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In honor of African American History Month, we spoke with Dr. Raquel Rivera, professor of English at Collin College, a renowned poet and writer of short fiction.
A Mississippi native, Dr. Rivera earned a doctorate in African American literature and creative writing from Binghamton University . She was awarded the 2009 Leo Love Merit Scholarship in Poetry in association with the Taos Summer Writers Conference.
Dr. Rivera talks about her initial foray into writing, her inspirations and the role of poetry and literature in the African American community.
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Welcome to another edition of Cougarcast. In this episode we speak with Jonah Lehrer, the second guest lecturer of the 2009-2010 Distinguished Speaker Series. Lehrer is the author of the books Proust Was a Neuroscientist and How We Decide, he is a contributing editor at Wired, Scientific American Mind and National Public Radio's Radiolab. In his spare time, Lehrer writes in his blog, The Frontal Cortex. A graduate of Columbia University with a degree in neuroscience, Lehrer studied both 20th Century literature and theology while at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He has written for The New Yorker, the New York Times, Nature, Seed, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The London Times. Today, Mr. Lehrer will speak with Heather Darrow about how our brains make decisions.
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In this episode of the Cougarcast, we talk with Dr. Gary Huffnagle, the first guest lecturer of the 2009-2010 Distinguished Speaker Series. Renowned probiotics author and international lecturer, Huffnagle is a professor of internal medicine and microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School. He holds a bachelors of science degree in microbiology from Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He is the author of "The Probiotics Revolution: The Definitive Guide to Safe, Natural Health Solutions Using Probiotic and Prebiotic Foods and Supplements". In this interview, Dr. Huffnagle speaks with Heather Darrow about the benefits of probiotics.
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The Book-in-Common program entered its fourth year by choosing Matthew Pearl's best-selling "historical novel" The Poe Shadow. Pearl is the author of two other books, The Dante Club and The Last Dickens. During his visit to Collin College in October, Pearl talked with Mark Robinson about his particular genre, writing, sub-themes of The Poe Shadow and more.
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January 20, 2009 - English and government.
Biology and mathematics.
Music and physics.
Photography and anthropology.
Sociology and education.
Learning Communities at Collin College are changing the dynamic of the classroom taking two different disciplines and mashing them together in one class.
In this month's Cougarcast, we talked with learning communities chair Dr. Tracey McKenzie about the program's genesis and it's evolution over the past 14 years.
Also, we discuss "Seeing Photographically, Seeing Anthropologically and Living in Collin County," a Learning Communities course, with professors Lupita Tinnen and Gerry Sullivan, who talk about the commingling of photography and anthropology.
November 17, 2008 - The Book-in-Common program just held its 2008 events featuring author Michael Patrick MacDonald and his book, All Souls.
For the third straight year, the Book-in-Common program has put Collin College students, faculty and staff in direct contact with at writer, injecting one common book into the curriculum of a wide range of disciplines. The program culminates in a lecture by the author at a Collin College campus.
In this month's Cougarcast, we talk with MacDonald during his visit to Collin College about writing, movies, South Boston, activism, death, drugs and his past that has not only defined and molded his stories by also opened the eyes of many to the perils of poverty, racism and class struggles in America.
June 13, 2008 - The Collin Theatre Center is putting a Vaudevillian spin on William Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors".
In this month's Cougarcast, we talk with director Joanne Zipay, founder of the New York-based Judith Shakespeare Company about this year's adaptation and about directing the Bard's finest plays.
Also we talked with Casey Struble, pianist and former Collin College student, who wrote and will perform the play's score.
Finally, we talked with theatre professor Gail Cronauer about acting and reading Shakespeare.
May 15, 2008 - In making this month's Cougarcast we spoke with three Collin College students who are each moving on to new challenges and opportunities. As you'll hear in this episode, all three hold Collin College, its instructors and the education they've received here in the highest regard. And as they prepare to leave for another college or university or start a new career in the workforce, they proudly state their experience here at the college will impact their future.
We begin our podcast with Julie Boudreaux, a nursing graduate, who will soon apply her training on patients at an area hospital.
Following Ms. Boudreaux, we interviewed Tiara Tyree, who will be transferring to a partner university.
The episode concludes with Adam Pawelczyk, a Collin College ambassador, who has big plans at Texas Christian University and credits the college for many of his opportunities.
April 4, 2008 - The consciousness of green America is alive and it's spirit is most evident during the month of April as Earth Day events and eco-friendly initiatives are held. Collin College's Earth Day events April 15 and 16 are evidence of a nationwide phenomena of individuals recognizing the frailty of the planet and agreeing to do something about it. We talked with E.J. Hanford, professor of environmental science, about Earth Day and the culture around saving the planet.
We also talked with Rebecca Boatman, professor of art, about eco-conscious art and the use of recycled objects.
March 25, 2008 - Spring Cleaning. It's easier said that done. But when one's house and office are in order it can make a significant impact on one's life and career. In this Cougarcast, we talk with Gloria Cockerell, professor of business, who discusses the value and strategy of using a daily planner when keeping one's work and school schedule organized.
Also in this episode, Ali Kholdi, professor of interior design, shares his thoughts on cleaning and organization -- how cleaning up one's space works toward a greater self improvement.
Also: This month's Cougar News features an article on spring cleaning. It offers tips for cleaning up five common clutter causers.
February 11, 2008 - February is African American History Month. During these 28 days, Collin College and schools, organizations and other institutions discover and celebrate the many contributions of African Americans in the arts, sciences, politics, literature, social equality and every other facet of American culture.
It also is a time to understand that the impact made by African Americans reaches far beyond one month out of the year, it reaches beyond a history book or film. It is as intertwined in the fabric of America as any other culture -- no matter one's race, ethnicity or religion.
In this month's Cougarcast, we asked Collin College faculty Pam Gaiter, Kim Washington and Cathy Donald-Whitney what African American History Month means to them and why understanding and appreciating the past molds the future.
January 11, 2008 - Each year, millions of people make New Year's Resolutions. It's a time to evaluate ourselves and find ways to improve in the new year. Some resolutions are easy to keep while others require extreme self-discipline. Regardless of what good or bad habits one hopes to resolve, the mental and often verbal resolution is often all it takes to adjust one's lifestyle for the better.
In this episode of the Cougarcast, our first of the new year, we talk with Dr. Linda Adams, the college's Wellness Coordinator. She suggests methods to stick with your resolution. Our podcast also features student, faculty and staff thoughts on current and past resolutions.
December 4, 2007 - In the past two podcasts, Cougarcast delved into the phenomena of the "Eureka!" moment -- that instance of discovery and enlightenment -- with Collin College science faculty.
However, the proverbial light bulb illuminating over one's head isn't necessarily a scientific concept. This month, we talk with several English and humanities professors about the Eureka! moment -- whether it's in the classroom, while writing a poem or a piece of short fiction. The moment when a concept clicks or an idea comes into fruition spans many disciplines.
This month's podcast features Eureka! moments from professors Scott Yarbrough, Lisa Roy-Davis, Chris Grooms and Dallie Clark.
November 20, 2007 - Last podcast we interviewed several Collin College science faculty asking them simply: describe your Eureka! moment. Describe that moment when it all made sense. Where do Eureka! moments happen? How do they feel emotionally?
Each professor approached the question from a unique direction. From Eureka! moments had as an undergrad to those that happen while teaching class to those that happen when everything goes wrong, each response was fascinating and inspiring.
This episode includes Eureka! moments from Collin College faculty Dr. Amina El-Ashmawy, Dr. Chris Doumen, and Dr. Bridgette Kirkpatrick.
November 1, 2007 - According to legend, after discovering the means of calculating the volume of an irregular object, a naked Archimedes ran down the streets of Syracuse yelling "Eureka!".
After 2,200 years, scholars and researchers are still having "Eureka!" moments. Luckily, they're opting to keep their clothes on when they happen.
This month's Cougarcast is a start of a series about those "Eureka!" moments -- large and small -- from various areas of study at the college.
We talk to Collin College faculty members Dr. Frederick Jury, Dr. Sukanya Subramanian, Dr. Collin Thomas and Dr. Greg Sherman about their "Eureka!" moments, how they came about and what the feeling was at the moment of discovery.
This month's podcast ends with Upcoming Events. Check back in mid-November for additional Eureka moments from Collin College faculty members Dr. Amina El-Ashmawy, Dr. Chris Doumen and Dr. Bridgette Kirkpatrick.
October 2, 2007 - From the Smokey Mountains west to Bryce Canyon National Park. Or from the Vicksburg battlefield to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a cornerstone site for the Civil Rights movement.
During the summer of his 50th birthday in 2006, Collin College professor of history Dr. Matthew Coulter decided to travel for 50 days soaking in the essence of the United States and touring the sites that made it what it is. This last summer, Coulter continued his trek for 51 days. All the while, taking the sights and sounds of the places he visits and implementing them into his curriculum.
Professor Coulter's travels have taken him across the country. But it is easy to forget the historical and cultural hub that surrounds us in the Dallas / Ft Worth Metroplex. Dr. Michael Phillips, professor of history and author of "White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, 1841-2001" notes the five must-see destinations within driving distance of Collin County.
September 1, 2007 - It is impossible to box college into the classroom. As important as the classes -- and grades -- are for college students, so are the social and intellectual opportunities outside of the classroom.
Collin College, with this start of a new academic year -- has a host of events and series to broaden the mind, challenge preconceived notions and enlighten the eager learner. The extracurricular activities do not replace the classroom -- they just make what happens in the classroom better.
In lieu of listing all the activities and opportunities, we talked with several folks who are spearheading some interesting initiatives.
The podcast begins with Dr. Carolyn Perry. Dr. Perry, chair of Humanities and director of the Auteur Film Series, introduces the films series, explains history and what's in store for this year's movie-goers.
Following that, we have a conversation with Nakie Thompson, student ambassador and student life assistant. Nakie, a mass communications student, had made an effort to get involved with student life and student organizations. She explains how this can be beneficial for all students.
This month's Cougarcast concludes with Regina Hughes, director of the Center for Scholarly and Civic Engagement. Regina explains the development process for this year's Distinguished Speaker Series and what those in attendance can expect..
August 3, 2007 - In this "Back To School" episode of the Cougarcast, we'll share tips from staff and students for making this semester a success.
The podcast begins with Alicia Huppe, Associate Dean of Recruitment and Programs for New Students. Alicia offers some high priority suggestions for new students.
As this podcast aims to orientate you to college, we figured the best people to talk with are a few of Collin College's orientation leaders. Students Laura Chavez and Adam Pawelczyk share with us some helpful insight on getting the most out of college. They share some of the most common mistakes students make in hopes you don't have to make them.
If you've made the decision to go to college but don't really know where to start, Peggy Browning of the Records Office walks you through the process of getting admitted and ready for your first day at Collin College.
July 2, 2007 - On this Cougarcast, we talk with Collin College faculty and staff to find out how technology, specifically the internet, functions within the realm of higher education.
Our podcast begins with Dr. Lauryn Angel-Cann. As a Collin College English professor, Lauryn expresses her stance on how textspeak in the context of education isn't something we should LOL about.
The next segment features Dr. Collin Thomas, Biology and Genetics professor. Collin discusses how his students use Wikipedia and other internet sources to achieve great research.
This month's podcast closes with a conversation with Doug Willis, associate Dean of Students, muses on some of the changes that new technology has brought to education. Additionally, Doug gives some tips and tools for writing successful scholarly papers.
June 1, 2007 - This month's Cougarcast focuses on the college's university partnerships, which recently welcomed Baylor University into the fold.
Brenda Kihl, the college's Associate Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, and Stephanie Hanson, coordinator of transfer programs, discuss the facets of the university pre-admission programs with the eight partnering institutions.
Carlos Valera, a Collin College student and pre-admission student with the SMU, shares some very helpful tips and explains what interested him in the program.
May 1, 2007 - This episode features three interesting interviews.
Jennifer O'Loughlin-Brooks, a Collin College psychology professor, the faculty lead of Psi Beta honor society and most recently, the recipient of the CASE/Carnegie Foundation's National Recognition of the Texas Professor of the Year. She'll explain the honor society, the joys of working at Collin and her reaction to receiving the national recognition.
Ken Bogan, an academic advisor at Collin College's Spring Creek Campus, shares some very helpful advising tips and answers some frequently asked questions.
Rebecca Sweat, the winner of the Phi Theta Kappa's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr 'I Have A Dream' speech competition -- we'll have an interview with her and she graciously offered to give her speech for the podcast.