A microphone for recording podcasts. “Beyond the Expected,” Stony Brook University’s first podcast, premiered on Feb. 6 with three episodes. NICOLAS SOLOP/FLICKR VIA CC BY SA 2.0

“Beyond the Expected” — Stony Brook University’s first podcast — premiered on Feb. 6. The first three episodes of the podcast are hosted by Interim President Michael Bernstein and Jan Diskin-Zimmerman is credited as the director and producer.

Nicholas Scibetta is the vice president for marketing and communications and chief marketing and communications officer. He said there are many topics to look forward to, including “community engagement, student success, research advancements, diversity, health care, discovery and economic impact, to name a few.” 

In an email from the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Rick Gatteau notes that the podcast gets voices and insight from “members of our campus community and beyond who are deeply committed to contributing their time, talent and solutions to the most pressing issues in the communities where they live, work and play.” This array of perspectives is meant to be a true reflection of the target audience for the podcast. 

At a time where 51% of Americans 12 or older have ever listened to a podcast, Stony Brook’s addition to the market is sure to garner an audience. “The podcast is a perfect forum to highlight the expertise, discoveries and service of outstanding members of our university community in addition to friends of Stony Brook,” Scibetta said. 

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There are many layers that make the podcast come to life and each piece utilizes the talent, expertise and resources found on the Stony Brook campus. The Stony Brook University School of Journalism provides the studio in which the podcast is recorded and professor Thomas Manuel provides an original score, “Mutti Bug,” for the intro. 

“We’ve got a talented team that has come together from different areas of the university. It is a truly collaborative effort,” Scibetta said.

At the moment only three episodes have been posted and each 20-minute episode is hosted by  Bernstein. Manuel, Dr. Sharon Nachman and Abhay Deshpande are the first three guests. Nachman is the chief of division of pediatric infectious diseases, director of the office of clinical trials and professor of pediatrics. Deshpande is a professor at Stony Brook University, director of EIC science at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and a director at the Center for Frontiers in Nuclear Science.

According to a press release, the next two episodes will feature Dr. David Fiorella and Dr. Carolyn Peabody although it’s unclear the order in which they will be released. Fiorella is a Director of the Stony Brook Cerebrovascular Center, Co-Director of the Stony Brook Cerebrovascular and Comprehensive Stroke Center as well as a Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiology. Peabody is a Clinical Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Eastern Long Island Sites. 

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The process of finding each guest is just as extensive as putting the entire podcast together. “We also work with members across the Stony Brook community to identify great guests to interview who have compelling stories to tell and information to share,” Scibetta said. Hopefully, this will allow for a diverse cluster of viewpoints and tones to be showcased on the podcast. 

One episode that already stands out among the rest features expertise from Nachman. “To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate” has an honest conversation about the need for vaccinations and the implications that one person opting out of getting vaccines can have for an entire community. 

When asked by Bernstein what she is concerned with the most, Nachman said, “more resistant bacteria because I think that’s a global problem that keeps marching forward.” This episode reinforces the podcast’s goal of educating listeners about a batch of topics, all timely and relevant.
“Beyond the Expected” can be downloaded and subscribed to on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Radio Public and Google Podcasts. So far, one vodcast has been posted to YouTube.

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