MHC and WAMC Celebrate First Year of Academic Minute

Mount Holyoke College joins WAMC Northeast Public Radio and the Newman's Own Foundation in celebrating the first anniversary of the launching of the Academic Minute, the daily series that has become a higher education staple by bringing the latest research from campuses around the world to listeners across the United States, Canada, and online.

Featuring professors from institutions across the globe, the Academic Minute provides a forum for leading experts to explain their research and discoveries to an engaged listening audience. Since its launch in July 2010, the weekday series, which is hosted by MHC President Lynn Pasquerella, has featured professors from some 125 colleges and universities across myriad disciplines. Including the WAMC network, the syndicated daily segments air on nearly 60 stations across North America each morning and afternoon; they are also available daily to visitors to the Insider Higher Ed website.

"There are many reasons the Academic Minute has been successful," said Pasquerella, who introduces each segment. "Provocative ideas are always in demand. The Academic Minute is more than a daily dose of cutting-edge thoughts, however. Colleges and universities are central to generating new ideas that push us forward. If higher education is not a prime mover in generating the ideas--and fueling the debates--that keep our culture and democracy strong, then we aren't doing our job."

"All of us at WAMC love the Academic Minute," added WAMC President and CEO Alan Chartock. "We love our collaboration with Mount Holyoke and their remarkable president even more. It turns out that academics all over the country want to participate. That makes all of us very happy and proud to be part of this wonderful undertaking."

"We couldn't be happier with the response from the professors and institutions we work with on a daily basis," said WAMC program and news director Katie Britton. "The amount of work that goes into one two-minute and thirty-second module is incredible, and it shows that when you invest in something like this, other stations are willing to have it on their airwaves, too."

To celebrate a successful initial year on the air, the Academic Minute staff has named “Senior Superlatives” from the large field of participating academics and institutions. Each honoree received an Academic Minute tote bag, a Mount Holyoke College mug, a WAMC T-shirt, and a package of Newman's Own cookies.

The first year honorees included professors Corey Angst of Notre Dame University; Meagan Curtis of Purchase College-SUNY; Randi Epstein of Columbia University; and Nicholas Leadbeater of University of Connecticut. The President’s Award, chosen by Pasquerella, went to Professor Jennifer Hoyer of the University of Arkansas. The University of Texas at Austin, Lock Haven University, Harvard University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute were also recognized for their support and promotion of the Academic Minute.

Several Mount Holyoke faculty contributed segments to the series in its inaugural year, including professors Becky Wai-Ling Packard, Christopher Benfey, Gary Gillis, M. Darby Dyar, David Sanford, Gail Hornstein, and Elizabeth Markovits.

WAMC/Northeast Public Radio is a regional public radio network serving parts of seven northeastern states. These include New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. It is a member of National Public Radio and an affiliate of Public Radio International.