to juggle who’s available, who’s on sabbatical, who’s excited, who’s reluctant. We’re constantly on the lookout for our next guest.”

In the most recent episode from Sept. 29, executive producer and podcast host Ruth Candler sat down to talk to associate professor of history Mikki Brock about the history of devilry, witchcraft and witch hunts.

In the episode, Brock elaborates on the function belief in the Devil has served in Christian theology.

“Every society has had in-groups and out-groups. Every society across time and space has really thought about who the other might be, who might be threats to their community,” Brock said. “But what Christianity does is make those who are others not just enemies of society, but mortal enemies.”

Topics are chosen by the team who meet with podcast guests to understand their research, interests and set questions.

“There is never a shortage of material with our professors,” Centorino said. “They’re insanely talented both in and out of the classroom.”

Choosing a faculty guest can be fun, said Candler.

“[It’s] like being a kid in a candy store.”

Prior episode topics have included poverty with professor Howard Pickett, director of the Shepherd Program, implicit bias with Julie Woodzicka, professor of cognitive and behavioral science and Japanese tea culture with associate professor of Japanese Janet Ikeda.

Candler said the podcast’s initial target audience of alumi, parents and friends of the university has expanded to include current faculty and students.

“Just last week a professor shared that he had listened to one of the podcasts to learn more about a subject matter that he wanted to incorporate into a lecture,” Candler said. “Two completely different disciplines, but supporting each other nonetheless.”

Joey Dickinson, ‘22, heard about the podcast through word of mouth and enjoyed listening to Pickett since she’s taken courses with him in the university’s most popular minor, poverty and human capability studies.

“It reinforced a lot of the topics we cover in POV 101, and I’m glad people outside of the program can get a quick introduction to what we do every day in the Shepherd Program,” Dickinson said.

Candler said the show will take a hiatus mid-November before picking up again in January. Episodes can be streamed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or the After Class webpage where further readings, episode notes and transcripts are available: