Radford University faculty share expertise with community through public radio program

Radford University faculty are more than dedicated teachers; they are accomplished and influential scholars who regularly share their insights to better inform the communities in which we live.

During the summer months, Radford faculty served as guests on the “With Good Reason” public radio program, offering insights from their expertise in the areas of education, adoption, mindfulness practice through the pandemic, climate change and the blending of economics and epidemiology.

Infectious diseases pose enormous challenges to many people, including public policymakers, who consistently wrestle with the question of how to best deal with those challenges for the better good of affected populations.

Answers to these questions can be found in “economic epidemiology,” according to Thomas Duncan, Ph.D., associate professor of economics, “which blends insights” from the disciplines of economics and epidemiology, the branch of medicine focused on infectious diseases, “to better understand how human behavior contributes to various health-related conditions and allow for deeper consideration of various policy responses.”

Duncan, along with fellow economists Christopher J. Coyne and Abigail R. Hall, tackle the topic in their article “The Political Economy of State Responses to Infectious Diseases,” published in February 2021 in the Southern Economic Journal.

In the publication, Duncan and his co-authors “illustrate the various dynamics of the political economy of state responses to infectious disease,” he said, “by drawing on a range of examples from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Duncan spoke to “With Good Reason” host Sarah McConnell about the topic. The interview can be heard at withgoodreason.org.

In a segment entitled “Adoption Narratives,” Kim Gainer, Ph.D., the associate dean of the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences, spoke to “With Good Reason” about why children are “so obsessed with reading about adoption” and how such stories as “The Tigger Movie” and “Anne of Green Gables” help shape who we are, McConnell said. Gainer’s archived interview can be heard on the “With Good Reason” website.

In August, School of Teacher Education and Leadership Professor Brad Bizzell spoke to “With Good Reason” about how teachers are often gaining superhero status through the COVID-19 pandemic, yet they are experiencing burnout in the face of high-stakes testing and low pay. On the same program, Professor of Counselor Education Alan Forrest, Ph.D., spoke about leading Mindful Mondays during COVID-19. It became a lifeline for students and his colleagues throughout the country, Forrest said.

“With Good Reason” also recently re-aired its interview with Professor of English Rick Van Noy, Ph.D., in which he discussed his latest book, “Sudden Spring: Stories of Adaptation in a Climate-Changed South.” Van Noy’s book contains stories of places and people in the South who are “adapting to the impacts of a warmer climate,” he said, and striving to become more climate-resilient to “survive the slow deluge of environmental challenges.”

The “With Good Reason” radio program is produced by Virginia Humanities for the Virginia Higher Education Broadcasting Consortium, which comprises all of Virginia’s public colleges and universities.

The award-winning program is heard by an estimated 100,000 people each week on public radio stations in 33 states, including Virginia and Washington, D.C. Thousands more download the episodes via iTunes.

Oct 26, 2021
Chad Osborne