The COVID-19 pandemic feels unique, but human history is littered with epidemics and pandemics. Among them is the Black Death, which killed tens of millions in the mid-14th century. History professor Emily Graham joins us to compare and contrast the modern and medieval pandemics and also reminds us how these dark times reveal so much inherent goodness in people.

Sociology professors Duane Gill and Liesel Ritchie are partners in research and marriage. Their research focuses on the sociological impact of disasters and extreme events such as earthquakes, hurricanes and oil spills. They join us to discuss how the current COVID-19 pandemic compares to other extreme events, whether people from a particular area are more helpful than others in times of crisis, and how we develop resilience for the next time something bad happens.



As OSU continues to adjust to online classes in response to COVID-19, we talk remotely with Dr. Caitlin Barnes, the CAS Assistant Director of Outreach, about the unique challenges and opportunities of this historic transition. We also discuss web-based resources available to students and faculty, the new CAS coronavirus website and how distance learning could alter the future of higher education for the better.

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Jaclyn Cosgrove is a 2009 journalism alumna and a reporter for the L.A. Times. She joins us to talk about how covering the COVID-19 epidemic is similar to her past experiences covering tornadoes in Oklahoma, except that she is working from home rather than on the scene. We also cover why she thinks it is so important to continue finding joy even in the midst of a dark and difficult time for America.

We are all dealing with a sense of uncertainty and fear as we try to flatten the curve of COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, we are joined by Thad Leffingwell, a clinical health psychologist and head of the Department of Psychology. We discuss his tips for coping with coronavirus challenges, what the human mind is good at and how that leads to some of our biggest problems, and how teaching online is going for him.

While we are working remotely to try to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases, we wanted to share this episode recorded in the studio on March 6. Matt Cabeen from the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics joins us to talk about the novel coronavirus and viruses more broadly as well as bacteria. His passion for the subject is obvious, and there are even a few explanations of the immune system you have probably never heard before.

Kristen Duncan and Christina Elliott from the OSU Museum of Art join us to talk about In the Mind of a Collector, an exhibition of work donated to OSU by Tulsa native George R. Kravis II in 2018. Numbering more than 700 works, the Kravis gift includes an area of the visual arts new to the museum—industrial design—as well as fine art. Selections range from the colorful, energized brushstrokes of Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann to the comic-book-inspired Pop Art of Roy Lichtenstein, and from a 1950s Frank Lloyd Wright chair to Streamline Style radios from the 1930s and 1940s. Kravis was one of the earliest and youngest founders of an FM radio station in the U.S., KRAV, and went on to become a philanthropist focusing on art education.

Samantha Homann graduated in December, taking only 3½ years to complete degrees in English and German. She was also a leader in many OSU campus organizations and an intern on the College of Arts and Sciences' Outreach and Communications team. She was recently hired as the team's marketing assistant with a focus on social media. She shares stories about her college experience and insight into how she is able to be so efficient. She also explains why she avoids saying the word "bag."

David Kersnar, head of the Department of Theatre, is a founding ensemble member of the Tony Award-winning Lookingglass Theatre Company and has performed, designed, written, instructed and directed with the company since it was founded in 1988. He joins Lonna Freshley to talk about the options students have in both studies and careers in theatre.

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